Policy & Politics
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Vilsack defends federal farm payments
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said federal farm payments have enabled Americans to have relatively cheap food and are needed to protect farmers from price drops.
“Who benefits ultimately for all of this? I would argue that it’s not the 250,000 to 270,000 farmers who benefit from this structure. It is actually the rest of us that benefit,” Vilsack said in a meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board.
Vilsack said the Obama administration continues to support a cap on payments for the largest farms. He said some of the $5 million in fixed payments that now goes to grain and cotton farmers could be shifted to other forms of subsidies.