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Congressmen urge president to authorize cotton assistance


By: Georgia Farm Bureau
7/26/2017 2:03:25 PM


Acknowledging ongoing severe economic hardships in the U.S. cotton industry, members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate sent letters to President Donald Trump on July 18 asking him to use his authority to help stabilize the cotton industry by operating the Cotton Ginning Assistance Cost Share Program on an ongoing basis.

"We can't continue ignoring the economic turmoil of U.S. cotton farmers," said House Ag Committee Chairman Michael Conaway (R-Texas). "While countries like China and India are pouring billions of dollars into subsidies for fiber production each year, America's cotton producers have been struggling to scrape by without a safety net to help them soldier through these tough times - the steepest slide in net-farm income since the Great Depression.
Cotton producers can't wait until the next farm bill - they need help now. I urge the president to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with U.S. cotton farmers to provide them with the assistance they so desperately need."

The House letter was signed by 109 representatives, including 12 of Georgia's 14 members. Sens. Johnny Isakson and David Perdue were among 26 members who signed the Senate letter. 

According to the letters, the number of ginning businesses has declined by 33 percent, while the number of cotton warehousing businesses have dropped by 21 percent.

"It is imperative that we protect the remaining 20,000 businesses in this industry that employ 126,000 people and generate over $21 billion in revenue," the letters said.

Georgia is second in cotton production, with its farmers typically devoting more than 1 million acres to the crop. Cotton is the largest field crop produced in Georgia. Approximately 2,600 Georgia farmers grow cotton according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.


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