Farmers' growing concerns - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Farmers' growing concerns

Posted: Updated:
  • More Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Candlelight Vigil for boy who died in house fire

    Candlelight Vigil for boy who died in house fire

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:02 AM EDT2014-08-22 04:02:51 GMT
    A Candlelight Vigil brought together almost 100 people for 7-year-old Kahlil Dangerfield who died from a house fire.More >>
    A Candlelight Vigil brought together almost 100 people for 7-year-old Kahlil Dangerfield who died from a house fire.More >>
  • Palermo in court fighting criminal charges & seizures

    Palermo in court fighting criminal charges & seizures

    Thursday, August 21 2014 8:17 PM EDT2014-08-22 00:17:11 GMT
    There's a hotly contested court battle underway between Sulphur businessman Joe Palermo and the state. And it now, partly deals with an investigation that has yet to result in criminal charges.Palermo was due on court motions fighting pending criminal charges against him, including forgery and possession of stolen things. But first off the defense filed a motion asking to secure and examine items seized yesterday, including Palermo's computer. Palermo attorney Karl says the seizure of compute...More >>
    There's a hotly contested court battle underway between Sulphur businessman Joe Palermo and the state. And it now, partly deals with an investigation that has yet to result in criminal charges.Palermo was due on court motions fighting pending criminal charges against him, including forgery and possession of stolen things. But first off the defense filed a motion asking to secure and examine items seized yesterday, including Palermo's computer. Palermo attorney Karl says the seizure of compute...More >>
  • Flushable wipes causing havoc for sewer systems in Lake Charles

    Flushable wipes causing havoc for sewer systems in Lake Charles

    Thursday, August 21 2014 7:49 PM EDT2014-08-21 23:49:13 GMT
    What we flush matters. The infrastructure in Lake Charles goes back 50 years in many places. Wastewater administrators said an old system was not built for many items we flush today, like flushable wipes.More >>
    What we flush matters. The infrastructure in Lake Charles goes back 50 years in many places. Wastewater administrators said an old system was not built for many items we flush today, like flushable wipes.
    More >>
LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Farmers across the region are concerned with the state of the agriculture business. They are worried about federal government regulations and funding, among other issues.

Agriculture is one of the top industries in the state of Louisiana and in Southwest Louisiana. There is plenty of farmland and plenty of concerned farmers.

"Our Farm Bill and the problems we've had on getting a new Farm Bill passed and the uncertainties that gives us has been a real issue that is on the minds of many producers in this area," said John Benison of Sweet Lake Land and Oil Company. 

Benison, along with some other concerned producers and farmers, came together Thursday to discuss ideas and other topics on how to improve the industry.

Benison said he knows those in the industry, like himself, will survive through the tough times.

"As in all businesses, we have threats from federal regulations and with competitiveness from other countries. Agriculture is a commodity that competes worldwide and we have to compete with other countries with their politics," Benison said.

That's one threat among others the farmers listed such as lack of funding and troubles with climate like drought and saltwater intrusion.

But one of the big issues farmers are fighting right now are the high input costs within the industry.

"There is hope for the future, but it's still a struggle to get to that point because farmers, like they said earlier, is such a risky business. It's not, you're not going to get paid every month a certain amount like working or being a teacher or whatever because it all depends on how the weather is,"said Jimmy Meaux, County Agent for the Calcasieu Parish LSU Agriculture.

And under sequestration, when and if it happens, Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Mike Strain said the farming industry will lose close to $4 billion or more along with a lack of appropriate foods on the shelves at grocery stores. All of this will be due to changes in the way food is inspected, according to Strain, who said the agriculture industry will prevail.

"The hope for the farmer, of all the sectors in America, the agriculture sector has the greatest hope of all," Strain said. "We are very optimistic, we're going to fight very hard. There's nothing tougher in this world than our farmers, foresters and fishers."

In Louisiana, the agriculture business will continue to facilitate commerce and provide for the health, safety and security of farmers.

Strain is expected to look at the information gathered from farmers from the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance meetings to find trends. From there, he will figure out ways to improve the agriculture industry for farmers in Louisiana.

Copyright 2013 KPLC. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow