Challenging Farm Economy Highlights Need for Farm Bill

Podcast / Newsline October 25, 2018

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The depressed farm economy shows the importance of Congress passing a farm bill by the end of this year. Micheal Clements has more.

Clements: Farmers and ranchers need Congress to finish the farm bill this year to avoid disruption in farm risk management programs. Doug Rebout, a dairy farmer from Janesville, Wisconsin, and a former county Farm Bureau president, says farmers need a farm bill by the end of this year.

Rebout: Everything’s kind of still going right now, but it does have to get done before this next year so that way we make sure we have our crop insurance and all these other programs that go along with it.

Clements: The farm economy is a major concern, but Rebout says farmers are managing through by postponing some purchasing decisions. 

Rebout: We’re not updating stuff unless we absolutely have to right now. So, our equipment, our machinery, everything, we’re just on hold right now and making do with what we have. We know times will get better. Farming is always that way, you have your ups and downs. So, when you do have your up years, that’s when you make your updates and you prepare for these bad years.

Clements: He says the biggest challenge his family farm faces is how to pass the operation along to the next generation.

Rebout: Passing it from my parents down to me and two brothers, that’s fairly simple. But, now passing it with three separate families, me and my brothers are getting older and we want to be able to pass it down without the next generation having to go into debt or be in financial trouble.

Clements: Micheal Clements, Washington.

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