Farmers discuss Farm Bill at convention - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Farmers discuss Farm Bill at convention

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JEKYLL ISLAND, GA (WTOC) -

Hundreds of farmers attend the annual Georgia Farm Bureau convention. Some of the usual policy talk this year takes a back seat to speculation on when, or if, Congress will do something with the federal Farm Bill.

The current bill will expire at the end of the month and law makers will leave for the holidays on Friday.

The worry that the current bill could expire without a replacement or extension hits plenty of producers.

"In the spring, we have to decide what we're going to plant. Without any information, we're stabbing in the dark. We need something to at least steer us in the right direction," explained Screven County farmer Ben Boyd.

"We need to be able to plan for the next 4-5 years and know which way the ship is going to sail because uncertainty can kill you in the agriculture markets," echoed Joe Boddiford, a farmer and board member for the Georgia Peanut Commission.

A farm bill ecompasses nearly every aspect of agriculture, from subsidies to farmers for certain crops to federal food inspectors to food for school lunchrooms.

Georgia's agriculture commissioner cautioned the absense of a farm bill doesn't just hurt producers.

"The Farm Bill is a big book with many chapters. Some of them are food safety inspections. Some of them are about our land grant universities and the agriculture research that is done there. But a farm bill also helps stabilize food prices over a long haul.

Georgia Farm Bureau serves as a lobbying voice for farmers in the state, both in Atlanta and Washington and boasts more than 360,000 member families.

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