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The Farm Bill

“Having food tied to natural cycles of prices is probably a little more scary than most of us want.”

JOE OUTLAW IS A TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION ECONOMIST.

“The U.S. spends less as a percentage on food, about 11% of a person’s budget is spent on food in the U.S. which compares to more than twice that in most of Europe and other places around the world.”

THE FARM BILL SAFETY NET KEEPS AGRICULTURAL PRODUCERS PRODUCING FOOD, EVEN WHEN PRICES ARE LOW.

“Our consumers don’t want for much. We have food available all year round whether, most of it comes from the U.S., but there are certain things that because of the season will be coming from elsewhere, and all this is governed by what’s in that farm bill.” (15:06

AGRICULTURE PLAYS A BIG ROLE IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE.

“In agriculture, we actually have enough supply that we can sell more to other countries than we actually buy of their products, so we’re a positive trade balance in agriculture, which isn’t the case for anything else.”

THE QUESTION BECOMES DO AMERICANS WANT TO DEPEND ON IMPORTING THEIR FOOD SUPPLY?

“We do some, but we also ran across instances recently with products from China that had things in it that we wouldn’t allow to happen in this country, or whether we buy produce from a country that’s using chemicals that we don’t allow to be used in this country because they are carcinogens.”

ANY SIGNIFICANT INCREASES IN FOOD PRICES OVER THE LAST YEAR HAVE BEEN DOCUMENTED TO BE A RESULT OF HIGHER FUEL PRICES, NOT HIGHER PRICES OF CORN OR OTHER COMMODITIES.

“So the value of the corn in the corn flakes has gone from two cents to four cents. We all know that we pay a lot more than four cents for a box of Post Toasties.”

“Again, when I say less than one per cent of our federal budget gets spent on the entire complex of ag programs, it’s a very good bargain for our consumers and our tax payers.”


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