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Last year, 82,000 crop insurance policies were sold in Minnesota, and fewer than 15,000 had a claim loss filed. Nationally, farmers spent $4.1 billion out of their own pockets buying crop insurance and another $12.7 billion in losses as part of their crop insurance deductible. So farmers absorbed about $17 billion in uninsured losses and premium costs before collecting crop insurance indemnities, which totaled roughly $17 billion. In other words, farmers broke even.
The editorial was especially critical of corn farmers. But instead of providing insight and making honest arguments to advance the discussion, the authors stuck with the usual talking points and clichés used to bash corn farmers.
Fact is, farmers today are harvesting more corn on less land while reducing energy use, soil loss and greenhouse gas emissions. We’re planting corn because the world’s population is growing, and it’s up to farmers to provide the food, fiber and fuel to meet the increased demand.
It’s important that our food supply is protected. A farm bill with a strong crop insurance provision provides that protection and is anything but a “giveaway” or “welfare.”
Greg Schwarz, Le Sueur, Minn.
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Cost is in line with the needs and purposes
A June 14 article tells us that Obamas’ trip to Africa could cost millions. We also learn that the costs are in line with those of previous presidential trips, which also included spouses and children and even a safari. Finally, we learn that the majority of the cost is attributed to security, a necessary expense in these times.
The Obamas are traveling on business for us, the business of cementing relations with “emerging democracies [which] are crucial partners in regional security conflicts.” Mrs. Obama’s presence is diplomatically essential; security for our president is essential as well. They even canceled a safari to satisfy the sensibilities of cost-conscious Americans. Don’t make the revelations about cost into some kind of scandal. This is a business trip that costs what presidential business trips cost, nothing more.
Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis
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Think twice, ladies; men are disgusting
Ladies, you need to take a trip (or two or three) to a public men’s restroom before you decide you would like to share with them (“Potty talk livens up race in 12th Ward,” Gail Rosenblum column, June 13). The rooms are filthy! There should be a hidden camera inside to discover how many men do not wash their hands before leaving. I asked my husband and what I’ve just told you is what he told me. Ask your own significant other.
Judy Grimes, Minneapolis
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.