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Pomeroy urges Secretary of Ag to set loan rates

Fargo, ND – Congressman Earl Pomeroy says in an unfortunate announcement--Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman has indicated she has no intention of establishing the loan rate price protection for crops until she sees whether Congress passes a farm bill that might be in place for this coming crop year.

Pomeroy says because the Secretary of Agriculture's refusal to indicate what the loan rates will be--farmers won't have critically-needed price information as they make decisions and negotiate with their lenders.

He says in terms of the loan rates behind oil seeds being produced in North Dakota--we are literally talking about dollars out of farmers' pockets.

"A variation in the allowable marketing loan for soybeans could mean twenty million dollars out of farmers' pockets. For sunflowers--ten million dollars; for canola--an additional ten million dollars. What this means is that farmers facing the inevitable uncertainties of weather, disease, production variables--as well as the volatility in prices behind their products--now face a whole new host of uncertainties. But nature or markets didn't create these uncertainties--the Secretary of Agriculture created them when she refused to verify that once again the U.S. Department of Agriculture will hold loan rates where they have been for the last five years at the highest levels allowed under the statute."

Pomeroy says for the first time in five years--the Secretary of Agriculture will allow price levels to fall below maximum loan rate protection provided in the existing farm bill. He says today he is sending a letter to the Secretary, urging her to reconsider this announcement and establish the loan
rates at the rates they have been and let that be a backdrop for pricing environment for the farmers.