USDA

PIK Program

September 13 2000

Say it isn't so! Not the PIK program again. Yes, that's what it is. This time for sugar. I really thought PIK (payment in kind) was history. But I guess not. We have too much sugar and with the loan rate where it is, it appears the sugar processors are going to forfeit at least 500,000 tons of sugar to the government. Secretary Glickman does not want the sugar. He already owns 125,000 tons. The sugar beet farmers are about to harvest another big crop. I introduce you to payment in kind.…

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USDA Dollars

March 14 2000

Where does your money go? At USDA I believe that a lot of money is spent for a lot of good reasons. Farm support payments to help struggling farmers through tough times. Export funds to move our products into the international market place. Funding to care for our forests . Even food stamps to help needy families.

But I read an article last week that was shocking. According to the Inspector General, more than 20 million dollars of money at USDA that was designated to Natural Resources was…

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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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