Agriculture has been practiced for THOUSANDS of years on Earth, but only in the last century or so has it been industrialized oh-so-much (especially in the United States). Agricultural policies (which basically means the stuff the big guys regulate about agriculture) in the 1970’s set the stage for the present when they stared encouraging the overproduction of commodities, especially corn and soy. Producers got more reliant on government subsidies as spending money . These policies made it hard for producers to actually make a profit selling what they grew because the government set prices so low.
The Farmer’s Paradox
How could these guys (and gals) keep growing crops subsidized by the government, increasing yields required with each passing farm bill?! Under current legislation, raw output is super-duper subsidized. Even more discouraging is that sustainable practices tend to receive MUCH less benefits than unsustainable ones.
Here’s the gist →
In the United States, agricultural subsidies and policies encourage unsustainable crop production including overproduction and chemical fertilizer use. The overarching problem is exemplified in corn crop production in Iowa and its impact on the water quality of the Mississippi Water Basin.
A widespread result is concern involving the absence of adequate legislation protecting long term environmental quality and health impacts on people!
-Advocate for the protection of people and the planet
-Generally more economically motivated
-Cite that human innovation will surely solve the problems of humanity
It’s important to note that spectrum of Environmentalism/Cornocopian-ism exists on a huge scale. For most, it’s hard to define clearly as either one or the other in all actions and thoughts. Niches certainly exist among the two groups (as you’ll see through this Agriculture Policy Series), but they certainly all have quite an interest in Iowa’s cornfields.
Be sure to go read and Part 2—What do Iowan Environmentalists Say about Corn Policy?, and Part 3— What & Who are Cornucopian Stakeholders in Iowa’s Cornfields?! Part 4— Iowa’s Corn Policy-so-Far, and Part 5— Summary & Policy Recommendations for Corn in Iowa.
Find the whole series compiled in the Agriculture Policy Series tab!