More food producing problems

July 17, 2012 | By | 1 Reply More

Per the National Climate Data Center, the drought in the continental U.S. is the worst in 56 years.  As growing your own food is apparently a big issue (Be careful that you don’t piss off your neighbors by living sustainably), expect some seriously jacked prices…while the big boys rake in record profits.

NPR had a segment today on the drought and they talked to a small farmer in Ohio about her crop. Ms. Bryn Bird raises sweet corn. Listen to the segment. At just after the two minute point, she calmly says she’s looking at a $30-40,000 loss this year. And because sweet corn is not a commodity, she can’t get crop insurance!

According to the NY Times, politics is killing the Farm Bill overhaul, but as it stands,

…farmers who grow corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and other crops receive about $5 billion in direct payments.

$5 billion…whether they grow crops or not…and that’s not even the insurance subsidies. Now, the new bill is supposed to eliminate those direct payments, but the House elephants are divided, so it won’t happen until after the election. I always thought something was wrong with paying people not to grow crops, and I’m not sure how much of the current or future farm bill goes to that specifically, but the U.S. supposedly spent

$7.4 billion last year on federal crop and revenue insurance premium subsidies for farmers.

…and at a minimum, $90 B over the next ten years for insurance premium subsidies.

Meanwhile, the small, real food producers absorb not inconsiderable losses because they can’t get insurance for such unsexy crops as sweet corn. It’s okay to be outraged now.

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Category: Spending priorities

About the Author ()

Jim is a husband of more than 27 years, father of four home-schooled sons (26, 23, 16 and 14), engineer delighting in virtually all things technical, with more than a passing interest in history, religions, arts, most sciences (particularly physics) and skepticism.

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Outraged? Yes.

    And cities continue to attack people who try to grow vegetabls in their front yards. http://grist.org/list/city-officials-are-waging-a-war-on-gardens/

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