Late last week, House Ag Committee members proposed cuts of $3.7 billion to the buydget, including a $1-billion decline in farm subsidies across five years. Those decreases would come mostly by cutting fixed, direct payments to grain and cotton farmers by 1 percent and delaying payments in 2006 and 2007.


The proposal also would reduce funding for conservation programs by $734 million and would cut $844 million in five years from food-stamp programs.


However, the House plan does not extend the controversial Milk Income Loss Contract, which expired at the end of September. The Senate agreed to extend the program through 2007 at a cost of $951 million.


Now, the Senate and House committee members must reconcile the two measures.


Pork magazine