Farmers Get Help

Yesterday Our Beloved Supreme Leader had a presser to announce his aid to the American farmer that may have trouble with the tariffs……and they all bow down……

With more than a dozen farmers at his side, President Trump announced a $16 billion aid package to compensate farmers for their losses in the trade war with China. “This support for farmers will be paid for by the billions of dollars the Treasury takes in” from China, he said. That’s not the way it works, the Washington Post points out: China does not pay the tariffs; importers do. Some importers then pass the cost on to American consumers. The administration had announced $12 billion in emergency measures in July. The relief announced Thursday will be distributed to farmers in three installments, with the first payment in July or August, the others in November and January 2020, if the tariffs are still in place.

Randy Spronk, a hog farmer and past president of the National Pork Producers Council who attended the White House meeting, said farmers realize the aid will not make up for their losses in a trade war. “But it makes enough of a difference to keep a lot of farmers so they can survive,” Spronk said, per the Post. The aid for farmers will ultimately come from taxpayers, said one expert, ABC reports. “Do the Chinese pay some of the tariff? Yes, probably in specific cases,” he said. “Do they pay most of it? No, the consumer pays most of it ultimately.” The American Farm Bureau and the National Farmers Union said that they appreciate the help, but that farmers would prefer to have a long-term trade deal with China.

This money was offered last Summer….and I agree with whoever said…”if tariffs hurt farmers then welfare is not the answer”……as always…I have written about the announcement a year ago……https://lobotero.com/2018/09/21/closing-thought-21sep18/

God knows our farmers need the help….but not everyone sees this politicial ploy as the answer to that problem……

President Donald Trump’s snap decision to send billions of dollars in new aid to farmers could be bad for the farm economy and the federal budget.

Many farmers are still deciding what to plant this spring and could be swayed toward crops that receive higher payouts from the aid package, such as soybeans. That would add to already record supplies and further depress prices that have been falling for five year

But the Trump administration’s decision to roll out the program now is drawing critics.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, told reporters Wednesday that the White House should have been more cautious about the timing of the announcement because farmers are still planting.

“[W]e want farmers to make decisions on how many acres of corn and soybeans to plant based on the market and not something the government’s doing,” he said.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse,” said Jonathan Coppess, an agricultural policy professor at the University of Illinois, and a former head of the USDA Farm Service Agency during the Obama administration.

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/05/23/trump-farmer-bailout-trade-usda-1459840

Our farmers do not want the ‘welfare’ they prefer to earn their money….keep one thing in mind….agri-business also will get this ‘welfare’ and that who it is truly protecting.

Where are the deficit hawks?  They have plenty to say when food stamps are on the agenda….where are they now?

Freaky Saturday–2019 (Part 2)

Saturday my day of mental relaxation and a bunch of “honey dos”……weather is warm for February and seems to linger…looks like our cold weather ended early this year…..

I have been watching the treatments that the medicos are using to try and help people with problems like PTSD…..I posted about the use of seem psychedelics from the 60s…….https://lobotero.com/2019/02/02/freaky-saturday-02feb19/

Since I wrote that there have been more studies that have shown promise on a wide array of mental problems…….

The reputation of the synthetic drug MDMA has changed dramatically since it was outlawed in 1985. Right now, it’s the centerpiece of a Food and Drug Administration-approved Phase III clinical trial on its ability to help heal the damage caused by post-traumatic stress disorder when used alongside therapy. While those trials are underway, scientists are seeking to understand the long-term impacts of MDMA, preparing for a future where it’s widely used to treat illness .

https://www.inverse.com/article/53143-psychological-effect-mdma-drug

Then there is the study of the “demon” of the 60s….LSD……

New neuroimaging research provides evidence that the psychedelic drug LSD alters the capacity of the thalamus to control the flow of sensory information to other areas of the brain.

The thalamus is a small section of the midbrain through which most sensory inputs from the body flow. The new findings, which appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, indicate that LSD decreases information filtering in the thalamus — allowing more information than normal to flood into the brain.

“LSD and other psychedelics induce unique effects on perception and emotion. These effects could on the one hand be interesting to understand certain symptoms in psychiatric patients (for example schizophrenia), but they could also be clinically beneficial for the treatment of other illnesses (for example depression),” said study author Katrin Preller of the University of Zurich.

https://www.psypost.org/2019/02/lsd-allows-more-information-to-flood-into-the-brain-by-altering-activity-in-the-thalamus-53062

The use of the drugs could be disastrous if not tightly controlled….but if these can help someone suffering from PTSD or other mental problem then I say give it a chance before it is condemned.

I must go out to the garden and start getting it ready for the crop this year…….hope everyone has a good day and give someone a hug…make their day.

Be Well, Be Safe……

Sucks To Be A Farmer!

I know I spend a lot of time watching and writing on foreign affairs and international situations……I try to keep an eye on the doings domestically……the one that needs attention is our FARMERS.

I have written about what Trump’s tariffs are doing to our farmers….https://lobotero.com/2018/07/25/the-coming-farm-aid/

There is more news that farmers are starting going broke at an accelerated rate……

Farmers in the Midwest are filing for bankruptcy at record rates as a result of President Trump’s trade war.

Bankruptcies in courts that cover the largest farm states in the country were nearly double in 2018 what they were in 2008, The Wall Street Journal reports.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers a region that includes Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin, received twice as many bankruptcy filings in 2018 as it did in 2008, during the height of the Great Recession.

The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska and both Dakotas, saw a 96 percent increase in bankruptcy filings last year compared to 2008.

https://www.rawstory.com/2019/02/midwest-farmers-going-broke-record-rates-thanks-trumps-trade-war/

American farmers feed the world….what will happen when there are fewer and fewer of them to grow food?  Importation will prove expensive…..so forget that…..

We could always depend on lab grown meat……but that may not be all it is cracked up to be…..

High impact: Proponents of lab-grown meat say it could one day supplant livestock—particularly cattle, a huge source of greenhouse-gas emissions.

The problem: Animal-free meat might be worse for the environment, researchers from the University of Oxford argue in a new report. They say previous studies have clumped together all emissions from cattle, rather than analyzing individual gases. Methane, for example, has a greater impact on warming in the short term, but it remains in the atmosphere for only around a decade, whereas carbon dioxide persists and accumulates for centuries, coauthor professor Raymond Pierrehumbert told the BBC. Emissions from the lab will be almost entirely made up of carbon dioxide.

A pinch of salt: It’s eye-catching, but this finding comes with plenty of caveats. Lab-grown meat isn’t even on sale to the public yet, and the researchers are making a lot of assumptions about meat consumption and future availability of lab-grown meat that may prove incorrect. For now, its climate impact may prove one of the smaller barriers to its adoption: for one thing, it’s still ridiculously expensive to produce.

Thoughts?

How About That Farmer’s Bailout?

In one statement…..It is Crap!

The Dear Supreme Leader has decided, in the past, that what the US needs is a good trade war to make everything okay for the future…..his trade wars and tariffs have hit our farmers the worst but not to worry the president has a plan to stop the bleeding of our farmers….a bailout!

SO now that it is in place how is it doing?  Are our framers making out okay?

American farmers are struggling to find storage for crops that would usually be sold overseas, with some being forced to leave produce rotting in fields as a last resort, as the trade conflict between the US and China continues.

Farmers in some US states are being forced into plowing their crops under — effectively burying them under soil in fields — as there is not enough room to store them in storage facilities, and they are unable to sell their products thanks to Chinese tariffs, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-trade-war-soybeans-left-rotting-thanks-to-lack-of-storage-2018-11

And the bailout?

Well $6 billion has been promised to our farmers to ease their pain and so far $838 million have been doled out….so things are better right?

Well let’s be honest……the plight of the American farmer still sucks!

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout of farmers who had been hurt by his trade wars has been a massive bust politically — and a New York Times report has found that very little of it has gone to the struggling farmers who need it most.

According to the Times, the bailout program “has done little to cushion the blow” of the president’s trade wars, “with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.”

In fact, the Times estimates, just $838 million of the $6 billion worth of bailout funds that have been authorized so far has been paid out.

https://www.alternet.org/trumps-12-billion-bailout-farmers-hurt-his-trade-wars-has-been-massive-bust-nyt

Will the pain continue for the American farmer or will these tariff thingys do what they were promised to do?

My guess is the promises will not be met…..something that is a reoccurring trait of Trumpism.

Closing Thought–21Sep18

An American institution is heading for a fall.  American agriculture is heading for a fall.

It is time for the harvest!

I have been watching this sector of our economy closely….one because the new tariffs could have a lasting effect on the farming in this country…..I have written a couple posts recently….

https://lobotero.com/2017/12/18/closing-thought-18dec17/

https://lobotero.com/2018/07/25/the-coming-farm-aid/

The Wall Street Journal is also watching this sector and their insights are not very good for the coming year…..

The Farm Belt is hurtling toward a milestone: Soon there will be fewer than two million farms in America for the first time since pioneers moved westward after the Louisiana Purchase.

Across the heartland, a multiyear slump in prices for corn, wheat and other farm commodities brought on by a glut of grain world-wide is pushing many farmers further into debt. Some are shutting down, raising concerns that the next few years could bring the biggest wave of farm closures since the 1980s.

The U.S. share of the global grain market is less than half what it was in the 1970s. American farmers’ incomes will drop 9% in 2017, the Agriculture Department estimates, extending the steepest slide since the Great Depression into a fourth year.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-next-american-farm-bust-is-upon-us-1486572488

How sad that a true American institution is slowly withering away….the government will step in but it may be too late for it to save this way of life.

Closing Thought–27Jul18

The US has a suicide rate that is anything but envious…..our vets kill themselves….our homeless commit suicide……our bullied teens feel suicide is their only out….suicide is all too “popular” in our society……

There is a sector that is having its trouble with suicide and it is a sector that one would never consider as  problem……our farmers.

Suicide is exploding in America – and the increase isn’t confined to celebrities like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. Suicide rates have risen by an astonishing 30% since 1999, with suicidal people citing relationship stress, financial difficulties and other issues as the underlying cause.

But suicide rates have increased for some professions more than others. According to CBS, farmers are facing the highest suicide rate of any profession in the US. The suicide rate for people in the field of farming, fishing and forestry is 84.5 per 100,000 people – more than five times that of the broader population. And with retaliatory tariffs from China and the European Union set to further undermine US crop prices, a bad situation could be about to get worse. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is raising interest rates, making the loans on which farmers depend increasingly expensive.

http://theantimedia.com/farmers-america-killing-themselves/

Please do not think I am blaming any of this on current policies…the problem goes deeper than that…..

This is a problem that has a cure but our current system will never end the spiraling problem….plus if the tariffs do much damage the rate may even increase…

Please have a good weekend….I will see you guys tomorrow….chuq

 

The Coming “Farm Aid”

It will not be Willie Nelson and John Mellenkamp…..no music….no foot long hot dogs…..no crappy beer on tap……

The story making the rounds is the tale of the American farmer and how he/she is losing markets and money thanks to the policies of Our Dear Leader……but not to worry….there is relief coming from DC…..

President Trump showed off a new campaign hat on Monday—it’s green with yellow letters, reminiscent of the John Deere logo, and it reads “Make Our Farmers Great Again,” notes Politico. (See Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue sporting one here.) The message is a calculated one as the White House seeks to ease farmers’ concerns that a US trade war will hit them hard. On Tuesday, the White House put the word out that its efforts will go well beyond hats, however—it’s rolling out $12 billion in emergency aid to farmers, especially those dealing with dairy, pork, and soybeans, reports CNBC. Details:

  • The money: It will come partly from a program set up in the Depression to help farmers called the Commodity Credit Corporation, reports the Washington Post. Because it’s an existing program, congressional approval isn’t necessary. Trump had asked Perdue to explore options months ago, and more details are still to be released.
  • Short-term: Perdue said the “one-time” program would help farmers dealing with “illegal retaliation” to US tariffs, reports the Wall Street Journal. “This is a short-term solution that will give President Trump and his administration time to work on long-term trade deals.”
  • The politics: The rollout comes as Trump travels to Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa ahead of the midterms, states where the agricultural community has voiced concern about the fallout of retaliatory tariffs from other nations. “The farmers will be the biggest beneficiary,” Trump said of his trade disputes in Missouri on Tuesday, per USA Today. “Just be a little patient.”
  • Criticism: The new plan isn’t sitting well with members of Trump’s own party who are worried about the longer-term picture. “What is our future down the road?” asks Senate Agriculture Committee chief Pat Roberts of Kansas. “We are trying to make the point that we don’t want aid, we want trade.” Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse: “This trade war is cutting the legs out from under farmers and White House’s ‘plan’ is to spend $12 billion on gold crutches.” But it wasn’t only politicians: “This proposed action would only be a short-term attempt at masking the long-term damage caused by tariffs,” Brian Kuehl of the trade group Farmers for Free Trade tells the New York Times.
  • ‘Welfare’ theme: Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee and Rand Paul of Kentucky both hit upon the same phrase in their criticism: “If tariffs punish farmers, the answer is not welfare for farmers—the answer is remove the tariffs,” Paul tweeted. “Our farmers have been in nonstop, saying they want trade, not aid, and now they’re being put on welfare,” said Corker. “Hopefully soon this ill-thought out policy will end.”

No end in sight: Most stories point out that the emergency aid is a good sign that Trump doesn’t intend to stop the trade disputes anytime soon. He extolled them again on Tuesday morning with a “Tariffs are the greatest!” tweet. And in Missouri, he said, “What the European Union is doing to us is incredible, how bad. They sound nice but they’re rough.”

There you go…the answer to crippling tariffs……agriculture welfare!  WAIT!  According to dim wits that would be creeping socialism (Humor!)…..I believe  Our Dear Leader fell asleep in the Wharton School when they taught trade and tariffs……never fear he is a genius.  (wink wink, nod, nod)

Closing Thought–18Dec17

WE hear about the suicide rate among our veterans…..also we read about children committing suicide because of bullying…..it seems that suicides are becoming all too regular.

I read something that gave me something to think about….a group that we do not connect to the word suicide……farmers…..

On the day in May 2011 that Matt Peters took his own life, he spoke on the phone with Dr. Mike Rosmann. Rosmann, himself an Iowa farmer, is also a psychologist who doubles as “one of the nation’s leading farmer behavioral health experts,” writes Debbie Weingarten for the Guardian. She knows that firsthand: The former vegetable farmer, weighed down by depression, once called Rosmann herself. “We were growing food, but couldn’t afford to buy it. We worked 80 hours a week, but we couldn’t afford to see a dentist, let alone a therapist. I remember panic when a late freeze threatened our crop, the constant fights about money,” she writes. And she’s not alone. Weingarten cites CDC figures that show the industry with the highest suicide rate is agriculture.

As for possible reasons why, the CDC lists “social isolation, potential for financial losses, barriers to and unwillingness to seek mental health services (which might be limited in rural areas), and access to lethal means.” And the financial picture isn’t pretty right now, with Weingarten noting the median farm income for this year is expected to be negative $1,325. Rosmann says many farmers’ issues can be addressed in no more than five therapy sessions, something he likens to an Employee Assistance Program. Congress in 2008 voted not to fund the Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network, a program that would have made hotlines and counseling available to farmers. The cost would have been $18 million a year; Rosmann maintains that the price we pay annually due to suicide is much higher. Read Weingarten’s full piece here.

It is sad to read this……but keep in mind once these people are gone from agriculture then all we have is agri-business….corporate farms……the prices will be going up until the poor eat what they can grown in a pot on the window sill…..

Gotta bounce my friends…..but will return tomorrow….see you then……chuq

Closing Thought–15Feb17

Things could get worse!

With a new president and new rules for immigration the farmers and all of American agriculture is facing a dilemma….a costly dilemma.

The day before harsh new laws came into effect, Brian Cash had 65 Hispanic men picking tomatoes. Now he has none

Brian Cash can put a figure to the cost of Alabama’s new immigration law: at least $100,000. That’s the value of the tomatoes he has personally ripening out in his fields and that are going unpicked because his Hispanic workforce vanished literally overnight.

For generations, Cash’s family have farmed 125 acres atop the Chandler mountain, a plateau in the north of the state about nine miles long and two miles wide. It’s perfect tomato-growing country – the soil is sandy and rich, and the elevation provides a breeze that keeps frost at bay and allows early planting.

For four months every year he employs almost exclusively Hispanic male workers to pick the harvest. This year he had 64 men out in the fields.
Then HB56 came into effect, the new law that makes it a crime not to carry valid immigration documents and forces the police to check on anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

Source: Alabama immigration: crops rot as workers vanish to avoid crackdown | US news | The Guardian

If this continues then I expect the price of fresh produce to skyrocket…..this is not just a story for Alabama…it is being repeated in other states as well…

Spring Has Sprung

Happy May Day everyone!

Sunday and my day in the garden making sure my stuff is doing good….and the best news was…..the first tomato of the season…..

(a little outta focus but I was excited to have my first tomato sandwich of the season)

Most of us will be hitting our local farmer’s market to scoop up some of those “garden fresh” veggies……but we need to be careful….why?

Your fresh veggies from the Farm could be a con…….

NBC Los Angeles’ news team decided to do some checking around at local farmer’s markets, and paid visits to the farms where the vendors claimed they grew the food they were selling. In some cases, they found fields full of weeds or dry, empty fields. The vendors were selling vegetables and fruit they had bought wholesale, and were selling it at premium prices at local farmer’s markets, claiming it was locally grown and organic.

Source: Farmers Markets Aren’t Always The Better Buy: The Pros And Cons Of Eating Local

And there is another aspect of buying this produce…..

With farmers market season upon us, anyone looking for extra incentive to get up early on Saturday to check out the organic offerings from local growers might want to take a gander at the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen,” the organization’s annual roundup of conventionally grown produce most likely to be contaminated with pesticides.

That plural—pesticides—is no joke. Despite growing consumer demand for healthier, more sustainably grown food, many samples of the most contaminated produce tested positive for residues from not one but two or more chemical pesticides. A single sample of strawberries contained residues from a whopping 17 different pesticides.

Source: The 12 Most Pesticide-Contaminated Fruits and Veggies | Alternet

This is why I grow most of my fave veggies…..onions, peppers, tomatoes, asparagus and my fave fruit….figs, pears, plums, peaches and tangerines….that way I know they are not treated with anything harmful……

Sorry to be a bummer on this Sunday but I feel that you guys need to know what is coming your way….go enjoy the rest of your weekend……I will catch up with everyone tomorrow.

Have A Day, My Friends!