Deficit plan may sow discontent

Obama wants to eliminate farm subsidies and crop insurance.

Editorial board

Last week, President Barack Obama proposed large cuts to farm subsidies to reduce the federal deficit.

The new plan would cut a subsidy that paid farmers about $10 billion between 1995 and 2010. Additionally, the plan cuts millions of dollars in federal contributions to crop insurance programs and a land conservation program in Minnesota.

A lot of this subsidy money is dished out in the form of direct payments to farmers who have an income of $100,000 or more. ItâÄôs safe to say that direct payments to very large or corporate farms arenâÄôt a good idea, especially when it comes time to make hard cuts.

Cutting money that goes toward crop insurance programs, on the other hand, would make farmers have to take on risks they may not be able to survive, in Minnesota in particular.

Additionally, the Star Tribune reported that if federal money gets cut from farm insurance subsidies, companies will likely stop offering the policies all together.

While there is certainly money to be cut from big agriculture, taking away insurance subsidies is not the right way to go about it. Smaller farms cannot afford to take on the risk of failing crops without a backup plan. World population is booming and food production must be doubled. Reform in agriculture is necessary, but cutting insurance policies is not the right path to take.