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HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Several groups share opposition to raising funding for 2018 farm bill

Wikimedia Commons

The state of the farm economy is helping agricultural groups and farm-state lawmakers make their case for preserving and possibly increasing funding levels in the 2018 farm bill but some last week argued against it.

As Politico reports, the Heritage Foundation, the Environmental Working Group and Taxpayers for Common Sense argued that the current downturn in an inherently cyclical market shouldn’t be used to maintain the status quo on farm policy.

Daren Bakst with the Heritage Foundation, one of three members on a panel at an event held at the conservative think tank’s office in Washington, D.C., cited statistics showing the median income of farm households is around $77,000 a year – more than $20,000 higher than the average of all U.S. households – and debt-to-asset and debt-to-equity ratios, two indicators of farmers’ financial wellbeing, are still at all-time lows.  

Two farmers countered that comparing farm household income to small business owners would be a fairer metric for gauging how agricultural producers are faring, given the large amount of investment and risk involved.