No Farm Aid Package Before September

Senate Majority leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., on Thursday gave up trying to get a fiscal 2001 farm aid package passed before the start of the summer congressional recess Friday. Daschle's move means there won't be an aid package passed until September.

Daschle blamed Republicans for the delay of aid bill, saying they bogged it down with "extraneous amendments."

But, the $7.4 billion Senate aid package, which faced opposition from the Bush administration because of its cost, also became ensnarled in the heated battle over dairy compacts.

Dairy compact supporters tried to attach an amendment to the aid bill to extend the Northeast Dairy Compact for three years and create a new compact for southern states.

But Midwestern senators led by Herb Kohl, D-Wis., blocked that amendment and it was withdrawn. Neither side was happy with a compromise plan offered by Daschle to extend the compact for three months.

The delay of the aid package debate until September puts Congress on a tight schedule. A package must be approved by September 30 or money allocated for fiscal 2001 aid will be lost.

Daschle strongly defended the $7.4 billion aid plan approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee, saying the $5.5 billion plan passed by the House of Representatives does not offer enough help to farmers.

Editors note: Richard Brock, 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.