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Story Archives: Outlook tough for farming
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|Outlook tough for farming|
The devastation last year's two hurricanes delivered to Louisiana as well as the economic crisis crippling the U.S. economy have made life more than uncertain for many farmers in Concordia as well as the state and nation.
For Concordia, agriculture has been the backbone of the economy since the parish was organized into a political district following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.
While farming remains the parish's economic anchor, some farmers will not be planting crops this spring due to the aforementioned problems. County Agent Glen Daniels says the debt from hurricane losses means some farmers are restricted from obtaining the financing they need to plant. He says costs of farming, the uncertain international situation and many other factors determine how farmers operate today.
Concordia Parish Farm Executive Director Kevin Case reports that some producers did not carry enough crop insurance to cover their crop losses last year. He summed up the situation this way: "Commodity prices have tanked. Production costs have increased. Any disaster money received through FSA for 2008 crop loss will not come in time to be figured in with 2009 cash flow."
Farming in America continues to undergo change. Gone are the small family farms where a man could cultivate 50 to 100 acres and survive, especially if he farmed part-time to supplement his income. Now corporations dominate the agriculture picture, though corporate operators provide jobs and support communities as well through tax payments.
Concordia's farmers took a major hit last year on both the disaster and economic front. In the days ahead, some farmers will begin tilling the ground and planting crops.
Yet farming continues to change, but the crops farmers produce and the economic benefits they generate for communities are just as important today as they were 200 years ago.
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