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If A Farmer Is Subsidised…

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Hypognosis | 06:20 Fri 05th Aug 2016 | Society & Culture
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What is the maximum car they should be allowed to drive?

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Why should they be restricted at all? If the government wants to encourage farmers to produce a particular crop by giving them a subsidy, it's up to the farmer how to spend it.
Most farmers I know drive 4x4's which are needed.
If they don't use it wisely then they'll lose out to those that do.
Unless it's to encourage them to leave fields uncultivated in which case it's a handout and no one cares.
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@bhg41

//Why should they be restricted at all?//

Well, we moan about people on benefits smoking cigs and drinking. If we give a farmer £50k because he's in danger of going under and he buys a fancy car then the subsidy has bought the car, not saved the farm, surely?

Depends what you consider a fancy car.

My boss drives a BMW 4x4 and to me that's a fancy car because he doesn't 'need' a 4x4. Many farmers do though.
Surely farming subsidies are given to persuade farmers to grow crops/undertake tasks which are uneconomical for the farmer but deemed necessary for the benefit of the country. If that is the case it's up to the farmer how he spends his income.
I take Hypognosis' point - they need a Dacia Duster but buy a Range Rover.
Question Author
@ummm

//Most farmers I know drive 4x4's which are needed.//

Quite so. No complaints there. They'd never be able to afford a tarmacing gang, not with a front drive a mile long.

Not even after owning the farm for 'n' generations.

@O_G

//If they don't use it wisely then they'll lose out to those that do. //

Now, you're talking. I don't know how much oversight comes attached to subsidy. Clearly, something had to be wrong with farming pratices for them to get into "struggling" condition, in the first place. Are they coached to improve or are subsidies merely propping up the continuation of poor practices?

(This is a follow on from past moans about our EU sub funding inefficient ***nch farmers).

//Unless it's to encourage them to leave fields uncultivated in which case it's a handout and no one cares. //

As a nature fan, I'm enthused by set-aside but with population pressure being what it is, I have to acknowledge that it cannot last. If we have to pave over an area of countryside, the size of Sheffield, to accommodate a million plus new arrivals, that more than negates what set-aside was supposed to achieve for our wildlife.

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@bhg

//Surely farming subsidies are given to persuade farmers to grow crops/undertake tasks which are uneconomical for the farmer but deemed necessary for the benefit of the country. //

If I could do a Jeremy Clarkson impersonation, I'd say that sounds dangerously like Socialism!


// If that is the case it's up to the farmer how he spends his income. //

So, by that argument, we should let Benefits Claimants do what they like, with our money?

Have you watched Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's programme on waste and how much farmers have to throw away because their produce isn't pretty enough? It's shocking. If supermarkets accepted 'all' veg as the norm then the consumer would get used to seeing wonky veg and the farmers wouldn't have wasted time and money growing something just to throw away.
So is your actual answer that they should drive ugly, wonky cars, ummmm?
No...but if they won't throwing a massive amount of their produce away maybe the wouldn't need as much subsidies.
Wonky produce should go into processed food items. Or else there's the Farmers' Markets and farm shop. Why would it be slung.
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@ummmm

I watched Part 3 of Hugh F-W's War on Waste series on iPlayer, just the other day, now you mention it.

I'd be dismayed to learn that any farm could be fixed up with a juicy supermarket contract *and* still be receiving subsidy so, for the time being, let's not join the dots until we see proof.

As we saw, in Episode 2 of his prog, they destroy the stuff because the supermarket wouldn't (past tense, now) accept it but they never explicitly said that the supermarket *mandates* the destruction. Unless there's some exclusivity condition in their supply contract, actively preventing them selling the rejects (or the good stuff) to some competing retail outlet or, as suggested above, a processed food company, I see no reason why the farm would indulge in such waste by choice.

There may have been something muttered about cost of shipment exceeding the notional value of the rejects pile. That would make the choice for them and they're ploughed back in. :-(
Much of it was ploughed back in.

OG there was just too much of it.
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@douglas

If the subsidy is year-in, year-out, then anything not at least second-hand does kind of rub salt in the wound for any other local business owner who's not in line for any such special treatment.

If subsidy is on and off, or just dished out when they've had a seriously bad year then, fair play, they can buy whatever car they can afford, during their unsubsidised years and nobody will mind the periodic rescue package. They're an important part of the economy and many of us wouldn't dare take their place and gamble our bank balance every year, should one have to fold for the sake of a short-term cash crisis.

I mean, we bailed out the banks when they stuffed up…

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