Peanut Growers Balk at USDA Plan to Reduce Price Supports

WASHINGTON (AP) - Southern peanut growers are hoping to block what they consider a backdoor proposal from the Bush administration to cut price supports on their crop.

The Agriculture Department says it's planning to adjust the price guarantees that the government gives different types of peanuts.

The goal is bringing the federal supports more into line with market conditions but the proposal would cut the supports for a type of peanut that's mostly grown in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida.

The Southern growers who produce the vast majority of U.S. peanuts say the plan would eat into their profits and create its own market distortions.

They also are angry that the department proposed the idea just after Congress spent months debating and establishing new farm policy for the next five years.

Current farm law guarantees peanut farmers a certain price for their crops when the market drops.

The USDA's proposal would adjust the "differential" among the four types of peanuts covered under the program.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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