Arrington pushes to add cotton onto 2018 farm bill - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Arrington pushes to add cotton onto 2018 farm bill

Congressman Jodey Arrington is pushing to add cotton onto 2018 farm bill. (Source: KCBD Video) Congressman Jodey Arrington is pushing to add cotton onto 2018 farm bill. (Source: KCBD Video)
Steve Verett, executive vice-president of Plains Cotton Growers (Source: KCBD Video) Steve Verett, executive vice-president of Plains Cotton Growers (Source: KCBD Video)
Arrington speaks during Tuesday's House Agriculture Committee hearing. (Source: Congressman Jodey Arrington) Arrington speaks during Tuesday's House Agriculture Committee hearing. (Source: Congressman Jodey Arrington)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Congressman Jodey Arrington is pushing to add cotton back into the farm bill.

It was removed in 2014 after a dispute brought to the World Trade Organization by Brazil, regarding government assistance.

In fact, local cotton experts say it could be detrimental to our country's agriculture, if it doesn't get added back in.

Both Steve Verett, executive vice-president of the Plains Cotton Growers and Arrington tell us if cotton is not added, it'll affect everyone.

"This is serious stuff, not only to the farming industry, cotton and west Texas, but we have to maintain the capacity to feed and clothe our own people and not be dependent on foreign countries," Arrington says.

Verett says by adding cotton and making it a Title I commodity, it’ll provide the long-term stability that the industry needs.

“There's no real price protection in crop insurance, that's what's missing in cotton not being in Title I,” he explains. “There's not that price protection that's available to the other covered commodities."

Arrington represents District 19, which is the largest cotton producing district in the country.

He spoke in the House Agriculture Committee Hearing, on Tuesday, to set the stage for the 2018 farm bill.

"Please help us get cotton back in the farm bill,” he plead during the hearing. “Please help us get cotton back as a Title 1 covered commodity. 

In fact, cotton is the only commodity that was removed from the bill.

"Would we take all of the commodities, all of the crops out of the farm bill? The answer is we would never do that. It would be a national security crisis if we did that,” Congressman Arrington says. “So, why do it to cotton? If you're not going to do it to all of them, don't do it to one of them. Find a better solution."

And that’s what Arrington says he’s working on.

He tells us he’s hoping to add cotton in the bill as an oil seed.

“Ag is sick, the farmer is in the hospital and cotton is in the ICU,” he said during Tuesday’s hearing. “Help. And, I don't know how much time we have."

Arrington tells us the current farm bill expires next year.

So, he's hoping cotton will be added by September of 2018.

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