Dear Farm Journal,
Beyond the pine windbreak, open fields lay to the north, and I wonder how they will be worked this year. This land belongs to another farmer set in a strange system. When fields are too wet to maneuver equipment, the corn or beans are left unplanted. However, in order to collect the insurance payment, the farm must prove they “maintained it as a field”, so they spray it, killing everything. What is left is a barren stretch of die off and no root structures to hold the soil in place. This is what agricultural economist, John Ikert, calls high risk farming. At the MOSES conference in February, he said, “American taxpayers are asked to absorb much of these risks through U.S. farm policies— including various kinds of price supports, deficiency payments, subsidized crop insurance, disaster payments, subsidized interest rates, loan guarantees, and investment tax credits. All of these programs, in one way or another, incentivize or subsidize industrial agriculture”. This strange system doesn’t “feed the world. In fact, it does just the opposite.