Looking Out for #1

A couple of articles today highlight the use of biotech crops, and the general international resistance to buying, feeding, or consuming them. Genetically modified seeds have proven enormously popular in the United States, but proof of the beneficial effects of such crops to actual farmers -and society as a whole- often seems to be lacking. Usually, it seems the beneficiaries are seed companies, not farmers.

Wilford Brimley Would be Shocked

It is a truism of the sustainable agriculture movement that federal farm programs have distorted the planting decisions made by farmers. In short, you wouldn't see so much of the five big program crops around (corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, rice) if the government didn't support them so generously. Obviously, there are some basic laws of economics involved.

In the Crosshairs Again

Last Sunday, I put up a perhaps dramatically titled piece on farm subsidies, WTO, and other (much larger) sectors of the economy looking at agriculture subsidies as a road block to the successful completion of the Doha round of trade negotiations. Yesterday The Hill published another article on the very same subject:

Development Matters

Last month, in conjunction with our annual newsletter renewal, we kicked off an effort to raise $15,000 by May 15th to help provide the tools the Center for Rural Affairs needs to win the crucial battles in which we are currently engaged – fighting for farm program payment limits, meaningful community development, rural economic development that works, conservation, livestock market competition...


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