Sen. Mike Johanns (R.-Neb.) has sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack requesting a cost analysis of cap-and-trade legislation for agricultural producers organized by commodity and by state. He also requested that this analysis be included in any testimony the USDA presents to the U.S. Senate next week.

"Today USDA provided testimony to the U.S. Senate for the second time in two weeks without also presenting analyses of the increased costs American agricultural producers would pay under the cap-and-trade bill passed in the House last month," Johanns said.

"According to USDA's testimony today, the department knows that cap-and-trade will increase agriculture production costs, but asserts that the opportunities will outweigh these costs. I hope this assessment is based on sound economic analysis and not just rhetoric. I know USDA is committed to looking out for the interests of American agriculture, so I look forward to the Department sharing its analysis of increased input costs with the Committee and producers across the country."

According to an analysis of the highly-respected Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute released yesterday, the House cap-and-trade bill could increase the input costs of a typical Midwestern farm by tens of thousands of dollars annually.

The USDA analysis is also important because cap-and-trade will have tremendously different consequences for different agricultural industries and different regions of the country.

The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on "The Role of Agriculture and Forestry in Global Warming Legislation" on July 22.