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Advisor

neat trick

I can't 100% prove it but I'm pretty sure that at $4 and $10 the last marginal, say, 5 bpa of beans and 15 of corn that you get by buying the top proprietary seed, agronomic optimal fert, chem package to deal with resistance nets $0 for the grower. It nets a lot for the fertilizer and chem/genetics oligopolies.

 

But the farm program has been "privatized" to launder the money through (some of the allied) agribiz corporations on a "guaranteed can't lose" basis that Halliburton would envy.  And those payouts are dependent on yield history (the No New Farmers Act of 2014, but I disgress in that regard). So the grower is incentivized to keep making what would otherwise be irrational economic decisions.

 

And, the government has an open ended commitment to keep financing the thing forever even if surpluses build owing to Not Free Market distortions.

 

That's right- a comin' and a goin'.

 

As I've said, be of good cheer because you are valuable livestock to the Agribiz Cartel and livestock usually gets taken care of, no matter what PETA says.

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Highlighted
Advisor

Re: neat trick

I'll stand by my initial assertion about marginal returns with the allowance that it might be closer to 3 and 10 bpa, but doesn't materially change the premise.

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Senior Contributor

Re: neat trick

Seems cheap to mewhen compared to QE and auto industry bailouts and other government wasted money. What you gonna eat if there isn't a safety net?

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Advisor

Re: neat trick

QE is entirely irrelevant to that discussion.

 

And I actually think people will eat just fine either way- somebody'll farm it. So no, I don't accept that argument.

 

I will accept there's some logic in saying that a degree of continuation and modernization of the New Deal farm support programs made some sense, for a while.

 

But if ever there was an argument for Sunset Laws, this is it. As the number of beneficiaries dwindles to tiny (getting a lot per head) and the programs become more opaque, abstruse and-my main point- primarily written to benefit large corporations- there is no significant public interest served, only the perpetuation of a money grab.

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Senior Contributor

Re: neat trick

Well agree that there are fewer growers get a bigger piece of the pie but that's the way history has been going fewer people staying on the farm. Could care a less if they discontinued the farm bill just a way to keep us under there law. Would hurt way more people if discontinued food stamps school lunches just a couple .

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Senior Advisor

Re: neat trick

General benefits to rural America, some style of living, etc., but "safety net" needs limitations on public support -- for example, include insurance premium subsidies in USDA program limitations, with premium subsidies reduced or eliminated at some reasonable level.  Don't really see much social benefit from farm portions of new farm program, just another way to increase subsidized insurance levels for established farmers, and nothing for the newer, smaller guys trying to get a "base" established on ground that nobody else wants to farm.

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Veteran Contributor

Re: neat trick

Our corn and bean acreage has crop insurance, however the benefits dimish for the larger operations,

spread out over a larger area. The risk of hail, crop failure etc. on all acres is less .

All farms are totalled for an average of all acres, which is used to determine yield

There is no individual  farm yields or individual farm failures re: crop insurance payment

The result is that large operations tend to self insure

The smaller holdings are the largest user of crop insurance

All our ground, in Ontario gets planted, with or without crop insurance

At least the ground that is worth planting, and will grow a crop

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Senior Advisor

Re: neat trick

Around here, essentially every crop farmer has crop insurance, big and small.  The larger ones do not necessarily "self-insure" because the policies are by crop, and by county -- each crop in each county is treated as a separate policy, even if it's all listed under one policy number -- seems like they're always coming up a little short somewhere, though not always clear how that happens.  All our ground gets farmed -- there's no credibility to the stories about how would the ground be farmed if someone, or a few someone's, went broke.  Also, no credibility to the argument about how 10% of the farmers produce 90% of the production -- the ground would still be farmed, doesn't matter if it's 10 farmers producing it, or a million. 

 

IMO - Rural societies would be better off with large numbers of reasonably sized producers.  Large producers become a large risk when things go bad -- small producers become small risks.  In many cases, it takes many small producers to generate the potential risk represented by one large multi-county operation.  Just ask any farm supply business, equipment dealer, or bank that shouldered those risks in the 1980's.

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Honored Advisor

Re: neat trick

WCMO,

 

That IMO,

That is true --- Rural societies would be better off with large numbers of reasonably sized producers-------- and your point about risk is also right and true.

But ---------------------- It is also true for Main street businesses,  gas stations, builders, groceries, cafe's, insurance, meat packing, fertilizer suppliers, seed companies, etc etc etc.

 

We are hell bent on regulating every breath taken, by and from Washington.  Small business, including farmers, cannot survive the "tack on" costs and the level of taxation will keep small business from growing enough to compete.

And your right every acre will be farmed even when government takes ownership for the public good.

The present environment gives every advantage to multi national corporations and totally discourages the risk of small business.  We are not going to see a movement back to small farms.  But we may see a change in the way farming is financed.