Georgia Farmers Weigh in on New Farm Bill

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When it comes to the new farm bill Georgia farmer Julian Knight hopes things stay the same.

Julian says, "For these past three or four years, this last farm bill, that's what's kept farmers in operation."

But many farmers are afraid that bill might change. Growers say the farm bill provides them with federal aid. They say that money levels the playing field for them on the global market where fuel and fertilizer prices are much cheaper for growers overseas.

Knight adds, "If we were to lose our government payment, we'd be in foul shape."

With a new farm bill on the way in 2007, Georgia farmers say they hope it includes the current supplements on crops like peanuts and cotton, especially as prices on pesticides, fertilizer and fuels continue to rise.

Don Clark, a Thomas County agriculture agent, says, "We really need this same farm bill as we've been under this past five years. If we pretty much keep everything as it has been under this farm bill our farmers will be able to stay on the farm."

So as the waiting game continues for farmers, the House Agriculture Committee is scheduled to hold a series of field hearings with growers during the year to learn what farmers like Julian Knight would like to have included in the next farm bill.

Once approved, each farm bill lasts for five years.