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ND Senator Dorgan and MN Senator Dayton say Senate farm bill a bit better

By Tracy Fugere

Fargo, ND – North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan says the reason a new farm bill isimportant is because commodity prices are still very low.

He says both North Dakota and Minnesota have a lot riding on a new farm billthat improves the underlying freedom to farm legislation.

"The current bill doesn't work. Everyone understands that. The question is how can we write a new bill that does. We have money in the budget this year. We must write a bill that conforms to that at this point. This is going to be a struggle. We come back for two weeks. And I hope the first week we would get a bill through the Senate and the second week be in conference. Have the President, the House, and the Senate reach a compromise on a good farm bill that family farmers in our region will believe can give them a chance to make a decent living--that's what this is about."

Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton says he agrees with Dorgan about how the Housebill is better than the current policy and the Senate bill is better stillbecause of strong upper Midwest contingents on the Senate AgricultureCommittee. Dayton says the leadership--which includes Senator Daschle andSenator Dorgan--is the reason there is a stronger bill for upper Midwestfarmers.

"We got a bill that really benefits the commodities that come out of this area. The House bill may look good on paper and look like it has a higher overall spending for commodities over the ten years--but a large part of that is in crops like cotton, rice, and peanuts. I eat my share of peanuts but the balance was realy out of whack. The Senate bill is a much stronger bill for upper Midwest farmers as a result of the leadership we've had."

Dorgan says he fully expects that if Congress writes a better farm bill andsends it to the President--he's going to sign it.