New Farm Bill could benefit local farmers

Local News

Pennsylvania farmers say they are experiencing one of the worst years they’ve ever seen.

A wet 2018 along with trade wars are causing prices to go down and farmers to struggle to make ends meet.

The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau say they are having a hard time turning a profit. They’re now calling on Congress to help.

“I’ve been a farmer for 36 years, full time,” said Rick Ebert. “This is the worst year I’ve ever seen it.”

Rick Ebert is a dairy and crop farmer in Westmoreland County as well as President of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau. He says 2018 has been a tough year for farmers across the state.

“I’ve seen and heard of so many farmers that are just in dire straights,” said Ebert. “I think unless things turn around, we’re going to keep losing more and more dairy farms in Pennsylvania.”

Ebert calls it a perfect storm of bad news for farmers, including poor weather conditions throughout the year and recent trade wars with China, Canada, and Mexico, all resulting in lower prices for their products.

“It’s been a huge impact, because the last four to five years, we haven’t even seen an upswing in prices,” Ebert said.

The Farm Bureau is now calling on Congress to pass a Farm Bill before the end of the year. Programs in the bill, like crop insurance can help keep farmers afloat during tough years. If the bill doesn’t get passed, a new Congress will have to start all over on a new bill in 2019.

“And that would be devastating for farmers in Pennsylvania and across the nation,” said Ebert.

The Farm Bureau also urging the Trump Administration to resolve existing disputes with China, Mexico, and Canada.

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