COMMODITY BRIEFS

COMMODITY BRIEFS

HOUSE PANEL PASSES

COTTON, RICE PROPOSALSThe House Agriculture Committee late last week completed its work on the cotton and rice provisions of the 1990 farm bill, after adopting amendments that would freeze target prices for both commodities at current levels for the next five years.

The amendments undo an earlier subcommittee plan that would have raised target prices beginning in 1992, using an index tied to the consumer price index. In a close voice vote, committee members voted to abandon that plan, but held out hopes of achieving a target price increase on the House floor.

The target price increase is part of a compromise "planting flexibility" package that committee members debated for most of the day without resolution. Although Committee Chairman Kika de la Garza, D-Texas, said he expected the flexibility plan to eventually win committee support, members will continue to discuss the proposal when they meet again Tuesday.

USDA OFFICE SET UP

FOR USSR, E. EUROPE

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Agriculture Friday said it has set up an office to coordinate farm trade activities with seven Eastern European nations and the Soviet Union.

The office, which is part of USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service, will provide a contact point for individuals and agribusinesses interested in doing business with the region, the USDA said.

The countries covered by the office are Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union.

Guy Haviland will head the office, USDA said.