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Senior Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

Don't sell yourself short financially compared to your competition and take the subsidy.   Yes, its socialism.  Actually, its probably more like Fascism because the corporations control the direction of the subsidies. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

No problem, cowfarmer.  I understand that it gets frustrating seeing money thrown around by our government for things that are not needed.  I went to the website recently which shows government payments to farmers.  Seeing the amount of money that has been passed out to grain, dairy and other farmers as well as landowners for CRP, CREP, etc. is mindboggling.  

 

It is especially frustrating when these programs take money out of the hands of one farmer and give it to another.  Increased grain prices hurt the dairy, hog and beef people.  CRP and CREP have been hard on the beef people in my area.  I had a cow/calf operation for several years and it taught me a lot about things such as this. 

 

It is good for people to bring up issues like you did so they can be discussed.  The worst thing that can happen is for people to stop talking about things they are concerned about.          

 

  

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Senior Advisor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

I'm interested in your thoughts on why crp or crep programs hurt beef producers. My equation would project less cows and calves due to set aside acres. Therefore higher priced calves and fat in the market place.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

I think the farm program and subsidies started out like most government programs with noble intentions but like many government programs have simply gotten out hand and grown much larger then their original intent. 

We have seen Social Security and simple programs to help provide for the poor turn into providing prescription drugs for the elderly and free cell phones for the poor.  Sure all these entitlements seem nice but come at a cost that keeps growing every day resulting in the need to collect more and more in taxes. 

We went from a simple farm program that helped ensure cheap food for the people and a safety net for farmers in times of poor yields or prices to a farm program that pays individual mega farmers millions of dollars and will also help pay for a big chunk of their expensive new grain drier.   Corporations that sell to farmers or make their money off merchandising farmer's grain love these farm programs as they help them make more money by providing them with an ample supply of cheap grain. 

Trouble is these farm programs help encourage large mega farmers to better milk the system which results in less children in rural schools and less customers to keep the stores in small rural towns viable.   Many economist have pointed out how our farm program has been detrimental to small towns while at the same time artificially raising the price of farm ground and rental prices making it harder for the next generations of farmers to compete against the established farmers with thousands of acres under their control. 

Just as it is hard to trim other entitlement programs once the recipients have grown accustomed to the regular payments, it will be hard to get farmers to agree to farm payment cuts.  I fear the longer it goes on the harder the landing will be when things eventually fall as we realize we can no longer afford to make all the various entitlement programs we have now undertaken.

As far as the importance of the farmer vote goes I think it is much less of an impact then it was a generation ago.  The farmer impact is greater as long as Iowa stays "first in the country" in presidential elections.  However if Iowa loses that honor then the farmer vote will carry considerably less weight in my opinion.  There are simply far fewer farmers today and getting less all the time.

To be honest I'm surprise no one has successfully sued the government for discrimination over the way the farm payments are targeted to only a select few sectors in agriculture, mainly corn, soybeans and cotton growers.   It does not seem fair to fruit and vegetable growers as well as those that raise livestock although livestock farmers have often benefited from the low feed grain prices resulting from government induced over production. 

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

Several cow/calf operations in our area lost hay and pasture rental land to the government programs.  The CREP program was especially hard on them as there was no cropping history required to put land in the program.  The CREP program paid a tremendously higher price for hay and pasture land than beef producers could pay.  Some producers had to cut back on cow numbers due to this or go much farther from home to rent land.    

 

Regarding you comment about driving up prices on cattle it very likely could do that on a nationwide basis.  Have not seen any studies on that topic.    

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

I suppose for me, someone will have to define what this means.  eliminate direct payments, but keep crop insurance subsidies?  eliminate it all, including CRP?  separate the ag subsidies from food stamps?  eliminate everything but items like the EQIP program?  By the way I love it when the government helps the largest operations put up new pivots.  Flush it all and let the chips fall where they may?  We all know this will never happen.  The federal government is not going to give up 'control' of the american farmer.  How would they know what we are doing, or if they slap an embargo on somebody, they won't be able to control it on the backend.  However, the idea of never going back to the local USDA office sounds great, but as long as my neighbors are collecting chaching, and bidding on the same ground I do, then I too will participate, if you rent ground it only makes good business sense.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

Why do we keep equip $$$ ?

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Frequent Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

I don't know if you are asking why they are there or if I think we should keep them, EQIP that is.  I am not in favor of them, I was just throwing out a short list of combonations, suggesting how is one going to keep this or eliminate that.  Its just not that easy to say lets eliminate direct payments.  Actually I am not in favor of EQIP because it is not even close on being equally, proportionately or evenly distributed, at least around here.  I would say some guys around here have gotten way more EQIP money than direct payments over the last ten years.

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Highlighted
Senior Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

Cowman, I'm posting this late in the game, but I feel it's necessary for you and others to understand one thing;  If you believe you do not benefit from any government subsidies because you don't take any payments directly, you are mistaken.  That is a myth that needs to be met, head-on.

 

You drive on roads paid for by Federal, state and county taxpayer dollars.  You didn't pay for them, only a small portion through your taxes.  Your kids go to school and eat food purchased by federal tax dollars through the school lunch programs.  Local industries often receive tax abatements through federal, state or local programs while they expand and add employees on their payroll.  If you or a family member works there, you benefit.  Many hospitals are financed through government grants and loan programs.  If you or a family member lost a job recently and collected unemployment benefits, you are a recipient of a subsidy program.  If you have rural broadband, chances are they put it in place through a rural development program provided by Uncle Sam.  Your electricity, your rural water district, even your land grant universities are products of federally funded programs, paid for by American taxpayers.

 

You cannot eat, sleep, drive or work in this country without having benefited from some kind of taxpayer funded program.  It's a complete myth to believe one can.  Yes, you may choose to live without, but if you even drive down a county maintained dirt road to go hunting on your own land to put food on the table, you've not achieved your goal of self sufficiency.

 

If you think you would be better off without these things, I would invite you to do a little sight seeing in any third world country of your choice.  Imagine living in a land where up to 75% of your income is spent on finding and acquiring food for your family.  Imagine living where no infrastructure allows you the freedom to move from one place to another without great sacrifice in time and money, if that is even possible. 

 

Your food costs around 10 % of your disposable income today, even with these terrible "subsidies".  You can spend the difference on anything your heart desires, including putting the money in a sack and burying it or buying a computer and connecting online to express your opinion about farm subisidies.

 

It's a no-brainer.  You and I are better off.  Subisidies are in place to be the last safety net for our producers, to keep them in business when a multi-year drought hits or a 500 year flood wipes out the farm.  You benefit because they can survive to provide the best food supply availible in the world, bare none.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Willing to give up subsidies

One thing about the beef industry, they never complained or sympathized when corn and feed prices were in the tank from the sixties through the mid-ninties.  They did complain when feed prices made them compete with other uses.  The trouble with them was they never factored in what their benefits of program payments were until commodities found other uses.

 

I've been on both sides of this, as a livestock producer and now as a cash grain producer.  I understand the logic.  We don't look a gift horse in the mouth when low input costs comes our way.

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