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News, events, and happenings in Colquitt County agriculture.

Found this in the Tobacco Farmer Newsletter….

Your last buyout payment–scheduled for 2014–could be reduced by 7.2 percent as the federal government attempts for the first time to make those payments subject to sequestration (the “automatic” reductions in spending authority that were authorized by the Budget Control Act of 2011). “We believe the federal government is incorrect in considering sequestering a portion of the tobacco buyout payments owed to farmers in 2014,” said Larry Wooten, president of North Carolina Farm Bureau. “Where the Tobacco Transition Payment Program payments differ from most other federal programs appropriate for sequestration is that these payments are not taxpayer funded. Rather, they are funded through fees that are assessed to tobacco companies.” USDA’s only role is to distribute the fees collected from tobacco companies to contract holders. I am not big on mail-in campaigns, but with a problem this big, a letter to your political leaders may be the only logical response. The North Carolina Farm Bureau has an email format that shows how. You can find it by going to farm bureau website at https://www.ncfb.org/ and then clicking on “Tobacco Buyout Payment.” Note: The 7.2 percent rate is only the most recent that has been suggested. It might be more or less.