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Some Republican Lawmakers Against Raising Reference Prices

Following calls by some groups to increase reference prices in the upcoming Farm Bill, Republican lawmakers stand in “strong opposition” to any potential increases.

Republican Representatives Alex Mooney of West Virginia, along with Tennessee’s Andy Ogles, Brian Mast of Florida, and others, say any increase would further drive inflation higher. The letter states, “At a time when Congress must be taking steps to reduce federal spending, we must resist costly attempts to expand the scope of government intervention in the free market.” The lawmakers argue that “higher price guarantees” would mostly benefit fewer than 6,000 farms.

Increasing price guarantees for major crops would mostly benefit peanut, cotton, and rice farmers in Southern states, not corn and soybean farmers, according to the letter. Since payments are linked to production, the largest producers get the lion’s share of the funding. In 2021, just ten percent of farmers received more than 80 percent of all Price Loss Coverage payments, the lawmakers claim.

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