Why the government is hoarding raisins

Yep, a national raisin reserve exists. It all goes back to a program created more than 60 years ago, and farmers are going to court protesting the rules.

By Kim Peterson Jul 9, 2013 3:33PM
Credit: © Martin Hospach/Getty Images
Caption: RaisinsKindergartners and scone makers can breathe easy, because the U.S. government is watching your raisins.

The government is actually doing much more than watching them. It's seizing them from farmers, often without paying. It's hoarding them in warehouses in California in case the nation's raisin supply veers too far from the norm.

All for a little-known storage called the national raisin reserve. It stems from a farm program created during after World War II that continues today, The Washington Post reports.

The government monitors the nation's raisin supply in case farmers produce too much. If there was an abundance of raisins, see, prices would fall and raisin farmers would suffer. So to keep the raisin farmers happy, the government stabilizes supply.

But the problem is that farmers are anything but happy. That's because in the good years, when there are too many raisins being produced, the government seizes a portion of every farmer's supply, often without paying, according to The Post.

Farmers are protesting this outdated policy, and one case went all the way to the Supreme Court this year. The justices told a lower court that had previously rejected one farmer's challenge to take another look.

The raisin reserve took hold after the war, when the government stopped sending vast supplies of raisins overseas with soldiers, The Post reports. The industry was in turmoil when the government cash stopped coming in.

The nation has long moved on from the business tumult caused by World War II. But the government has not, even though farmers' dried grapes are turning into sour grapes.

More on moneyNOW

Jul 9, 2013 4:54PM
Another insane government practice that is outdated but still in place. When will these jokers sit down and take a look at the real problems in this country?
Jul 9, 2013 4:07PM

One more of the million examples of why the Government should stay out of everything.

Government employees, especially OBozo are idiots.

Jul 9, 2013 4:51PM
another wasteful program   but as always government knows best
Jul 9, 2013 5:09PM
I wonder just how much tax payer money has been spent on this program the past 70+ years...
Jul 9, 2013 5:05PM
Not all government programs are bad.  But as we all know, once they are invested they NEVER GO AWAY.  Nothing wrong with taking a look at this and deep-sixing it after 65 years in play.  Seems even government officials should be smart enough to look at programs regularly to see if their orginal purpose still exists.  But perhaps I'm giving them too much credit.....
Jul 9, 2013 5:53PM
We are suppose to be a FREE ENTERPRISE country.  So, what happens to the 'stored' raisins?
Jul 9, 2013 5:39PM
They are hoarding raisins  because they are shriveled up just like their economy.
Jul 9, 2013 6:18PM
This is all part of the secret NSA program to train the raisins to eavesdrop on the bran flakes and find out what the Raisin Bran is really saying. Sorry, forgot to use all capital letters.
Jul 9, 2013 6:33PM

Taking the raisins without compensation should be against the farmers' Constitutional rights.



Jul 9, 2013 4:42PM
Isn't the government hoarding of raisins a metaphor of government hiring practices and who is president?
Jul 9, 2013 5:39PM

GOVERNMENT loses recipe for making raisins, begins to hoard and seize them at gunpoint!


Well it would make sense with the dopes in charge today!

Jul 9, 2013 6:33PM
As long as these same farmers do not look for money when crops go bad, I am fine with changing the rules.
Jul 9, 2013 7:04PM
There are so many government programs no longer needed that we could pay off the national debt with the money we'd save if we shut them down but no, they have to keep the government folks a job now don't they? Can you imagine how much someone makes to oversee how many rasins get grown each year? IMPEACH Obama NOW people. We need real leadership in the whitehouse and every single government employee elected by the people should be replaced, and not by billionaires either. Put some real people in there who know how to lead and get us the hell out of the mess this man has made of our economy. Re-elect NO ONE! The IRS needs to be gone and simply do a flat tax and that will eliminate millions more of our money disappearing and the drug dealers, prostitutes and illegals will all pay taxes that we can use for real problems. Since when could the government take your crops without paying for them? Sounds like socialism to me.
Jul 9, 2013 7:10PM

Perhaps it would be best if every government program, even every law they pass should be subject to a sunset provision. Congress' machinations could then be reviewed every five years and either be allow to die or be renewed if deemed necessary.


Bill Clinton's gun ban is a perfect example; once it expired it was not renewed because it proved to be useless in its stated purpose of improving public safety, as well as proving the fallacy of that flawed ideology as seen with recent attempt to pass it again. 


At the very least it would keep Congress busy taking care of old business that they won't have time to dream up new ways of screwing the people.

Jul 9, 2013 5:47PM

Why, that's a violation of my Constitutional rights! You can have my raisins when you pry them from my cold, dead rabbits...

Jul 9, 2013 7:09PM
Maybe Obama has a plan to substitute raisins for money for S.S. payments in the future??
Jul 9, 2013 7:10PM

The Reserve Program has not been used in three years and the USDA pays no California Raisin Growers any subsidy when there were reserves due to overproduction.  It wa funded 100%  by the growers.  From the article above and the comments made no one knows what they are talking about.

Jul 9, 2013 8:07PM
That's because the govt is and always will be , a bunch of aholes
Jul 9, 2013 8:08PM
Anyone in govt should get kicked in the bag  or vag , once a week just because ..
Jul 9, 2013 10:56PM
 The big problem that everyone knows about that is causing this is that congress is too busy avoiding doing anything constructive to have time to even look at old laws. Especially, laws that were written to last forever for the good they would supposedly do.
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