Federal government's new farm bill cutting rice farmers direct payments, puts local farmers' backs up against the wall
LAFAYETE (KADN) — With some rice farmers already harvesting their crop, we caught up with the Rice Research Station in Crowley to see how this year's crop is looking compared to years in the past. We hear the first yields coming out of the field are very good, despite the colder weather we endured earlier this year. Rice farmers are under pressure this year not because of production, but because prices have dropped and they are working under a new farm bill that has cut direct payments rice farmers were use to receiving.
"Even with a good yield with the price we've got this year, you know, it might be a little bit of a struggle. But because of that we need to have the highest yield we possibly can," says Steve Linscombe, director of Rice Research Station.
Linscombe says a big reason the price dropped this year is because of a huge increase in rice acreage in Arkansas, which has a significant affect on prices. But Farmers are optomistic the environment the crops grew under was effective enough to produce a good rice crop for this season.