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Jim Meade / Iowa City
Senior Advisor

"Farm bill would cut benefits for women farmers and low-income mothers"

"Woe to women across America when they learn how much income the farm bill might cost them. "

 

The article goes on to bemoan the reduction in conservation.  Many female farmers have land in CRP - more than men do - so apparently that is unfair.

 

"Women farmers rely on a particular type of government program: The one that pays them to keep their land out of production. Land retirement programs account for 56 percent of government payments received by farms operated by women, compared with 20 percent for farms operated by men "

 

Hmm, I wonder if that means that some women feel more comfortable "renting" their farm to the government than to a farm operator?  Would this have anything to do with familiariztion with farm operations and perhaps with absentee female landowners?

 

The article also complains about reductions in SNAP.

 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/she-the-people/wp/2013/09/19/farm-bill-would-cut-benefits-for-wo...

 

 

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3 Replies
sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: "Farm bill would cut benefits for women farmers and low-income mothers"

Jim a lot of CRP Land was originally signed up out in the SW with older farmers using it as a retirement (or cutting back) program, when health was deteriating.  And a lot of those have been survived by their wives who have resigned the land for additional years.

 

The only reason that is unfair is because they live longer. -------------Maybe that's your point!   🙂

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Shaggy98
Senior Advisor

Re: "Farm bill would cut benefits for women farmers and low-income mothers"

If the land bid into CRP is highly tillable or productive, it shouldn't be in the land retirement program to begin with.  IMHO, the CRP program is one of the most abused government funded programs the USDA offers.  This land needs to show erosion issues, someone being to lazy or to stubborn to try and fix these issues themselves doesn't justly qualify these acres to be accepted.  All the fringe acres that are collecting a crop insurance check every year because they are under producing need to be enrolled in the CRP program.  The same applies to all the over productive acres that are bid into the CRP program and taken out of production because the owner refuses to grow anything for one reason or another.  I guess it's easier to walk to the mailbox than it is to the tractor, sprayer and combine.  Without a doubt, an issue that needs to be corrected but probably never will.

 

The fact that more women are owners of these CRP contracts is merely a coincidence because they generally have a longer life expectancy.

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Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: "Farm bill would cut benefits for women farmers and low-income mothers"

I have heard NRCS guys say that they have put ladies' land into CRP, making them more off of the acres that they ciould earn otherwise. When crops wren't anywhere near carrying off their own production costs, that made great sense.

There are some aspects of CRP, like CP-33 (Quail Habitat) that do help conserve certaib wildlife resources that have taken a beating under intensive agricultural practices. I would like to think that serving this public purpose is still somewher that private landowners might receive at least a small reward for the commitment.

I have one small farm in that programi. It was very productive land in row crops, but is too remote for us to tend anymore. I would be considered one of those female farmers who would lose out under this reprioritization.

I think that a lot of what's been happening has been carrying a generation of farmers into retirement, who didn't have today's high prices to help them get there and through it. It was very difficult to break even, much less save for the long rainy day of the so-called Golden Years.

CRP was something of a parachute, which coincidentally reduced surpluses of below-COP commodities. Win-win. Now that land can well afford itself in most instances, more of the dependent generation is passing on, the program is not as worthy of continuing in the same form...when each bushel or bale is more valuable, fewer acres qualify as marginal anymore.