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Friday, March 16, 2012 - 4:16am

Farmers Brace For Slashed Subsidies

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.