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Old 10-31-2019, 05:25 PM
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Default Why Don't Farmers Grow Our Own Food?



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I have never payed attention to politics or the news really until Trump came into the presidential race in 2016. So, I really don't know why the farmers don't grow our food. I know about some farmers getting subsidy's not to grow but never looked into why.

If I read about it in history I don't remember it. I do remember Willie Nelson starting the Farm Aid concerts to help farmers from hopefully losing their farms but never payed attention to really why.

So, was watching a report on China and Trump talking about making a deal on trade and it finally dawned me that farmers really don't grow most of our food anymore. So, my question is why not? So I thought I would turn to those who know more about it and ask.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:36 PM
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Most any farmer will tell you; farming was good until government got involved and ruined everything with their "help".

See the healthcare "Crisis" today to fully understand.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:56 PM
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They do grow our food. But, they grow in excess and the surplus (depending on crop) is stored by the fed and also shipped/sold abroad. In the trade deals we also agree to buy certain foriegn agricultural products, including meats these days.

But, to your point a lot of fields that used to be planted in crops like wheat, are now planted in ethanol corn. The majority of the fields around me have fallen victim to that..

The subsidies are intended to keep crop markets stable (no glut and falling prices).
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:03 PM
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They grow what makes the most out of their land and resources. That's not always the cheap crap our processed foods are made out of.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pitbull_Dallas View Post
They do grow our food. But, they grow in excess and the surplus (depending on crop) is stored by the fed and also shipped/sold abroad. In the trade deals we also agree to buy certain foriegn agricultural products, including meats these days.

But, to your point a lot of fields that used to be planted in crops like wheat, are now planted in ethanol corn. The majority of the fields around me have fallen victim to that..

The subsidies are intended to keep crop markets stable (no glut and falling prices).
I know some still grow but I was under the impression we pay a lot of them NOT to grow and we were buying food that we didn't grow from other countries like China. So, that's not the case?

I was just wondering if we could grow our own food and not have to worry about having to buy it from other countries.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OhioMan View Post
Most any farmer will tell you; farming was good until government got involved and ruined everything with their "help".

See the healthcare "Crisis" today to fully understand.
The hardest part about being a farmer is learning to say “we need to get the government out of farming” with a straight face.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:44 PM
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The government pays some farmers to not grow crops to keep prices elevated, and to keep prices stable.
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:51 PM
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Excess corn and soy goes out, produce comes in. It is not that easy to grow, for example, cherries in November and yet the demand is there so importers buy where they can, sell it in the USA for a profit, and Americans eat them

Some produce really is seasonal, but you would not know it once out of season produce has been imported from Chili, Mexico, Guatemala, etc
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Old 10-31-2019, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXplowgirl View Post
I know some still grow but I was under the impression we pay a lot of them NOT to grow and we were buying food that we didn't grow from other countries like China. So, that's not the case?

I was just wondering if we could grow our own food and not have to worry about having to buy it from other countries.
Go to USDA.gov. I'd bet you'd learn much/something.

US farmer is the most productive in the world (the US does feed the world and has the last 1800s). But if you look at a map you'll not no CONUS territory is tropically. So when some vegan "needs" tropical grown _____ crap it's not grown in the US.
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:00 PM
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People wouldn't want to pay the price of what farming costs
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXplowgirl View Post
I have never payed attention to politics or the news really until Trump came into the presidential race in 2016. So, I really don't know why the farmers don't grow our food. I know about some farmers getting subsidy's not to grow but never looked into why.

If I read about it in history I don't remember it. I do remember Willie Nelson starting the Farm Aid concerts to help farmers from hopefully losing their farms but never payed attention to really why.

So, was watching a report on China and Trump talking about making a deal on trade and it finally dawned me that farmers really don't grow most of our food anymore. So, my question is why not? So I thought I would turn to those who know more about it and ask.
The same reason women do not make even their children's cloths much less spin their own yarn.

Farming is a business.
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BravoLimaDelta View Post
The hardest part about being a farmer is learning to say “we need to get the government out of farming” with a straight face.
In my very limited experience with farmers here in NW PA, I'd have to agree.

Especially when I include my co worker who has a 40 acre "farm" who is raising bees. And before everyone jumps on me for criticizing bees...he is actually just tending wooden hives....will claim colony collapse is ever inspected.
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXplowgirl View Post
I know some still grow but I was under the impression we pay a lot of them NOT to grow and we were buying food that we didn't grow from other countries like China. So, that's not the case?

I was just wondering if we could grow our own food and not have to worry about having to buy it from other countries.
There are some crops which require people to pick them, and some that
can use harvesters to harvest. America can grow corn cheaper than Mexico
because we have good land and machinery they lack. Mexico can grow cheaper vegies, because they have cheaper farm workers than we do.

Other countries have climates we lack while we also pay our farmers to grow
corn which not only is used in our cars, but feeds our farm animals.

The bottom line is; our farmers grow that which gives them the most profit.
That's one of the freedoms which make America great.
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Old 10-31-2019, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PalmettoTree View Post
The same reason women do not make even their children's cloths much less spin their own yarn.

Farming is a business.
No need to get snarky about it. I know farming is a business. But I thought our farmers weren't doing as much of it as I thought therefore we were having to buy more than what I thought from overseas.

I've just been wondering if something was to happen, don't know what what exactly, if our farmers could feed us if all the other countries decided to stop shipping to us for some reason.

Thanks everyone for enlightening me.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:01 PM
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If you want fresh blueberries or strawberries or blackberries in December, you are not going to get them from the US unless they were grown in a hot house.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:12 PM
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Ok I am a farmer in Nebraska. And we DO grow most our own food.

In fact, we grow too damn much!

We grow so much grain crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc.), that a large amount is exported. We grow FAR MORE than we could ever consume in the U.S. alone.

The same with beef, pork, chicken, and dairy products.

The only things we don't grow in abundance are certain tropical foods (coffee, bananas, etc.).

There is such a surplus of farm commodities right now, that prices are back to 2001 levels. Could you pay today's bills with the income you earned 20 years ago?

America's farm productivity is the best in the world. So much so, that chronic surpluses have depressed farm prices for decades.

And as a farmer, let me set one thing straight: THERE IS NO FEDERAL FARM PROGRAM THAT PAYS FARMERS NOT TO PLANT. Nor has there been one since the 80's.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXplowgirl View Post
I've just been wondering if something was to happen, don't know what what exactly, if our farmers could feed us if all the other countries decided to stop shipping to us for some reason.
Absoluely yes. As long as the farmers have access to machinery and gas they will produce grain and meat, and do a very good job of it.

HOWEVER, it would mean less of a variety in the stores, especially of produce.

This year the grain harvest will not be very good, but there will still be food in the stores. Prices of meat may go up but we will still eat
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXplowgirl View Post
No need to get snarky about it. I know farming is a business. But I thought our farmers weren't doing as much of it as I thought therefore we were having to buy more than what I thought from overseas.

I've just been wondering if something was to happen, don't know what what exactly, if our farmers could feed us if all the other countries decided to stop shipping to us for some reason.

Thanks everyone for enlightening me.
The switch over would be prolonged we could do it but there would be a seasonal foods again,no year round guacamole, no bananas or other tropical fruit
Don’t think sugar cane grows in CONUS but sugar beets do, no coca no coffee.We grow rice. And most other grains. Depending on what “ happened “ fish would be local. As long as the bread basket is intact and there’s fuel and electricity the lower 48 would feed itself. The variety would be less varied.
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Old 10-31-2019, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zooeyhll View Post
Ok I am a farmer in Nebraska. And we DO grow most our own food.

In fact, we grow too damn much!

We grow so much grain crops (corn, soybeans, wheat, etc.), that a large amount is exported. We grow FAR MORE than we could ever consume in the U.S. alone.

The same with beef, pork, chicken, and dairy products.

The only things we don't grow in abundance are certain tropical foods (coffee, bananas, etc.).

There is such a surplus of farm commodities right now, that prices are back to 2001 levels. Could you pay today's bills with the income you earned 20 years ago?

America's farm productivity is the best in the world. So much so, that chronic surpluses have depressed farm prices for decades.

And as a farmer, let me set one thing straight: THERE IS NO FEDERAL FARM PROGRAM THAT PAYS FARMERS NOT TO PLANT. Nor has there been one since the 80's.
Like I said, I don't know anything about it that's why I asked and back in the 80's was the last time I heard about paying farmers to not grow. I was under the presumption that was still happening and normal, i'm glad to hear it's not. I'm sorry if what I said upset you. Wasn't intentional.

I know a lot of people are happy that there are still farmers that grow , i'm 1 of them, and I would like to personally thank you zooeyhll for doing it. I grew up in a ranching and farming community but haven't lived out there since the early 80's so that's how I didn't know about this. I just never kept up.
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Old 10-31-2019, 10:38 PM
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American farmers can feed the entire nation easily, IF the SHTF event leaves them with fuel and a transportation system. If either one fails, cities are going to starve. Farmers in many areas won't be that well off, either, because today's industrial farmer isn't planting a diversity of vegetables, nor is he/she keeping livestock for meat the way the small farmers did up to about WW2.

Good book is A Revolution Down on the Farm: The Transformation of American Agriculture Since 1929. Still on Amazon, but a bit pricey. Paul Conklin lived it.
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