What is the motive?

Posted by tkstone 2 years, 9 months ago to Economics
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My father just informed me that he was able to sign up more of his farm acreage into the CRP program (Conservation Reserve Program) These acres were productive but prone to be wetter than the rest of the farm thus an annoyance. He was able to get market rental rates guaranteed for ten years. I told him I think he will be lucky if he sees that money, but I can't say as I blame him. His current renter has been shut down by the bankers because he lacks collateral because he has been following everyones advice to specialize in one operation of the farming operation. He sold much of his equipment and bought an expensive fertilizer applicator with the plan of hiring that equipment out to the neighbors and hiring them to do other operations for him. Sounded logical until the banker now says he does not have enough capital equipment to back the loan. He was a small farmer doing it because he loves it, but he is out now. Another issue regarding CRP program and its impact on small farmers is that now an investor can now buy farm ground and turn around and put that farm in CRP and have the program pay for the farm. This program has so grossly distorted farm prices and driven up farm rent that it is crushing the small farmer and the definition of small farmer keeps getting bigger. I really don't see the benefit long term to this. Is the USDA really this stupid or is there other motives at work? Feels like we are returning to the feudal system where the lord owns it all and the serfs have to scratch out an existence. Am I being paranoid?

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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 9 months ago
    I know nothing whatsoever about this issue, but FWIW, all things being equal, if it's a choice between "stupidity" or "clever machinations", it's almost always stupidity.
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