Jun 6, 2012 7:20 PM by Tonya LaCoste
U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., says she's fighting to improve provisions that affect rice growers in Louisiana. The U.S. Senate is currently working on changing the Farm Bill, which could negatively affect rice farmers. The bill would reduce government support for rice farmers.
Last week, Sen. Landrieu organized a call between Louisiana rice growers and the Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to express concerns about the bill. She's concerned it does not include adequate federal support programs for rice, and disproportionately reduces federal support for rice, compared to other commodities. While the bill includes good provisions for Louisiana's sugarcane growers, which Sen. Landrieu supports, she is advocating for a strong farm bill for all Louisiana farmers.
"Last year alone, agriculture in Louisiana helped generate $10.7 billion in economic activity, a significant contribution to our state. Louisiana's farmers help America grow the safest and most abundant supply of food, fiber and energy in the world and I strongly support the goal of reauthorizing the Farm Bill to help ensure the continued success of American agriculture. However, I have serious concerns about how Louisiana's rice growers will fare under the Senate Farm Bill as it is currently written. I will continue working to improve provisions that affect our rice growers with the goal of passing a strong Farm Bill for all Louisiana farmers," Sen. Landrieu said.
KATC's Erin Steuber talked to a rice farmer. Click on the attached to story to see KATC Erin Steuber's story. She talked to a rice farmer about the affect this bill would have on the industry.