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Senior Contributor

A message for ALL farmers

Like him or not, has YOUR favorite network addressed this? If you farm, you NEED to watch this!

30 Replies
BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: A message for ALL farmers

GTO, if the object of government farm programs were to keep family farms in business, then farm programs have been an abject failure.  In the 1980`s the greedest of greedy, the crookedest of crooked farmers got in what does the government do in their wisdom?  Why they write-off their debts of course, now instead of screwing nuts onto bolts in a factory, them fcukers are out buying $15,000 land, because nature wasn`t allowed to take her course 30 yrs ago.  There never was meaningful "farm program caps" Grassley tried for it, but the crooked big shots got around it with multiple entities collecting the maximum.


What killed farming is technology, the "unabomber" kind of has that right.  The big shot in the 1990`s had his belly full at 2,000 acres, cause it all had to be cultivated 2 times...enter Roundup Ready seed and Voila! a couple times over with a 120` sprayer will keep the weeds down better than the most meticulous cultivator operator ...Farming is fun!!   Yeee Haw!   except the run of the mill farmer will never afford the 690s with a 16 row cornhead that they drool over at the farm shows, funny that is never put in a commercial.


Whether Boehner and the "evil" Repubs pass a farm bill has nothing to do with the survival of farmers at this point.  Small farmers like me have a owned land base and can chuckle at "$800 rent" we don`t pay it and indirectly we are riding the tsunami that it has created..Smiley Very Happy   The only thing that will save the family farm is one day when corn does go back to $2 and the big shot is stuck with his $15,000 land that he is making payments on with after-tax dollars..the government needs to step back and let him take his medicine.  Then perhaps small farmers will get an opportunity to start their own farms, `til then lay back and enjoy it.

Re: A message for ALL farmers

BA - it was never the intention of USDA or our government to keep family farms alive, it was because of their policies that killed smaller farmers. Instead of sending our farmers to Siberia like Stalin did the Kulaks, they drove them to financial ruin, and cheap food policies where grain farmers were allowed a meager existence and received a payoff with Pik certificates, on farm storage fees, direct payments, CCC loans and Federal Crop Insurance.  


If anything has destroyed family farming (which many consider "child abuse" if you try to keep a kid in farming", it was Federal Crop Insurance and CRP.  Federal Crop has accomplished its objective, pushing up rents, enabling large farming operations to farm marginal ground that would not ever be farmed without that guarantee.  


With the Federal Crop enactment, "risk of loss" was eliminated if one could configure their farming operation to break even and cover equipment leases or costs.  After the farm crisis, the group of farmers that took over from those of us who went bust in the 80's, were a group among whom are many friends of mine now in their 50's, who decided they did not want to own land like my genertation did, they just wanted to control it.  


All they needed was a new line of leased equipment, Pioneer financing on their seed, and a Co-op to finance the remaining inputs, and even the cash rent they needed to expand farming operations.  


But . . . what happened to them . . . is what always happens to those "who do not know their limitations", they ended up in a "cost price squeeze", to such a point they even had to have living expenses included in the loan which financed inputs and land rents.   Well as time went on, they found out that they were wearing out their equipment and paying off the land they found for lawyers and doctors to purchase so they could then lease it from them.  


But the big thing that hit many of them was the low prices for the commodities, then the short crop years, where debt had to be rolled, and finally most of them ran into a problem with the USDA program designed to protect their farming operations . . . Federal Crop Insurance.  


Most of the farmers I know who have gone bust over the past ten years, had Federal Crop Insurance denying claims on their operations, which placed them on the skids towards bankruptcy.  


Many of them were big enough operations to take on the USDA drones sitting in Kansas City who they had to sue to get to federal court and maybe four years later win, and give a third of their judgement to their lawyer.  


When an indemnity of $500,000 or more is withheld from a farming operation by Federal Crop and must be litigated, that farmer is effectively out of business and the only remedy is to jump into Chapter 11 for the protections its offers large farming operations during reorganization and during litigation. (see Grabanski North Dakota)


When grain prices fall (and they will) you may not see the loss of some land as we did in the 80's, but you will see a lot of green equipment being taken back to dealers, land leases being cancelled, and your "farmer owned Co-op (cough, cough) taking the hit for the in credit extended these operations.  



But . . . there is one other event that could collapse this house of cards, drive down land costs, values, credit lines, and equipment purchases, and trigger a boat load of farm bankruptcies, and that is place a limit on land that can be covered by Federal Crop insurance like 500 acres or what ever number one wants to choose.


If that happens you will see the marginal land going unfarmed and returning to a use for which it is best suited, you will also see an opportunity again for younger farmers or anyone wanting to farm to get into agriculture which they are now prevented from doing because of the Federal Crop Insurance Guarantee's. 


Of course, whe scenairo I have presented will never occur, because too many non farmers in high places benefit from the CRP which was never meant to benefit them but the farmers going down the tubes during the farm depression of the 80's.


The one other thing that needs to be eliminated, or restricted to "farmers only" is the CRP.  If that program was no longer subsidized for non farmers, that land would return to its natural use, pasture, hay ground, or for use in a crop rotation.


But there are too many non farmers feeding at the USDA trough so most farmers are frozen out of programs or the opportunity to get started in farming. 


Great rant!   Adios Amigo. John



BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: A message for ALL farmers

You are 100% correct Faust, these "farm programs" are cheap food policy pure and simple...nothing at all about keeping the 500 acre, 50 sow, 40 cow family from Altoona in business.  But GTO and Ed Schultz are still to this day in twenty and thirteen are saying "evil Republicans are destroying the family farm because they are playing politics with the farm bill!!"  ...Poppycock!! If I lived in  a big city, I`d be lobbying for a farmbill big time because I`d want to be damned sure that all farmers were on deck to plant every inch of the projected 100 million acres of corn, that and rain is the only shot of food prices staying in check.


A very good friend of mine`s family had hard times in the 80`s.  They tried every scheme in the book like try to pay off debt with "1 silver dollar", they were hooked up with a outfit called the "Cosmos"sp? that blamed the Jews and stuff like that.  I tried to tell my friend as gently as one can "Take the deal, the bank`ll write off your debt, that`s not a bad deal really" he was bullheaded"Aw them damned hook-nosed crooks just want to sell my note to the FHA and git me off their books"...well to get your debt written off and sent to FHA for cheap interest..   But anyway he fought his case to the Iowa supreme court 2,3 lawyers dropped his case so he fought it on his own.  He did good, but lost in the end.  It has a happy ending, he was able to buy a really nice 400 acres in central Minnesota with no money down, in the early 90`s when land was really cheap up there.  His farm value has went straight up every yr since then.   Had he stayed in God`s country as I had nudged him, he still might be slaughing it out.  Moral: It`s better to be lucky than smart, sometimes. 

Red Steele
Veteran Advisor

Re: A message for ALL farmers

True conservatives either want nothing to do with the federal farm programs, or an extremely scaled down version that targets aid to a set amount of acres or bushels. Only those fools that think a benevolent government does everything right and only is a cause of good believes in the bloated farm programs we currently have.


I know, I know.....I should not take any federal benefits while my comrades use my tax dollars to get theirs, but I don't operate that way. I would rather get the discount on my federal tax dollars and use that money for good in my own way. I might be for world peace, also, but I also believe in having the best armies.


That is the way I roll.


I would love to see rural communities full of small farmers again, and land owned by the people that farm it hands on. That is what creates a vibrant democracy.

Senior Contributor

Great post Faust and BA

I agree with everything you said, want small farms to return take away the crop insurance. This is why I chuckled at the Dodge commercial during the super bowl. The commercial should have talked about the greedy welfare whores 50% of us have become/

Senior Advisor

A cheap food [policy?

or a high production objective. Wanting acres planted is far different than wanting cheap prices. Cheap prices could be produced by price controls without the farm program outlays.

BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: A cheap food [policy?

Smiley Very Happy   Price controls??? Are you serious???  Someone in the Sandhills of Nebraska or a river bottom farm on the Missouri is going to plant corn if the government tells them that the best they can hope for is 5 bucks????   Where would the 100 million corn acres come from, if there wasn`t an outside chance of getting 8 bucks??? 

Senior Advisor

Re: A cheap food [policy?

@kraft-t wrote:

or a high production objective. Wanting acres planted is far different than wanting cheap prices. Cheap prices could be produced by price controls without the farm program outlays.

Only thing that would produce is empty shelves. That sounds like a Krugman plan.

Re: A cheap food [policy?

Methinks, don, from the early responses you've recieved to this post and from what I am experiencing locally and across various media and social networks that the late Mr. Harvey's grossly outdated tribute has inspired a new level of rightous and "Don't you know who we are!?" laced indignation amongst the faux cow milkers and avian conservatinists.