2006

Farm Bill

November 29 2006

Farm bills are not written in a vacuum. They are a product of their time. And the 2007 farm bill will be a product of the most different time in my memory.

We have a budget deficit pushing us to cut spending. The big city papers rant about the "obscene" cost of farm programs.

The World Trade Organization finds that our program "distorts world markets."

There is a global rush to increase energy supplies. We are committed to…

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Thanksgiving

November 22 2006

What a pleasure it was last week to attend the annual Farm Broadcasters meeting in Kansas City. Many familiar faces and many new faces were there exchanging ideas, interviewing speakers, and broadcasting back to their local stations across this great nation.

It has been a long time since I have seen such an upbeat mood. Everyone seemed prepared to really celebrate Thanksgiving. Why not be grateful for a demand driven bull market.

The…

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Federal Crop Insurance

November 1 2006

When the next farm bill is written, everything will be in the spotlight. Some might say in the cross hairs for elimination. Federal Crop Insurance will not be an exception.

The federal government pays 60% of farmer premiums for their crop insurance. With a bad crop, insurance will pay a farmer as much as 95% of the income he would get from an average crop. If you are farming marginal land, that is a deal that is hard to refuse. The result -- farmers plant land that would be otherwise left…

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