As Prices Rise, Farmers Spurn Conservation Program

** As Prices Rise, Farmers Spurn Conservation Program**

Out on the farm, the ducks and pheasants are losing ground.

Thousands of farmers are taking their fields out of the government’s biggest conservation program, which pays them not to cultivate. They are spurning guaranteed annual payments for a chance to cash in on the boom in wheat, soybeans, corn and other crops. Last fall, they took back as many acres as are in Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Environmental and hunting groups are warning that years of progress could soon be lost, particularly with the native prairie in the Upper Midwest. But a broad coalition of baking, poultry, snack food, ethanol and livestock groups say bigger harvests are a more important priority than habitats for waterfowl and other wildlife. They want the government to ease restrictions on the preserved land, which would encourage many more farmers to think beyond conservation.

Kerry Dockter, a rancher in Denhoff, N.D., has about 450 acres of grassland in the program. “When this program first came about, it was a pretty good thing,” he said. “But times have definitely changed.”

If our farmers are plowing moving onto formerly protected land you can bet that in poorer countries they are plowing under rain forest and wetlands which with even worse long-term damage.

Starving the poor world wide by using crops for ethanol and biodiesel to maintain our automotive lifestyle is a sin.


As far as I am concerned, this is capitalism working. Supply and demand should drive what is planted, not government meddling (i.e. planned economies of Marxist regimes).

Also, there is other materials that can be and will be used for ethanol, methanol, and biodiesel.

Here in Germany (Bavaria) many of the local farmers are abandoning wheat, corn, oats, even hops for oilseed rapes.

Yeah, let’s hear it for capitalism.
Too bad hungry people in developing countries don’t constitute a “demand” for the supply of food.
Who wants to go explain to them that they’ve been outbid by folks who are not only overfed but want to burn food to run their cars?

It isn’t just poor countries, either – you may have noticed food prices rising here. In Italy the price of pasta is off the chart because there’s no durum wheat to be had. the farmers have all switched to biodiesel.

Did you actually read my post and the article.

Currently, there is over 30 million acres of land not in production. If all that land was brought back in, there would be a whole lot of supply that would be brought into production, thus lowering prices.

In addition, using corn as a material for biofuel is only a temporary fix until new technologies are brought into the mix (which will be sooner than you thing). In fact, the technology is close where you can use the corn for food and the stalk and cob for biofuel. Since the stalk and cob are usually discarded as waste, that means MORE of the plant will be used for useful purposes.

And, even in the case of the corn kernel itself, most of the corn being used is feedstock for animals. Since some of the kernel is useless (i.e. not digested by the animal), that part can be separated from the kernel and be used for biofuel.

A third benifit of these rising prices is the possibility of replacing undesirable crops with ones that can be used for food or biofuels. One that comes immediately to mind is tobacco. Many crops (including corn) can be planted in the same area as tobacco. Some of these even have more potential (i.e. higher yield and lower cost) than corn for use in biofuels.

So, you see, there are positives that can be taken from the current situation that can quickly correct the imbalance faster than if the government would get involved.

Secular Relativists (yes I had to get that in here :cool: ) are so fixated on instant gratification, they are blinded to the long term. They also tend to think government intervention (especially the Socialist/Marxist kind) is a panacea for all the world’s woes. The welfare/nanny state is not the solution.

Yet there are people out there who really need the help. I’m not talking about those who will not work, but those who do. Many people out there live on “starvation” wages. I used to be one of them. Now I’m on disability, but still on a low income. With the prices of everything going up, I could use all the help I can get.

For those on disability, like me, and those in the military or other occupations that are paid by the government are losing out big time. Our cost of living increases are NOT keeping up with inflation. While I’m not against finding a way to becoming less dependent on foreign oil, I think feeding the people would take priority.

When I was a little kid, most of the land around here was farmed with row crops and orchards. The strawberry fields and orchards went away when the big irrigation projects out west, and the introduction of hard fruit that is picked green and chemically “matured”, made them uneconomical. Row cropping ended abruptly because productivity gains on the very best land made row cropping uneconomical here as well. Now it’s all grassland with cattle, and forests. Bald eagles, minks, otters, beavers and other critters that were never here when I was a kid are now here in abundance. The streams are full of wild trout.

I’m not sure just how much of the “set aside” land was the best farm land, but I suspect most of it was. The less “perfect” land for miles and miles and miles around here hasn’t been farmed for at least fifty years. When I can drive north through fairly serviceable land for a hundred miles and more and never see one plowed field, it makes me doubt that we’re running out of land. At least if someone mowed the grass for biomass fuel, it would look better. Driving northeast, I can go 200 miles without even seeing more than a handful of cattle, on land that would support cattle. No row crops, of course. There’s almost nothing there but forest.

I don’t doubt that some of the best land is being taken out of set aside programs. But that’s land that was intensively farmed for generations and was only recently taken out of production. It takes awhile for adjustments like that to be made, and I do wonder just how long this “corn shortage” is really going to last, at least in the U.S.

I don’t doubt that some Brazilian land ought not to be farmed at all.

In Zimbabwe, of course, some of the best farm land on earth has been made unproductive by Mugabe’s programs. I wonder how much that pattern has been repeated in the other “dictator lands”.

I am just not yet persuaded that the world is running out of farm land. There’s too much empty land that I can see myself, to allow me to be persuaded just yet.

One thing that also has not been mentioned is that yields of crops has been improving through bio-engineering. This is and will continue to increase supplies of food.

That is a point either the late Pope john paul 2 said or pope benidict spoke of. (i’m not sure which). when will capitalist learn? maybe when all the trees are cut down
The water hole is posioned
And the last fish caught
maybe then they will learn that you can’t eat money.

The sad part is they get to take the rest of us with them. Shortsighted to a fault. :frowning:

Is Capitalism Evil? Compared to Socialism (in the ultimate forms of Marxism and Nazism), no. In fact, most of the most heinous crimes again people of the past century were perpetrated by Socialism.

Socialist government micromanagement of what is to be planted, how much to be planted, and how it will be distributed guarantees food shortages.

Yes, some will take advantage under the Capitalist system but it will be far less than under socialism. Right now, farmers are spurning Socialistic Conservation programs and are planting more. That will increase supplies.

Liberation theology which combines Catholicism and the extreme socialism of Marxism has been condemned by the Holy See.

It is my impression that you can’t just immediately take your land out of all conservation programs. Some of them involved time commitments. In any event, the ones of which I am aware aren’t really “conservation” programs in the sense that most people think of it. Those programs weren’t wildlife oriented, though possibly some resulted in increased wildlife population. Some would have resulted in decreased wildlife population as well, because wildlife also ate the corn, wheat, etc. But in any event, most of those programs involved land that had already had an allotment for government sponsored grain price supports. In other words, the very best land; usually flat, without wildlife cover or biodiversity. Most of that land I am aware of was sown in grass monocultures that couldn’t even be fed to cattle unless disaster aid programs allowed it. People with good farmland didn’t let it go back to wild growth or even grasses that were most conducive to most wildlife, and weren’t required to do that.

In my state, anyway, most of the wildlife increases, and there is a lot of it, are on diversified lands that aren’t as conducive to row crop farming as the “set aside” lands. Recently, the state removed all limits on does, for example, because they’re overburdening the environment and natural predators such as mountain lions, are not introduced to keep a balance because they are also dangerous to livestock and people.

:eek: Around here where I live,there was a lot of farmland.However many are selling their land and instead,houses are going up like crazy all around Schertz and Cibolo,and there are even new places out in Marion.North on FM3009, is nothing now but warehouses and the new Walmart,etc. Again cropland is disappearing here because everyone seems to be moving out this way from San Antonio,and other parts of the country.
The hill country around San Antonio is being usurped by houses and business in an explosion of growth.Well,if we have a drought like the one back in the 1950s,the city will be paying the price.
I say this becuase out by me the coyotes,deer and other animals are being driven out.Don’t know about the conservation program here in Texas.

And yes,everytime you go to the grocery store,things keep going up in price.Bought some Country pride bonless skinless chicken breasts at H.E.B. cause it was 4.95 a bag,and there were 10 or 11 breasts in the bags.Only buy chicken when it is on sale.
milk goes up,and other things to, I have no idea how families with kids do it food wise.Being single i shouldn’t complain,but it makes you made that prices keep going up,and it is very hard for the poor in other countries too. And then you have people like the head of Exxon raking in millions of dollars,just makes me sick.

[quote=Swan]The sad part is they get to take the rest of us with them. Shortsighted to a fault. :frowning:

I guess the environmentalists should have thought about that when they forced people into Biodiesels, eh? If they hadn’t overhyped “Climate Change” as a big catastrophe, they wouldn’t have brought on real catastrophe for the hungry of the world. Ironic, isn’t it?

What option do y’all see to prevent farmers from producing biofuel material and return to producing food crops? Should the UN mandate what farmers should grow?

Aren’t those the guys who operated the “oil for food” program? They did get lots of oil, I guess. The Iraqis got little food.

The UN is a socialist organization bordering on the extremism associated with Marxism.

Food commodity prices have been kept higher than they should be for years due to socialist interference in reducing the acreage planted by subsidizing farmers not to plant. With rising prices, farmers are now seeing those subsidies worth less than planting on the unused land. Also, the possibility of replacing undesirable crops like tobacco with useful crops will increase due to the economic gains due to prices. The result will be an increase in crops thus lowering prices until a new equilibrium is reached.

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