Budget Could Have Drastic Effects In Panhandle

President Obama's proposed budget could have drastic affects here in the Panhandle region.

One of the agriculture policies outlined in the budget, would phase out direct payments to farmers whose sales top $500,000 per year.

What sounds like a lot of money is actually not income.  Billy Sam Borchardt, a cotton farmer, says "what we call a family farmer, someone who just farms two to three sections of land could easily sell 500 thousand dollars."

But that translates into little profit for the farmer.

More specifically, cotton producers say they could have an especially hard time since much of their crop is now exported.

Borchardt says, "we have to find a buyer overseas and with the economy depressed, textiles are depressed, people aren't buying as much clothes as normal, so we're having to store the crop."

And speaking of storing the crop.... the president is also proposing doing away with paying farmers to store their crops when it drops below a certain price.

Farmers say, this along with stripping subsidies, would put them under.

One local congressman says these proposals would undo what congress just recently put in place.

U.S. Representative Mac Thornberry says, "it took two years to hammer out the farm bill and the various regional interests and to do anything to change it is just going to unload the apple cart."

These proposals will be more closely examined by congress next month.

Borchardt urges people here to do what he did: call their representatives and voice concerns over the proposed budget.

For Mac Thornberry:


For Frank Lucas: