What is the best farm economy?

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Logan52
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What is the best farm economy?

Postby Logan52 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:57 am

I grew up believing the "free market" was the ideal goal for the farm economy, that over time growing demand for farm products would bring prosperity to the farm. Under this scheme, free trade would allow us to feed and clothe the world.

Now, after nearly a lifetime of watching higher yields and more production destroy prices and not increase profit for the farmer, I am wondering if maybe I have been wrong all along. Our region has changed from one of prosperous small farms to a kind of rural housing project for low income druggies.

Maybe farming needs something like the old tobacco program that regulated both prices and production. Times were certainly better back then for the average farmer.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby ddd75 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:35 am

they all seem to be doing pretty good around here with there 300k+ tracked tractors pulling 100k+ tracked grain carts
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby Caustic Burno » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:41 am

ddd75 wrote:they all seem to be doing pretty good around here with there 300k+ tracked tractors pulling 100k+ tracked grain carts



Lot are on welfare called subsidies.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby Bigfoot » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:53 am

The production of food is of vital importance to our country (and the world). It is of such importance, that it may not necessarily lend itself completely to the free market model.


Imagine, if people got in and out farming based on when there was and was not a profit in it. We may find ourselves with periods of time without a steady supply. Chaos would follow. The kind of chaos we don't need.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby HDRider » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:01 am

Logan, are you suggesting it is a free market now, or was a free market then?
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby Aaron » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:44 am

HDRider wrote:Logan, are you suggesting it is a free market now, or was a free market then?


As long as there are welfare programs for farmers, the free market will never properly exist. BTO's use the programs to subsidize their overproduction which depresses the price for everyone. They can farm 160 aces and take a loss on the resulting crop if it means the extra production and size of the operation looks better on the asset balance sheet for the banker.

You must realize that 90% of BTO's are one nervous bank manager away from bankruptcy.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby True Grit Farms » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:53 am

The little man is gone in the US of A. Alan Jackson wrote a great song about the process. I hate to say this but If you don't want to play the game your going to get left behind in the agricultural industry.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby M-5 » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:07 am

Population has compounded exponentially.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby mwj » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:27 am

In this day and age a farmer produces a ''product'' that is priced on a world wide economy. When a poultry producer in the SE will buy wheat from Europe because the freight rate makes it more cost efficient,it tells that money is what makes things happen.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby 1wlimo » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:30 am

There is no "farm economy" the trade is propped up with government support, and run by a couple of companies. These big controlling companies need to be broken up. The small farmer is more efficient, produces more food per area than a "BTO". 70% of the worlds food is still produced by small farmers on farms that are less than 50ha in size.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby Bigfoot » Mon Mar 12, 2018 8:38 am

1wlimo wrote:There is no "farm economy" the trade is propped up with government support, and run by a couple of companies. These big controlling companies need to be broken up. The small farmer is more efficient, produces more food per area than a "BTO". 70% of the worlds food is still produced by small farmers on farms that are less than 50ha in size.


Your point about efficiency is something I never considered, but is obviously true. Good post.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby Lucky » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:54 am

Are we talking “Farming” or “Ranching”? Allot of folks still do both because they enjoy it and just keep on doing the same thing regardless if it is profitable or makes sense. Both are hard businesses to thrive in but like any other business there’s always winners and losers. Efficiency is key now days. I figure the subsidies are there to keep food prices low but who really knows the reason.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby greybeard » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:05 am

what qualifies as a BTO?

"If your farm implements have more folding points than an accordion, you might be a BTO"
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby Jogeephus » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:25 pm

I think there is some confusion here because most farmers who grow food do not receive any subsidies and do work on the free market however most all farmers who grow commodity crops receive subsidies and price supports in some form.

What makes one crop a commodity and another a "specialty crop" seems to depend on the amount of government control. To me, it seems a crop is more prone to be considered a commodity if further processing is required which results in increased employment due to its further processing and manufacturing. Milk, like cotton, is considered a commodity but just try and sell milk in the free market and see what the government will do to you. But if you want to grow a hundred acres of okra the world is yours and the government won't say a word. Or try and sell some packs of hamburger from the calf you butchered at your barn.

I don't know the answer but it seems to me that with commodities the government is concerned about providing the larger employers with a cheap raw materials to work with and this was probably a good thing when our country had cotton mills that employed thousands of people who produced cloth and clothing for sale here and for export but now that we send the bulk of these commodities overseas to be processed and shipped back to us as a finished product it doesn't make as much sense. But like it or not, when you feed a commodity such as corn or meal to your cattle your bill is being subsidized.

I don't know the answer but its just something to think about.
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Re: What is the best farm economy?

Postby kickinbull » Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:40 pm

I believe that small businesses are done. Here in SC KY tobacco is gone. Most every small farm grew tobacco. Hogs, no market except direct to consumer. Who asks for organic,non gmo, but wants it cheap.chicken,same. Small dairies, gone. Small beef farms are dwindling down as older farmers die or quit. Every small community had country stores. Only ones left sell beer. Our Neighbors grow organic veggies for CSA 100+ miles away. They are doing tourism( visit to the farm school groups) to make it work.
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