Farm subsidy promises start in each administration at the Iowa Caucus and don’t end until midwestern senators and congressmen pass a bloated farm bill. But now that the world is starving, crop prices are through the roof, and the farm economy is booming, the US farming policy will be reformed, right? Wrong.
Instead, the usual subsidies will stay–including the ethanol subsidy that is causing farmers to grow corn for fuel instead of something edible–and urban lawmakers will simply be placated with another $10 billion in food stamps. The only person who has a chance to stop this year’s sop to the farm lobby is the man accused of “spending like a drunken sailor”, President Bush–and he won’t.
So which companies stand to benefit from ongoing agribusiness subsidies? Archer-Daniels-Midland Company (ADM), for one.
Jed Graham from investors.com reports:
The losers in the farm bill derby have been “family farmers and taxpayers,” said Sandra Schubert of the Environmental Working Group.
The group’s database shows that under current law, 93% of direct subsidies go to just five crops: corn, wheat, cotton, soybeans and rice. Two-thirds of farmers get no payments, while large agribusinesses reap the benefits.
Rather than providing a safety net for small and midsize farmers, the bill promotes consolidation of farms into agribusinesses, Schubert says.
In 2007, corn growers got $2.1 billion in direct federal payments, even though the price of corn has jumped 169% since the 2002 farm bill passed, says Heritage’s Riedl.