Originally Posted by Iowanian
Conservation programs, CRP, Wetland grass, forest reserve and a number of other programs are mostly taken advantage of in my area by wealthy out of state or absentee landowners. The tax payers have literally paid for thousands of acres of farms for people who worked it right, a congressman who pushed the program being one of them.
The subside direct payment is one thing, but let's not kid that there are a lot of people out there farming the insurance checks, and let's not pretend there isn't a lot of gray area in that too. no farmer ever "loses" a few wagons of corn.
Well, all the conservation programs have a purpose for the money. It's not like they're just spinning money around. They have a set purpose for each program. If they decide that money isn't worth it, that's fine with me. If they want to change their goals, well, that's fine too. But all the conservation money has a purpose to try to change something. It's a little different in your area, where if CRP or whatever goes away and all the sidehills go back to corn put 200lb/acre of N and 50lb/acre P into the Mississippi, you may not like the regulations that come down on account of it. A few years ago I talked to an NRCS guy about all the nonsense they have to do in the Chesapeake Bay watershed and the government FUBAR'ed that like you've never seen. On the whole though, if the government is willing to dump conservation programs, I won't be barking.
On the insurance thing, I can't say one way or the other if there is a lot of fraud there. I know I can't afford to cheap crops out and catch the insurance on the way by. Bombs demolish a guys APH and make his premiums skyrocket. Over the long term, I just can't do it. Your area is an entirely different world, though and there may be some guys jacking shit around there. There is a guy here that is rumored to do it here, but I can't imagine he actually does. Most of what we rent is sharecropped, if any of my landlords found out I was shuffling bushels, I'd never rent another acre.
Plus, I NEED
good APH's, and if I were to take away a good crop out of an APH, it would affect my profitability significantly in shitty years (like the last 2). I don't need any help bashing my APH's. But like I said, you are in a different part of the world than I am.
Originally Posted by Iowanian
I support agriculture and farmers, but far more of the new fancy brick front homes I see these days are in corn fields than in towns. You can search those owner names and pretty regularly they've taken in astonishing numbers of subsidies over the past decade.
Farming has been profitable in recent years, where there has been production. And there are a couple new fancy houses going up around here, too. And I don't mean to sound pretentious, but farmers have a ****ton of skin in the game, versus an 8-5er. It is really easy to wrap up 10's of millions of dollars in land, equipment, and investment in growing crops. Hell, some of the big ones might be in the 100M's. So with that amount of risk on the table, I won't begrudge a guy that makes money.
I'll crawl off my soapbox now and recognize that if they are cheating the system, they should DIAF. In fact, now that we're talking about it, I remember a big farmer in the next county south that was blatantly fraudulent with FSA payments. So much so that the feds investigated him. I don't know how he managed to get away with it, but all that happened was his daughter went to jail for a couple years (with a small child at home). Guy was a real piece of work and got away with it, God knows how.
I'm with you on the school lunches. I hadn't ever thought of including them in the service. But where I'm at now, I don't mind paying for my daughter's lunches and the kids of poorer parents getting a break.