President Bush's proposed 2002 budget has farmers and the banks that lend to them worried.

First, the Department of Agriculture budget includes no money for income assistance to farmers hard hit by low commodity prices. Last year the department's budget set aside nearly $2.5 billion in emergency funds to help cash-strapped farmers repay loans and meet other obligations. "If you look at agriculture over the last four years, the only way anybody has made any money is through government payments," said Dennis McMillan, senior vice president at $1.3 billion-asset Busey Bank in Urbana, Ill.

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