Comments on Draft Report - Stan Murphy, 2/09/01 12:21AM  

Following are a few comments I have on the draft report.
1.  I strongly believe the allotment/price support system should be maintained.  I agree it needs some revisions, but getting rid of the quota in total would be a huge mistake in my opinion.
2. I believe that allotments should be leasable/transferable across county and state lines.  I have never understood the purpose of the present restrictions.  I believe this would help both the quota owners and growers over the long term.
3. I have little faith that direct contracting between the growers and the tobacco companies would be beneficial to the growers.  I agree with the comments from two economists in the draft report that contracting would result in an immediate transfer of $500 million annually from the growers to the tobacco companies.  This direct contracting would be even more dangerous to the growers if the contracting is outside of the quota system. 
4.  I also believe some form of buyout by the government of the quotas makes sense for everyone.  Perhaps this could start with a buyout of the pounds that have been cut from the quotas over the last 5 years.  This could be funded from the government and tobacco companies.  The farmers deserve a larger share of the 250 billion than the 5 billion seta aside under Phase 2.
I grew up on a tobacco farm in North Florida and my brother has leased his quota during the last 3 years.  The first year he leased it (1998) was the first time that tobacco was not grown on the family farm by either my brother, my father, or my grandfather, covering a continuous period of over 75 years.
Thanks for considering my comments.
Stan Murphy
4102 West Culbreath Ave.
Tampa FL 33609
813 218 4118