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ID
87148
QnAForm_OriginalID 1558
Question
Question by Canada
COA Meeting Number   
87
COA Meeting start date 11/06/2018
Section II. QUESTIONS RAISED IN CONNECTION WITH INDIVIDUAL NOTIFICATIONS
Notification Numbers         
G/AG/N/USA/121
Sub-section D. NOTIFICATIONS IN THE CONTEXT OF DOMESTIC SUPPORT COMMITMENTS (TABLE DS:1)
Answer By United States of America
Notification Formats DS:1 - Exempt and non-exempt support - Current total AMS
Question full text

a. In Supporting Table DS:1, (a) General services, Canada notes that state governments provided $2.7 billion for State programmes for agriculture for "…a number of generally available services." This is an 8.5% increase from 2014. Could the U.S. please describe how it ensures that state governments' use of these funds meet the policy criteria of general services, paragraph 2, Annex 2 of the Agreement on Agriculture?

b. In Supporting Table DS: 4, as reported in the notification for 2014, Canada notes a discrepancy in the total Value of Production (VoP) figures in the U.S. notification for 2015. The total VoP is reported as USD 372,714.642 million but the sum of all product-specific VoP totals USD 504,469.82 million. Could the US please explain this discrepancy?

c. Canada would like to reiterate question AG-IMS ID 85058 to the U.S. at the 85th meeting of the CoA about a discrepancy in the total Value of Production (VoP) figures. The total VoP is reported as USD 405,646.295 million but the sum of all product-specific VoP totals USD 550,264.95 million. Could the U.S. please explain this discrepancy?

d. Canada notes that county-based Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programmes are reported under Supporting Table DS:6 and Supporting Table DS:9. Canada is of the understanding that the 2014 Farm Bill allowed farmers the opportunity to update their base yields and reallocate their base acres. Landowners had a one-time opportunity to update their current payment yields established under the 2008 Farm Bill to 90% of their 2008-2012 average yields. Canada is also of the understanding that the Farm Bill does not allow the total base acreage to be increased, however, it allows the landowners to re-allocate the proportion of their acreage on the basis of their products (e.g. corn and soybeans), and maximize an anticipatory payment based on those specific products. Therefore, Canada is of the understanding that the payments under ARC and PLC programmes can be allocated on the basis of a re-allocation of products acreage, and thus, payment would be different depending how the products are re-allocated by the landowners.

i. Could the US please explain why ARC and PLC programs are reported under both Supporting Table DS:6 and Supporting Table DS:9?

ii. Could the US please indicate the proportion of landowners (producers) that have re-allocated their acreage following the 2014 Farm Bill?

iii. Could the US please indicate the total value of support (payments) for the re‑allocated acreages following the 2014 Farm Bill and provide a breakdown of these payments by commodity?

Answer
Answer Full Text

a.    State governments report programme expenditures through the U.S. Census of Governments. For purposes of notifying to the WTO, USDA has confirmed with the Census Bureau that all expenditures on agriculture are for development, improvement, promotion, and conservation of natural resources for agricultural purposes; and the regulation and inspection of agricultural products and establishments. Reported programmes include support and promotion of agricultural associations, fairs, livestock and poultry shows, and the like; agricultural boards and advisory commissions; provision of agricultural extension services; agricultural experiment stations and other research activities; promotion of improved methods to store, pack, label, and market farm products; promotion of the sale or consumption of agricultural goods; regulation of the quality, safety, and handling of agricultural products, such as inspection, licensing, and standardization; protection of crops and stocks from predatory animals and other natural hazards.

b.    The discrepancy between the sum of all product-specific values of support and the total value of production notified in Supporting Table DS:4 is due to aggregate categories of notified support, such as livestock, where commodity-specific payment data is not available as noted in footnote 3. As a result, there are instances where the product‑specific value of production data is used twice - once for payments available at the commodity-specific level and then again where only aggregate data is available.

c.    See response to preceding question.

d.     

i.    The bulk of ARC-CO and PLC payments are made on historical base acres with fixed base and yields that are determined on historical production parameters and remain in place for the life of the 2014 Farm Bill. Producers are not required to plant the historically produced commodity or any commodity to receive payments. As a result, those payments are reported as non-product specific on Supporting Table DS:9. ARC-IC payments are based on the combined revenues for covered commodities produced on the farm and are also therefore reported as non-product specific on Supporting Table DS:9. ARC and PLC payments on generic base acres under provisions of the 2014 Farm Bill are made on current plantings of covered commodities on those acres and thus are reported as product specific on Supporting Table DS:6.

ii.   Data are not available on the proportion of landowners (producers) who have reallocated acreage.

iii.   Data are not available on the value of support to reallocated historical base acres.

Keywords Transparency issues (including Table DS:2)
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