Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Counter-Cyclical Argument for Direct Payments

House Ag committee writes to House Budget justifying the continuing need for farm programs, including the direct payments, on the basis of the cyclical nature of the agricultural economy. Chris Clayton reports:
The agriculture economy is highly cyclical. When record-high prices fall - which they inevitably will do - having sound farm policy in place is vital not just for producers but for the entire national economy. In addition, it is important to note that while high prices have lead to a 51 percent increase in gross cash income in agriculture over the past nine years; this has been met by an increase in cash expenses of 57 percent. In sum, recent high prices have not made the family enterprises that make up our farm sector any less vulnerable -indeed it has just raised the stakes in what is still an exceptionally risky business.

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