September 16, 2019

Farm Bill; Ag Economy; Trade; and MF Global

Farm Bill and Policy Issues

Gregory Meyer and Hal Weitzman reported yesterday at The Financial Times Online that, “Brad Lawrence has been farming for 40 years. Following his father and grandfather into the family business, he and his brother grow seed corn, soyabeans and peppermint on 6,000 acres in Knox, north-west Indiana.

“The 57-year-old has seen his share of booms and busts in the agricultural markets, but with commodity prices soaring in recent years and land values at record highs, he says farmers are experiencing an unprecedented windfall. ‘This is the best we’ve ever had it, financially speaking,’ Mr Lawrence says.

“The good times have not escaped notice in Washington, where the federal government is this year expected to write $11bn in cheques to farmers, up 4 per cent from 2011. These kinds of payments might have been justifiable in the 1980s when family farmers were struggling, but with slashing deficits now a priority in Washington, subsidies are under attack.”