Wednesday, February 25, 2009

How does the stimulus impact agriculture?

The passage of the stimulus package has many interest groups wondering what is in it for them. Those in agriculture are no different. "Well, if the economy recovers briskly, farmers and rural folks will benefit," reports Mark Neuzil of the Minnesota Post. "But if you go looking for specific appropriations for growers, producers, processors and others involved in putting food on our tables, it's a little harder to quantify."

Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, chair of the House Agriculture Committee, was one of the few Democrats to oppose the bill. "Had this stimulus bill been limited only to programs directly resulting in job creation and infrastructure projects, and for unemployment compensation and food stamps, I might have felt comfortable voting for it," he said in a statement. "However, increasing the price tag on this massive package to include tax giveaways and additional spending on programs that have little or nothing to do with economic development is the wrong way to do this."

While struggling companies such as Deere & Co. claimed the stimulus would not help their business, the extension of the alternative-energy tax credits will certainly help boost that industry. (Read more)

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