Basic change in farm policy badly needed

NEBRASKA - Criticism of existing farm policy is reaching a crescendo as the current farm bill expires. But in the heart of farm country, many are still clinging to the status quo.
calendar icon 4 September 2006
clock icon 2 minute read
That sentiment was on display in Nebraska earlier this month as the U.S. Senate Agricultural Committee heard testimony in a hearing at Grand Island.

And they might get their wish, at least in the short term. Although most acknowledge that current farm policy is rife with problems, there’s little consensus on the best way to change it.

This summer has seen the waste and abuse in farm programs exposed by the Washington Post series “Harvesting Cash,” which reported, among other things, about suburban acreage owners who collected farm subsidies without raising crops.

Syndicated columnist Alan Guebert regularly mocks hope that international exports will lift the U.S. farm economy. He cites another voice, Daryll Ray of the University of Tennessee, who pointed out in columns this summer that farmers collect loan deficiency payments — the so-called safety net to protect against low prices — even when prices are high.

Source: Journal Star
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