Wheat Farms Drying Up

Ronald Neusch
Ronald Neusch

When Ronald Neusch looks at his wheat crops, he does not like what he sees.

"You can look at the wheat and see how badly its hurting," Neush said. "It's a serious situation."

A serious situation that could soon get worse.

The Obama Administration is proposing changes to direct payments, or money farmers receive from the government.

"What that will affect is anyone making $500,000 in gross sales will not be eligible to receive direct payments," said Cody Bessent, Texas Wheat Producers.

Bessent says this would affect more than 75 percent of farmers nationwide.

"So it would be like you working all year and at the end of the year not getting a paycheck at all," Neusch explained.

Currently, farmers get about 52 cents per bushel from direct payments. Money, Neusch, uses to cover input costs. But this doesn't mean he makes a profit every year.

"Their input costs could easily exceed their gross sales that year," he said. "So they could easily lose several thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Bessent adds that direct payments are a safety net for farmers to keep them in the business of feeding the country.

"If they cut out those payments, I promise you, the economy will get worse because agriculture is one bright spot in the economy," Neusch said.

Especially here in our area.