Policy Plate: Farm Bill Editorial
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch weighed in on the 2012 farm bill debate in an editorial headlined, New farm bill has growers lining up at the trough. Some excerpts:
The real money in farm subsidies now lies in crop insurance. And many farm-industry lobbyists and farm-state legislators are promising a hard fight to not only maintain current insurance programs but also to create new ones that would cost taxpayers even more than the direct-payments program being eliminated.
The elimination of direct payments shouldn't set off a feeding frenzy for fresh ways to spend that money without a rational basis for it. Shallow losses, as American Farm Bureau president Robert Stallman wrote to the congressional agriculture committees, "do not typically jeopardize the survival of a farm operation."
The budget proposal by the Obama administration eliminates direct payments and reduces slightly the current costs of the insurance program without adding a new one for 'shallow" losses. That approach makes sense.
- Food Safety News publisher Bill Marler offers this take on the pink slime/lean finely textured beef media firestorm: “It is happening because the CEO did not trust consumers with the truth.”
- The Denver Post reports that Colorado farmers are “bidding for water to grow crops through the coming hot summer and possible drought face new competition from oil and gas drillers.” How long before water use and pollution questions forces agriculture to rethink demonizing regulation?
- The Conservation Hawks highlights A Republican Meteorologist on Climate Change.
- The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Josephine Marcotty writes that “Beekeepers from Minnesota and across the country this month asked the federal government for a temporary ban on one the most widely used pesticides until its effect on bees is clear.” Union of Concerned Scientists member Dr. Brian Moench writing in Common Dreams asks whether autism and bee deaths are linked to pollution. His piece: Autism and Disappearing Bees: A Common Denominator?
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