Friday, October 10, 2014

Begging begins again

Brace yourselves.

The begging is already beginning even before this year's crop of corn, soybeans and canola are in bins.

Farmers are already saying that government price-support programs are not adequate in the face of the sharp price declines, in some cases to less than half prices of a year or two ago.

So where were these farmers when the good times were rolling?

And why do they think taxpayers ought to give them another round of increased subsidies?

Could they not foresee that grain prices are just as likely to decline as to go up? Did they think that millennia of price cycles had come to an end?

Did they take on heavy debt loads to buy land at record-high prices, or to trade up to the latest tractor and combine models?

The only sympathy I have for these farmers is that their competitors in the United States and Europe are likely to be coddled with much greater subsidies than our federal and provincial governments can justify.

There is an answer for that, too: bring World Trade Organization negotiations to a deal that will curb subsidies.