Fri., March 16, 2012 8:16am (EDT)

Farmers Brace For Slashed Subsidies
By Associated Press
Updated: 2 years ago

JESUP, Ga.  —  
Under pressure to reduce the federal deficit, Congress is poised to make deep cuts in the 2012 farm bill. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss is hosting forums in Jesup and Tifton Friday to hear farmers’ thoughts on the bill. (Photo Courtesy of cheeses via Flickr.)
Under pressure to reduce the federal deficit, Congress is poised to make deep cuts in the 2012 farm bill. Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss is hosting forums in Jesup and Tifton Friday to hear farmers’ thoughts on the bill. (Photo Courtesy of cheeses via Flickr.)
Sen. Saxby Chambliss says Georgia farmers need to brace for big changes in government crop subsidy programs as Congress seeks to slash its debt.

Chambliss told about 50 farmers at a forum Friday in Jesup he's certain the new five-year farm bill being negotiated will eliminate direct payments that go to farmers regardless of prices or yields. Alternatives such as crop insurance to cover revenue losses are being discussed to protect farmers.

Georgia Farm Bureau president Zippy Duvall says 2012 is the worst year imaginable to pass a new farm bill, with crop prices booming and Washington scrambling to cut spending.

Farmers say a revenue-based insurance won't work for everybody. Peanut growers have no futures market or other sources to predict harvest prices, as other commodity farmers do.