In a preliminary analysis of the House-Senate conference report approved by the House last week, FAPRI said it figures the outlays will increase by $49.7 billion over the agricultural baseline. That compares with the CBO’s findings that outlays will increase by $47.7 billion.

The Senate is scheduled to begin debate on the farm bill tomorrow.

According to FAPRI estimates, the conservation title of the new farm bill will increase net spending in that by $13.2 billion for the next 10 years. House-Senate conferees had said spending would increase by $17.1 billion.

“Planted crop acreage is expected to increase only slightly in response to higher support prices,” FAPRI economists said. “Increased grain and cotton acres more than offset reduced soybean acreage. Prices for grain and cotton fall slightly with the increased production expected under the new bill. Oilseed prices increase marginally.”

FAPRI, which is funded by Congress to provide independent analysis of agricultural policy and legislation, said the 2002 farm bill’s new dairy payments result in a small increase in milk production, and lower milk prices.

Net farm income goes up $3.8 billion per year, from provisions in the commodity programs. The conservation programs contribute another $700 million per year.

The quick response to the Congressional request for analysis is based on a 2001 FAPRI baseline. The FAPRI economists note that market prices for several commodities are lower now than projected in 2001.

The farm bill will cover the next six years. For budget-scoring purposes, the analysis is measured against a 10-year baseline.

In coming days, FAPRI plans to update their analysis on the commodity titles using more current market information. A new 2002 baseline will be developed in the next few weeks to use in that analysis.

The preliminary analysis issued May 6, with supporting tables, will be on the FAPRI website at http://www.fapri.missouri.edu/

e-mail: flaws@primediabusiness.com