Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Emergency Farm Aid?

It's an election year, big parts of the Midwest has flooded and farmers are trying to decide whether to replant or not. With prices high, some will:

OAKVILLE, Iowa -- Farmer Keith Ball is taking a gamble.

Mr. Ball, 53 years old, said he will try to replant 80 acres that were flooded in mid-June when the Iowa River breached a levee.

So much of the growing season has passed that any soybean seed he puts in the ground won't generate the big yields he normally sees. But he can't pass up the chance to cash in on the price of soybeans, which broke the $16-a-bushel level this week for the first time at the Chicago Board of Trade. (See related article.)

"I don't care if you get 10, 20 bushels an acre; at today's prices, it's worth it," he said. An ordinary soybean harvest would be 50 bushels an acre.

What are the odds that Congress gets together an emergency aid package for the farmers? In an election year? I'd say there's at least a 75% chance that even after passing the recent farm bill over a Bush veto, politicians will not take any chances with their re-election plans.

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