Bronaugh declines to comment on White House ag proposal
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Jewel Bronaugh declined to comment on the White House proposal to Congress to provide an additional $500 million in domestic food production assistance through higher loan rates and crop insurance incentives. After The Hagstrom Report noted to her at the opening of the USDA Farmers Market that neither Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack nor she had issued a public statement on the proposal, Bronaugh said she would not comment until “I dig a little deeper” into the background of the proposal. Farm Service Agency Administrator Zach Ducheneaux told The Hagstrom Report earlier this week that the proposal is a signal that if commodity prices fall, the Biden administration still wants to be supportive of farmers. Meanwhile, academic criticism of the proposal continued. Aaron Smith, a professor at the University of California, Davis, wrote a blog last week asking “Is this another handout to farmers?” Joe Glauber, a former USDA chief economist now with the International Food Policy Research Institute, issued a series of tweets in which he said that it would not be good policy for marketing loan rates to dictate what to plant.
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