Farm Economy to Get 'Worse' Before It Gets 'Better'

Federal officials said Wednesday the nation's struggling farm economy will get worse before it gets better. The Food and Policy Agricultural Policy Research Institute, which advises Congress on the economic impact of farm policy, decided this after looking over the newly passed (and still controversial) farm bill. The farm bill subsidizes thousands more producers. Officials found that net income for farmers will plummet seven billion dollars this year, before rebounding somewhat in 2003.

So who will take the biggest hit? Federal officials estimate the biggest drop in farm income will most likely effect the tumbling livestock and milk prices. A drop in government payments to farmers this year is expected. Under the new farm bill, some payments won't be made until 2003.