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Avoyelles Parish soybean farmers hurt by weather, politics

December 9, 2018
In The News

Some say when a farmer is asked what he does for a living, he should say he’s a “professional gambler.”

Farming is a gamble when everything is as it should be. When the weather is contrary and geopolitics gets added to the mix, the gambler doesn’t stand much of a chance against “the house.”

This year, soybean farmers seemed to be the ones -- as U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham said -- “taking it on the chin.”

“There are thousands of acres of beans in Avoyelles Parish that were not harvested this year,” County Agent Justin Dufour said. “Some were left in the field because the fields never improved enough for the equipment to move in. Some farmers had no place to store their beans even if they harvested them.”
25 percent ‘destroyed’

The Farm Service Agency estimated about 88,500 acres of soybeans were planted in Avoyelles Parish. Of that, 22,000 acres were deemed “destroyed” -- almost 25 percent of the total.

Roszell and Lemoine both said they were hoping to get some relief through a federal assistance program to offset the impact of the tariffs.

“That would help to some extent, but only for those beans that were harvested,” Roszell said. “The beans that went unharvested we will get zero for.”

He said he has talked with U.S. Rep. Ralph Abraham about Abraham’s bill to help farmers who were unable to harvest their beans this season.

To read the full story, click here.