Kansas

Rep. Jerry Moran, R-KS, has called on Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman to reverse actions the U.S. Department of Agriculture has taken to lower loan rates on grain sorghum.

"Please don't let the last thing you do as secretary of agriculture be to lower the loan rate on milo," said Moran.

Secretary Glickman announced loan deficiency payment rates for wheat, feed grains and oilseeds. While he exercised his authority to retain the statutory maximum loan rates for other crops, the loan rate for sorghum was lowered by six cents from $1.74 to $1.68 per bushel. A six-cent change in the price of milo could mean a $16 million loss to Kansas farmers, based on an average Kansas milo crop of 264 million bushels.

Moran predicted the number could be even higher this year.

"This year likely will see an increase in milo production in Kansas, as producers seek lower input cropping alternatives, due to high fuel and fertilizer prices," said Moran.

Glickman's action is inconsistent with his own comments from the USDA news release, in which he says, "Lower marketing assistance loan rates would weaken the safety net for producers of wheat, feed grains and oilseeds during a critical period of financial need."

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