CBO: U.S. Farm Bill Savings Less Than Indicated

Savings to the federal budget from the bipartisan U.S. farm bill agreement reached on Monday will amount to about $16.6 billion over a decade, less than the $23 billion to $24 billion lawmakers had suggested, the Congressional Budget Office said.

CBO, the federal agency that supplies economic data to Congress, also said on Tuesday that the conference agreement contained less net savings than earlier versions passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives in 2013.

Much of the savings will come from an end to direct payment subsidies to U.S. farmers and landowners from 2105 forward, and from reductions to nutrition programs through the closing of an energy assistance payment loophole.

The farm bill will cost some $956 billion over 10 years, including $756 billion for nutrition programs.

(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Sandra Maler)