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John's Take On Farm Subsidies

Aug 08, 2011

***Below is a transcript of John's comments on farm subsidies that aired this past weekend, followed by viewer reaction...

JOHN'S WORLD:

IT IS INTERESTING THAT LEGISLATORS AND LOBBYISTS ARE HAVING A HARDER TIME GETTING ATTENTION FOR NEW FARM BILL DISCUSSIONS. WHILE THE DAIRY INDUSTRY IS WORKING FOR A MAJOR REVAMP, NOT MUCH TOO INTEREST IS BREWING ELSEWHERE.

 

SOME OF THIS IS FATALISM. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD MORE THAN ONCE, FOR EXAMPLE, THAT THE ETHANOL BLENDER CREDIT AND TARIFF ARE DOOMED, AND EVEN DIRECT PAYMENTS. AFTER SO MANY TIMES, I THINK WE HAVE STARTED TO BUY INTO THEIR DEMISE. AND TO BE FAIR, MORE FARMERS THAN USUAL ARE GRUDGINGLY ADMITTING THAT CUTTING THE DEFICIT WILL AFFECT US.

 

BUT THE MAIN REASON I THINK IS MORE PROSAIC - IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER AS MUCH AS IT USED TO. MY DIRECT PAYMENT - WHICH AMOUNTS TO ABOUT 23 DOLLARS PER ACRE THIS YEAR EQUATES TO ABOUT 3 BUSHELS OF CORN AT CURRENT PRICES. THE SAME COMPARISON FOR SOY, COTTON AND WHEAT APPLIES.

 

FARMERS HAVE ALWAYS CLAIMED WE WOULD RATHER GET OUR MONEY FROM THE MARKET THAN THE GOVERNMENT. IF THIS IS NOT EXACTLY THE CASE, I DON'T KNOW WHAT WOULD QUALIFY.

 

WHY NOT DECLARE VICTORY AND SET AN EXAMPLE THAT WILL SHOCK AND AWE WASHINGTON AND PERHAPS EVEN OURSELVES? OUR INDUSTRY COULD REDEEM A TARNISHED IMAGE AND REINFORCE OUR SELF-RESPECT BY SIMPLY ECHOING COMEDIAN HENNY YOUNGMAN: TAKE MY SUBSIDY. PLEASE.

VIEWER FEEDBACK:

#1: Just heard your comment on giving up farm subsidies.  It might be alright if prices stay at levels they are now but what happens if we  get back to $3.00 wheat.  I had protein discounts this winter that were higher than I used to get for my wheat not too many years ago.  Also wonder how they are going to keep farmers from draining and doing whatever they want if they aren't always threatening to take your  farm payments away. Just some food for thought.   Richard Lynne

 
#2:  Thanks for the editorial on us farm subsidies. I have called my legislators for the last 2 years and have told (begged) them farmers don't need this subsidy money at our current prices and if farmers can't make it in today's pricing of commodities they should think about

another career.   I for one have not taken a USDA payment for 15 years or more, it was more of a hassle than a rescue for our farm.  Since not taking the payments I sleep better knowing I don't have to tell the government my business, lord knows they stick their nose into it enough as it is and I can plant what ever I feel like with out getting a scolding letter saying I planted the wrong crop!!!  Keep up the great show - Steve, Tecumseh, MI 
 

#3: Yes, please take our subsidy - please, with less regulations. Thank you!  Bill and Cathy Muetze

 

 

 

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COMMENTS (1 Comments)

Neither Fish-nor-Fowl - Hedge City, MO
While I can't help but agree with John's position, I hesitate to totally advocate the elimination of government support of ag commodities. I remember the devastatingly low prices (think soybeans with a "4") of the late 1990s after the last boom in grain prices and calls for "Freedom to Farm." The large LDPs, and in years to follow MILC made the difference of survival for me and I vowed never to thumb my nose at the need for government to support commodity prices again. However, I think Richard Lynne hits the nail on the head with the government being able to get us to go along by threatening taking the payments away. I always felt like the government payments were actually compensation for sharing our business information and following our conservation plans.
2:47 PM Aug 14th
 

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