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Congress & Prices Influence
The Future

It will probably come as no surprise that Congressional mood and makeup along with commodity prices were chosen by two-thirds of the Web Poll respondents as having the most influence over the future of our U.S. farm programs.

Politics and money are still the great power brokers.

After the votes were tallied in our January Web poll, the mood and makeup of Congress raked in 38 percent of the total, while commodity prices took 25 percent.

Fifteen percent of the respondents chose a change in payment limits as having the most influence, followed closely by the World Trade Organization at 13 percent.

Although the candidates have not been officially determined yet, nine percent of those who voted in the poll felt like the outcome of the presidential election would be the most influential force in the future of our programs.

Following is a sampling of the comments that we received from readers who voted in the January Web Poll. All made some good points, and we appreciate the feedback.

• “Congress and other politicians are bending to the WTO and then making changes to the farm program, payments and agricultural policies to try and make everything else happen to the detriment of the U.S. farmer, which also affects the customer.”

• “I feel that commodity prices will have the most influence. It’s apparent that prices are having the greatest influence on everything in ag at the moment, and I believe that will continue for some time to come. The current rise in demand for all commodities may cause Congress to be more supportive of agriculture since they should see that ag is becoming a greater force in our economy.”

• “With good commodity prices, we shouldn’t need farm programs. How-ever, other countries are subsidizing farmers overseas and creating a shortage of inputs, thus making costs go up. American farmers may still have to help if the commodity prices do not keep pace with input cost.”

• “When the price of cotton is profitable, more will be planted, and acreage will not be going to grains.”

• “With the current commodity prices, cotton farmers are given an opportunity to rotate and rebuild organic matter, which will in turn make the land more productive. Also, the market will not be flooded, and current stocks can be at manageable levels. Congress needs to understand that the rampant increases in inputs will still not allow growers to make any extra profits and help put stop gaps in place to keep oil, seed, grain and fertilizer companies from taking advantage. Also, by keeping crop insurance healthy, farmers can utilize this risk management tool in place of puts or as a safety net.”

• “I believe all will have some effect on ag. I had to vote for the WTO because it seems that the Republican party (if they get the White House again in 2008) is bent on total destruction of U.S. agriculture thanks to people like Bush and Senators Sessions and Shelby (Alabama).”

With the presidential primaries and caucuses still in full swing, we’ll stick with politics as the subject of the March Web Poll question. This month we are asking if agriculture will receive the necessary attention in the presidential campaign this fall and why. Choices are yes, no, ag will get lost in the shuffle, politics will rule the day or there’s room for optimism.

Cast your vote and tell us your thoughts in the Web Poll comments section. To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the March poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming May issue.

Web Poll Results

In January, we asked: What will have the most influence over the future of U.S. farm programs and why?

• Change in payment limit — 15 %
• Presidential election outcome — 9 %
• World Trade Organization (WTO) -- 13 %
• Mood/makeup of Congress — 38 %
• Commodity prices — 25 %

Web Poll Results

Do you think agriculture will receive the necessary attention in the presidential campaign this fall and why?

(1) Yes
(2) No
(3) Ag will get lost in the shuffle
(4) Politics will rule the day
(5) There’s room for optimism

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.



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