No Ag Budget Debate?

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Ted Stevens, R-Ala, told Reuters News Service this week that the Senate may not debate a $77.5 billion annual agriculture funding bill if it is to be used as a vehicle for attacking the farm program.

Chairman Stevens did not specify issues that would imperil action on the bill. However, the fight over funding for implementation of country-of-origin labels (COOL) on meat and efforts to enact stricter caps on farm subsidy payments have both been tied to the funding bill.

"Problem is, the farm bill itself may be revisited," Stevens told Reuters in a brief interview when asked when the agriculture funding bill would reach the floor. "If it is, we ought not go forward with that."

Lobbyists suggested agriculture funding may be rolled into a catchall appropriations bill that would surface in October to wrap up the congressional session.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.