James Leroy Wilson's blog

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Liars and Crooks

Agriculture subsidies do NOT save small family farms and Congress knows it:

Since 1998, average annual farm payments have gone from $7 billion to $18 billion. The FY 2006 budget estimates 2005 farm subsidy spending will top $24 billion. Worse, farm payments have become increasingly concentrated, flowing to fewer and fewer individual farmers. According to the USDA, only 8 percent of producers receive 78 percent of subsidies. At the top of the subsidy food chain, huge corporate operations receive payments in the millions, while the average for 80 percent of farmers is under $1,000.

Instead of keeping farmers on the land, these huge government payments to only the largest, most productive farms are forcing many small farmers out of business. Farm payments are based on production levels, so the bigger the farm, the bigger the government check. Large corporate operations are able to plant more crops, so they get the biggest slice of the subsidy pie. These large farms then turn around and use their outsized government checks to buy up even more farm land. Unable to compete, small farmers are left with no choice but to sell their land to the very operations that are putting them out of business.

1 comment:

  1. Now you begin to see the depth of the rural dilemma. Imposed legislation from urban voters that perscribe method leave us exasperated, as no funds follow the perscription. So where do the cut - CSP and other conservation rewards programs.