Oklahoma farm leader defends need for subsidies

Thursday, November 3rd 2005, 5:43 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A farming advocate says subsidies are vital to producing Oklahoma crops, especially amid high fuel prices.

Terry Detrick, vice president of the Oklahoma Farmers Union, says the global market capitalizes on least-cost producers. Detrick says he can't produce the safest, most abundant food without subsidies.

An analysis by the Environmental Working Group says half of government payments over the past decade have gone to just 22 of the 435 congressional districts.

It wants to cut payments to large farm operations and stop some from collecting millions of dollars a year in subsidies.

Farmers in Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas' district received $2.4-billion in subsidies between 1995 and 2004.