Everybody has to be somewhere...
If you haven't read Greg Vincent's masterful article about cash rents in Central Illinois in the latest Top Producer, you really need to. And also check some of the response he has been getting.
I knew this piece would open up a can hard feelings, but there are still many people who feel that those who currently farm should continue to farm. And to my way of thinking too few of them understand their actual relationship with landowners.
But the point that always confounds me is the "local business" argument. The theory (see comments above) is Big Time Operators blow in from "other places" (presumably the land of Mordor) and bring all their fertilizer, seed, etc. with them, hence starving local businesses.
OK, but where do those inputs come from? In many cases, a local dealer somewhere else. And this retailer is doing great, thanks to his BTO. As far as seed, I would imagine BTO's often are farmer-dealers to get the discounts available from this way-too-many-layered business - hardly a new strategy. Indeed, in my part of the country Moody Farms has opened their own fertilizer, chemical, etc. supply business for themselves and any farmer that actually adds to the choices of local producers.
One solution for local businesses then is to grow your own BTO, and hope one of them becomes a really BTO. But the main point is inputs are still being bought folks, and even BTO's are local somewhere. They likely go to church, complain about school teachers, and even dabble in local politics, just as often as mm, non-BTO's.
When we're looking for moral high ground to justify our fragile competitive position, at least we should aim for logical scenarios.