Agricultural conference discusses issues and plans for the futur - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Agricultural conference discusses issues and plans for the future

David Gibson, Executive Director of Texas Corn Producers David Gibson, Executive Director of Texas Corn Producers

Amarillo, TX - Farmers and members of several agricultural associations met Wednesday for a conference to discuss issues in the agricultural industry.

This year, farmers faced many issues such as an increase in insects, weeds, rain, and cold weather while harvesting their crops, and farmers can expect to see those problems again this up-coming year.

Executive Director of the Texas Corn Producers, David Gibson, said this year's excess rain was beneficial to corn farmers, but it will have a negative impact when they go to sell it. With the extra corn produced, farmers will have to lower their prices when they sell it at market. Wheat, cotton, and peanuts a few crops other crops that will also experience this issue. The problem farmers face is it costs more to harvest their crops than it does to sell them. 

Vice President of the Texas Corn Producers, Joe Reed, said many commodities are low in price, which will affect our economy. "Go to main street in Amarillo, when the prices are low you won't see people buying as much that affects everyone," Reed said. "The economy starts turning down instead of level or up, and we need at least a level economy in all of our towns."

However, when these selling prices are lower farmers are able to receive government funding to help sustain their businesses. State Executive Director of Texas Farm Service Agency, Judith Canales, said this year they lent a helping hand to cattle farmers by giving $1.1 billion to livestock producers in Texas. The funding helped them recover from the culling of herds and increased prices in feed.

The agency is working towards providing more assistance to farmers to keep them in production. They will also assist new farmers with loans to begin their own farms. Canales said they are expanding funding to provide assistance to young farmers who are just beginning their careers. She said there is funding that loans farmers money so they can purchase a farm or build up their farm. She said the agency's main goal is to rebuild and support agriculture in Texas and across the country. 

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