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Agriculture's Lyng Rules Out Feed Grain Supports

July 19, 1986|Associated Press

ST. LOUIS — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Richard E. Lyng said Friday that he opposes expanding the so-called market loan program to include feed grains, particularly corn and wheat.

"We will be competitive in the world in these areas without marketing loans," Lyng said at a news conference following a speech to the National Corn Growers Assn. convention in St. Louis. "There will be no marketing loans."

Marketing loans currently are offered to rice and cotton growers to offset the difference between their costs and the low prices they receive for their crops.

Lyng said wheat and corn prices were not low enough to warrant market loans.

He also said the Reagan Administration continues to oppose broadening export subsidies to include the Soviet Union. The Soviets have not fulfilled their portion of trade agreements with the United States, Lyng said.

"We'd like them to buy the wheat they said they would," he said. "We are not considering giving them a discount."

In his speech to the convention, Lyng said corn growers should not panic over the federal trade deficit. He said imports would be greater than exports for only a few months.

"All signs point to an improvement in that situation in the months ahead," Lyng said, adding that he believed the nation would export more than it imports for the full year.

The agriculture secretary, who succeeded John Block in March, praised the Farm Bill passed this year by Congress and signed by the President. He said the sharply lower and more flexible loan rates contained in the bill would help American farmers recapture larger shares of world markets.

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