Record $16 billion crop insurance payout stirs subsidy debate

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  • J-TX Allen, TX
    March 25, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    $16B? I bet there are at least 3 countries getting that much foreign aid that hate us. I'd rather US farmers have it than Jihadists or Islamist militants.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 24, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    Farm subsidies existed after WWI in 1922 and 1929 and into the Great Depression. It has become a tradition, sort of for farmers. As in the article picture, corn is the top crop for subsidy payments. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 leading up to our latest recession with environmentalists dictating, mandates that billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into vehicle fuel each year, guaranteeing demand, but US corn ethanol subsidies are between $5.5 billion and $7.3 billion per year. Producers also benefitted from a federal subsidy of 51 cents per gallon, additional state subsidies, and federal crop subsidies that can bring the total to 85 cents per gallon or more. However, the federal ethanol subsidy expired December 31, 2011.[16] (US corn-ethanol producers were shielded from competition from cheaper Brazilian sugarcane-ethanol by a 54-cent-per-gallon tariff, however that tariff also expired December 31, 2011.

    This has become more than a farmer issue with the kind of corn used for ethanol which isn't made for man or beast to eat. If they put the pipeline to Texas it would give us better and cheaper fuel than from the corn and processing. Environmentalists rule.

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    March 24, 2013 8:38 a.m.

    Subsidize farmers and close small town airports in Ogden and Provo. Calculated strategy to cut spending where it has the most impact and wil lead to protests from voters who will blame republicans. I vote eliminate farm subsidies and keep the airports open.

  • rick122948 boise, id
    March 24, 2013 8:34 a.m.

    The problem in this country is endemic of a short sighted approach to investment and a long term view of consequences. If we had made the investment in a national aqueduct system to transfer excess water to drought areas we would have created a resource to combat both floods and drought and created a more stable national agriculture which would help stabilize food prices and reduce catastrophic risks.Much better than the crapshoot of crop insurance.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    March 23, 2013 11:09 p.m.

    Even though some of the farms are big corporations, a lot of the farming is still done by family and individual farmers. For eternity, farmers have always been risk takers as they try to make money from the weather and resulting water shortages or the floods that attack their processes. We have put all kinds of restrictions on farming, dairy herds, cattle grazing, and all aspects of what a farm is and means to our economy. There have been some abuses, but we love our fresh fruit and produce year round with the supplies from Chile for the other half of the year. Banks and automobile and truck manufacturing with their union membership got a lot of bailout with no questions asked, except to not fly to Washington, D.C. in their efficient way to get business done.

    The Farmer's Almanac helped farmers get through some of the weather phenomenon when they didn't have the weather channel nor the national weather service. Even with all the electronic and scientific studies, weather is still an art not a science. Farmers suffer beyond their own capability to adapt to politics of the day, global warming or cold/hot changes.

  • Elcapitan Ivins, UT
    March 23, 2013 9:27 a.m.

    Crop insurance should be a private not a government enterprise. However, be prepared to pay more at the grocery and at the pump. That is the true cost of a subsidy. Get the government out of the business arena which it knows nothing about.

  • Fred44 Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 23, 2013 5:57 a.m.

    But it's ok to give big oil a 60 billion dollar tax break every year as they continue to make record profits?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    March 22, 2013 6:45 p.m.

    Farmers have been scamming us for years with their subsidies.