Jackson County Farmers React To Failed Farm Bill - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Jackson County Farmers React To Failed Farm Bill

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A new Farm Bill fails to pass the House last week and the lawmakers' actions have farmers here at home not too happy about it.

"An extension would be for a year," explained Jackson County farmer Jeff Pittman. "A new bill would be for five to seven."

Consistency is crucial for Jackson County farmer Jeff Pittman to be a successful producer and a new Farm Bill helps provide that.

"We don't have any control over the weather as every knows, but if you can have some kind of format, that you can lean on, dealing with pricing, and safety net options, it provides consistency on the farm," said Pittman.

Currently farmers are operating under the 2008 Farm Bill since lawmakers granted an extension to it last year.

Last week, leaders in Congress tried passing a new farm bill and while it passed in the Senate, it did not in the house.

"This was a good bill for peanut farmers, cotton farmers, corn farmers, soy, all producers of traditional row crops,' explained Ken Barton, a peanut farmer and President of the Florida Peanut Producers Association. "It was a good bill."

Barton says he was shocked to see the bill get struck down.

"Even though we're giving up some of the incentive payments, it still does provide a safety net when times are tough, especially market wise," said Barton.

Barton says the proposed $20 billion dollars in cuts to the nutrition title of the farm bill is a historic number and perhaps it was just a little too much of a reduction for the bill to pass.

"Not saying we disagree with that," said Barton. "But those are things we have to take in small increments in incremental steps. It's difficult to do it all at one time."

Both Barton and Pittman will speak with Congressman Steve Southerland by phone tomorrow.

Barton says he feels the lawmaker's amendment did play some part in the why the Farm Bill did not pass.