Saturday, May 8, 2010

2012 Farm Bill

With all this other government crap going on, I wonder what they will do to our little Farm Bill?
"House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson, D-Minn., made comments on farm-program payments to Minnesota Public Radio on Tuesday, but a note of caution was exerted Wednesday in news release by the Kansas Wheat Growers regarding comments from Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan.

All of this even before Peterson holds his first hearing on the 2012 farm bill.
The Minnesota Public Radio article states "Peterson said he will try to reduce direct government payments to farmers and use that money to create a better safety net." It then quotes Peterson:
"In my opinion, that money should be used to support the average, middle-sized commercial farmer, because they're the people that produce most of our food and I think that's the part of the system we really want to protect," he said.

Peterson said he will not increase overall spending on farm programs, adding he is willing to cut the farm bill only if all government programs are trimmed.

Now, I wonder about the reporter's paraphrased term "direct payments." Was it a statement that Peterson wants to cut the $5.2 billion direct payments, or cut overall farm program payments? Just last month Peterson told rice producers in Washington, D.C., that if the farm groups want him to do defend direct payments, he'll do it.

The Kansas Wheat Growers later issued a release quoting Sen. Roberts telling the Kansas City Agribusiness Council last week that Peterson is making a risky move trying to start farm bill negotiations now.

The news release also noted "The National Association of Wheat Growers has identified direct payments and a robust federally-subsidized crop insurance program as major priorities of the 2012 Farm Bill, and NAWG officers are already working with other commodity groups to outline a Farm Bill framework. NAWG has also developed an online survey ( to further define NAWG's position on federal farm policy. Roberts said, "I think it's too early to do this. You can look at it two ways.

You can bring up the farm bill and say, 'let's get to work on it now and prevent bad things from happening,' or you can bring it up and attract more attention and therefore, more people will get their knives out," says Roberts, who adds that the national media is always quick to target agriculture spending when studying ways to reduce federal spending. "They don't realize the amount of cuts we've already gone through," he says. "I am not very optimistic in this climate of wanting to raise the farm bill up right now. Hearings are alright, but I don't want to be a target."Yet, according to the wheat growers, Roberts also says Peterson is wise to determine how much money will be needed in the 2012 Farm Bill. "What he really wants to do is find a way to increase the baseline for spending in regards to the Department of Agriculture.

I hope these funds will be directed to farmers and ranchers, as opposed to the ever-increasing spending in other areas in the ag budget which are many and diverse. They're all good programs, just like the one on child nutrition in which we authorized $2.2 billion. But we took it from EQIP. And we have at least 1,400 applications for EQIP that are standing in line. It's the most popular environmental program we have," Roberts says. Roberts, who I've stated before in this space works in sarcasm like Jedi master wields a light saber, also noted the volume of lawmakers who took part in the 2008 farm-bill conference talks. "There were 61 members of the Farm Bill caucus, which is unheard of. Usually there are probably 15 members, and these are people who know farmers, commodities, the different geographical areas and they know how the farm bill works. It looked like the bar scene from Star Wars. It was nutty," he recalls.

Well, put, Obi-Wan. "

Environmental Working Group really ticked farmers off with their website showing HUGE amounts of money going to farmers over Farm Bill years which are really a PITTANCE compared to total government spending.

My contention is these funds are all spent back in the local community while producing a high quality food supply at a fraction of the cost of any other nation. Show me proof if you want to argue this!

The 2012 Farm Bill better serve our needs as well or better than it has in the past but I have doubts. My payment last year covered my share of my crop insurance policy which enables me to farm. I also spent that amount on local labor and much, much more on other labor expenses locally which provided work in our community.

Get a handle on where your money goes. The tiny bit you pay to farmers is astronomically low compared to your other expenses.


1 comment:

  1. LuAnn did some digging on EWG and almost all of their complaints about the Chesapeake Bay by EPA is non-agricultural, on their own "farm" website! This needs an outcry!