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Veteran Advisor

Farm policy agenda for a Democratic supermajority

Which would be in an almost unique position where it would owe almost nothing to "agriculture", having received a very small percentage of votes from the small and dwindling farm bloc.

But I think they should be stern but generous overlords.

First would be the elimination of all of the market transition payments but that balanced with serious efforts for fairer trade and a good general business environment. Then it would just be a matter of timing- the question isn't if, it is when- the long term business model assures that a bailout will be needed sooner or later. At that point I would offer generous payments almost 100% based on green incentives, including buffering every ditch and stream bank and other practices such as cover crops. I'd immediately throw a lot of money into cover crop research, GMOs in particular.

I would absolutely hew to a near 15bgy ethanol target- something this administration has not- and would look ahead to how to maintain that as liquid fuel consumption declines. 

I'd tie payments to the practices but no particular crop as long as the green incentives are met.

Some farms are currenly going out of business and some would under that transition but for the most part owners of government farming franchises would enjoy the multi-generational ride for another generation.

 

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23 Replies
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Honored Advisor

Here`s your Democrat supermajority

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

It is most certainly the prerogative of the majority to decide if and on what terms they choose to provide financial support for "agriculture".

Linking financial support to green incentives rather than the current industro agricultural desert model needn't be particularly onerous but would make some people unhappy that they'd be forced to make some minor changes.

The key is making it lucrative enought that few can afford to not comply.

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Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

Would your neighbor BTO with the good looking kids, and 3000 acres to manage get the same payment as you do with your 80 acres?  Or would he get less or nothing? Maybe there could be some land redistribution scheme, too? I think Sanders and Warren have that as a goal. Newsflash, though....you won't even have an 80 if that happens.....divide the arable land in America by the number of people here and report back.

Farm policy has been a mess for all of my adult lifetime, and government certainly does not seem to provide all of the answers.  Having said that though, the ethanol policies in America have enabled a lot of us to live comfortable lives, and it certainly has been a part of why Trump has the leverage now to pull out of the ME quagmire.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

Roopster's WSJ says that he killed the General to keep some of the hawkish GOP Senators in super fawning mode during impeachment. Sorry to rain on you peacenik parade, but there were some nice rainbows and unicorns there for a minute.

If you read my comments I'm actually more staunchly pro-ethanol as a matter of policy than the fossil fuel swamp lobbyists in the current administration, my previous criticisms of the scope of the original ethanol program notwithstanding.

Tryin' to throw you a bone here. Dems will owe you nothing other than the best general governance they can muster. Which I'm sure would be disappointing at times.

But some of them still do governance and policy vs. the all politics and ideology, all the time, presently in place.

 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

Farm  News  editor ,  Iowan ,  Rick  Friday,  seems  to  have  stirred  up  a  conversation  on   the  press  freedoms , with  his  mention  of  AG  potential  income$  and  profiet'$  -  -  -

Meanwhile,    m f p  =   more  financial  planning   -  maybe  ?    

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Honored Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

One issue that R`s & D`s kind of agreed on was energy independence and here we attained that goal and a slough of different actors aren`t exactly happy about it.  The easiest call was "crush baby crush" on Ethanol when oil was $150 and gas was $4 at the pump. but now we may never see $70 oil or $3 gas again in our lifetimes.   Many of the niches that made sense in a "peak oil" environment, now are tough calls if you be brutally honest.    I know the star quarterback going down to second string isn`t pleasant, but that`s how fast things change.

 

Obama rarely/never mentioned agriculture.  Then there was Sheila Jackson Lee telling farmers they "couldn`t combine on dusty days"  and if their dog peed in the yard that became a "navigable stream subject to the Waters of the US" and some bureaucrat in Des Moines was emboldened to sue counties in Iowa for "putting nitrogen in their water supply".   So MFP payments and goodies aside, the last administration was tone deaf to the "bitter clingers" in rural America.   Soif there`s temporary insanity among voters in 2020 and a Dem does get in, why would we not expect what we had from the previous administration?

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

Time to re-green rural America away from the post ethanol insect apocalypse desert that it has become.

Most direct way is to spend a lot of money- actually would get something out of it other than just buying off voter defections (of a very small bloc) to overcompensate for trade losses, and keeping the corporate overlords happy.

Not a very efficient way to get money to rural America any more but still a lot easier than fighting endless court battles over property rights and such. Just pay for it.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

I do have to say that your grievances are far worse than the Israelites having to make bricks without straw.

But if the money is right you'll sign up.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Here`s your Democrat supermajority

$200/acre across 250M crop acres is $50B a year- not anything approaching orders of magnitude above what we're spending to cover for a trade debacle.

That would be spread across a number of different programs from higher payments on permanent diversions of high value land to payments for specific cropping practices, improvements etc.

There's be plenty of grain to feed the domestic "industries" and anything else could be exported.

If Corteva and Syngenta sell 5% less seed and chem, I don't care, although they'll just raise their prices since that isn't a free market- just as the fertilizer oligopoly isn't.

A conversation for another time.

 

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