Without a new five year farm bill, U. S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says the federal government won't be able to help drought-stricken midwest farmers much. Durbin met with farmers and agribusiness representatives outside Bloomington and said too many farmers will only have crop insurance to help them since lawmakers failed to reach a deal on a new farm bill prior to the August recess.
"Those that had the wisdom to buy crop insurance are gonna be here to fight another day. Some others who didn't may not. Really, that's the starting point. You have to say farmers need to accept the responsibility and I understand over 80% of them have."
Durbin says some disaster relief measures were crafted in the Senate version of the farm bill, which he says passed with bipartisan support. But Durbin says the days of the federal government providing a reliable source of aid are probably over.
"The disaster assistance payments of years gone by are gonna be so hard to come by now, with the deficit we're facing and cutbacks in so many different areas."
Durbin criticizes his house counterparts for eyeing a short-term measure he says would not be much help.
Kendall Miller manages the Yuton Grain Elevator west of Normal. He says he expects to get about half the grain brought in during a typical harvest. Miller says the ripple effect will impact the propane and trucking industries and other aspects of the economy well into next year.
"The trucking industry is gonna be impacted this fall immediately because there's gonna be less bushels to haul into town as as that will relay into the winter and spring as well as a reduction in bushels."
Listen to Durbin talk with McLean County farmer Jason Lay (pictured above, left with Durbin) and other agribusiness officials about the effect of this year's drought on next year's yield.
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