The Bitter Impact of Foreign Farm Subsidies

To take a deeper dive into agricultural subsidies, Groundwork reached out to one of the foremost experts, Dr. Darren Hudson. Hudson is the Director of the International Center for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech University, where they maintain a database of international subsidies and examine how they affect the competitiveness of American farmers on the global stage.

Farmers Counting on Congress to Bring USMCA Across Finish Line

Hoffman joined Farm Policy Facts from his farm in New Ulm, Minnesota to share with Groundwork listeners how momentum is building both across the heartland and within the halls of Congress to move immediately on the ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Prospects for passage of the so-called USMCA received a big boost in recent weeks as the United States and its trading partners reached agreements eliminating or avoiding tariffs tied to metal imports and immigration policy.

Our View: Financial Woes on the Farm Bode Ill for the Nation

Rural America is resilient. Our farmers will continue to work the land in hopes that the next season will bring renewed abundance. But they are also relying on Washington, DC to take decisive action to stand by U.S. farm families as we negotiate a quick end to ongoing trade disputes. Standing idle and allowing rural America to endure another farm crisis like the one we faced in the 1980s would set our economy back in incalculable ways.  We must support our farmers through these challenging times, just as they support us every day.  

New Podcast Brings Farm Policy to Public, Congress

Farm Policy Facts recently caught up with two sugar farmers who traveled to Washington last month to make the case for smart farm policies. Their stories were captured in a new podcast, Groundwork, that debuts April 22 on farmpolicyfacts.org. Hear more from Snyder and Medine on Groundwork. The monthly show will focus on a range of policy issues that are important to American farmers in upcoming episodes.

Our View: Unifying a Divided Nation

By this point, we are all exhausted by the endless rhetoric about America being a divided nation – a country of haves and have-nots. But, we think it’s important right now to explore this concept of division a little further. We’re not talking about partisan sniping. We’re talking about moisture and weather.

Our View: Making the Ag Vote Count

Selling more U.S. farm product overseas is the most important issue for farmers this time around – outranking even the war on terror, deficit reduction and healthcare. Not far behind on the list was passing the new Farm Bill, which was more important to farm voters than rural job creation, infrastructure improvements, immigration and lowering taxes.

Subsidy Spotlight: India

Earlier this week, President Donald Trump and his trade team announced a modernized trade pact with Mexico and Canada, and most of agriculture cheered.  But it was a comment about another country during the White House press conference that really caught our attention. India is “the tariff king,” the President said.  “India charges tariffs of 100 percent … that’s not free trade.”

Surveys Show Rural America Continues to Struggle

America’s struggling farm economy is heading for even bigger declines, according to recent surveys, and the nation’s top bankers say manufacturers should expect a major drop in sales of new equipment. Inflation-adjusted net farm income, which is a broad measure of profits, is expected to be down by $11.4 billion, or nearly 15 percent, this year compared to 2017, according to USDA’s August Farm Income Forecast.

It’s Still ‘Kinda Flakey’ to Destroy Farm Policy with Anti-Farmer Amendments

When Congressmen Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced an amendment to the Farm Bill in 2007 that would have gutted U.S. farm policy and put American jobs at risk, the outcry from the agricultural community was swift and fierce. A campaign backed by farmers quickly labeled their plan “Kinda Flakey” and highlighted the disastrous effects it would have on commodities and rural communities from coast to coast.

Yet Another Worry in Farm Country

Prices and farm incomes are in the tank. Ongoing international trade talks are affecting overseas markets. Congress is debating a Farm Bill that will determine growers’ ability to mitigate risk. Mother Nature is wreaking havoc across the country – with farmers in the Great Plains facing drought and southern growers getting pounded by rain.

Our View: 2018 Farm Bill Proves Sunshine is Still the Best Disinfectant

In our view, this kind of open, honest debate beats the sneaky subterfuge of some past farm bill debates where pernicious amendments to gut U.S. farm policy have masqueraded as “reforms” in order to confuse the debate. The Heritage Foundation has made it perfectly clear that it opposes any safety net whatsoever for America’s farmers or ranchers because Heritage denies any unique risks to farming and ranching.

Foreign Cheating Continues As Farm Bill Debate Unfolds

U.S. flagged vessels headed for China made an abrupt U-turn last month and headed for new ports. It wasn’t the weather that forced the change of course, but rather the contents in the ships’ hulls. Although the cargo involved is relatively small in the overall scope of agricultural trade, it did send off alarm bells for farmers who are depending on exports to lift them out of a slumping rural economy marked by low commodity prices.

Our View: Beware of Anti-Farm, Socialist Rhetoric

How does the bill “modernize” sugar policy? It mandates that the U.S. Department of Agriculture invite heavily subsidized foreign imports into the U.S., artificially depressing farmer prices and rewarding bad actors abroad. Worse yet, the bill denies sugar producers the basic non-recourse loans available to other commodities, meaning failure to repay would result not just in the loss of crops pledged as collateral but in total bankruptcy.

Farmers Make Their Voices Heard in Farm Bill Debate

The Farm Bill debate is officially underway with the House Agricultural Committee marking up H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, this week. Members of Congress have heard from growers and business owners over the last several months in listening sessions, during personal visits and in opinion pieces published in newspapers across the nation.

Old MacDonald Had a … Hurricane

Congress passed the first Farm Bill to help real Old MacDonalds who were struggling during the Great Depression. And lawmakers revisit the bill about every 5 years because, in contrast to the nursery rhyme, Old MacDonalds must constantly evolve with new tools, technologies and techniques to meet new challenges.

Our View: One for All

America enjoys the most affordable, widely available food supply in the history of mankind for about one-quarter of 1% of the federal budget. That’s why it’s so odd that organizations dedicated to defending taxpayers spend so much time focused on gutting farm policy.