Statement by Bob Stallman, President,
American Farm Bureau Federation
Regarding Senate Consideration of the Farm Bill, S. 1731
WASHINGTON, D.C., Feb. 12, 2002 "We are disappointed that the Senate failed to remove the detrimental water rights provision from the farm bill. The provision, proposed by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), poses an extraordinary new threat to agriculture and the ability of farmers and ranchers to remain economically viable. For that reason, we will oppose the Senate farm bill.
"We are also disappointed that the Senate voted last week to impose stringent limitations on farm payments. We believe that action will hurt family farmers, the group that payment limitation proponents say they are trying to help.
"It is unfortunate that the Senate farm bill is encumbered by these provisions, which jeopardize passage of a farm bill this year. The fact remains, farmers and ranchers need a farm bill sooner not later, one that provides assurances to their lenders that adequate government assistance will be forthcoming for the 2002 crops."