RALEIGH, N.C. -- Farm advocates and North Carolina members of Congress are trying to stop a projected cut in the final annual payment to those who held the right to grow tobacco until a price-support system was eliminated nearly 10 years ago.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it's preparing participants in the Tobacco Transition Payment Program for a more than 7 percent reduction in 2014 payments because of automatic spending cuts ascribed by Congress.
The sequestration cuts are likely to affect North Carolina most because it's the No. 1 state for flue-cured tobacco production. The value of the cuts is unclear. North Carolina was projected to receive $3.9 billion in payments over the decade.
North Carolina lawmakers argue sequestration shouldn't apply to the payments because they aren't coming from direct tax dollars.