Agricultural price controls are the pits

By Jarrett Skorup | Michigan Capitol Confidential

Ron French has a great article in Bridge Magazine looking at “the crazy economics of Michigan’s favorite pitted fruit.” The piece describes some of the federal cherry regulations that are mostly left over from the New Deal of the 1930s:

[T]he tart cherry industry is told by the U.S. government how much of their product they can put on the market. The Cherry Industry Administrative Board (CIAB), operating under the auspices of the Department of Agriculture (USDA), sets restrictions on the percentage of the tart cherry crop that can be sold. Some years the share of the market restricted from market is low, like this year, which has a 10 percent restriction. In 2009, it was a whopping 65 percent.Michigan tart cherry growers are shackled by those restrictions more than most. There are no restrictions on sweet cherries – the kind you buy in the fresh fruit section of Meijer. The restrictions don’t even apply to all tart cherries – there are no restrictions on tart cherries grown in Oregon or Pennsylvania, or on imported cherries.

at Michigan Capitol Confidential.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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