WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 07, 2010, 02:01 PM

Farm forum held on North Dakota farm

AMENIA, N.D. (AP) — Sugar beet farmers in the Red River Valley of eastern North Dakota and northwest Minnesota say federal sugar policy is working and should not be changed.

They spoke Wednesday at a forum at a southeast North Dakota farm. Rep. Collin Peterson of Minnesota, the House Agriculture Committee chairman, and North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy held the forum on how the farm bill is working and what changes should be made by the next Congress.

The U.S. sugar program uses several means to influence the amount of sugar available to the U.S. market. The Agriculture Department says it supports domestic sugar prices above comparable levels on the world market, without costing the U.S. taxpayer.

Barney farmer and American Sugarbeet Growers Association President Russ Mauch says the current sugar policy has maintained a balanced market and helped sustain fair prices.