Farmers Worry As Budget Cuts Loom - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Farmers Worry As Budget Cuts Loom

Texoma ranchers and farmers are sitting and waiting to see how sequester budget cuts could affect their livelihood.

"We don't have any idea to be honest with you but we'll go a little further than that and there's not a single soul in Washington that knows either," said Fred Dwyer, a Texoma rancher.

And farmer Gregg Eastman says, "I really haven't heard anything. I'm a member of the farm bureau here in our county and they don't really know anything either about it so I guess we're all kind of in limbo until we hear from Washington about what's going to happen."

Farmers and ranchers say whenever the budget cut talk sparks in Washington, they usually know a little bit about the economic impact they might experience. But Eastman has been growing wheat and cotton for 33 years and this is the first time he's been really out of the loop.

"If you have a little bit of time to prepare you can make arrangements but when you don't know it may just hit us all at once and I don't know what that's going to do," said Eastman.

Eastman says these looming cuts couldn't happen at a worse time now that Texoma farmers are dealing with a drought. Information straight from the White House shows Agricultural Disaster Relief funds could face a cut of $104 million. But Eastman is mostly worried about the government cutting funds for crop insurance.

"Even with crop insurance, the most you can insure sale wheat crop is 75% so if you have a terrible loss you loose 25% right of the top and you know there's very few of us who could stand that," said Eastman.

I found out through information sent to me from Congressman Mac Thornberry's office that crop insurance could be exempt from the budget cuts. However, the Commodity Credit Corporation Fund and the Farm Security and Rural Investment programs could be facing millions of dollars in cuts.

"We're not looking for a whole lot. The main thing that would help us more than anything is if they left us alone," said Dwyer.

The only thing that could keep these budget cuts from going into effect is if Congress and President Barack Obama strike a deal.

 

Tanya De Jesus, Newschannel 6

 

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