Friday, June 03, 2011

Bad News for FSA?

From today's Farm Policy, a bit from the chair of House ag:

Chairman Lucas also offered perspective on House action with respect to the timing of drafting the 2012 farm legislation.  The Oklahoma Republican highlighted a very important caveat to his current thinking on Farm Bill timing: “Depending on what comes out of Vice President Biden’s working group, if there is a grand compromise on raising the debt ceiling which would entail a substantial cut in spending immediately, that over rules the way I would like to do it.  And we could conceivably have a Farm Bill this fall or winter in a hurry-up fashion.”  (Related AgriTalk audio available here (MP3- 1:37)).
 That could be very bad news for FSA bureaucrats for two reasons:
  • a hurry-up farm bill to implement a "grand compromise" passed late in the year would give very little time for FSA to implement.  
  • I assume FSA management has planned their MIDAS project to reach milestones by next summer--that is to get over the hump before they have to switch their attention to the 2012 farm bill.  If that's true, and you have to assume FSA management plans ahead, don't you, then a rush farm bill is also going to screw up MIDAS.  
The only good bit about a possible rush farm bill might be in a time crunch there would be less opportunity for new programs to come out of the blue; more likely the Hill would make adjustments in the 2008 programs.

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