WASHINGTON (B)--U.S. Department of Agriculture Chief Economist Keith Collins told senators Feb. 8 that while overall U.S. farm income in 2000 is expected to fall to its lowest level since the 1980s, U.S. livestock and specialty crop producers may see their incomes rise. However, growers of major commodities will bear the brunt of the expected income loss.

Speaking during a hearing on U.S. dairy policy, Collins said the situation for U.S. livestock producers "is recovering" in 2000.

USDA estimates published in January anticipate the total U.S. farm income in 2000 will fall to $49.7 billion--including $17 billion of non-emergency government payments to U.S. farmers--from $59 billion in 1999.

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