The Bush administration wants to limit the new farm law being written by Congress to spending $25 billion over five years, according to Sen. Richard Lugar’s comments on Wednesday. This is far less than the $73.5 billion that was earmarked last spring for the coming decade.

Lugar, (Ind.-R), is happy to have the Bush administration’s support for his bill to end crop subsidies by 2006 and replace them with vouchers for producers who promise to practice conservation and to take steps to safeguard their income from crop disasters and low prices.

The bill also would double conservation spending to $4 billion a year as well as boosting spending on rural development, agricultural research and public nutrition. Lugar’s bill was supported by environmental and antihunger groups, he didn’t have any co-sponsors when he unveiled the bill.

White House Budget Director Mitch Daniels spelled out the administration spending limits during a recent conversation, says Lugar. He contends his bill could succeed if Americans were aware that conservation was the highest goal in agriculture.