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I would like to explore in some detail the often clouded interaction between agriculture and foreign policy, focusing specifically on certain provisions of the 1981 farm bill and the recent Soviet/American grain agreement. I believe that these issues can tell us something about what the 1985 Farm Bill should strive for, and what it should avoid. I will make three general points: (1) The international setting of American agriculture has created increased instability for producers, (2)The legislative response to this instability has been inadequate, (3) New farm legislation must confront instability by recognizing the linkages between farm and foreign policy, and must build in the flexibility necessary to respond to this new policy environment.


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