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Congressman Neugebauer gives outlook on future help for farmers and ranchers

By Michelle Frizalone, mfrizalone@ktxs.com
Published On: Nov 08 2012 09:00:16 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 09 2012 12:35:09 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Many West Texas farmers are still facing one of the worst droughts in U.S. history and on top of that the 2008 farm bill expired in late September.

Congress is still wrangling over a new farm bill. U.S. Rep. Randy Neugebauer -- who represents the 19th District including Abilene, Lubbock and Big Spring -- is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

He's a proponent of the farm bill that the committee passed and wants to see it on the House floor during this year's lame duck session. So what does this mean for farmers and ranchers in 2013?

"If things don't change, and we don't do something here in the lame duck then what will happen is the next year when they go to their bankers to start asking them to loan them money for a new crop. Those bankers are going to be reluctant if they don't know what the farm policy is going to be," Neugebauer said.

The proposed new bill from the Agriculture Committee saves more than $35 billion in mandatory funding and cuts or consolidates 100 programs.

Neugebauer said the bill is more insurance based and would make sure people who receive food stamps are qualified. The Republican-controlled House will meet next week and Neugebauer hopes to move forward with the legislation.

"I think something will happen before the end of the year," Neugebauer said.