Posted by: shoji | September 4, 2007


Farm subsidies have been around for many decades, exerting a slow and steady change in agriculture. With these changes have come a fixed infrastructure that makes reversion (i.e., cuts in subsidies) a painful proposition. Think about the massive operations in place to farm corn– from the mega-acreage fields; the equipment to harvest them; the transportation network including railroads and grain silos; the animal feeding operations; the corn processing equipment (that makes such products as high fructose corn syrup and ethanol); etc.These industrial components were created from evolutionary changes in business practices influenced over the course of years of maligned agriculture policies. Despite the harms, we cannot undo them overnight due to infrastructure investments.

clipped from
As Farm Bill subsidies have lowered prices of commodity crops over the past thirty years, the food industry has invested heavily in an infrastructure that turns cheap materials into highly profitable “value-added” products.
—Daniel Imhoff, Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill (2007, Watershed Media)

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