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hardnox604008
Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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I don't think there's any evidence that a 15,000 acre operator will produce any more per acre or on the marginal acre than a couple or three family members farming 2000 acres together. 

 

More power to the 15,000 acre frmer, I just don't see why we should subsidize him more than the smaller guy.

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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@hardnox604008 wrote:

I don't buy the argument. 

 

The markets will take care of getting crops planted, now we're just talking about protecting the balance sheets of owners and operators if there is a downward adjustment in crop prices.

 

Which the government has always done and continues to do but it is a good reason why crop farmers and landowners  are the last people who should be complaining about government programs, not that it is even going to slow them down a bit.

 

I also don't see anything at all unfair about capping each entity at something like $20k subsidy. Particularly as to your argument- if somebody decides to not rent the ground without the subsidy there is oodles and oodles of capacity out there ready to step in and plant a crop.  

 

 


The country would be much better off if there were no USDA.The market works eveytime it's tried.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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Yes, "the markets would take care of themselves".......but, there goes the cheap corn/food.  Okay, if I`m sitting in North Dakota on the edge of "no man`s land", in 5 years I might get 1 year with a 200 bu corn, 1 year I might get 80 bushel, 1 year I might get 20 bushel, the other 2 years I might dry out/freeze out.  Now, if I don`t get affordable insurance, why should I plant?  If I don`t plant, can the USDA find that coveted "96 million corn acres" that drives the price of corn down? 

 

If I`m a Bigshot that has to pay $70/acre for insurance instead of the now "$30/acre" can I afford $300 seedcorn that gets me 250 bu/acre?

 

I totally agree that a small farmer "can" raise higher yielding crops than Bigshots, Francis Childs raised over 500 bu/acre corn, he only farmed 300 acres, planted it with a old Cyclops planter...he had time to baby his crop that Bigshots don`t and his yield was never equaled.

 

However, small being more efficient in a Big vs small contest only works in theory.  when fencelines are ripped out, big fields and technology can be afforded that small farmers can`t...even owning a combine on less than 800 acres is tough these days.

 

I fully understand that Bigshots have alot of prevented acres in this area this year, mudholes and 36 row planters on land spread out over 3 counties doesn`t mix well in a wet spring.  The guy with 300 contiguous acres could roll out of bed and plant with his 8 row planter within a half day window, where as the Bigshot maybe would drive the 30 miles to the one fit farm only to get rained out on arrival.

 

In my opinion, the government should`ve never started with any programs, if they were as advertised "to save the family farm" they were a dismal failure.  But no one listens to me  🙂 I just play the hand that I`m dealt.

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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@BA Deere wrote:

Yes, "the markets would take care of themselves".......but, there goes the cheap corn/food.  Okay, if I`m sitting in North Dakota on the edge of "no man`s land", in 5 years I might get 1 year with a 200 bu corn, 1 year I might get 80 bushel, 1 year I might get 20 bushel, the other 2 years I might dry out/freeze out.  Now, if I don`t get affordable insurance, why should I plant?  If I don`t plant, can the USDA find that coveted "96 million corn acres" that drives the price of corn down? 

 

If I`m a Bigshot that has to pay $70/acre for insurance instead of the now "$30/acre" can I afford $300 seedcorn that gets me 250 bu/acre?

 

I totally agree that a small farmer "can" raise higher yielding crops than Bigshots, Francis Childs raised over 500 bu/acre corn, he only farmed 300 acres, planted it with a old Cyclops planter...he had time to baby his crop that Bigshots don`t and his yield was never equaled.

 

However, small being more efficient in a Big vs small contest only works in theory.  when fencelines are ripped out, big fields and technology can be afforded that small farmers can`t...even owning a combine on less than 800 acres is tough these days.

 

I fully understand that Bigshots have alot of prevented acres in this area this year, mudholes and 36 row planters on land spread out over 3 counties doesn`t mix well in a wet spring.  The guy with 300 contiguous acres could roll out of bed and plant with his 8 row planter within a half day window, where as the Bigshot maybe would drive the 30 miles to the one fit farm only to get rained out on arrival.

 

In my opinion, the government should`ve never started with any programs, if they were as advertised "to save the family farm" they were a dismal failure.  But no one listens to me  🙂 I just play the hand that I`m dealt.


So do I. But it is nice to dream once in a while.

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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Well put BA.

 

The cheap corn explanation is as good as I have ever seen.

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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@sw363535 wrote:

Well put BA.

 

The cheap corn explanation is as good as I have ever seen.


But the government should not be in the business to provide cheap corn. Market manipulation at it's finest. If the government is manipulating the market then it is also picking winners and losers.

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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

Re: Policies to benefit rural America

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Especiallly in a free market economy, the big guy will within 10 years be moving to mostly autonomous equipment that will be controlled by a computer program.  This is the grain farmer.  He will buy inputs by the semi load.  Service companies will fill his planter and haul his grain, all the back work and unskilled labor stuff.  He'll need some labor but nothing like the amount it would take to run a bunch of 500 acre farms.

Livestock operations will also automate (like automatic dairies) but they will usually still need some labor.

The small farmer will become a niche farmer and will be unlikely to be able to gain in size in a conventional farm manner.  If daddy buys him a farm, he may be OK but otherwise he'd better take out a subscription to Mother Earth News.

A lot of the arguments about farm policy will simply go away as many of us older farmers are out of the picture in 10-15 years whetherh we like it or not.  We can't dictate from the grave.

 

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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Sorry to disagree but I do, r3020.

 

Ideally us libertarians would like to see government at its least.  But the very act of governing requires guiding, detering, and facilitating.

Picking winners and loosers is the reality of leadership.  It is done through the ballet box and from the congressional seat.

 

Recent examples ----- right or wrong

Wind and organic energy has been chosen to be the winner and coal energy has been chosen to be the looser.

 

Electric auto, or some combination there of, has been chosen to be the winner and diesel auto has been chosen to be the looser.

 

The internet has been chosen to be the new form of communication for government activity and the printed and written communication has been chosen to be the looser.

 

Cellulostic ethanol has been chosen to be the winner....................................................................

Large banks are chosen to be the winners while small locally owned banks not so much.

Ted Roosevelt chose to go after large companies with what he considered unfair advantage.

Packing plants for horses were deemed loosers

Congress loves the process and we expect it.

 

---------------------------------------

If anyone assumes leadership he has to pick winners and loosers.

 

 

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r3020
Senior Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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@sw363535 wrote:

Sorry to disagree but I do, r3020.

 

Ideally us libertarians would like to see government at its least.  But the very act of governing requires guiding, detering, and facilitating.

Picking winners and loosers is the reality of leadership.  It is done through the ballet box and from the congressional seat.

 

Recent examples ----- right or wrong

Wind and organic energy has been chosen to be the winner and coal energy has been chosen to be the looser.

 

Electric auto, or some combination there of, has been chosen to be the winner and diesel auto has been chosen to be the looser.

 

The internet has been chosen to be the new form of communication for government activity and the printed and written communication has been chosen to be the looser.

 

Cellulostic ethanol has been chosen to be the winner....................................................................

Large banks are chosen to be the winners while small locally owned banks not so much.

Ted Roosevelt chose to go after large companies with what he considered unfair advantage.

Packing plants for horses were deemed loosers

Congress loves the process and we expect it.

 

---------------------------------------

If anyone assumes leadership he has to pick winners and loosers.

 

 


The only role of government is to see that everyone receives equal protection under the rule of law. When government picks a winner they destroy someone else. No one should be forced to compete against the unlimited resources of the federal government.

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: Recipe for cheap food, Nox.

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Hey 3020, there are issues in which politicians seemingly, inexplicably agree upon regardless of their political party.  Farm policy and trade are a couple of those issues (there are other "social issues" that I`m sure the moderators will thank me for not mentioning here 😉  ).  But `think tanks` come up with their version of what is "best" for society in the future and that becomes repeated often enough that it`s believed like the Law of Gravity.

 

Free trade, borderless countries, being the world`s policeman.  And farm policy, think tanks are doing their version of looking out for the 99% that benefits from cheap food, I suppose their official statement would be something like "people don`t revolt with a full stomach", there`s more time for innovation when there`s food security within a country (Steve Jobs couldn`t have done what he done with Apple if he was worried about his next meal. 

 

Now, to bring about this food secure, utopia a all out strive to over produce food and have perpetual surplus carryover each year.  Now guys like "Earl" (in my above rant 🙂 )cropping half his acres and not even maximizing those acres with the latest technology has to be politely shown the door.  And the testosterone driven farmers with new paint and alot of acres are seen as needed to be encouraged.  Those are the "winners" that are picked if you will.   They got in trouble in the 80`s and the taxpayers wrote-off their debt, there never was a meaningful farm payment limitations, multiple entities were a open secret loophole, a wink and nod cheating certainly wasn`t discouraged at the old "ASCS office".   

 

If a vote that a common sense $250,000 payment limit had ever been put on the ballot for the American people to decide, it would`ve overwhelmingly passed.  But politicans lobbied by the likes of the National Corn Growers didn`t want limits, they fought the good guys like Senator Chuck Grassley in his attempt to reign in the maddness.  It`s too late now, the winners have been picked, the few little guys left will blow away like Russian Thistle.

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