Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Agricultural economists say farmer bailout necessary, but criticize Trump and Congress for work on trade, ag supply

The two-year pricetag for farmer trade aid is an estimated $28 billion; some readers have asked agricultural economists Harwood Schaffer and Daryll Ray of the University of Tennesseee if that money could have been better spent on a different farm program.

In their latest "Policy Pennings" column, Schaffer and Ray say that the money is needed for farmer bailouts, but note that the government would have needed less money to bail out farmers "if the President had been more judicious in his handling of outstanding trade issues with China." They also take Congress to task: "If Congress had implemented a supply management program as the core of the 2018 Farm Bill, crop prices in general would be higher than they are today."

Schaffer and Ray take a deep dive into crop pricing and production trends of the past few years to support their argument. Read more here.

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