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ASA Leaders Go to Washington to Press For Oilseed Loan Rate Freeze

first_imgAmerican Soybean Association (ASA) leaders were in Washington, D.C., this week meeting with the White House and Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman to press for $1 billion dollars in safety net funding for soybean growers. ASA is urging a freeze on the 2002 marketing loan rate at the 2001 level of $5.26 per bushel, rather than letting it drop to the statutory minimum rate of $4.92 per bushel.“Oilseed producers have been struggling to cope with historically low prices for the past four years and there are no signs that prices will recover in 2002,” said ASA President Bart Ruth, a soybean producer from Rising City, Neb. “Now is not the time to pull the rug out from under soybean farmers.”Soybean prices are at the lowest level in 30 years due to the strong U.S. Dollar, record worldwide oilseed and palm oil production, and sharply increased Brazilian soy production induced by a devalued Brazilian Real. Because the Brazilian Real has devalued 157 percent against the U.S. Dollar, Brazilian soybean farmers actually are receiving 41 percent more for their crop today than they did in 1997 when international soybean prices were significantly higher.“Eventually the Brazilian Real can be expected to strengthen, and the U.S. Dollar to return to a more normal level relative to other currencies,” said ASA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Censky. “Until then, maintaining loan rates at current levels is the only mechanism available today to protect U.S. soybean producers and market share from a massively devalued Brazilian Real that is sending false production signals to Brazilian farmers.”last_img read more