A year ago at this time, U.S. agriculturalists were speculating about what the next farm bill would look like. There were many different thoughts about what form the legislation could and should take.
But just about everyone, at least on the Northern Plains, agreed that direct payments to farmers would end. Politically and economically indefensible in a time of strong farm profits and huge federal budget deficits, or so we thought. Ultimately, of course, Congress retained direct payments for another year.
My point? The one thing we all thought we knew, turned out to be wrong. It’s just one more reminder that predicting the future is a tricky business.