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US Farm Bill 2008: Back to the Future?


  • Patrick Westhoff
  • Julian Binfield


After years of deliberation, eight temporary extensions of expiring law and two overridden vetoes, the Food, Conservation and Energy Act became law on June 18, 2008, framing the policy environment for US farmers for several years to come. The farm bill was written in a period of lean supplies, soaring demand, increased budget deficits, and intense scrutiny. When the dust settled the bill had five new titles, a new disaster program, and a new option offering an irrevocable choice of the traditional price-based safety net or a new revenue-based program. The latter constituted a new direction for US policy, moving towards more revenue based payments, a move that was resisted by the administration concerned with the implications for the WTO and that disapproved of the changes to the budget that financed the new programs. In the end the desires of the members of Congress trumped the administration's veto. FAPRI-MU's analysis shows that the impact of the 2008 farm bill on agricultural markets will be small. However, the direction of US agricultural policy is likely to put the farm bill at odds with the WTO, especially if there is a new agreement under the Doha round. Copyright (c) 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Ecomomics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2008.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Westhoff & Julian Binfield, 2008. "US Farm Bill 2008: Back to the Future?," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 7(3), pages 17-23, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:7:y:2008:i:3:p:17-23

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Muhammad, Andrew & Seale, James L. & Meade, Birgit Gisela Saager & Regmi, Anita, 2011. "International Evidence on Food Consumption Patterns: An Update Using 2005 International Comparison Program Data," Technical Bulletins 184306, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    2. Silvia Coderoni & Laura Valli & Maurizio Canavari, 2015. "Climate Change Mitigation Options in the Italian Livestock Sector," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 14(1), pages 17-24, April.
    3. Rafael Oliveira Silva & Luis Gustavo Barioni & Dominic Moran, 2015. "Greenhouse Gas Mitigation through Sustainable Intensification of Livestock Production in the Brazilian Cerrado," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 14(1), pages 28-34, April.
    4. Hugo Valin & Ronald D. Sands & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe & Gerald C. Nelson & Helal Ahammad & Elodie Blanc & Benjamin Bodirsky & Shinichiro Fujimori & Tomoko Hasegawa & Petr Havlik & Edwina Heyhoe, 2014. "The future of food demand: understanding differences in global economic models," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(1), pages 51-67, January.
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