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  • across the american midwest farmers are wrapping up their harvests but it's been an unusual year.


  • The story of agriculture right now is is really two different stories economically prices are pretty good for commodities, corn and soybeans, cattle kind of go up and down.


  • But our expenses have climbed tremendously well.


  • As you look around everything you see here is made out of steel, aluminum, plastic, rubber and then of course to produce our crops, we need seed, we need fertilizer, we need chemicals.


  • Many of those things are produced halfway around the world and so we've been impacted in just about every way that a person can as a small but influential constituency.


  • How is inflation affecting their view of how the government has handled the economy and who do they think will deliver the future they want for their land?


  • Let's get what's commonly known out of the way.


  • American farmers tend to vote Republican.


  • That was true even in 2020, they overwhelmingly supported Donald Trump despite his damaging trade war with China a key export market for US agriculture but whichever government is in charge, farmers receive generous subsidies running up to the tens of billions annually with support from the US Department of Agriculture breaking records during the pandemic american farmers have a lot going for them from rising commodity prices.


  • The attention of policymakers and billions of dollars in federal funding with more to come.


  • But the agricultural sector is facing a series of challenges from rising energy costs to input prices and many say past policies are to blame.


  • I guess what what bothers us as farmers is that a lot of this didn't have to happen.


  • We were energy self sufficient two years ago and President biden.


  • First thing he did was shut down the keystone XL pipeline up through this area would have been a tremendous economic benefit.


  • And the cost of energy when it rises like it did, causes inflation and re run on diesel fuel, we plant our crops, we do all the things that we have to do to to make that crop grow and prosper and then we harvest it and when energy prices are allowed to get that high, it just works all the way through ultimately to the final consumer who is paying 30 40 50% more for food now because of all that, those higher prices for agricultural products are helping offset some of their ballooning outlays, like the tripling of fertilizer costs in the past year.


  • But farmers expect their spending to blow past their revenue so we're not losing a lot of money.


  • But eventually crop prices come back down the supply and demand works its way through and those prices come back and we're certainly hopeful that expenses will come back down with them.


  • But that doesn't always happen right away and there's usually at least a year or two where where the net income is not profitable for the farmers struggling the most help is on the way as part of the $700 billion strong inflation reduction act signed into law by President joe biden earlier this year.


  • More than $3 billion in aid is going to indebted farmers.


  • But despite the name, what the democrat led bill is really meant to do is battle the climate crisis spending a further $20 billion to supplement existing conservation efforts to make farms more sustainable in the long run.


  • But the agricultural community has mixed feelings about it.


  • There's a very healthy number of farmers that are always concerned about government spending and so anytime a number like $20 billion dollars is thrown out there, they're they're concerned and they want to know, okay our our Children and grandchildren going to be stuck with the bill for this Brandon, which is done with his harvest for now.


  • But he says concern for the future and climate change guide his work.


  • We've diversified the crops that we raise.


  • We we do a three crop rotation now with wheat, whereas typically for us we were just doing corn and soybeans, you know, 15 years ago now, we are trying to conserve our soil, make sure that it doesn't blow away and windstorms and we're trying to conserve our water to make sure it doesn't run run off during uh you know, large rainfall events in this election season.


  • Republicans have criticized the land conservation provisions laid out in the bill, accusing the government of overemphasizing climate, but Brandon with says, farmers like him have little time for the political back and forth.


  • It's hard to know exactly where the right place for the government to land on that is it's not necessarily that they should be doing more or less.


  • It's just, you know, we have, we have problems right now that we need to be addressing and we don't have five years to sit and bicker about the realities of the science that we see or what we need to be doing.


  • We need to, we need to get down to business right away and so if there's anything that the government can be doing better, it is just, let's be a little quicker rolling out some of this money to farmers so that we can, so that we can do what we do best over at South Dakota State University.


  • Agricultural economist Hilary says, this moment of economic unpredictability could be an opportunity to ramp up sustainability.


  • I would hope with this kind of market uncertainty not only in the commodity market, but also in the input sector, farmers will find it more kind of meaningful or attractive with the incentives coming from the federal government in terms of cost share or subsidies to switch to more sustainable production practices.


  • However, she cautions the government merely throwing money at the sector to affect the results.


  • It wants to see a lot of money flowing into it, but still we don't, we don't know how to measure how it's going to be impacting there will be some change, but hopefully down the line, but I don't know how big it will be.


  • But one of the key factors will be to get farmers on board instead of going and telling them how to do or what to do.


  • If you go and tell the producers, you know, it is in their best interest.


  • Then I think we could see that change democrat led legislation is unlikely to bring down prices anytime soon and ease economic challenges for farmers.


  • There is little evidence the government's efforts will win them votes beyond any election.


  • Farmers say they have to balance the needs of the present with the uncertainty of what's to come.


  • What we do in agriculture is you plan for kind of average, pray for the best and prepare for the worst, but you never know what's going to come and you just have to be prepared.


  • The american people are especially our politicians.


  • We think in two and four year election cycles well out here.


  • I'm thinking in decades and generations and the job that I have to do is so much bigger in the grand scheme of things than one politician's career.


  • Uh, I really try not to confuse the two, every administration has things that they do that that I appreciate and things that I don't appreciate.


  • And so I don't get too worried about this year's politics or this year's economy.


  • Uh, try to see the big picture.


  • It's through that big picture lens that these farmers will make their choices, whether at the polls or on their farms.


across the american midwest farmers are wrapping up their harvests but it's been an unusual year.


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インフレと経済政策が米国の農家の仕事に与える影響|DWニュース (How inflation and economic policy impact the work of US farmers | DW News)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2022 年 11 月 01 日