USDA Issues Farm Bill Proposal

USDA Issues Farm Bill Proposal

January 31, 2007
Contact: Marjory Walker
(901) 274-9030

MEMPHIS – On the eve of the National Cotton Council’s annual meeting, NCC Chairman Allen Helms, a Clarkedale, AR cotton producer, reiterated the cotton industry’s support for maintaining a farm program that provides a viable safety net and meets the needs of all segments of the industry.

“The Council has testified at numerous hearings about the success of the 2002 farm bill,” Helms said. “The combination of an effective marketing loan, direct payment and counter-cyclical program is the foundation of the 2002 farm bill.”

Chairman Helms noted that the Administration’s farm bill proposal continues a basic structure for commodity programs similar to the 2002 farm bill.

“However, our members will be concerned with several provisions, among which are the additional constraints imposed on benefit eligibility,” Helms added.

“We are entering our annual meeting where our delegates will further develop the Council’s policies that will shape our views on the upcoming farm bill. The Administration’s proposal brings additional ideas to what will be an intense debate. Our industry looks forward to working with Congress to craft a farm bill that will serve both U.S. cotton and U.S. agriculture in the future.”