I was asked what I thought of the new farm bill and how it would affect me. To tell you the truth I don't know. I dont "farm the government" so I don't pay attention much to the farm bill. By "farming the government," I mean that you plant crops and control your operation to maximize the money you can get from the government.
The new farm bill does away wih direct payments and strengthens the crop insurance program. I will lose my direct payments because of this but I am not sure what the change is to the crop insurance program is so I don't know how it is going to affect me. I do use crop insurance so it will be interesting to see.
The one thing that is in the farm bill that I don't think is a good idea is mandatory Country Of Origin Labeling. I personally don't see how it is going to help beef producers and all it is going to do is make beef more expensive for consumers. As high as prices are now that is only going to hurt us all if we raise prices for no reason.
There has been research studies that show that consumers "say" they would purchase beef from US over preference to beef grown in other countries and that is all fine and dandy. The question has never been asked is if they are willing to pay more for this oppurtunity. I don't think they will but this has never been put to a test in the US. I do vaugley remember a study in Australia that asked the same question about Australian beef and got the same answer. They then followed it up with actual product that was only Australian in origin and some that wasn't labeld for country of orgin but was priced cheaper. By a large majority the people that siad they would buy Australina beef bought the not labeled stuff because the price was cheapr. I think the American consumer will be the same way so I don't see that it will help us. The cost of the packers segregateing thier operations to keep US beef seperate from other countries is going to cost them more and they will pass it on to the consumer. It won't come to the Cow-Calf man or anybody else in the supply line. The packer might get more but that is about it. Mandatory COOL is a mistake but what am I to do. Live with it like everything else the government does.
SO like it or not, the farm bill is here and I will deal with it.
Don't waste valuable time and energy on things that don't matter, obstacles, challenges and tough times are all part of the deal. So deal with it and keep moving Ricaardo Housham