U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns says the 2002 Farm Bill was fine for its time, but made it clear the current Bush Administration wants to see a change when a new farm act is formulated.
Johanns made his comments Wednesday at the 2007 Beltwide Cotton Conferences in
The USDA secretary notes that roughly 80% of
"Developing countries are increasingly driving world cotton trade," Johanns says. "And 50% of our rice goes to the international marketplace. In fact, about one-third of all our (
The secretary says USDA will help Cotton Council International in its market development through ear-tagging $100 million to its Market Access Program in 2007.
In addition, the Agriculture Department will help some 67
Johanns says he realizes the World Trade Organization, which was key in doing away with cotton's Step 2 Export Enhancement is not popular with a lot of folks in the cotton industry. But he notes trade complaints go beyond cotton, such as
"It might be a better option to craft (new) farm policy that wouldn't be challenged," Johanns offers. "a farm bill with more conservation, product promotion and research."
Johanns, who was