Congressman Bishop addresses Farm Bill renewal with farmers

Published 6:31 pm Friday, April 14, 2017

Local farmers and agribusiness professionals listened to Congressman Sanford D. Bishop’s approach to the Farm Bill at the Cloud Livestock Facility on Thursday.

The Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill) provides loans for crop years 2014 through 2018 for peanut producers. These producers can apply for marketing assistance loans for farm or warehouse stored peanuts, or for peanut loan deficiency programs.

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These programs stabilize the country’s peanut industry and insure its well-being. The act is up for renewal in September 2018.

“The Farm Bill has traditionally provided security and price stabilization for our farmers, and has funded programs which have served as a safety net for rural and urban communities across the country,” Bishop said.

Bishop has been working closely with the Georgia Peanut Commission and will continue to do his best to make sure that the peanut program remains in the place in the new Farm Bill.

“As we go forward in addressing these issues this Congress, I promise I will do my dead level best on behalf of you and the rest of the 2nd Congressional District of Georgia,” Bishop said.

Bishop also addressed cotton producers in the area, noting that acreage was down in all regions and the U.S. total was the lowest since 1983. In 2016, a slight increase to 9.1 million acres was planted, and another uptick is expected in 2017.

“Simply put, at current price levels, cotton production in the U.S. will not be sustainable without some kind of permanent relief and support,” Bishop said. “I along with Senator Isakson, were at the center of negotiations last summer with Agriculture Secretary Vilsack to provide the cotton industry temporary relief through the cotton ginning rebate program.”

Ty Torrance, UGA extension agent for Decatur County, was appreciative of Bishop speaking to local farmers.

“We are very grateful that the congressman would come down to Decatur County to address the farmers and listen to the issues they presented,” Torrance said. “It sounds like he is being a good advocate of agriculture in the southeast and Decatur County, as he serves on various committees and sub-committees. We appreciate that as well.”