As I read Maria LaGanga's article, "Farmers Also Face a Loan Drought" (March 28), I could not help but feel a little bit of sympathy for California farmers. The ruthless banks are basing the amount of loans on farmers' water supply.
It is the farmers' attitude toward the water supply, not the banks' actions, that is the source of the problem. If farmers were paying the true market price of water, rather than the drastically discounted price the government has given them, they would have a more conservative attitude about water use.
Their cost for water is so far below market price that they can afford to be inefficient. If farmers would conserve, the banks would not have to worry about them running out of water before their crops are harvested.
LaGanga did not mention the benefits to taxpayers of farmers receiving fewer loans. In the past, the government has implemented many programs to help farmers and the non-farm public, including acreage restrictions, under which the government pays them not to farm a portion of their land.