Around Acadiana

Jan 3, 2013 7:20 PM by Chris Welty

Farmers Looking for Long-Term Farm Bill

Late Tuesday night, Congress passed part of the Farm Bill, keeping many of the existing farm programs in place, including direct payments and crop insurance.

The extension passed, keep things in tact this year, but farmers still have some concerns.

Dane Hebert is a third generation rice farmer. He has spent his whole life on the same farm, through the best and worst of economic times.

"We're looking forward to getting one more year of direct payments which helps subsidize our income and keep us on the rice farm."

After this year, direct payments could end, which could affect farmers and consumers. Hebert says in order to survive, the price of rice would go up.

"It could be a year or two down the road before we see prices go up. Without those payments we can't be profitable."

Sugar cane farmers are also watching the developments. New Iberia's Jim Simon is pleased with the deal, but was hoping for something more long term.

"When you look for long range stability, it just doesn't give us that. For the next year or so, we will be ok, maybe even for two years," said American Sugar Cane League General Manger, Jim Simon.

These two farmers pledge to continue holding lawmakers accountable, for agricultural interests here in Louisiana.

"We'll get the job done working in coalition with the American Farm Bureau, Louisiana Farm Bureau and all the other ag groups to make sure we have ag policy that sustains the safest, most reliable food supply in the world," said Simon.

Dane Hebert says, "Unfortunately, most people are two or three generations removed from agriculture and they don't understand food actually comes from farmers. without us, there would be no food in the grocery store."

The farm bill is extended for nine-months.

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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