Monday, February 02, 2009

ACRE and Bureaucracy

An excerpt from a discussion of the ACRE program at DTN (subscription required):

I think the primary concern with ACRE is the administrative burden. Proving yields and keeping records straight at the FSA office could be a Herculean effort even for a 1,000 acre farm. And who wants to share all that proprietary information. And is there some ridiculous cross compliance between landowners? So if one little old lady bows out, your work is in vain?

Notice EQUIP with Tier 1, 2, 3 funding failed to launch for the same bureaucratic reasons. It just plain disappeared.

Maybe FSA finally did it, they developed a program so complex that even they don't understand it!

  • note that these days a 1,000 acre farm leaps to the tongue as an example of a small farm. Just a generation ago Jane Smiley wrote her novel of that title as an example of a large farm, a kingdom even (she based her plot on King Lear).
  • several comments to the post, all interesting, a couple on the challenge to FSA. Some confusion evident, and these are farmers who presumably should be the best informed. That's the FSA educational problem (although Illinois extension is sharing the burden, apparently). [Updated link]
  • an observation about the intra-state differences in climate in ND, which makes the program work better for some farmers than others.

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