A $969 billion farm bill could have detrimental effects on Arkansas' agricultural economy, as state leaders warned weeks ago.
The U.S. Senate is considering the measure, which would end direct payments to farmers in a trade-off for expanded crop insurance programs.
In a March Talk Business interview, Arkansas Farm Bureau President Randy Veach noted the changes being discussed and the potential harm they could have on Arkansas farmers and the state's economy.
“If you take the direct payments away completely, that’s $244 million that goes out of the state of Arkansas’ economy. It goes out of agriculture and it goes out of the economy of the state, which is 1,952 jobs,” he said.
Peter Urban with Stephens Media's Washington D.C. bureau reports:
Southern rice farmers, who rely on irrigation, don’t tend to lose crop but they still can lose money depending on the costs of fertilizer and fuel needed to pump the water. They can also be hurt by price changes on the global market, according to the Arkansas senators.
The crop insurance programs proposed in the legislation may work well for yield losses but don’t necessarily work well to protect against the other factors.
If the Senate approves the bill, there is still a chance that the House may write a more favorable plan for Arkansas and Southern farmers.
You can read more at this link.