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freedom1493
Veteran Advisor

HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

History of U.S. government interference involvement in farming...

"How Washington's Food Subsidies Have Helped Make Americans Fat And Sick"

Some startling farm facts (the 4th bulleted item is particularly interesting): 

  • "Over 6,000 farming companies and combines received more than $1 million federal aid in the years between 2008 and 2018.

  • This constituted a total of over $11 billion in this 10-year period.

  • 18 different farming entities received over $10 million.

  • Over $626 million went to urban areas – i.e., places with over 250,000 residents and precisely zero farms."

"Fruits and vegetables are called, in a typical act of government doublespeak, “specialty crops.” They claim approximately 75 percent of all farmland in the United States, but net a scant 14 percent of all subsidies. These are primarily grown by small family farmers. Some subsidy bills stipulate that farms receiving subsidies for commodity crops like corn and wheat cannot grow “specialty crops.”

The problem is NOT the farmers.  The problem is NOT the end-user.  The problem is GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE in farming!!!

Like I said before, there has not been pure capitalism in America since the very, very early 1900s.

https://www.zerohedge.com/health/food-freedom-how-washingtons-food-subsidies-have-helped-make-americ...

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14 Replies
sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

Spoiler
EWG just keeps on giving.   Misinformation for all.  Spin spin spin.  
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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

Most of the farm land in Kansas is owned by someone in a city.  Many on fixed income + small crop share.  How ya gonna have a program and exclude them. They are the small farms.  Their land is planted by the renter who farms for 25-35 of them. He’s the big guy   So where are you at when you exclude both. Try to control supply without them.  

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

a website does not come with credibility

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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

"Fruits and vegetables are called, in a typical act of government doublespeak, “specialty crops.” They claim approximately 75 percent of all farmland in the United States, but net a scant 14 percent of all subsidies

I would read the article, but there's no way that fruits and vegetables claim 75% of all farmland in the US, so no sense reading what might be more garbage.

freedom1493
Veteran Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

The article is full of links to the data reported therein -- including government sites -- so all those links must be, in your opinions, lies.  Sure, ok.  Whatever works.

*The article was referring to all specialty crops, not just fruits and vegetables.

**Background on Zerohedge --> anybody (author or reposter) who posts on Zerohedge posts under the byline of "Tyler Durden," fashioned after the movie "Fight Club."  The article I referred to originally appeared elsewhere -- you can click on that link.  Zerohedge is well known and accepted among economic circles.

***What is a specialty crop?  https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop

"Fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture). Eligible plants must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes, and/or aesthetic gratification to be considered specialty crops. Processed products shall consist of greater than 50% of the specialty crop by weight, exclusive of added water."

The total acreage of corn, wheat, cotton, and soybeans planted in 2018 was estimated to be around 239 million acres (give or take).  That's only  26.57% of the total 899.5 million acres farmed in 2018.  That leaves 73.43% NOT corn, wheat, cotton, or soybeans.

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WCMO
Senior Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

"The total acreage of corn, wheat, cotton, and soybeans planted in 2018 was estimated to be around 239 million acres (give or take).  That's only  26.57% of the total 899.5 million acres farmed in 2018.  That leaves 73.43% NOT corn, wheat, cotton, or soybeans."

I can agree (without checking all the figures) with the above quoted statement from your post (give or take).

https://www.fsa.usda.gov/news-room/efoia/electronic-reading-room/frequently-requested-information/cr...

2019 Crops per FSA Reports (the big ones, based on acres, in millions of acres)

Corn    86.8

Cotton Upland  13.2

Soybeans 74.9

Wheat 46.6

Yet the implication that most of the balance is somehow "specialty crops" seems to ignore logic, or else "specialty crops" apparently includes alfalfa, grass and other hay crops, and of course the multiple millions of acres of pasture/grazing land, and maybe even the paper company "tree farms" that are possibly included in the 899.5 million acres farmed which you've quoted.

Last I heard there are still around 15 million acres of alfalfa, and likely less than 3 million total acres of vegetables.  Couldn't quickly find how many acres are devoted to fruits or tree nuts.  But I'm just guessing that the acreage for pasture/grazing likely dwarfs the total acres for all vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other "specialty crops" combined.

Here's a link to actual list of "specialty crops" referenced in your article -- https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/grants/scbgp/specialty-crop

Here's a site that lists the Top 10 "Produce Crops", though not sure this is actually a "ranking".  The article itself is kind of interesting.

https://agamerica.com/power-of-10-top-10-produce-crops-in-the-u-s/

1. Corn

2. Cotton

3. Fruit ( including apples, berries, citrus, and melons)

4. Tree Nuts

5. Rice

6. Soybeans and Oilseeds (such as peanuts, sunflowerseed, canola, and flax)

7. Sugars & Sweeteners (sugarcane, sugarbeets and high fructose corn syrup)

8. Vegetables

9. Pulses (beans, peas, legumes, and peanuts)

10. Wheat

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

The  acreage  that  lies  between  I -25   &  I -5 ,   would  be  included  in the  total  acre  number ( 73. 43)  I'm  guessing  - ?

 

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BA Deere
Honored Advisor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

Do they include pasture ground as "farmland"? 

As a corn/bean farmer I want my products to be worth as much as I can for the buyer that includes bio-fuels, exports, ect.  But there has to be common sense where to sell $10 billion in beans to a country, we shouldn`t be expected to run a $400 trade deficit with them.  And with biofuels, it isn`t common sense to demand all vehicles be E-85, but E-15 where applicable boats, chainsaws, M Farmalls, 1960 Bel Aires don`t do well on ethanol fuel...Common Sense!

But High Fructose Corn Syrup is a scam that has wrecked American`s health.  Yes yes yes I know  "Git another nickel fer mah corn!" but what a hell of a way to do it!   For one thing we already have sugar cain farmers, throwing sugar growers under the bus "fer another nickel fer mah corn" and HFCS slows metabolism and packs on the pounds, which leads to diabetes and all sorts of health problems that`ve become epidemic.  But lots of luck finding real Sugar food products, it`s about like finding products not made in China. 

The farm programs have steered us into a monoculture of corn corn corn corn corn corn..beans..corn corn corn whew what`s that smell?  I love raising corn, but make some ethanol and feed some cattle and hogs, but don`t get cute about sticking corn into everything danged thing we eat.  

If we don`t have a farm program, we`ll probably end up with 3 or 4 farmers (and 1 million of us all have the dream we will be one of them) ..I don`t know maybe having 3 0r 4 farmers is what the public wants deserves you see how "cheap" cars and tractors are with just a few dominate manufacturers.  My old saying "went John Deere isn`t selling $200,000 tractors, they shut down the factory" when there are 3 or 4 farmers and corn is $3 they`ll shut down the "factory" not go out and rent another quarter for $300/acre.  

We are moving towards 3 or 4 farmers now.  A 400 acre farmer retires, that land gets farmed by a 10,000 acre farmer, not to a 25yr old beginning farmer in most cases.  The poker game has too high of ante.

 

 

hwr247
Senior Contributor

Re: HISTORY OF FARM SUBSIDIES...THE GOOD, THE BAD, and THE FUGLY

BA Deere... ive always thought that as well. If it wasnt for farm programs that started in the dirty thirties farms would have become big faster than the super mergers in corporate america. 

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