How the Farm Bill would impact North State farmers

Jan 29, 2014 7:47 PM

The Butte County Farm Bureau said the farm bill that passed today has been a long time coming, and will significantly help North State farmers.

The farm bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives, and now moves on to the Senate.

“It’s necessary and important,” Butte County Farm Bureau Executive Director Colleen Cecil said. “And we're just appreciative that the work has been done now and we can move on now and utilize the bill.”

With the bill comes a boost in crop insurance cash.

“Those are necessary and important up here in the North State. It provides farmers with the ability to buy insurance.”

“[It also provides the] availability of conservation dollars, the replacement of engines, what we commonly refer to as equip funds.”

Cecil said the farm bill will bring relief to North State farmers who have suffered over the past few years due to things like drought.

But she also said it's important to keep in mind that this bill is 20% farming, 80% food and nutrition programs.

The bill cuts $800 million annually in food stamps. That's about a 1% cut.

Still, that's enough to affect the people who come and see Virginia Harvey at Oroville Gleaners, many of whom are on food stamps.

“We will have more people coming here for food baskets,” Harvey said. “We provide mostly senior income people with food.”

She says the Gleaner's 175 members could easily double.

Local Representative Doug LaMalfa (R) voted in favor of the farm bill.

“The stability this bill gives California agriculture will be key to helping our farmers and rancher weather the historic drought we're experiencing.”


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