Senate Farm Bill offers extended crop insurance for local farmers

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TEXOMA -- In the drought plagued Mid-West crop insurance is welcomed like a soaking rain.

"The last two years, it has been tough. And this was basically what I was insuring against," said local farmer Gene Robbins.

Robbins raises cattle and hay in Oklahoma. And he's one of many farmers that could be helped by a new farm bill.

"The area farmers are interested in the farm bill because it does include the crop insurance provision," he said.

The farm bill passed the U.S. Senate Monday. It expands access to crop insurance and includes disaster relief from extreme weather.

"We cannot get our financing, and then it's very difficult to get our marketing of the crop if we don't have our insurance to back us up," he said.

Robbins said the first part of the year took a toll on his crop. And then - it started raining.

"With all this rain, it's coming back. So I've got Bermuda which is 10 or 12 inches high," he said.

Local Farmer Jack Norman said with recent rains Texoma farmers likely won't have to take out insurance claims.

But that's only one area where the insurance comes in handy.

"We can get the money that's necessary to purchase all of the inputs that we've got to make a crop. Because if we don't have that insurance than it's hard to get people to loan you money," Norman said.

He said the senate bill's passage is a step in the right direction.

"It's anticipated next week that the house will pass their version."

The Senate version costs $500 billion and lasts five years. The House will take up their version of the farm bill next week.

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