A five-year federal farm that could become law in the coming week does away with farm subsidies that have guided agriculture through record profits in recent years.
Gone are direct payments, a politically untenable system that paid landowners a fixed amount per acre, no matter the crop price or even if they planted at all. But farmers aren't complaining, because new subsidies in the legislation could be just as generous.
Under the new bill, direct payments would be replaced a choice of two approaches that require producers to suffer a loss before getting a payout. Cotton farmers also would get a new insurance-based program.