If that happens, the Arkansas economy could take a $244 million hit, said the state's Farm Bureau spokesman, quoting a university study.
At issue: Money paid out to farmers who have left their land fallow.
The Government Accountability Office on Tuesday released it's findings that show "almost one fourth of total direct payments" made from 2003 to 2011 went to producers who did not grow crops.
During that time frame, the federal government paid out $10.6 billion in direct payments to farmers nationwide.
In Arkansas, 124 farms that allowed their land to go fallow were paid a combined total of $135,216 between 2007 and 2011 by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, according to the GAO report.
Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor issued this statement: "We should take steps to improve efficiency and eliminate waste within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other federal agencies. Having said that, the Senate Farm Bill is not the solution. As this bill advances through the legislative process, I will continue to work with my colleagues in the House and Senate to find an equitable solution."
Republicans Sen. John Boozman gave us this statement: "What the GAO Report found is that Direct Payments, while providing a strong safety net that is WTO compliant, are not the most responsible or efficient investment in our agriculture safety net. This is what members of the Senate and House Agriculture Committees have been saying since we began discussions to reform our agriculture safety net last fall."
Boozman said. "Moving away from Direct Payments in this Farm Bill is a foregone conclusion, which is why I have supported a producer choice between market responsive options of either a new revenue plan or a simpler counter cyclical style protection. These risk management tools provide producers of all crops and regions the ability to thrive on their own when times are good, and be protected when times are bad."