Upcoming farm bill

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by KristyHall, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. KristyHall

    KristyHall Overrun With Chickens

    5,047
    176
    288
    Jan 27, 2011
    North Alabama
    I ran into this article in mother earth news magazine. The online one isn't as in-depth I think, but it is still something to think about.






    Once every five to seven years, a largely unnoticed but essential piece of legislation known as the Farm Bill has to be reauthorized in Congress. The current bill is set to expire on Sept. 30, 2012, and debate is heating up about what will be included in the next bill. Here are five facts to be aware of as the bill moves forward.


    1. The Farm Bill Is Now a Food Bill. Between 2008 and 2012, more than 78 cents of every Farm Bill dollar was dedicated to nutrition assistance programs. Much of this funding goes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (or SNAP, formerly known as Food Stamps). During the current economic crisis, enrollment in SNAP has soared to more than 46 million — one in seven U.S. citizens.

    2. We Heavily Subsidize the Industrial Food System. The five crops that receive the most support from the Farm Bill are corn, cotton, soybeans, wheat and rice. The majority of these crops are fed to livestock, used as ingredients in processed foods or converted into ethanol. The foods that should make up at least half of our diets — fruits, nuts and vegetables — are termed “specialty crops” and receive only modest support.

    3. Mega-Farms Benefit the Most. The big Farm Bill winners are mega-farms, many of which gross more than $250,000 per year in income. The top 10 percent of farms have historically received up to 74 percent of subsidies. Meanwhile, small and mid-sized family farms struggle each year to get by.

    4. Conservation Programs Are Always First on the Chopping Block. Rather than cutting commodity crop subsidies, Congress typically raids conservation programs. In 2011, $500 million was slashed from conservation programs; another $1 billion was cut in 2012. Commodity programs suffered no such losses.

    5. The Farm Bill Affects Everyone. The United States spends nearly $100 billion on Farm Bill programs each year. Even urban coalitions such as the U.S. Conference of Mayors and the National League of Cities see the Farm Bill as critical to their interests. Helping those in need get enough to eat, supporting farmers who carefully steward natural resources, expanding the availability and affordability of locally produced organic foods and grass-fed animal products— all of these should be key priorities in the next Farm Bill.

    We highly recommend Imhoff’s book about this crucial legislation. We are currently selling Food Fight at a 25 percent discount. — MOTHER EARTH NEWS


    Read our privacy policy.http://www.motherearthnews.com/sustainable-farming/farm-bill-zmgz12aszphe.aspx
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    223
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: "Gross" income means little, since that's BEFORE costs are deducted.

    When a single combine or tractor can COST $250,000, that "gross income " amounts to nothing at all.

    Smaller farms can get plenty of help too.
    All they have to do is meet the reqirements

    Don't fall for the MEN's hype
    Subsidies are ususally based on acres farmed or amounts produced, so it's common sense that larger farms get more

    Lots of hungry people are HAPPY there are "megafarms" to keep food on their tables
     
  3. KristyHall

    KristyHall Overrun With Chickens

    5,047
    176
    288
    Jan 27, 2011
    North Alabama
    I think gross income is before taxes, and I doubt a combine is purchased every year for every farm.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    This is true, however a gross income of $250,000.00 isn't that much when you calculate the cost of producing that income. The net is a far different number! Just as with most businesses, the cost of production in farming is huge.
     
  5. KristyHall

    KristyHall Overrun With Chickens

    5,047
    176
    288
    Jan 27, 2011
    North Alabama
    Also, what does MEN stand for? Shouldn't more of the government aid that largely subsidizes corn go to healthier and more diverse crops which saves us in the long term in environmental and health costs? Especially since a large amount of our corn product goes into non food applications like making plastics.
     
  6. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    5,545
    223
    288
    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: "Before taxes" is the same as "before COSTS" since costs are tax deductions

    If you "gross" $250,000 in one year, and have to buy a combine, your EFFECTIVE INCOME for that year is $0.00.
    You don't have to pay it all at once, but in the long run you will actually pay far MORE than the $250,000 cost, due to financing

    If you have a million or two in equipment, and buy diesel fuel by the TANKER load, and burn 4-500 gallons in a day during harvests and planting, $250,000 is a drop in the bucket
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by