Minnesota farmers welcome certainty, substance of farm bill

  • Article by: Jim Spencer and Mike Hughlett , Star Tribune staff writers
  • Updated: January 31, 2014 - 9:56 AM

Reshaped policies end subsidies, enhance insurance, cut food stamps.

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gopher68Jan. 30, 14 6:55 AM

I'm sure the farmers love both the certainty and substance of the farm bill. Who wouldn't love the certainty of a substantial check coming from the government?

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nppd03Jan. 30, 14 7:48 AM

Just another example of our government handing out money to another special interest group at the expense of taxpayers. Farmers are independent business people and our government should not be providing them with the certainty of a check any more than they should to the local ma and pa business owner. The “farm bill” is just another way of masking a group of people sucking up welfare.

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lakeelmo99Jan. 30, 14 7:51 AM

I don't understand why giant ag corporations like Monsato run their "thank a farmer" commercials when they should be running ads like "thank our high paid Washington lobbyists" for continually passing TAXPAYER paid subsidies and price controls for farm businesses.

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lars1074Jan. 30, 14 8:13 AM

There is no certainty about a substantial check. It depends on weather and price. The guaranteed price is determined by Feb. prices which are a lot less than last year. The yield guarantee is an average of past yields and probably lower if you had a poor crop last year.

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wallinmJan. 30, 14 8:58 AM

Great, so now I can expect the government to help cover the risks associated with my business? ..........Still waiting.

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julio57Jan. 30, 14 9:32 AM

It's clear that those here who post comments opposed to this do not understand the realities of modern ag and food policy. The fact is, this new bill allocates about $13Billion per year for farm/commodity programs, that works out to $41/American every year. That is what we as American's pay for what is essentially a food insurance policy to guarantee us the world's cheapest and most abundant food supply. There is no doubt that farmers greatly benefit from these programs and subsidies, but by doing so they remain in business. Like many industries, agriculture is becoming more and more consolidated with more and more land and power in control of fewer and fewer people. Part of this is do to simple natural selection. Poorer farmers have either gone broke or simply got out of farming because it is too risky or they cannot make a living. This leaves fewer, better farmer businees people farming the same amount of acres as we farmed 50 years ago. However, Americans should still want as many farmers as possible, in order to spread risk, practices, and production over more people and put control of production in the hands of the many, not the few. We've seen what happens when industries become fully integrated or all the little guys are squeezed out. Policy and prices are set by the board room, not the consumer. To be fair this is happening already in agriculture, but if we want to continue to have the world's cheapest food we must ensure that we have as many farmers as possible, and subsidized crop insurance is a very cheap way of keeping farmers from going broke. Oh, and can anyone name me a business where one bad week of weather, that does no physical damage to any property, can be enough to destroy a years worth of work and not allow you to make one cent of gross income? Imagine if at your job there was a chance that your boss would could come around and arbitrarily say, "I don't think we are going to pay you for this year, too bad for you". What would that do to you and your family?

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chuckdancerJan. 30, 14 9:35 AM

Although a small part of the bill, real farmers get the support they need and everyone else appreciates the low food prices.

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joe_mnJan. 30, 14 9:50 AM

Why does the govt HAVE too guarantee farmers will make a profit? Farming is risky? Nature plays into it? What happens if farmer brown fails? A new farmer with money will buy his farm and try again. That's called life.

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gopher68Jan. 30, 1410:17 AM

Sorry, julio57, your arguments about subsidies necessary to keep food prices going up are not backed by fact. I'd rather keep my tax dollars and take my chances with food prices. If farmers can't handle the risks of being in business for themselves, then they should let someone else do it.

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nealvonJan. 30, 1410:19 AM

That substantial check that some of you are referring to, last year the check was 1/50 of my gross sales.

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