Louisiana Sugarcane Industry Wants New Farm Bill in Place Before 2019

Sam Irwin, American Sugarcane League

The president of the American Sugar Cane League is urging the Louisiana Congressional delegation to get behind the final version of the farm bill and ensure its passage before the end of the year.

Charles Schudmak, a sugarcane miller operating in Iberville Parish, said both house of Congress passed a new farm bill in 2018 but only agreed on a final version of the bill yesterday.

"We're glad the Senate and House of Representatives negotiated the final provisions of the farm bill," Schudmak said. "Now we, the American Sugar Cane League, has sent a letter to the Louisiana delegation asking them to back the farm bill. Louisiana's Senators and Representatives have always been very supportive of agriculture, including sugarcane, and we have no reason to think they won't get behind this final farm bill."

Schudmak said farm bills creates a stable environment for agricultural producers and lenders to rely upon in their business planning.

"The bill will cover agricultural policy for the next five years," Schudmak said.

Below is the text of the letter the League sent to the Louisiana delegation.

Louisiana Congressional Delegation,

As you know, the leaders of the farm bill conference have reached agreement on a compromise and now anticipate bringing the conference report to a vote in the House and Senate. The American Sugar Cane League, representing Louisiana's sugarcane growers and millers, urges the current Congress to approve the final conference report and work to ensure that the President signs this vital piece of legislation.  

Louisiana's sugarcane farmers and millers are busy harvesting and processing their 2018 crop but are also working on their business plans for 2019. A completed farm bill provides agricultural producers and their lenders a degree of certainty to manage risks in their future operations.

We are grateful for your support last summer in defeating the ill-advised Sugar Policy Modernization Act, aka the "Sugar Farmer Bankruptcy Bill," and we urge you to get the farm bill completed before the end of the year.