Press "Enter" to skip to content

More Socialism to Save the World: Dusty Johnson Wants Subsidies for Regenerative Ag

South Dakota farmers and Republicans (and thanks to consolidation and corporatization, there’s a lot of overlap in that Venn diagram) are all socialists at heart. They’ll do anything for a government buck.

South Dakota’s Republican Congressman Dusty Johnson wants to give farmers some more government bucks to use less fertilizer and thus help check climate change:

Democrats and Republicans have been bitterly divided over whether measures to address climate change should be part of the half-trillion-dollar farm bill that Congress will write next year. But a push to include funding for so-called regenerative agriculture is appealing to GOP lawmakers who are watching farmers contend with sky-high fertilizer prices and other mounting costs.

“If we want to make sure these practices and others like them are more widely adopted, we have to make sure they are voluntary, they keep the farm profitable, and that [USDA] is equipped at a staff level to help farmers carry them out,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), a House Agriculture Committee Republican, who pointed out that many South Dakota farmers are already using regenerative methods to improve their soil.

To be regenerative, a farm can undertake any number of practices to sequester carbon and restore soil health. The most popular is cover cropping, the planting of an alternative crop like a legume or leafy green in between planting the principal crop, like corn or soybeans. This helps reduce erosion and also naturally restores the building blocks of plants, like carbon or nitrogen, that are stripped from the soil after intensive farming by scrubbing them from the air as part of the plant’s natural respiration cycle. They can also help make the soil more sponge-like, increasing water penetration and irrigation.

Other practices include avoiding tilling, which can kick up nutrients out of the soil; rotating and incorporating livestock into growing operations; and leaving unplanted “buffer” strips in between crop fields [Garrett Downs, “Climate Advocates See a Path Forward in the Farm Bill: Lining Farmers’ Pockets,” Politico, 2022.11.24].

Farmers ought to fight climate change out of their own sense of self-preservation: you can’t make a living in agriculture if drought and derechos keep coming harder and faster to wipe out your crops. But hey, if all those tractor jockeys bragging about feeding the world need a government check to see the merits of helping save that world, I suppose that’s the (socialist) price we have to pay.


  1. Greg Deplorable 2022-11-25 08:29

    If cover crops & no-till were the real deal they wouldn’t need to be subsidized. This is most likely an idea floated by commodity groups who in turn are led by a few farmers wanting their own way of doing business enhanced under the cover of the corn or soybean growers.

    The marketplace is working just fine with production incentives, no need for Big Government to put their foot on the scales. No one is wasting $900/ton fertilizer at these levels.

  2. e platypus onion 2022-11-25 08:34

    73 acres of farmland in Sioux county iowa sold for 30k per recently. More socialism is needed for farmers so they can compete and buy their own land before speculators get it all. Speculators get subsidies, too. Plus they elevate rents to recoup investment amnd I am certain there are beaucoup tax writeoffs for those that don’t need socialism.

  3. Greg Deplorable 2022-11-25 08:42

    A lot of farmers are running with a 7,8 or 9 digit networth. How much more government money should be thrown at them, or safety nets to “bail them out”.

    It really shows the average taxpayer is not paying attention as we create generational wealth for a small segment of society.

  4. larry kurtz 2022-11-25 09:07

    Today’s oxymoron: sustainable agriculture.

    Industrial agriculture is ecocide and for those of us who love the Earth shucks like Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson enable subsidized corporate greenwashing but ironically many Republicans actually benefitting from reduced greenhouse emissions decry them as caving to the Green New Deal.

  5. sx123 2022-11-25 10:10

    Farmers already do cover crops and no-till. (hardly anyone tills anymore afaik).

    What is the point of this legislation?

  6. Jake 2022-11-25 11:26

    Greg Deplorable and SX123; the point of it all is as Cory states “The GOP “loves” socialism as much as it loves individualism! More taxpayer money pointed toward favored industries (so much like the military/industrial that President Ike warned the nation about 60 some years ago.)

  7. leslie 2022-11-26 13:52

    “…a global reform agenda fits the stated aspirations of both [China and the US]. If undertaken, it would simultaneously build trust and reduce pressures toward confrontation. Most importantly, it is desperately needed to overcome the truly existential dangers—climate change, pandemic disease, global inequality—now facing all people regardless of their nationality.

    The globe-spanning economic crisis of 2008 and the failure to restore dynamism to the global economy in the years that followed changed everything. In both countries, extremely high levels of economic inequality and a powerless working class meant that wage-driven growth could not replace the global consumer demand that dried up. The two countries suddenly found themselves immersed in cutthroat competition over an abruptly less promising global market, particularly in the high-value sectors of advanced technology….the outcome of the Xi-Biden meeting is encouraging. The two sides agreed that, as the US readout put it, “the United States and China must work together to address transnational challenges—such as climate change, global macroeconomic stability including debt relief, health security, and global food security.

    If it expanded to meet the true scope and urgency of the crises humanity currently faces, it would also open up the constricted global economy by spreading investment more broadly than market forces have. Creating jobs and raising wages around the world through the development of clean energy, public health infrastructure, and all the other global public goods that have been starved for so long would not only save lives and prevent future crises—it would generate enough consumer demand that the world actually would be big enough for the both the United States and China.”

  8. runs_with_fire 2022-11-28 04:46

    Seems to me equality in tax assessments is a good start. If my property taxes increase every year due to my property value increasing every year then I would say fair enough, as long as the corresponding valuation is being used for all property types.
    Farm land is still being assessed at 33%~12.5% of the actual value. A large portion of farm ground is being still being assessed at around $2500~$2700 per acre, when the actual value is closer to $7500~$20,000 per acre.
    From 2018 to 2021 Land tax valuations (assessments) per acre actually dropped in assessed value by around -11%.

  9. Jenny 2022-11-29 10:13

    In truth, farmers are some of then biggest welfare queens of all. It is all always hard to keep a straight face when farmers tell me they did it all on their own through years of sweat and hard work.
    The majority of workers in this country don’t get any government welfare and write offs whatsoever.
    Thank a tax payer, farmers. 28 billion in welfare in two years is what you got from them.

  10. Matthew k 2022-12-02 06:10

    Tell the government to quit using farm commodities as leverage in the world. Get rid of the imported commodities that don’t have to have the same playing field as American producers have. Cheep food keeps consumers quite. You are the welfare recipients. Us producers would be fine with out it if you can handle the real price

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.