Summary: S.616 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.616. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/07/1985)

Agriculture, Food, Trade, and Conservation Act of 1985 - Title I: Agricultural Exports and Public Law 480 - Subtitle A: Commercial Export Programs - Amends the Food for Peace Act of 1966 to authorize the Secretary of Agriculture, through the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC), to guarantee intermediate loans made to finance agricultural export sales.

Requires that such guaranteed or financed sales be made to purchasers from countries that: (1) have previously received assistance under title I of Public Law 480; and (2) are unable to use other Department of Agriculture short-term export credit programs.

Expands the uses for which export credit financing and guarantees may be made to include agricultural export sales promotion.

Requires the CCC to make specified amounts available for intermediate credit purposes for FY 1986 through 1991.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) sell through the CCC specified amounts of dairy products for export for FY 1986 through 1988; and (2) report annually to the appropriate congressional committees.

Authorizes the Secretary to provide U.S. exporters and users and foreign purchasers with surplus agricultural commodities and products at no cost in order to expand overseas markets. Makes eligible for supplementary commodity distributions those foreign purchasers who use the receipts from the sale of such products to construct or rehabilitate facilities used to market U.S. agricultural imports.

Exempts such commodity distributions, blended credit, and emergency food relief activities from cargo preference requirements.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that the President should initiate a new round of multilateral trade negotiations with U.S. trading partners to: (1) strengthen the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); (2) improve the GATT dispute settlement procedure; and (3) bring agricultural trade issues within the purview of GATT rules and procedures.

Directs the Secretary to use specified CCC funds or commodities for FY 1986 through 1988 export assistance for those commodities adversely affected by foreign subsidies or market practices.

Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Public Law 480) to direct the President to: (1) consider the benefits to the United States and the nutritional assistance to recipients from the donation of processed and protein-fortified agricultural products; and (2) take steps to ensure that an appropriate share of commodity donations is in such form. Expresses the sense of the Congress that the Secretary fund export market development programs for value-added farm products at higher than FY 1985 levels.

Amends the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act to require (current law authorizes) the CCC, to the maximum extent practicable, to barter commodities for strategic and critical materials.

States that if the volume of petroleum products in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is less than the level prescribed under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act the CCC shall, with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and in consultation with the Secretaries of Energy and of State, accept petroleum products in exchange for agricultural commodities and transfer such products without reimbursement to the Reserve.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) conduct a study of the feasibility and effect of permitting CCC-guaranteed obligations under the export credit sales programs to be traded in a secondary market without CCC approval; and (2) report within one year to the appropriate congressional committees.

Subtitle B: Public Law 480 and Related Programs - Amends the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 (Public Law 480) to permit credit sales of agricultural commodities with repayment in foreign currency. Requires: (1) repayment within four years from the date of delivery; and (2) interest rates at not less than Treasury costs.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into agreements with financial intermediaries (as defined by this Act) in developing countries for the use of foreign currencies accrued from such commodity sales. Sets forth related provisions. Requires an annual program report to the appropriate congressional committees. Authorizes the Secretary to provide related technical assistance, including the funding of market development activities.

Repeals the provisions requiring minimum aggregate value of agreements under the Food for Development Program.

Extends Public Law 480 program authorities through FY 1991.

Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to authorize the President to enter into agreements with developing countries to furnish agricultural products to promote the implementation of long-term free-enterprise agricultural policies. Provides with regard to such program that: (1) the Secretary shall furnish such products through CCC stocks or CCC-purchased commodities; (2) not more than 500,000 metric tons of commodities may be provided in each of FY 1986 through 1989; (3) deliveries may be on a multi-year basis; (4) cargo preference requirements shall not apply; (5) the National Security Advisor in the Executive Office of the President shall serve as coordinator; (6) resale or transshipment shall be prohibited; (7) precautions shall be taken to avoid displacing U.S. agricultural sales; and (8) the President shall report annually to the Congress.

Title II: Dairy - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to extend the dairy price support program through FY 1991. Sets support levels for FY 1986 at $11.60 per hundredweight, and for each of FY 1987 through 1991 at the preceding year's level adjusted by estimated Government purchases. Authorizes the Secretary, after a 60-day public notice, to increase supports by 50 cents per year if necessary to ensure an adequate milk supply.

Extends milk marketing order authority through 1991.

Title III: Wool and Mohair - Amends the National Wool Act of 1954 to extend the wool and mohair price support program through 1991. Establishes the support price as the larger of: (1) the preceding year's level less 15 percent; or (2) the previous five years' average price, excluding the high and low years. States that once the support price reaches the preceding five-year average price, that shall be the basis for determining the support price.

Title IV: Wheat - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set loan and purchase levels (market intervention rate) for the 1986 through 1991 wheat crops at between 75 percent and 85 percent of the preceding five years' average, excluding high and low years. Requires separate market intervention rates for: (1) hard red winter wheat; (2) soft red winter wheat; (3) hard red spring wheat; (4) white wheat; and (5) Durum wheat.

Sets the Federal guaranteed price (target price) at between 110 percent and 125 percent of the market intervention rate.

Authorizes reduced yield disaster payments (50 percent of the Federal guaranteed price) for producers for whom Federal crop insurance is unavailable.

Requires the Secretary to proclaim a national program acreage by August 1 of each year. Permits adjustment as necessary to increase or decrease wheat stocks. Requires the Secretary to determine a program allocation factor between 80 and 100 percent for each crop.

Authorizes acreage limitation, set-aside, and paid diversion (including multi-year diversion programs) if needed to prevent overproduction. Makes persons who knowingly produce in excess of such limits ineligible for wheat loans and payments. Requires such acreage to be used for conservation purposes, including wildlife, haying, grazing, or the production of certain strategic or industrial-use crops.

Authorizes the Secretary to make land diversion payments whether or not an acreage limitation or set-aside program is in effect.

Requires, as a condition of program eligibility, that producers use conservation practices determined by the local soil conservation district to be appropriate for the area.

Authorizes the Secretary to make additional producer payments if the land is opened to public hunting, fishing, or hiking.

Suspends specified marketing quota and certificate provisions.

Title V: Feed Grains - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set loan and purchase levels for the 1986 through 1991 corn crops at between 75 percent and 85 percent of the preceding five years' average, excluding high and low years. States that loan and purchase rates for grain sorghums, oats, rye, and barley shall be determined in relation to corn rates.

Sets the Federal guaranteed corn price at between 110 percent and 125 percent of the market intervention rate. States that such price for the other feed grains shall be determined in relation to the corn price.

Authorizes reduced yield disaster payments (50 percent of the Federal guaranteed price) for producers for whom Federal crop insurance is unavailable.

Requires the Secretary to proclaim a national program acreage by November 1 of each year. Permits adjustment as necessary to increase or decrease feed grain stocks. Requires the Secretary to determine a program allocation factor between 80 percent and 100 percent for each crop.

Authorizes acreage limitation, set-aside, and paid diversion programs (including multi-year diversion programs) if needed to prevent overproduction. Makes persons who knowingly produce in excess of such limits ineligible for feed grain loans and payments. Requires such acreage to be used for conservation purposes, including wildlife, haying, grazing or the production of certain strategic or industrial-use crops.

Authorizes the Secretary to make land diversion payments whether or not an acreage limitation or set-aside program is in effect.

Requires, as a condition of program eligibility, that producers use conservation practices determined by the local soil conservation district to be appropriate for the area.

Authorizes the Secretary to make additional producer payments if the land is open to public hunting, fishing, or hiking.

Suspends specified acreage allotment provisions.

Title VI: Cotton - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set ten-month levels for the 1986 through 1991 upland cotton crops at the lower of: (1) between 75 percent and 85 percent of the preceding five years' average U.S. spot market price for Strict Low Middling one-and-one-sixteenth-inch upland cotton; or (2) such figure, plus five percent of the average Northern Europe price for Middling one-and-three-thirty seconds inch upland cotton (as determined by a formula set forth in this Act).

Directs the Secretary to determine and announce the market intervention rate by November 1 of the calendar year preceding the marketing year for which such level is to be effective.

Authorizes eight-month loan extensions upon producer request unless the previous month's average upland cotton price exceeded 130 percent of the preceding 36 months' average price, in which case the President shall proclaim a special import quota (as provided for by this Act).

Sets the Federal guaranteed upland cotton price at between 110 percent and 125 percent of the market intervention rate.

Authorizes reduced yield disaster payments (one-third of the Federal guaranteed price) for producers for whom Federal crop insurance is unavailable.

Requires the Secretary to proclaim a national program acreage by November 1 of each year. Permits adjustment as necessary to increase or decrease upland cotton stocks. Requires the Secretary to determine a program allocation factor not to exceed 100 percent for each crop.

Authorizes acreage limitation and paid diversion programs (including multi-year diversion programs) if needed to prevent overproduction. Makes persons who knowingly produce in excess of such limits ineligible for upland cotton loans and payments. Provides for the conservation use of such acreage.

Authorizes the Secretary to make land diversion payments whether or not an acreage limitation program is in effect.

Requires, as a condition of program eligibility, that producers use conservation practices determined by the local soil conservation district to be appropriate for the area.

Requires the Secretary to make seed cotton loans available to producers under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter Act.

Suspends specified acreage allotment and marketing quota provisions.

Requires the CCC to sell upland cotton for unrestricted use at the same prices as it sells cotton for export, but at no less than appropriate to maintain and expand domestic and foreign markets.

Title VII: Rice - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set loan and purchase levels for the 1986 through 1991 rice crops at between 75 percent and 85 percent of the preceding five years' average, excluding high and low years.

Requires separate market intervention rates for: (1) long grain rice; and (2) short and medium grain rice. Requires the Secretary to announce the market intervention rate and the Federal guaranteed price by March 1 of each year.

Sets the Federal guaranteed price at between 110 percent and 125 percent of the market

Authorizes reduced yield disaster payments (one-third of the Federal guaranteed price) for producers for whom Federal crop insurance is unavailable.

Requires the Secretary to proclaim a national program acreage by January 31 of each year. Permits adjustment as necessary to increase or decrease rice stocks. Requires the Secretary to determine a program allocation factor between 80 percent and 100 percent for each crop.

Authorizes acreage limitation and paid diversion programs (including multi-year diversion programs) if needed to prevent overproduction. Makes persons who knowingly produce in excess of such limits ineligible for rice loans and payments. Requires such acreage to be used for conservation purposes, including wildlife, haying, grazing, or the production of certain strategic or industrial-use crops.

Authorizes the Secretary to make land diversion payments whether or not an acreage limitation program is in effect.

Requires, as a condition of program eligibility, that producers use conservation practices determined by the local soil conservation district to be appropriate for the area.

Authorizes the Secretary to make additional producer payments if the land is opened to public hunting, fishing, or hiking.

Title VIII: Peanuts - Amends the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1938 to set the national poundage quota for peanuts for each of the 1986 through 1991 marketing years at 1,100,000 tons. Authorizes the Secretary to increase the quota to meet estimated requirements for domestic edible use and a reasonable carryover.

States that the national poundage quota shall be apportioned among the States so that each State's allotment shall equal its 1985 allotment. Establishes farm poundage quotas for each farm which had a 1985 quota.

Requires the Secretary to conduct a quota program referendum by December 15 of each year to determine if producers favor or oppose such quotas.

Defines "quota peanuts" and "additional peanuts" and applies such terms to the 1986 through 1991 peanut crops.

Permits an owner or farm operator: (1) for which a farm poundage quota has been established under this Act to sell or lease all or part of such quota to any other owner or operator of a farm within the same county for transfer to such farm; or (2) to transfer all or part of such quota to another farm owned or controlled by such owner or operator that is in the same county or in a contiguous county in the same State having a 1985 quota. Sets forth related transfer conditions.

Provides that the penalty for excess marketing of quota peanuts for domestic edible use shall be 140 percent of the support price for such peanuts. Subjects the marketing of additional peanuts to the same penalty unless such peanuts: (1) are placed under loan; (2) are marketed through marketing associations; or (3) are marketed under handler contracts for export or crushing.

States that only quota peanuts may be retained for seed or other farm uses.

Requires contracts with handlers for the purchase of additional peanuts to be submitted to the Secretary by June 15 (currently by April 15).

Authorizes CCC peanuts to be made available for domestic edible use.

Authorizes price supports for the 1986 through 1991 peanut crops. Sets the quota peanut rate at the preceding year's rate adjusted to reflect any increase (limited to not more than six percent) in production costs. Directs the Secretary to set the additional peanut rate: (1) taking into consideration domestic and foreign demand and prices; and (2) to ensure that the CCC suffers no losses on the sale of such peanuts.

Requires the Secretary to announce support levels by February 15.

Authorizes the Secretary to make warehouse storage loans available to peanut marketing associations (with specified exceptions).

Suspends specified marketing quota, acreage allotment, and price support provisions for such crops.

Title IX: Soybeans - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set loan and purchase levels for the 1986 through 1991 soybean crops at between 75 percent and 85 percent of the preceding five years' average, excluding high and low years.

Requires the Secretary to announce support levels by October 1.

Provides that: (1) the Secretary shall not require participation in any production adjustment program as a condition of eligibility for price supports; (2) soybeans shall not be considered an eligible commodity for any reserve program; and (3) the Secretary shall not authorize storage payments.

Title X: Sugar and Honey - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set 1986 through 1991 sugarcane price support levels at 18 cents per pound. Sets sugar beet support levels in relation to such rate.

Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to set 1986 through 1991 honey loan and purchase levels at between 75 percent and 85 percent of the preceding five years' average, excluding high and low years.

Title XI: Producer Reserve Program - Amends the Agricultural Act of 1949 to extend the wheat and feed grain reserve program. Amends such program to provide that loans may not exceed three years in length (presently three to five years). Provides for: (1) at least quarterly payments to producers; and (2) early loan repayment or redemption of crops used to secure such loans .

Repeals the provision regarding sales of CCC wheat and feed grain stocks while such reserve program is in effect.

Requires the Secretary to permit producers with existing reserve loan agreements to modify them in conformance with this Act.

Title XII: Miscellaneous Commodity Provisions - Limits 1986 through 1991 program payments (excluding disaster payments) for wheat, feed grains, upland cotton, extra long staple cotton, rice, and wool and mohair to an amount not in excess of the national median family income.

Limits 1986 through 1991 disaster payments for wheat, feed grains, upland cotton, and rice to $50,000.

Subjects the value of payment-in-kind commodities to such limits.

States that for the 1986 through 1991 crops, the CCC may sell any of its stocks of wheat, corn, grain sorghum, barley, oats, rye, rice, sugar, and honey at price levels as the Secretary determines appropriate to maintain and expand domestic and export markets for such commodities.

Authorizes the Secretary to require as a condition of eligibility for support benefits that whenever a set-aside program is in effect for any of the 1986 wheat or feed grain crops, producers not exceed the normally-planted acreage as reduced by any set-aside or diverted acreage.

Requires that any person who receives a CCC price support or reserve loan shall be liable for any accrued interest.

Title XIII: Food Stamp and Commodity Distribution Amendments - Subtitle A: Food Stamp Integrity and Accountability - Amends the Food Stamp Act of 1977 to repeal the provision permitting persons living with others but purchasing and preparing their own food to be treated as a separate food stamp household. Authorizes States to treat such persons as individual households.

Repeals the provision exempting portions of student loans or grants from being considered as income for purposes of food stamp program (program) eligibility and benefits. Requires that the income and resources of ineligible students be counted in determining eligibility and benefits for the remaining household.

Includes nonrecurring lump-sum payments as income for program purposes (presently excludable). Requires such payments to be treated as they are treated under the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program.

Excludes from being considered as a resource the household's principal dwelling, surrounding lot (up to ten acres), and burial plots.

Authorizes States to disqualify persons for fraud or misrepresentation without an administrative hearing. Requires prior notice and opportunity for a hearing.

Requires that all resources (presently a pro rata share) of an ineligible alien be considered in determining eligibility and benefits of the household of which such alien is a member.

Repeals the cash change provision.

Requires each adult member of a household that is applying for the program or is required to file specified reports to certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, to the truth of the information contained in the application or report.

Makes discretionary (presently mandatory) expedited coupon issuance for certain households.

Requires States to implement a photographic identification card system for program recipients.

Requires States to establish fraud detection offices in areas with 5000 or more program households.

States that retail or wholesale food stores disqualified from program participation shall also be ineligible during such period for participation in the supplemental food program for women, infants, and children (WIC).

States that each member of a household shall be jointly and severally liable for the value of any coupon overissuance.

Requires States to collect overissuances resulting from State agency error. Requires (current law authorizes) States to collect specified other overissuances.

Authorizes States to intercept unemployment benefits in order to satisfy fraud or misrepresentation overissuances.

Requires a retail or wholesale food store, in order to obtain a judicial stay of an administrative penalty, to demonstrate the same conditions as locally required for a judicial stay of an administrative order. (Presently a showing of irreparable injury is required.)

Revises State agency liability provisions to make such agencies liable for payment error rates above three percent.

Reduces the percentage of Federal cost-sharing for automatic data processing from 75 percent to 50 percent (five percent reductions beginning in FY 1988).

Authorizes the Inspector General of the Department of Agriculture to develop geographical error-prone profiles. Authorizes the Secretary to impose appropriate requirements in such areas. Requires the Secretary to report annually to the appropriate congressional committees, beginning 12 months after enactment of this Act.

Requires States that impose a tax on food purchased with food stamps to pay to the Treasury for each fiscal year an amount equal to the total value of food stamps issued in that State in that fiscal year multiplied by the sales tax. Authorizes the Secretary to withhold administrative cost-sharing funds for noncompliance.

Revises the Puerto Rico block grant program to make permanent the existing temporary (through September 30, 1985) suspension of the noncash program requirement.

Requires States to have a workfare program.

Subtitle B: Food Stamp Optional Block Grant - Authorizes States to operate a low-income nutritional assistance block grant program instead of the Federal food stamp program. Sets forth program provisions.

Subtitle C: Other Deficit Reduction Provisions - States that households shall be charged (not to exceed 30 percent of income) for food stamp allotments. Exempts households: (1) with an elderly or disabled member; and (2) of four persons with a monthly income of less than $30.

Delays from October 1, 1985, to January 1, 1987, the thrifty food plan and the excess shelter deduction inflation adjustments and makes the adjustment date in subsequent years January 1.

Establishes the gross income eligibility standard as 130 percent of the poverty line as in effect on January 1, 1985.

Authorizes program appropriations for FY 1986 through 1989.

Subtitle D: Grace Commission Recommendations - Revises the definition of "thrifty food plan" to reflect the frequency of participation by various categories of participants.

Includes in monthly income the value (as determined under this Act) of monthly child nutrition assistance provided in that month.

Repeals the ten dollar minimum monthly allotment for one and two-person households.

Subtitle E: Commodity Distribution Amendments - Amends the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Act of 1973 to extend through FY 1989: (1) commodity distribution program authority; and (2) administrative cost reimbursement. Repeals authority for low-income elderly persons pilot projects.

Subtitle F: Effective Date - Makes the provisions of this title effective on October 1, 1985.

Title XIV: Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching - Amends the National Agricultural Research, Extension, and Teaching Policy Act of 1977 to express the sense of the Congress that Department of Agriculture research, extension, and teaching activities relating to agricultural technology should emphasize technology that will benefit small and moderate-sized farms.

Amends competitive agricultural research grant provisions to: (1) require recipients to provide 20 percent matching funds; and (2) require at least 50 percent of such funds to be used for agricultural research of use to small and moderate-sized farms.

Repeals special research grant authority.

Requires at least 50 percent of Smith-Lever funds to be used by the Extension Service for the delivery of agricultural technology of use to small and moderate-sized farms.

Repeals authority for the expanded food and nutrition education program. Prohibits the Secretary from conducting such programs after September 30, 1985.

Establishes a special matching research program for private sector technology development. Authorizes the Secretary to enter into cost-sharing reimbursable cooperative agreements through FY 1991 for such purposes. Obligates at least one-half percent of annual Agricultural Research Service appropriations for such purposes. Limits annual and total Federal expenditures for any particular project. Requires at least 50 percent matching funds.

Includes new and alternative industrial uses for agricultural crops within the category of priority agricultural research grants. Obligates at least ten percent of competitive grant appropriations for such purpose.

Includes the establishment of controls for the use of biotechnology (in agricultural applications) with the Secretary's research and extension responsibilities.

Authorizes FY 1986 through 1991 appropriations for: (1) agricultural research; (2) higher education in the food and agricultural sciences; (3) continuing animal health and disease research; (4) land grant colleges; (5) agricultural research facilities, including State experiment stations; (6) extension education; (7) aquaculture assistance; and (8) rangeland research.

Title XV: Highly Erodible Land Conservation - Makes any person who cultivates crops on highly erodible land ineligible for such year for: (1) price supports or payments; (2) farm storage facility loans; (3) crop insurance; (4) disaster payments; or (5) other specified agricultural loans.

Exempts crops planted: (1) on land cultivated from 1976 through 1985; (2) before enactment of this Act; or (3) under specified conservation systems.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) use the county committees in administering this title; (2) establish an appeal procedure for land capability classifications; and (3) complete certain soil capability surveys as soon as practicable.

Title XVI: Agricultural Credit - Amends the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to prohibit the Secretary from making, guaranteeing , or insuring: (1) real estate loans after September 30, 1991; (2) recreational development and community facility loans after September 30, 1985; (3) water, drainage, or waste disposal loans after September 30, 1986; and (4) business and industrial loans after September 30, 1985.

Requires the Secretary, beginning with FY 1988, to raise the interest rates on new farm ownership and operating loans (except for guaranteed loans) by not less than one percent nor more than one and one-quarter percent per year, until such loan rates are approximately equal to prevailing commercial rates.

Limits eligibility for new insured operating loans to borrowers who already have an insured loan, except for low-income limited resource borrowers.

Prohibits the making of any emergency loan for production losses that could have been insured against under the Federal Crop Insurance Act.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) compromise, adjust, reduce, or charge-off claims and adjust, modify, subordinate, or release the terms of security interests, leases, contracts, and agreements previously entered into by the Farmers Home Administration; and (2) release borrowers from personal liability, with or without consideration, at the time the terms of the loan contract are adjusted or modified.

Establishes FY 1986 through 1991 loan amounts for: (1) farm ownership and operations; and (2) emergency loans.

Establishes FY 1986 loan amounts for water and sewer facility loans.

Title XVII: Effective Date - Makes provisions of this Act effective upon enactment, except as otherwise provided.