Farming Subsidies in South Georgia

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Farming is a risky business, and agricultural experts say the farm bill provides a safety net for producers in times of over supply or other problems.

Larry Cunningham, a peanut buyer, says, "Farmers have tremendous optimism in the spring, to be that to be a farmer, to put a crop in the ground."

But the farm bill will be rewritten this upcoming legislative session, and one local congressman suspects there will be strong opposition on the amount of money farmers receive in the southeast.

In a statement to WCTV, Congressman Sanford Bishop says that climate allows farmers to grow multiple crops in the southeast and they shouldn't be penalized for it.

Don Clark, Thomas County Extension Coordinator, says, "When you're looking at most farming operations you're looking at several million dollar investment in land and equipment."

Many in south Georgia farm peanuts and cotton. They are two crops local ag experts say come with large financial expenses and risk, a key reason they say farmers need the financial protection.

Larry Cunningham adds, "This program provides the same amount of protection for a Midwest farmer as it does a southeastern farmer, small family farmer, and if payment limitations are lowered it would put a lot of small family farmers in a position where they could not afford the risk."

It’s a risk optimistic farmers take each spring, but now their protection is in the hands of Congress as the farm bill comes up for review.