by Carey Martin
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack released a statement last week declaring he did not have the legal authority to declare cottonseed as an "other oilseed" for farm program purposes under the Farm Bill.
But Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Mike Strain said Tuesday that debate isn't over. In his daily radio report, which you can hear on this site, Strain said House Agriculture Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-TX) believes Congress did give Secretary Vilsack that authority in the current Farm Bill.
"That could mean up to a billion dollars in payments for farmers," said Strain. "Now that discussion has reached a new phase and hopefully we can get cottonseed designated as an oilseed and therefore it would allow cotton farmers to participate in farm programs."
You can hear Dr. Strain's comments by clicking the link in the left sidebar. You can also read Chairman Conaway's statement on this issue by clicking here.