2012 Farm Bill could cut direct payments to farmers

Monday, June 4, 2012 - 3:12pm

WACO -- Over the years, direct payments have served as a sort of safety net for farmers.

"The last five years have been kind dry on us here in Texas, especially in Central Texas, so the direct payments and stuff has always helped bottom line in that degree," said Kevin Huffman, a local farmer.

It's like insurance, because whether or not a farmer is able to produce a crop there will still be a check from the government.

But once the 2012 Farm Bill is complete those direct payments could vanish.

"For the last 30 or 40 years there's been some type of direct payment, some type of assistance from the government but, to keep us a safety net or a food supply safe, and now we're doing away with that," said Huffman.

Facing a tight budget, the Senate will begin work this week on whether they should end fixed annual subsidies to farmers.

But take away direct payments and it could effect whether or not farmers will get financing.

"The banking institutions take into account that we're going to produce a crop but they don't give that as much credit as they do a direct money that would come into them. So it will effect some of the financial institutions and how they loan money to us," said Huffman.

But as the saying goes, there's no use in crying over spilt milk.

"It is going to affect us. It is going to be dollars lost in revenue but it's not going to shut us down, ok, and that's probably because we're stubborn," said Huffman.

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