Alabama farmer discusses president's $12B supplemental package

Bryan Henry looks into AL farmer reaction to $12 billion farm aid
Published: Jul. 26, 2018 at 2:59 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 26, 2018 at 3:26 PM CDT
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AUTAUGA CO., AL (WSFA) - Early Thursday morning, one of Harold Gaines' two sons drove a 5-ton sprayer to protect the cotton, all 950 acres of it. It's a major part of staying in business - which this third generation farmer finds increasingly difficult - as the United States continues its trade war with China. President Donald Trump said China made more than $500 billion off of the United States last year.

"The trade war between the U.S. and China are affecting innocent bystanders and I am one of them," said Gaines.

Gaines is already feeling the financial squeeze and his two sons are considering getting out of the business at the end of crop season. The family not only produces cotton, but peanuts as well, along with 175 heads of cattle.

Still, as the financial war grinds on, you won't hear Harold Gaines complaining. He applauds the $12 billion farm aid that will serve as a bridge until something gets worked out.

"You've got to stop the bleeding before you can operate on the patient. If he [President Trump] negotiates in the U.S. favor, in years to come it will pay dividends," Gaines said.

Still unclear is how the $12 billion will be spread out. American farmers won't know until September. In the meantime, Harold Gaines says he doesn't spend a whole lot time worrying about it. He'll just take it one day at a time on the farm like he's done for so many years.

"We will come through this and come out stronger on the other side," he said.

Just like he did with the Great Recession 10 years ago and so many other cycles and weather challenges before that. It's all part of rolling with it on the land.

ALFA has publicly stated it 'welcomes' the farm aid from the White House, calling it a 'short-term fix' until a long term deal is worked out.

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