The following is a Press Release from Senator Mary Landrieu:
As the United States Senate works on a reauthorization of the Farm Bill, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., is fighting to improve provisions that affect rice growers in Louisiana. Last week, Sen. Landrieu organized a call between Louisiana rice growers and the Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., to express concerns about the bill, specifically that it does not include adequate federal support programs for rice, and disproportionately reduces federal support for rice, compared to other commodities. While the bill includes good provisions for Louisiana's sugarcane growers, which Sen. Landrieu supports, she is advocating for a strong farm bill for all Louisiana farmers.
"Last year alone, agriculture in Louisiana helped generate $10.7 billion in economic activity, a significant contribution to our state. Louisiana's farmers help America grow the safest and most abundant supply of food, fiber and energy in the world and I strongly support the goal of reauthorizing the Farm Bill to help ensure the continued success of American agriculture. However, I have serious concerns about how Louisiana's rice growers will fare under the Senate Farm Bill as it is currently written. I will continue working to improve provisions that affect our rice growers with the goal of passing a strong Farm Bill for all Louisiana farmers," Sen. Landrieu said.
The current version of the Farm Bill includes reforms that change the types of programs offered to farmers and reduce the total amount of government support for agriculture. These reforms end the current system of direct payments as well as counter cyclical payments and other support programs. This will reduce government support for rice by about 65 percent – more than double the reduction that producers of other commodities will see.
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