MEMPHIS – Family farmers are disappointed in Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R-IA) announced intentions to pursue payment limitations similar to those introduced in 2002. Sen. Grassley said in an interview this week that he was planning to introduce an amendment with a "hard cap" of $275,000-$300,000, probably in the 2004 agriculture appropriations bill.
Mark Williams, chairman of the American Cotton Producers, said Sen. Grassley’s attempt to change the farm law now would cause uncertainty among producers and destabilize the rural economy.
"Such a move would be unfortunate, especially at a time when the crop is well underway and Congress is focused on a number of critical trade issues," the Texas producer said.
"Mid-stream changes in program eligibility rules would negate the benefits contained in the new farm bill," Williams said. "Such changes would undermine farmers' long-term decision-making, and therefore directly affect their financial institutions' ability to finance production agriculture. The newly-enacted farm law does not need to be amended. It provides a critically important safety net to cotton, grain and oilseed farmers in times of low prices."