Congressional budget includes protections for cotton

Congressional budget includes protections for cotton

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

The budget deal passed through Congress included more than just money to keep the government running. 

When President Trump signed the deal he gave farmers on the South Plains some peace of mind. 

Cotton was stripped out of the Farm Bill in 2014. Since then producers have not enjoyed the same as their counterparts growing other crops. Leaving them subject to an uncertain future.

"Everything kind of hit at the wrong time," said Dan Jackson, General Manager of the Meadow Farmers Co-Op Gin. "The '14 bill came out, they took us completely out of the commodities, they did leave us crop insurance which is great because that's a tool that allows us to go borrow money to operate but it doesn't make them whole."

As of Friday morning though, these farmers will be brought back under the umbrella of the Farm Bill. 

"This is a game changer for West Texas because we were truly in a crisis mode and we're talking about an industry that represents billions of dollars in West Texas and if we're going to have a prosperous future for our children, you can't very well do that if cotton is in crisis mode," said Lubbock Rep. Jodey Arrington.

It will be reinstated as a Title One commodity, covered under the Farm Bill. 

"It kind of initiates and provides them a little more additional certainty when it comes to what that safety net package is going to be for them in the event that we get a significant price decline or another weather issue," said Shawn Wade, Plains Cotton Growers.

Jackson said the bill comes at a perfect time as farmers are just now going bank to get ready for the next season.

"It will help those producers, again, with stability. Having that tool in the toolbox when they go to that lender," Jackson said. "It takes a little bit of that weight off their back."

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