Farmers, ranchers prepare for shutdown pinch

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Reported by: Farron Salley
Updated: 10/04/2013 7:54 pm Published: 10/04/2013 4:45 pm

FOX23 learned furloughs from the government shutdown are impacting the lives of more people in Oklahoma.

Jackson Farms in Skiatook plants wheat, soy beans, corn and milo. One farmer said they haven't felt at pinch from the shutdown yet, but the longer Congress goes without a solution, the harder the hit will be for them in the future.

"It's going to start hurting if they continue to drag it and drag it out," said farmer Monty Currier.

Many farmers qualify to receive government subsidies.

"It won't make you rich but it might get you another year and that's one of the things that the shutdown could affect," he said.

Derrick Jackson, owner of Jackson Farms, said his farm got around $20,000 from the government last year.

"Well that's what keeps some of the farmers going if they have a bad year is that subsidy to at least break even," he said.

With the government shut down they'll have to rely solely on crop insurance, which Jackson said is more reliable and helpful.

"We're busy with trying to get crops out and crops in and day-to-day business," he said.

Ranchers in Oklahoma are also prepared to feel the strain.

Ranchers and farmers differ not just in how they use their land but also in the types of benefits they're eligible to receive from the government.

FOX23 talked to one rancher who said the government already wasn't helping him out much.

Anthony Guilfoyle has worked the land for decades.

"We've got some payments on some wheat programs or on buildings or stuff like that," he said.

His main business is working with cattle; he has about 200 of them.

"I've never got anything on beef cattle or anything like that. It's more of a crop deal," he said.

So similar to full-time farmers, he relies on insurance to help him stay steady on dry spells like last year.

"We had to sell some cattle to buy hay. So that was bad luck last year. Thank God we've had a little rain this summer and the grass is doing pretty good and the hay is doing well," he said.

Although he doesn't farm enough to get subsidies for it, people like Currier will feel the pinch of a long lasting shutdown.

"Well that's what keeps some of the farmers going if they have a bad year. Is that subsidy to at least break even," said Currier.

He's hoping the shutdown ends soon.

"Forget about this government shut down. Let's get a budget and get going. Let's come together," he said.

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