When the current farm bill expires in September 2002, U.S. corn and soybean producers will be standing at another crossroads. The direction to be taken will dramatically impact how farmers will approach their business in the 21st Century.

So says Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas), who shared his insights during the American Soybean Association and National Corn Growers Association meeting on Feb. 26 in San Antonio. Roberts, who has served in Congress through six farm bills, says the freedom to farm, higher loan rates, crop insurance and production controls will all be hot topics as the development of the 2002 Farm Bill looms.

Roberts says the bottom line is fiscal responsibility and he urged the commodity organizations to keep that fact top-of-mind when approaching Congress . "You as farm organizations cannot ignore policy. I urge you to make recommendations that are budget responsible, not quick-fix spending packages," he says. "Figure out the policy, and let the policy run the budget."