Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Passage of New Farm Bill Expected

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Passage of New Farm Bill Expected

Article excerpt

This being an election year, the National Farmers Union predicts a new Farm Bill will be passed by the end of August that will decide the fate of farmers for the next five years.

"The future depends on the structure of the 1990 Farm Bill," said union President Leland "Lee" Swenson at the Oklahoma Farmers Union convention Monday in Oklahoma City. "We have to be leaders, not obstructionists."

Top goals of the Farm Bill proposed by the union, Swenson said, are:

- An individual commodity base rather than a broad, general commodity base.

- Farm loan structure reform based on crop bulk such as bushels or pounds rather than farmland acreage.

- Voluntary water well testing to formulate a data base for pollution.

These proposals will help address concerns of the union, Swenson said, which are dominated by:

- Farm foreclosures and bankruptcy.

- Foreign trade policy.

- Corporate farming and anti-trust violations.

Swenson criticized the Bush Administration for following in the footsteps of the Reagan Administration with a policy that puts high priority on world market competitiveness without regard to farm prices. But, he said, Bush has an opportunity to win the support of farmers if he so chooses.

The Export Enhancement Program within the 1985 Farm Bill, Swenson said, did not benefit farmers because prices fell for the sake of increasing grain exports.

"We need to give profitability back to farmers," he said.

Corporate farming has undermined the so-called free market in farming and ranching, Swenson said.

Three corporations own more than 70 percent of the cattle in the U. …

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