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NCC - 2007 budget may disrupt cotton producers program

Feb '06
The National Cotton Council said the Bush Administration's 2007 budget, as proposed, will upset current farm programs and undercut American agriculture, including the nation's cotton producers.

“Agriculture should not be asked to bear a disproportionate share of the federal deficit trimming process,” NCC Chairman Woods Eastland said. “We urge Congress to carefully weigh options in the budget debate so that US agriculture is not weakened.”

Eastland said a budget that significantly affects federal farm law and the multi-year contract on which thousands of farm families make their business and investment decisions also would seriously undermine the security of all Americans.

“Any reduction or weakening of the safety net provided by the 2002 farm law could result in price volatility and supply difficulties with our food and fiber markets similar to what we have experienced from our reliance on imported energy,” the Greenwood, MS, cooperative official said.

Eastland said the nation's farmers already are making planting decisions for 2006, and adding uncertainty to their eligibility for program support could cause many to make decisions based on unclear, ill-defined prospective changes in federal legislation, rather than market signals.

“Agriculture should not be asked for greater sacrifice than other federal departments, and certainly no farm sector or region should be targeted,” Eastland said.

“Altering the safety net of thefarm law before its scheduled expiration creates enormous uncertainty for farmers who already must contend with market instability, unpredictable weather and variable fuel, energy and other supply costs. This is not the time for major changes in US farm law.”

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