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With Commodity Prices Still Low, America's Rural Economy Continues to Struggle


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(56 seconds)


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(OPEN):
COMMODITY-PRICES ARE LOW, TODAY--AND THE RURAL ECONOMY IS STRUGGLING.  IT'S UNDER THIS BACKDROP THAT CONGRESS IS DEBATING A NEW BILL, TO HELP FARMERS WEATHER THE STORM.  SOME OPPONENTS OF U-S FARM-POLICY SAY THAT TIMES AREN'T SO BAD.  BUT, BRANDON WILLIS--A FORMER U-S-D-A OFFICIAL--SAYS THAT THINGS HAVE BEEN ROUGH FOR QUITE SOME TIME, AND THAT HELP IS NEEDED...

(WILLIS):
"
ACCORDING TO U-S-D-A STATISTICS, IF YOU LOOK AT THE TOP-FOUR KINDS OF CROPS--WHAT IT COSTS TO GROW THE CROP--IT OUTPACED MARKET-RETURNS, 70-PERCENT OF THE TIME, IN THE LAST 19 YEARS.  IN OTHER WORDS, IT COSTS MORE TO GROW A CROP THAN THEY'RE GOING TO RECEIVE, 70-PERCENT OF THE TIME, IN THE LAST 19 YEARS.  [THE] KANSAS CITY 'FEDERAL RESERVE' PUT OUT SOME INFORMATION THAT ESSENTIALLY SAID THAT--WITHOUT OFF-FARM INCOME--MOST FARMERS WOULD BE UNABLE TO PAY OFF THEIR DEBTS."

(CLOSE):
LEARN MORE AT "SUGAR-ALLIANCE"-DOT-ORG.  FOR THE "INTERNATIONAL SWEETENER SYMPOSIUM" IN SAN DIEGO, I'M ERIC JON MAGNUSON.

For more audio from many of those participating in the 34th-annual International Sweetener Symposium, click here.



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