Date of this Version
The primary purpose of this article is to provide a summary and briefly comment on key provisions of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008 (PL 110-246) and discuss possible consequences of the selected provisions. As passed by the House and Senate, the act contains 15 titles (the pdf version covering 683 pages). While most provisions will be at least briefly discussed, more attention will be devoted to the production-related provisions, especially substantive changes from the 2002 act. The general title of any new farm bill is telling in both what is significant in the bill and in what the authors want you to think is significant. The Conference report was titled as the Food, Conservation and Energy Act. “Food” refers to the importance of the consumers; “Conservation” calls attention to the importance of the environment and “Energy” calls attention to concerns over current high gas and food prices. As well as building coalitions for passage of the bill, concentration on these three issues also signify that farm prices and the farm safety net are not accorded as high a priority as in past farm bills. It is our opinion that opposition to commodity provisions had much to do with the focus of the bill.