Wise interviewed by The Real News Network on High Farm Prices: Do family farmers benefit?

Timothy A Wise recently sat down for an interview with The Real News Network to talk about his  recent work on the “Farm Boom,” including a policy brief, Still Waiting for the Farm Boom: Family Farmers Worse off Despite High Crop Prices, and from a previous post on the Triple Crisis Blog, High Food Prices: Do Family Farmers Benefit?  

According to USDA officials, boom times continue for US farmers. The USDA’s chief economist claimed that in the last decade, farmers have “seen the highest net cash farm income numbers since the nineteen-seventies.”   Yet a recent GDAE Policy Brief by Timothy A Wise examines this “farm boom” and asks the question: who is really benefitting? Among Wise’s findings is the fact that small-to-mid scale family farmers are not benefitting from the boom, and they have actually seen a decline in net farm income with high prices.  Watch the interview:

Watch more interviews with The Real News Network on GDAE’s Globalization Multimedia page.

2 Responses to “Wise interviewed by The Real News Network on High Farm Prices: Do family farmers benefit?”

  1. April Reeves says:

    I think it’s time for farmers to reinvent themselves. We make just under $100,000 per acre (that’s not a type-0). It’s not with monocrops though. We are the group of SPIN farmers that will take a good chunk out of Cargill and Monsanto’s bottom line in the next decade. People need more than just grains, and we are more than willing to give them pesticide/GMO free produce. Who needs subsidies…

  2. Timothy A. Wise says:

    It’s a good point, and there is a lot of documentation to back you up on the claim that smaller farms marketing to niche markets and often through direct marketing arrangements are doing okay. The truth is, not many 1000-acre farmers can do that. Their volumes are too high, among other things. And if everyone went that route you’d all be out of business, with prices crashing down below your costs. It’s a great choice for a growing number of mostly smaller-scale farms, but for the farmers “in the middle” – too big for direct marketing, not big enough to make money on the small margins of commodity crop production – it’s not really an option. What they most need is not subsidies but a sane agricultural policy that recognized the chronic imbalances between supply and demand and did something about it, while at the same time encouraging more sustainable farming practices.