The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the latest federal farm bill would spend $280 billion on traditional subsidies for corn, cotton and wheat, but virtually ignores burgeoning organic and alternative farming centered in Northern California.
The newspaper notes that California’s Fresno County produces more food than the entire state of South Dakota, but gets a fraction of the federal money sent to the Great Plains.
Organic farmers and advocates say that the subsidies reinforce destructive farming practices — including over-reliance on chemicals and lack of crop diversity — and that if California was as heavily subsidized as other states, the development of farming alternatives might never have taken root.
“Federal bill helps huge farmers, not California’s innovative ones”
San Francisco Chronicle, September 23, 2007