Friday, Dec 13, 2013
Congress Set to Discuss Farm Bill
WSIL -- Congress is tackling the renewal of the Farm Bill this week. The measure funds agriculture subsidies along with the food stamp program. If the bill isn't renewed by the end of this year we all could see higher prices at the grocery store.
Lewis Hollis, of Goreville, says the industry can be a gamble sometimes. A farmer never knows when he'll be dealt a bad hand, like last year's historic drought. Hollis wouldn't have bounced back if it weren't for his crop insurance, which is part of the Farm Bill.
"Out of 300 acres of corn that I had planted. I only had 42 acres that was even worth putting the combine through," said Hollis.
The House and Senate agree on the importance of such farm subsidies. Both passed a bill to increase help for farmers. But they have not been able to reach a deal on food stamp funding, the House bill cuts the help for needy families by $4 billion, the Senate bill trims it by $400 million.
If the stalemate stretches into the new year, shoppers could start to see an impact. Milk prices would skyrocket, as dairy farmers will lose federal price supports.
Hollis farms corn, soybeans, and hay. He says his crops would eventually be effected also.
"If we don't have a safety net and we have a disaster then they are going to feel the effects of this disaster when they go to the grocery store," Hollis said.
Congress is meeting on the farm bill Wednesday.
A deal could be hard to reach because the House and Senate are so far apart on how much money to cut from the food stamp program.
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