By Alison Henderson
To cut spending in the agricultural sector, Congress is creating a new farm bill that would protect corn and soybean farmers from falling crop prices.
The bill would provide subsidies in the form of free insurance to the farmers when revenue drops or weather damages crops, according to a Fox News report.
Opponents, including environmental groups, conservatives and the American Farm Bureau, say the subsidies would pay billions of dollars to farmers that are already receiving record high incomes, according to the report.
Jon Doggett of the National Corn Growers Association said the bill is designed to cost less than current subsidy programs.
"Large crops like corn, soybeans and wheat are so integral to so many other parts of the food chain," Doggett said in the Fox News report. "You want to provide some sort of stability in that food chain."
The super committee that crafting the bill missed their self-implemented deadline of Nov. 1, because majority and minority leaders failed to reach a final agreement, according to an MPR report.
Negotiators are looking at problems raised by critics, including the potential to overpay farmers when crop prices are high, according to the Fox report.
"We have a responsibility to the American people to use their resources wisely and to provide assistance only when it's needed," U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an Associated Press report.