Governor Tom Vilsack is warning Iowa farmers that the end of farm subsidies is “inevitable.” He says a report in the New York Times says the U.S. Trade Representative tomorrow will offer to cut U.S. farm subsidies by up to 60 percent in exchange for similar cuts from European countries. Vilsack says neither farmers in this country nor American consumers are likely to suffer if farm subsidies expire. Vilsack says with gains in productivity and more efficient ways to use crops for other uses, there’ll be no “danger” of a food shortage. Vilsack says Iowa farmers are better-poised, financially, because Iowa corn is used for much more than feed for cattle or sold to out-of-state buyers. This year, 325 million bushels of corn will be used to make ethanol; 20 million bushels will be dry-milled to make things like corn flakes, tortilla chips and other snacks; and 410 million bushels of corn will be wet-milled and incorporated in all sorts of products like pop, shampoo, wallpaper, ceiling tile and pet food. Still, about 650 million bushels of corn was exported from Iowa in the past year.
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