The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) and the National Farmers Union (NFU) held a joint press conference in support of disaster assistance legislation introduced by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND).

AFBF President Bob Stallman said, "This past year was one when several major natural disasters including droughts, floods, fires, tornadoes and hurricanes ravaged thousands of acres of agricultural land, plus, destroyed farmstead buildings and homes. The Emergency Ag Disaster Assistance Act of 2006 will provide help to producers for losses incurred during the 2005 crop year. Without such help, many producers will be forced out of business."

The disaster legislation would provide emergency funding to farmers and ranchers suffering weather-related crop production shortfalls, quality losses, damage to livestock feed supplies and payments for the loss of livestock. The bill also helps farmers overcome losses as a result of energy prices. -- P. Scott Shearer, Washington, D.C., correspondent