NC Farmers Wait For Details Of Federal Farm Bill

May 22, 2013

A tobacco crop at Strickland Farms
Credit 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.