Bidenís farm problem: Booming sales raise questions about bailout money
A turnaround in agricultural exports and prices could force adjustments after years of subsidies propped up farmers.
By Ryan McCrimmon, POLITICO
President Joe Biden and Congress are facing an unfamiliar sight as they craft another round of pandemic relief programs: a farm economy thatís rapidly heating up after years of decline.
Fueled by surprisingly strong exports to China, shrinking supplies of crops and some of the highest commodity prices in seven years, many farmers are anticipating a highly profitable 2021 harvest.
The upbeat forecast is raising questions about whether Washington should start peeling back the extensive subsidies that have kept producers afloat for years long before the coronavirus pandemic devastated the U.S. economy.
Watchdog groups argue that farmers keep getting a disproportionate amount of help while struggling sectors, like restaurants and biofuel producers, beg lawmakers for a lifeline. But the powerful industry and its allies on Capitol Hill say itís too early to declare agriculture in the clear and pare back federal support, especially while the Covid-19 crisis rages on...
Positive trends for farmers ...
More aid on horizon ...†
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