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NC Farmers Wait For Details Of Federal Farm Bill

Strickland Farms tobacco and house
Leoneda Inge

Farmers in North Carolina and around the country are keeping their eyes on Washington, where Congress is crafting a new Farm Bill

The Senate's version cuts more than $2 billion in agricultural spending per year, but includes about $100 billion in subsides over the next five years.  President Obama has asked Senators to find more ways to save money, including cuts to a farm insurance program.

Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) says she supports a Farm Bill that includes crop insurance, but ends annual direct-cash payments to farmers.

"They can't plan.  They can't expect what's going to be out there, so it's no way for them to run a business," Sen. Hagan says. 

"Farmers need to know the rules of the road and that's what this bill will allow.  It's a set policy for the next five years and it reforms the direct payment system."

A spokesman for Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) said he was not available for comment.  The Senate is in its third day of debate Wednesday on its version of the Farm Bill.


Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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