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Cotton growers anxious about farm bill

06
Mar '07
This time, all eyes are on impact of 2007 farm bill as Arizona farmers will plant cotton this year.

Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns has already submitted proposal to Congress, which is trying to curtail federal budget.

As per the Bush administration's proposal, farm subsidies should be reduces by US $18 billion for next five years.

It would double up-front payment to farmers who cultivate Arizona's signature crop.

Experts are optimistic about current proposed legislation compared to earlier version of it.

This year, Congress will consider measure rates as one of the important pieces of legislation

Federal lawmakers are also trying to shift international trade agreements and measures that will support crops used in emerging types of alternative fuel production.

However, cotton farmers are concentrating on direct payments, countercyclical payments and marketing loan benefits.

In the proposal, direct payment is asked to increase from six cents per pound of cotton to 11 cents.

These direct payments will compensate farmers who might cultivate high priced crops.

In 2005, cotton production reached 622,000 bales with value of US $162.4 million.


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