Comments on: Republicans back agribusiness with the farm bill Wed, 30 Jul 2014 19:10:25 +0000 hourly 1 By: COindependent Mon, 15 Jul 2013 14:05:47 +0000 A couple of things to clarify as the author’s remarks are not totally accurate.

Crop insurance typically offers protections for things beyond the farmers control–e.g. hail damage in Colorado. It may insure against drought, but the farmer has to make a reasonable effort to grow the crop–i.e. he has to plant and use the water available to start the crop, (i.e. he must spend the money to secure the coverage). The insurance payments effectively cover the cost of the crop in the ground. And the coverage is based on the average yield over five years.

The USDA subsidies do very little for the independent farm operator. Most subsidies cover a very small portion of the costs of production. In Colorado, the typical farmer files a claim about every eight years. So the cost of the insurance subsidy is more often recovered than not. It’s not an easy decision, due to the cost of the insurance (very dissimilar to that of homeowners or vehicle insurance).

As a farm operator I can state that the USDA is a financial disaster. At a time when farm revenues and profits are at record highs, there is not any need for subsidies. Corn and wheat are double what they were five years ago, and although the costs of fertilizer and seed are up as well, profits are unprecedented in the industry. As stated, much of the subsidies are politically motivated (see Grassely in Iowa, or the Florida senators supporting sugar subsidies). We can buy sugar at lower cost internationally than the prices we subsidize. We also subsidize corporate farms and ethanol from corn–which was not what the original programs were intended to do. This is pure politics and totally disassociated from economics.

For one reason or another farmers are considered a protected vocation, and many farmers are just poor businessmen. The good farmers know how to run a business, and they run it well. But with land prices where they are, as a result of QE, a good farmer cannot afford to buy out poor farmer, as the economics of $6000/acre land cannot work.

If government got out of the ag business, other than to promote exports, all farmers would be better off.

By: ptiffany Sun, 14 Jul 2013 17:55:29 +0000 It should be obvious to any moderately intelligent observer that the Plutocracy now runs Congress. Nothing is passed that doesn’t benefit them.
The One Percenters Rule!

By: Des3Maisons Sun, 14 Jul 2013 12:33:06 +0000 The big moneyed interests are always well taken care of by the corporate prostitutes in the U.S. Congress while the people who are paying for all of this largess get nothing except the bill. The Senate voted 27-71 to reject an amendment to allow states to require genetically modified foods to be labeled as such. We are not even allowed to control what goes into our own bodies. The Senate voted for Monsanto to use us all as guinea pigs for their biotech experiments and Monsanto will certainly show their appreciation by filling the appropriate campaign war chests.

By: Samrch Sat, 13 Jul 2013 23:16:15 +0000 If average American is over weight and the farmers are exporting. Why the subsidy?

Why cut the poor? But religion aside in most cities housing not food is the big expense for the poor. They can run up a big food bill course if they ready made junk food at high prices and too much meat. But is had to match the rent bill.

By: 2Borknot2B Sat, 13 Jul 2013 17:56:21 +0000 You realize that much of this money goes to Monsanto Corporation. The very one that is poisoning the world and all the animals and people who eat their GMO crap. The same Corporation who just became immune from the Law. When people find out what they have been eating from this evil act of genetic manipulation, they will be furious. The harm is almost indescribable.