PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS FARM BILL
President Bush signed the just-passed farm bill this morning about 7:40 a.m. The six-year bill was approved by strong majorities in both the House and Senate after two years of legislative work that began with House Agriculture Committee field hearings in 2000 and continued through shifts in party control of both the White House and the Senate.
The bill provides strong price support loans for major crops, direct payments and a target price that will pay farmers more if prices decline below certain levels. Also the bill includes expanded and new conservation programs.
Perhaps the most popular of USDA's conservation programs, the Conservation Reserve Program, has been expanded from 36.4 million acres to 39.2 million acres. The Environmental Quality Incentives Program was expanded to achieve a $1.3 billion funding level.
EQIP funds will be split 60-40 between livestock and crop producers.
For a summary of the farm bill, visit the Senate Agriculture Committee's website at: http://www.senate.gov/~agriculture/Briefs/2001FarmBill/conframe.htm