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News Release

Release No. 0155.06
Contact:
Ed Loyd (202)720-4623

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JOHANNS RELEASES RISK MANAGEMENT PAPER; FIRST OF 2007 FARM BILL THEME PAPERS

CHICAGO, May 8, 2006-Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns today released a risk management analysis paper, the first in a series of papers intended to provide factual information and continue the national discussion about best policy approaches in preparation for the 2007 Farm Bill. Johanns discussed the paper today at the United produce Show and announced that the next subject for analysis will be conservation.

"Our purpose with these analysis papers is not to suggest policy but to inform and educate the public. Creating the next farm bill should be a transparent process and I encourage everyone affected by farm policy to be actively engaged and to work with Congress on the next farm bill," said Johanns. "The first step is to ensure that we have all the facts on the table and that is the goal of this paper. My hope is that this analysis will help to focus our national conversation as we work with Congress to develop future farm policy."

At the end of March, Johanns announced the release of 41 papers summarizing comments from the Farm Bill Forums and that USDA's next step in preparing for the 2007 farm bill would be to glean from those papers a number of themes that warrant further analysis. The analysis paper on risk management released today is the first such analysis paper based on the more than 4,000 comments received orally and in writing during 52 USDA Farm Bill Forums across the nation.

The paper, prepared by a team led by the Office of the USDA Chief Economist with representatives from the Economic Research Service, the Natural Resources and Conservation Service, the Farm Service Agency and the Risk Management Agency, contains factual, useful information for examining future farm policy directions. The paper describes the risks agricultural producers face, the effectiveness of current options available to producers through the private sector and the government to mitigate risks on farm operations, issues related to the performance of current programs and concludes with a discussion of program alternatives. The alternatives do not represent farm policy proposals. They are general in scope and are not all encompassing.

The risk management paper is available at: http://www.usda.gov/2006/05/0153.xml. Transcripts of the Farm Bill Forums and the 41 Farm Bill comment summary papers are also posted there.