Farm Press Blog

Bull market for crop theft

  • Crop thieves abound in agriculture and always will. It’s never about hunger — just greed.

Crop rustling is the new economic barometer — at least in Spain.

While Spain threatens to take away Greece’s mantle as the new “sick man of Europe,” crop thieves are prospering. (Think Spain’s economy is of no concern to America? Spain will probably end up with up with billions in aid from the International Monetary Fund. Guess who the biggest contributor is? That’s right: Uncle Sam. Not to worry, when we’re trillions in debt, who’s counting?)

According to the AP, ag theft has spurred Spanish farmers to take proactive measures — boots-on-the-ground action. It’s not a reliance on politicians or legislation; it’s more of a "beat-the-hades out of you if I catch you in my field" policy. Farmers are organizing night patrols of farmland and police are monitoring cropland as well. On occasion, authorities have sealed off villages and searched vehicles for stolen crops.
Fruit, vegetables, cattle and ag equipment have all been hit hard and resold in street markets for an easy profit.

Crop thieves abound in agriculture and always will: cherries in Spain, catfish in Mississippi, wine grapes in Germany, or copper in California. It’s never about hunger — just greed.

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