Today, U.S. cotton production is not affected by what takes place just on your own “back 40.” Agronomically, perhaps, but not politically. Producers have to look toward Capitol Hill to determine how the actions and makeup of Congress will affect their farm operations.
Since the November 2010 elections resulted in quite a shuffling of political players, Cotton Farming polled its readers in December to get their reaction to the outcome. The majority – 52 percent – feel that it is “too soon to tell,” while 30 percent believe that it will have a positive effect, and 18 percent see the new makeup of Congress as having a negative effect.
Following is a sampling of the comments we received from respondents regarding the fall 2010 elections:
• “It may be too early to tell the November 2010 election’s impact, but Congress will probably follow the trend of being afraid to do anything that doesn’t carry the WTO torch!!”
• “There is too much going on internationally to judge this situation yet. To some, it may seem to have one effect, and, to others, something else. However, if our nation is stabilized for the future of our grandchildren, any result will be positive.”
• “I am just thankful the administration currently has been neutralized to some extent. It is way too soon to know the impact of elections on agriculture. Just pray that we have a strong voice for our agriculture when it comes to WTO. Right now, we are in the best situation from a demand standpoint, and I hope it continues.”
• “I believe we will take a hard hit. For several years, both parties have wanted to eliminate government payments to farmers. Now, with the high prices being talked about, everyone thinks we are getting these prices.”
• “The election, hopefully, has given the “union cartel” (aka Democrats) a flat tire. Maybe we can move from government takeovers and excessive regulation and focus on positive events for businesses and the economy.”
• “The politicians are going to be looking for places to cut, and the dirty old rich farmers are the first place they are going to look. I think this would have happened even if the Democrats had remained in power in the House.”
• “Elections – no impact. No one can fight WTO. No one will end NAFTA.”
• “Positive effect. The electorate of this nation is starting to realize a need to wake up. They were certainly asleep two years ago.”
• “Since the new Congress is out to cut all entitlements, we’re going to take a hard hit. Most of the people don’t understand the need for a safety net for farmers. High cotton and commodity prices are supposed to make up the difference. They fail to realize that all of the input costs have gone up, too. I could go on and on, but only the people reading this article fully understand the plight of the farmer.”
• “Nothing seems to ever change with our Congress, but the overall trend is obviously toward the negative. It’s pretty hard to establish any type of positive support with the publicity of record prices.”
• “It may be too early to tell. But, the budget for agriculture is going to be cut, so, hopefully, we will be able to get a real market for a change.”
In this month’s Web Poll, Cotton Farming is gauging its readers’ interest in increasing irrigation capacity on their cotton acres. Cast your vote and share your comments at www.cottonfarming.com. The results of the February poll will be reported in the April issue of Cotton Farming.
Web Poll Results:
In December, we asked:
Do you think the outcome of the November 2010 elections will have a positive effect, negative effect, or is it too soon to tell?
• Positive effect — 30 %
• Negative effect — 18 %
• Too soon to tell — 52 %
February Web Poll Question
Considering the dry conditions that have plagued many areas of the Belt for the past few years, are you considering increasing the irrigation capacity on your cotton acres in 2011? Please share your thoughts in the “Comments” section.
(3) It depends.
Register your vote at www.cottonfarming.com.