tobacco buy out and alternative crops - B H  Casey, 3/13/01 2:29PM  

Too make a long story short, there is no other crop that can consistently replace tobacco's revenue for the farmer. The program has kept the value of a pound of tobacco up so that we can grow it profitably, but now we with the master settlement with the states and other impending lawsuits this program is failing to do what its intention is ( that is to stabilize production of tobacco ). The best thing to do, in my opinion, is to buy out the quota owner and pay the farmer a settlement to offset his loss as well. As for alternative crops, what do you do ? Come up with another crop or crops and start another government program that will face scrutiny in the future? Because any crop grown without price support and production control will not provide stable income to the farmer. So again, I'm in favor of a buyout of the system even if it means an increase in taxes on tobacco products. If a producer wants to continue to grow tobacco, he should give up at least half of his settlement and be issued  permit to grow tobacco for what ever amount he can contract with a company. What this means is that there would be no limit as to how much he could grow except for his contract.

Thank you for your time,

B H Casey
young tobacco farmer