Sugar Policy Projected to Reach Two-Decade Milestone
WASHINGTON—Sugar policy, which hasn’t cost taxpayers a dime since 2001, will remain no cost through 2021, according to two recently released reports.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture unveiled the first report in February, which estimated a continuation of sugar’s no-cost status over the next 10 crop years. The Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri-Columbia put out its projections about sugar supplies in March, and if those supply projections hold true, consumers will continue to enjoy ample amounts of homegrown sugar without any government expense for at least another 10 years.
“That’s a lot of zeros,” Jack Pettus, chairman of the American Sugar Alliance, said of the new cost estimates. “With Congress looking closely at federal spending and agricultural committees preparing for the next reauthorization of the farm safety net, these reports from trusted government and private-sector analysts couldn’t come at a better time.”
Past performance and future forecasts help explain why sugar policy has received so many accolades on Capitol Hill and within the farming community, he noted.
Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union (NFU), is one of sugar policy’s biggest cheerleaders.
“In this era of fiscal responsibility, it’s hard to imagine being more fiscally responsible than no cost,” Johnson said during this week’s annual NFU conference. “Maintaining a strong no-cost sugar policy in the next Farm Bill is a priority for NFU, and we know that such a continuation would help keep rural economies strong.”
The American Farm Bureau Federation passed a similar policy resolution supporting the continuation of a no-cost sugar policy during its annual convention in January.
Sugar, which is produced in 18 states, supports 146,000 U.S. jobs and contributes $10 billion to the economy each year.