Cotton Links


Readers Weigh In On
Politics & Farming


After the election and prior to the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama, Cotton Farming asked its readers if they think U.S. agriculture will fare well in terms of productivity and profitability in the new political environment.

Obviously, based on the nature of the comments we received and the amount of “no” votes that were cast (65 percent), many of the respondents are still frustrated and concerned about the state of the economy that we faced then and continue to face today.

Following is a sampling of the comments we received from people who voted in the December Web Poll. Because of the large volume of responses, we were unable to print them all. However, as always, we do appreciate the feedback.

• “Until the politicians and the general public realize that food and fiber production are as much of a national security issue as oil, we producers will remain merely sharecroppers even though we may own some land and are the most consistent environmentalists in the nation.”

• “Of course, it always ‘depends’ on a long list of factors, both bureaucratic and economic. Farmers have little control over their fate. As our farmers age and retire more rapidly every year, we are entering a crisis period for food and fiber production. I doubt that anything fundamental will change until we become dependent on other nations for our food.”

• “No. Our current situation is not anything like the depression of the ’30s that many people are referring to. Unfortunately, the truth be known, many of the ‘regular’ people were not as deeply impacted then as we are now. We are all, globally speaking, much more tied together now than we were then. Credit is not a right; it is a privilege you earn with the proper stewardship of your finances. Citi, Bear Stearns, Fannie and Freddie Mac, AIG, GM, etc. have not shown good stewardship, and they are getting relief. We (farmers) will be the first to take a hit economically if the market and economic conditions stay on the track that they are on now.”

• “The politicians, with the exception of a very few, don’t know anything about agriculture. We are too few voters to make a difference. I subsidize my farming habit with an accounting practice, and more money is handed out with the earned income credit than is paid to us through any government program. And at least we work.”

• “Some say we are in a deflationary period, but I don’t see that with all of the money the federal government is pumping into the economy. If we get inflation, farming is not going to be very good. I think Mr. Obama is going to have to be a very smart man to get us out of this. I say be careful with your cash.”

• “The cost of fuel, chemicals and fertilizer will go up dramatically when the new president gets into office due to his higher taxes on oil products.”

• “It seems that the people who control our farm programs favor the Midwestern producers. I have read that Washington (D.C.) thinks a farmer should have a full-time job and farm after hours and on weekends. They do not understand that in the South, farming is a full time job where we deal with weed and insect pressure and irrigation throughout the year.”

In anticipation of the 2009 planting season, this month we are asking our readers to tell us what their greatest expectation is from the new roster of cotton varieties being offered by the seed companies.

To participate in this month’s Web Poll, go online at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the February poll will be reported in the Cotton Farming April issue.

Web Poll Results

In December, we asked: Do you think U.S. agriculture will fare well in terms of productivity and profitability in the new political environment?

Yes -- 17 %

No -- 65 %

It Depends -- 18 %

February Web Poll Question

As planting time approaches, seed companies are rolling out their new varieties for ’09. What is your greatest expectation from these new offerings? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

(1) Higher yields

(2) Better quality characteristics

(3) Decreased inputs

(4) Attractive to export customers

Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.

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