The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2007 ag appropriations bill, a $94.579-billion bill that includes $18.2 billion for discretionary funding and $76.379 billion for mandatory spending. The spending levels are similar to those passed by the Senate Ag Appropriations Subcommittee (see June 23 edition of BEEF Cow-Calf Weekly for details).

The committee adopted a $4.2-billion ag disaster relief package by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) and Conrad Burns (R-MT). The assistance package would provide a payment rate of 50% of the established price of the crop is a farmer has a loss of at least 35%. The House-passed ag appropriations bill doesn't include disaster assistance.
-- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent