Farm Prices' Record Nosedive Signals 
Needed Policy Reform

Washington, D.C., (November 1, 2001) - Using last month's record commodity price drop as an example, Texas Farmers Union reiterated the need for an adequate safety net for farmers and ranchers to offset severe price fluctuations.

USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service reported yesterday the largest one-month decline in farm-gate prices since the department began recording the statistic 91 years ago. The 9.5 percent plunge from the September index reflects downturns in prices for milk, soybeans, hogs, corn, broilers, cattle and lettuce, along with seasonal changes in the marketing of commodities.

"There is tremendous uncertainly among producers and their lenders because of the volatility of agricultural markets," said TFU President Wes Sims. "This proves the need for an adequate safety net for farmers and ranchers, which current farm policy lacks."

"These unprotected dips and dives in the market hurt our farmers and ranchers and the rural communities that depend on them," Sims said. "We need a safety net provision that helps farmers when prices are low and that is based on what producers are doing today. This safety net is a vital part of the farm bill that must be completed this year."

Texas Farmers Union, P.O. Box 738, Sweetwater, Tx 79556