Government Support for Farmers

July 11 2000

Adopt this proposal and U.S. farmers will be able to "sell their commodities in every comer of the earth without being undercut by subsidized competition or blocked by high tariffs." -- the words of U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman. The proposal was formally presented to the World Trade Organization the last day of June.

The plan would set a ceiling on government support for farmers and phase down over time. The objective is to systematically wean farmers from government support…

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June 27 2000

Many of the pundits have been saying that this would be a "do nothing Congress". That political gridlock would close the door on any meaningful legislation. So far that has not been the case at all. Let" just take inventory ofwhere we are with a list of bills that might have been little more than a dream a few months ago. For years the Congress went through the annual charade of voting normal trade relations for China.

The energy expanded every year was enormous. This year we passed…

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The State of Agriculture

February 29 2000

What's hot and what's not? That's a good questions. Look at the stock market as a barometer of the nation's economic health and you would have to conclude that we have a mixed bag. Although mostly on the positive side of the ledger. The old line blue chip stand-by stocks are the ones struggling.

Almost all of the food companies -- so basic to our lives -- are languishing at the bottom of the barrel. Take a look. There is IBP, ADM, Kellogg, Philip Morris, John Deere, Ag Co. Up and down the…

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Farm Economy 2000

February 1 2000

The farm economy appears to be turning around ever so slightly. Farm land values have held up very nicely in the face of low farm prices keeping the U.S. farm balance sheet reasonably sound. The Asian economies are gaining strength which should help boost prices of certain select commodities. Can we put on a happy face? We want to.

Yet I just finished reading the speech that Keith Collins, USDA's Chief Economist, gave to the American farm Bureau Convention. He calls them the way he sees…

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