No More Government Payments!
Great "Perspective" from John Phipps in "The Perfectly Good Storm" (September 2012). I remember quite a few years ago he wrote an article questioning why he received government payments. I agreed with him back then and his thoughts today are right on! I operate a vegetable and grain operation in Minnesota and am sick of all the grain operators who feel entitled to these welfare checks. I guess some have no shame. Who really is the government? Santa Claus possibly?
Pete Van Erkel
I just finished reading "Perspective" in the September Top Producer. I farm about 1,100 acres in South Dakota. I agree that the government supports in ag are ridiculous. Everyone wants government budgets to be balanced but nobody wants to help reduce the expense by receiving less. We have great grain prices, yet we still have direct payments. I hope [John] will keep speaking up with the common sense he has shown in this article.
Safety Net Support
The North Dakota Grain Growers Association (NDGGA) strongly disagrees with John Phipps’ "zero government support" for American ag (September 2012). In North Dakota and most other wheat and barley states, we farm in a high-risk environment and thus we use farm program support mechanisms to some extent almost every year in an effort to stabilize our farm economy. Farm programs have often worked well for their intended purposes and while there is always room for improvement, we do not believe that zero support is a wise policy, as it’s essentially no policy at all when it gets replaced by the "profit follows risk" mantra that Phipps espouses.
Will sympathetic landowners voluntarily reduce land rent? It’s our view that rents would come down only after the farm economy is in a shambles, which is the likely outcome if the government abandons agriculture. Regardless, lower rents would provide only minor protections compared to the current safety net.
NDGGA believes a farm safety net is in the nation’s best interest, and not an "economic farce." NDGGA sincerely hopes that John Phipps will reconsider his anti-farm bill position.
President, North Dakota Grain Growers Association
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