Those green states are where all the crazy food politics will be centered. Image credit:USDA
In what may be one of my favorite news stories of the year, Green Fields: Expected acreage of corn isn't enough, survey shows, published in the Des Moines Register., the wacky Wall Street farmers at Goldman Sachs, "report...that bad weather this summer, either flooding or too-hot conditions during pollination in July, could shorten the U.S. crop and drive prices as high as $9 per bushel." There you have it, right from the heartland.Hell may have frozen over, proving Climate Change to be just another passing liberal fantasy, with a Kansas Republican state legislator seeming to give Project Head Start a budget shout out. (Get government out of who's life?')
Here's some evidence that times may be changing when it comes to farm subsidies: A newspaper story out of Kansas last week reports on a Republican House member who represents western and central Kansas and says that farm subsidies may be difficult to justify sparing from cuts.
"Farmers are going to have to make the argument, to Head Start folks and others, that their subsidies are worth borrowing 42 cents for every dollar spent," Rep. Tim Huelskamp said at a town hall meeting last week.
Extra extra, read all about it.... Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., wants to kill the corn ethanol subsidies, indicating a bloody battle over farm subsidies may ensue with Republicans and Democrats alike.
Can Sarah Palin see the corn burrito from her house? Stay tuned to your cable channel for salsa spooned on by her and many other clueless experts.
Tongue out of cheek for a moment, look for Obama's Agriculture Secretary, Mr Vilsack, to ascend to a seat of high political prominence. King harvest is surely come. There was a comparable situation back in the 70's.
I remember when Earl Butz, Richard Nixon's Agriculture Secretary, in the early 70's called for US farmers to plow 'fence row to fence row' - water quality, ring-necked pheasants, sharptail grouse and duck potholes be damned - so corn trading could be used as a foreign policy instrument and improve the balance of trade. The result was a corn and farmland price bubble and a huge increase in farm land erosion, including the secondary result of plugged highway culverts.
We are going deep into corn politics for the coming election. Pull that fence row to fence row crap again and the Gulf of Mexico dead zone is going to make the BP spill look like child's play
Deep black, well drained (but not too droughty) prairie soil, as shown in the graphic up top of this post, that last year was worth a thousand plus per acre is now bumping six grand. That's nuts. That's fear driven.
No wonder, though, when you look at the prolonged drought gripping huge swaths of the USA. (Turn yer tortilla chip in my post of a few days ago: Coming Intersection Of Global Trade Clashes, Food Cost Increases, And Climate Politics )
Related and highly recommended post.
Can the United States Feed China? -