Bishop opposes Bush ag. budget cuts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Bishop opposes Bush ag. budget cuts

Dawson- As he toured the National Peanut Research Lab in Dawson, Congressman Sanford Bishop admits he's worried that the president's proposed budget will cut farmers deep.

"It could have a tremendous impact, a devastating impact on the economic well-being of Southwest Georgia," he says.

President Bush wants to lower payment limit caps and cut federal subsidies many growers rely on. Bishop says it's unfair because many farmers scheduled their loan repayments around the farm bill which was supposed to last for six years.

"Now to go back in mid-stream and undo that is like pulling the rug out from those plans and it's unfair. It's a betrayal of trust," Bishop argues.

Tyron Spearman is a former peanut grower and the current executive director of the National Peanut Buying Points Association. He agrees payment limit caps would be detrimental to growers.

"If your farming and you've got cotton, corn, peanuts and everything, and you're put under a payment limit of $250,000 you may think that's a lot, but in today's farming world that's not a lot," Spearman says. "This recommendation from President Bush is just a recommendation. Congress has got to pass it."

Congressman Bishop says he's confident that other Georgia lawmakers who understand the importance of agriculture to the state will also speak up and challenge the president's plans.

"I feel relatively sure that senator Chambliss and Senator Isakson will prevail on the president to reconsider that ill-advised proposal," says Bishop.

Growers say the proposed cuts also come at a bad time because the price of commodities are already low, which puts an even bigger dent in the amount of money they're able to bring in.

Posted at 5:20 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com

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