The NCPGA plans to base the proposed bargaining legislation on a
rejected 1979 bill sponsored by then -House Representative Leon
Panetta. "Panetta's bill requires purchasers to respond and resolve
growers' complaints ... and to establish good faith within the
agriculture industry," Morrison said.
Farmers producing commodities under contractual agreement with
processing firms or handlers are usually required to make large fixed
capital investments, in return for low wages. Contract terms have
reportedly worsened over the past few decades as a result of
industry consolidation, making it difficult for farmers to improve
prices and other contract terms and conditions of sale.
Sources: Telephone interview with John Morrison, NCPGA, July 13,
1994; "Background and Summary Information Regarding the National
Agricultural Bargaining Act of 1979," NCPGA.
-Espy's Tyson-Link Could Hinder His Ability to Guide Farm Bill
DES MOINES REGISTER columnist George Anthan and other
administration observers assert that the pending allegations against
Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy have compromised his effectiveness
to steer 1995 farm bill legislation. Anthan believes the "bill may be
produced largely outside a USDA led by a weakened secretary." Espy
is accused of violating the 1907 Meat Inspection Act by accepting
"gifts" from Tyson Foods -- an Arkansas-based poultry giant
regulated by the Agriculture Department.
Other administration observers contend that Espy's "isolation" from
commodity-oriented political forces will also hinder his ability to
steer farm policy. "He doesn't seem to be connected to the issues
agriculture people are interested in," said a commodity group official.
Source: George Anthan, "Espy's 'Cloud' Soaking All Ag?" DES MOINES
REGISTER, July 10, 1994.
-ASCS Administrator Says Congressional Makeup Will Force New
Bruce Weber, an associate administrator of the USDA's Agricultural
Stabilization & Conservation Service, says the declining number of
farm-state lawmakers in Congress since 1990 will "add a new twist
to the urban-rural alliances that worked to pass farm bills in the
According to Weber, only 50 of the 435 Congressional districts in the
United States generate 10 percent or more of their income from
farming. In addition, 160 new representatives have joined the House
since passage of the 1990 farm bill.
"Building alliances and forging greater unity within the agricultural
community is a must if farmers and ag industries hope to achieve
their goals in the 1995 farm bill," Weber said. "A unified front is
going to make a big difference in what we do -- and in what Congress
does -- with limited budget resources."
Source: Bruce R. Weber, "1995 Farm Bill Will Involve Coping With
Several Changes," FEEDSTUFFS, June 27, 1994.
-GATT Update : Pact to Have a "Draconian" Impact on Agriculture-
Gary C. Hufbauer, a senior fellow at the Institute for International
Economics, predicts the Uruguay Round "will have a draconian impact
on numerous agricultural sectors." Hufbauer said he welcomes that
impact, but he cautioned, "we're going to have to think about how we
transit [the impacts] out."
A number of GATT-related farm policy shifts are reportedly already
The Clinton administration announced June 29, for example, that the
U.S. would reduce the amount of wheat subsidized under the Export
Enhancement Program. "Appropriators have apparently assumed
that the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade results would be
implemented on January 1, 1995," said Carl Schwensen, executive
vice president of the National Association of Wheat Growers.
"Consequently the U.S. is in the process of underfunding EEP during
the interim period which occurs before our GATT ratification
obligations come into force."
U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture, Eugene Moos, told members of
the International Wheat Conference June 29 that EEP and other
government farm support programs would come under increasing
scrutiny due to severe budget constraints and Uruguay Round
commitments. Specifically, agriculture outlays are expected to be
cut by $1.7 billion over fiscal years 1995-99. One billion will come
from a reduction in export subsidies.
More than 20 agriculture organizations recently launched an effort to
challenge permanent reductions in export spending. The group, led
by Representatives Jill Long (D-Indiana), Jack Kingston (R-Georgia),
Bill Emerson (R-Missouri) and Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) are
calling for a transfer of any funds cut from EEP and deficiency
payments to non-trade distorting export programs, such as The
Emergency Food Assistance Program and PL 480.
Despite the GATT-mandated spending cuts, supporters of the pact
claim a number of agricultural sectors will enjoy a slight increase in
exports. A recently released FAPRI report, for example, predicts
corn and wheat producers -- GATT's "big winners" -- will see an 8 to
10 cent increase in prices per bushel over the next eight years.
David Senter, former director of the American Agriculture
Movement, notes the increase will amount to 1 cent per year or $1 to
$1.25 per acre.
The adminstrationplans to submit GATT legislation to Congress this
August, but White-House observers say a vote won't likely come
until after the Congressional recess.
Sources: "USDA Sees Difficult Road for GATT in Congress," REUTER,
June 29, 1994; "Clinton Won't Seek Ag Cuts to Pay for GATT," Farming
Today, UPI, June 29, 1994; Gary C. Hufbauer, "The Uruguay Round:
Implementation," March 9, 1994; "Wheat Group Says EEP
Underfunded," REUTER, June 29, 1994; "Australian Farmers Reap
Benefit of U.S. Subsidy Cuts," AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE, July 3, 1994;
"Farm Bill," SENTER ON THE HILL, July, 1994; Robert H. Brown, "Bill
Would Expand GATT-Legal Ag Export Programs," FEEDSTUFFS, July 4,
-MN Coalition Forms To Preserve CRP-
The Minnesota Farm Bureau, the Minnesota Farmers Union, the
Nature Conservancy and Pheasants Forever have formed what the
groups call an "unprecedented" partnership to urge Congress to
renew the Conservation Reserve Program in the 1995 Farm Bill.
"As Congress begins consideration of the 1995 Farm Bill, Minnesotans
must come together to support this resource -saving program for
future generations," said Nelson French of the Nature Conservancy.
"We commend our federal representatives who already support
reauthorization of CRP and encourage the rest to join us in this
important effort. " The Minnesota partnership is expected to join
similar alliances in other Midwest states.
According to the USDA's Soil Conservation Service, CRP enrollments
will have contributed to a 66 percent reduction in soil erosion on the
nation's most highly erodible land by the end of 1994. Annual soil
erosion on these lands was calculated at 17.5 tons per acre in 1985
and will have dropped to 6 tons per acre before 1995.
Sources: Dennis Anderson, Ron Schara, "Groups Join Forces to Take on
Congress on CRP Issue," MINNEAPOLIS STAR & TRIBUNE, July 3,
1994; "America's Farmers Are Gaining Ground," USDA THIS WEEK --
NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT EDITION, 1994.
"Recycling Landscapes: Community Forestry and the 1995 Farm Bill,"
August 3, 1994, 8:30am - 3:30pm, Minneapolis, Minnesota. Lunch
fee $10.00. Contact the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy,
1313 5th Street SE, Suite 303, Minneapolis, MN 55414. (612) 379-
5980. Fax: (612) 379-5982. E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don Willeke, President of American Forest and the National Urban
Forest Council will present: "The Role of Urban Forestry in Creating
Sustainable Communities and the Role of the Farm Bill in Sustaining
"USDA Field Hearings on the 1995 Farm Bill":
July 14 - Spokane Center, Spokane, WA
July 19 - IL Building State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
July 21 - Civic Center, Abilene, TX
July 25 - Inn at Reading, Reading, PA
July 28 - Best Western Ramkota Inn, Sioux Falls, SD
August 2 - Raintree Plaza, Longmont, CO
August 4 - Trade Center, Columbus, GA
August 11 - Harbor Inn, Sacramento, CA
Contact locations listed for time of hearing. Both invited public
speakers and open mike segments are scheduled. Oral testimony as
well as written comments will be accepted.
Produced by Gigi DiGiacomo, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade
Policy, 1313 5th Sreet SE, Suite 303, Minneapolis, MN 55414-1546.
(612) 379-5980. Fax: (612) 379-5982. E-Mail: email@example.com. The
Institute publishes news bulletins on a wide range of environment,
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