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- INDUSTRY COMMENTS -

Will the federal economic stimulus bill
have any kind of effect on agriculture?

 

Phil Hickman
Ginner
Tornillo, Texas

It might be too early to say what kind of effect that bill will have on agriculture. I haven’t studied it that much. I don’t think it’s going to have an immediate impact on our industry. Right now, what we need in the cotton business is better prices. We also need for consumers to open up their wallets and purses and start spending money at the retail level. If that happens, we’ll see an increased demand for cotton products. We also need to lower our cotton carryover stock levels.

 
Harris Armour
Producer
Somerville, Tenn.

I don’t really think the economic stimulus package will help agriculture. If it does have any kind of effect, it will be a trickle-down situation that occurs way down the line. What we need right now are markets and demand – especially in the overseas countries. And don’t forget about fuel costs. The oil refineries will try to recoup their money with the recent drop in oil costs, which are bound to go up again.

 
Jimmy Webb
Producer
Leary, Ga.

I think the only positive effect from the stimulus bill will be a trickle-down effect on the economy, and it’s hard to say how quickly we’ll see anything happening. If the consumers have money in their pockets to spend, they will purchase our products. That’s the economic reality we’re facing in our industry and the rest of the country. If there is a positive factor in all of this, it’s the fact that food and fiber would seem to be essential items for the average consumer and not luxury items. That makes me think that we ought to see an improvement in cotton prices at some point in the near future.

 
Mark Williams
Producer
Farwell, Texas

The economic stimulus package wasn’t directed toward agriculture, so that’s why it won’t have much of an effect on our industry. A lot of the provisions in that bill seem to have been been back-loaded until at least 2010. However, if we can get the economy going again – especially worldwide – things have a chance to turn around for agriculture and other industries out there. That’s what I’m hoping for in the next year or two.

 
Mike Sturdivant
Producer
Glendora, Miss.

I haven’t read enough about the new bill, but I would have to say that the impact on agriculture won’t be immediate. The key to that bill is will it create jobs, and will it be long-term? I also don’t know how it will be implemented once it becomes law. If anything, the new law will have an indirect effect on agriculture. When the economy improves, that’s when agriculture will start to feel the effects and improve. That will be particularly true for cotton, since it’s a manufactured product and depends on the economy more than corn or soybeans.



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