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Veteran Advisor

Do we need American Agriculture ?

After looking over some market comments, and the sunny outlook that market to market give this friday, maybe the question

to ponder is.......do we need american agriculture ?

 

What does it mean when the market is at or below the levels of the cost of production ???

 

it means, the market doesn't want it (or at that price)......so if the market does not want it.......since they are offering

a low price, and we are constantly told there is plenty of grain in the world.....again, we are told.....too much grain......

it must go lower........

 

so, with that strong message from the market....and the people in the market.......do we really need american agriculture

anymore ?

 

We're told huge crops around the world.......

 

i guess we need to shut down american agriculture.....we are no longer needed, they can do it cheaper and better

overseas, and they can produce more than we can.

 

what should we do with our equipment ?

 

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21 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

"What should we do with our equipment?'  I would tell the banker where it's sitting, then go to bar and start buying rounds for all.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

I think the world needs American agriculture, the trouble is the farmer is the low man on the totem pole of the whole Ponzi scheme.  Fertilizer, seed companies base their prices off of good grain prices and are so greedy and spoiled they are too slow to lower their prices when grain prices turn down.  I suppose out partly out of fear that in case grain went up they`d miss one year in scalping the farmer and partly because they built new facilities and now have a high cost of production themselves and since they are "price setters" they just don`t lower they prices accordingly.

 

History doesn`t repeat, but it rhymes Britain had "Corn Laws" 1815-46 where grain prices were supported.  Tariffs were in place to prevent foreign grain from flooding their market...today of course "tariffs" are a dirty word, but farmers had it good.  The factory owners wanted cheap food so that they could pay their workers less, so in the late 1840`s the Corn Laws were reppealed.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corn_Laws 

 

 

A party called the "anti corn law party" got the Corn Law repealed and disbanded there after with their members going on into other liberal political activism and free trade...of course they did  Smiley Very Happy  

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Corn_Law_League 

 

 

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Senior Contributor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

What about my son who invested 10 years of his life do? He bought a little on the high side but is making payments. If he sold out he would be short ....

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Senior Advisor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

Well 247 - I guess he could aways call Obama and get a free phone - then get a good tan and say he's mexican then  " speak no english " and get free health care - so it shouldn't take much to live on  , also he won't have to pay no taxs if he don't renew his license - get an account in his new home and then send the money there and retire by the time he's 45 Smiley Happy

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Honored Advisor

Yes and no

The first volume shelved with my farming books in this farm office is "The End of Agriculture in the American Portfolio" by Steven C. Blanks.  It is copyrighted 1998, so this question has been afloat at least that long.  If you haven't read it, I suggest you do.

 

I guess I keep it there as a sort of ominous reminder that we are not the be-all and end-all of the American economy we once were.  We are no longer all that and a bag of chips, I suppose. 

 

Still, we do contribute to the balance of trade on exports. There are those pockets on the map where agriculture is still the driving force of the local economy, even if that is just by support program payments. 

 

I still think of agriculture as a national security issue.  As long as we can eat and feed the population, we can maintain a certain level of order.  Hungry people are very undisciplined. 

 

We have already seen the folly of being too energy dependent.  Food dependence would be a recipe for total social chaos and national vulnerability, in my mind. 

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Advisor

Re: Yes and no

During the 80's Midwestern "farm crisis" my sister, who lives in the suburban Twin Cities, reported that her friends and neighbors couldn't understand what all the fuse was about because whenever they travelled through the countryside there were crops growing in every field. 

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Advisor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

I'm not sure the basic neoliberal view of "agriculture" that's held sway the last 75 years isn't totally flawed.

 

I suppose you can freeze things at any point and grant permanent tenancy and an unlimited public purse to whomever is "agriculture" at that moment.  But you'd have to pass laws to keep the remnant from bidding land past  breakeven and input oligolpolies from gouging.

 

Get back to me on that.

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Advisor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

If you ask me I'd simply walk away from any public support of agriculture, large or small. Leave the ethanol mandate in place and let the market decide what it wants beyond that (and quit subsidizing oil as well).

 

But I'd also unload a 12 gauge into the ceiling tiles to wake up the folks in the anti-trust department of the DOJ.

 

 

Honored Advisor

Re: Do we need American Agriculture ?

That would be good, but it can`t happen.  Too many multi-billion dollar conglomerates have their fingers in the cookie jar, plus they have us indentured sevants also known as farmers that are willing to put it all on the line every year and even take on a town job for the pleasure.  Farming is so much fun that instead of retiring at 65, some farmers will die with their boots on at 80 mauled by a orney cow.  With what little carrots the government has to dangle to get that kind of loyalty from it`s slaves, you just don`t give up.

 

And since everything these days is made of corn, having cheap corn equals cheap food.  Politicians get by with alot of crap when the people`s bellies are full.

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