WASHINGTON - President Bush on Monday signed a $5.5 billion emergency farm aid package into law.

The assistance, which is intended to help farmers compensate for low commodity prices, gives agriculture creditors more assurance that the farmers will be able to repay their loans.

While praising the relief, many lenders have joined farmers in pressing for more.

"Many farmers will continue to struggle even with this assistance, which is why a new and improved farm bill will be so important to our family farmers and ranchers," Robert I. Gulledge, the chairman of the Independent Community Bankers of America and the chairman, president, and chief executive officer of $75 million-asset Citizens Bank in Robertsdale, Ala., said after the Senate passed the package this month.

Senate Democrats have announced plans to fight for an additional $2 billion when Congress reconvenes next month.

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