Farmers react to recent farm bill passage - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Farmers react to recent farm bill passage

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RAYNE, LA (KPLC) -

GF&P Zaunbrecher Farms has over 4,000 acres worth of rice, soybeans and crawfish. Farmer Fred Zaunbrecher says the recent passage of the 2014 farm bill is perfectly timed.

"Before that when there were question marks everywhere," said Fred Zaunbrecher, one of three brothers who work at their farm in Rayne. "Everybody was just kind of waiting for something to happen and it finally did."

Despite his thoughts, Zaunbrecher says the bill still lacks support for farmers—it eliminates $5 billion in subsidies whether they grew crops or not and will be replaced with expanded crop insurance.

"That support, a lot of people have depended on because of the cycling and the commodity market you know the ups and downs in prices," said Zaunbrecher. "The bottom line may be substantially down from last year's. You always want to pay attention to that because at the end of the year, you've got bills to pay."

Zaunbrecher also says the bill's new rules will affect company spending and equipment purchases.

"If the market goes down, without the level of support we had before, the bottom line is, you're just going to have to pay more attention to it now," said Zaunbrecher.

Although Zaunbrecher says he's comfortable with the bill, he's not the only farmer who may need to make adjustments.

"The agriculture affects businesses here and the economy as a whole," said Zaunbrecher. "Farmers put a lot of money back into the economy. It creates jobs, it maintains jobs. We do everything we can to produce as much as we can because that's how we make a living."

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