U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer is receiving a request from a group of farm-state senators requesting that he stop trying to rewrite the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 through regulations of the new farm bill, reported Delta Farm Press.
The senators — Harkin, D-Iowa, Richard Durbin, D-Ill., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio — have written Schafer asking him to not use lower commodity prices than are specified in the bill to set the revenue guarantee benchmarks for the new Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program.
ACRE, a new revenue-based counter-cyclical payment program conceived by the Iowa Corn Growers Association, was included in the new farm law after being introduced by Durbin and Brown. Harkin and other lawmakers have accused USDA of trying to re-write the farm bill in other areas as well.
The senators asked Schafer to implement the ACRE program in a timely basis and to follow the congressional intent for establishing the guaranteed prices for the 2009 ACRE program, the senators said, USDA must use the simple average of national prices for the 2007 and 2008 crops.