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Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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Let's say you are a 2000 acre crop farmer with a few hundred owned acres and a pretty well heeled balance sheet.

 

In you area there are several 5 to 20,000 operations, also now VERY well heeled.

 

From a long term competitive point of view, are you better off if the government gives generous crop insurance subsidies to all with no cap?

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Senior Advisor

Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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Well, Nox, I once was a 160 acre sized  farmer trying to operate with zero land owned, zero federal subsidies, and surrounded by 2000 acre farmers that grabbed every benefit known to mankind for their farm operations. Besides  debt writeoffs ( and putting their folks , uncles, daughters, etc on every subsidy they could,  from EIC, welfare  and food stamps for the daughters , to county paid nursing home expenses for the folks, whiles still being "big shots".) So I would guess you could determine my answer to that question.

 

Now that I am one of the "2000 acre" type farmers myself,  drawing subsidies such as crop insurance and program benefits, I still see myself surrounded by guys farming several times what I farm, and reaping several times the subsidies. The current form of "no limit" subsidized crop insurance will drive out ,or keep out. scores of young  wannabe farmers from the business as the small guy cannot compete with the huge dollars of subsidies that flow to the large operations.

 

It was never a question of if the land would get farmed, without subsidies it would still have. It  seems to have  long been the unseen goal of farm policy to consolidate US farms into the last 20,000 standing, to make for efficient socialized agriculture. Stalin did it with murders and Siberian exiles. The USA has done it much more humanely with subsidies and dog-eat-dog competition. Realistically, I doubt that my operation will be one of the last 20,000 still standing when private land ownership ceases. There are a lot of non-farming Americans that already identify more with Chavez than with George Washington or Thomas Jefferson when it comes to private property rights.

 

 

Senior Advisor

Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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I agree completely with Red Steele.  The government needs to get out of subsidizing agriculture, as VR Buck keeps saying never bet against the American farmer as they will always grow a crop.  Besides the government can't decide which way they would rather have it, they subsidize some to farm and some not to farm (crp).

 

 

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Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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Hi WCMO,

 

I put you down as the solution, I guess because you agree with ME, lol.

 

I've floated the notion of scaled or capped subsidies here repeatedly with few takers.

 

In the end it looks like FB and other farm lobbies are going after getting pretty much a continuation of the current subsidy system with token cuts so that is probably what we'll have, even if it bad public policy. Like there's something new there.

 

FWIW, in another life I recall being part of a FB policy session and a number of farmers were talking about the need for government programs to start young farmers. I suggested that maybe it would be cheaper and more efficient to just quit subsidizing old farmers.

 

Don't recall a lot of takers on that one either.

 

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Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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BTW, actually not a philosophical question- much more a very practical question. I was just trying to present it in a way that isn't about the politics of getting ours as it is about the real world competitive dynamic in the countryside.

 

But the government has created a government sponsired and backed "industry" in crop isnurance which now is a beast that will demand to be fed. They will want the full subsidy on all acres, regardless.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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I`ve never met a crop ins agent that didn`t scream "poverty!" yet they seem to live pretty well. The ins companies have lawmakers by the short hairs, whether it`s crops or the "seatbelt law" where they didn`t want to be the ones to tell their customers to "buckle up".   On farm programs, Grassley and Harkin tried for years to have payment limits on subsidies, but the Foghorn Leghorns down south wanted that big rice and cotton subs.  The simple solution of course would`ve been have a low cap on corn subs and let the Leghorns get their $3 million/yr subs, if that`s what they had to have.  As far as crop insurance subsidies I will support a hard cap on anyone with 1 acre more than I Smiley Happy

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Re: Philosophical question on crop insurance subsidies

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I would actually support an elimination of both the DP and crop insurance subsidies but that is just me, and isn't going to happen.

 

On crop insurance, let the government act as a revenue neutral re-insurer.

 

There are regional commodity lobies, the insurance companies where as I've mentioned, we've now created a permanent and powerful lobby with both front feet in the federal trough.

 

I'm not sure I even care a lot other than to have fun making fun of folks who are sure they have all the answers about how to fix the country but will give you a million talking points about why they, but not others, deserve government support. And why they shouldn't have to pay taxes but the budget should be balanced immediately.

Senior Advisor

Re: How any capitalist

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can endorse subsidies of any kind is beyond me. By definition they believe in the "market" doing all the deciding as to who stays in business. If you need crop insurance, you need to budget for it or limit your5 isk by other measures. Such as not planting in  a swamp or in a desert. Or drain the swamp and irrigate the desert.

 

As far as the current subsidy of crop insurance, it does treat you fairly. You are allowed to expand and your crop insurance expands with you. Whether you have a hundred acres or 10,000.  It doesn't give the big guy an advantage because you get the same advantagenon your small acres as you will that thousand acres you wll farm next year? Where is the inequality in that?

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Re: How any capitalist

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Ha, ha, coming from you, Don.

 

I'm not arguing what's fair with mommy. It is sort of like all the good republicans over at forum arguing on behalf of the misunderstood slaveholders and Mr. Lincoln's unconstitutional treatment of those poor fellers. I was saying fair smare, as an independent farmer or laborer my labor is devalued by permitting other people to own slaves and I say off with their heads.

 

Likewise here- I don't care what's fair- all parties in this can argue 'til dawn about what's fair. I care what is in "my" interest which I think would be no crop insurance subsidy first and given that the politics won't support that then cap or scale it.  Or just cut it 3/4 is OK too.

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