We've been farming on a relatively small scale for some 40 years, not nearly enough to support ourselves, but more as an outlet for excess energy for the kids when they were growing up. During this time, we've discovered that farmers get all the tax breaks any other business gets, but they also get many, many subsidies only they qualify for because they're farmers, through the Farm Bill advocated and administered by the USDA, the same folks that hand out our food stamps.
The other posters are correct that most farmers pay virtually no taxes because they've found ways to play the system. Only their personal cars do not have Farm tags on them because it'd be hard to explain that to a cop. Their pick ups are not to be used for personal business, but if they buy a anything automotive (for the farm, of course) at Walmart, they can buy $$ of what they need for the home, and a cop cannot ticket them for using the truck for personal business. As a result, and because so many cops are related to farmers in these towns, they don't even bother pulling them over to check.
Now, if you consider the nurseryman who plants trees that are harvested in 6-10 yrs, then loses the entire crop because of any number of things, he's lost his investment and earnings for at least as long as they've been in the ground. Furthermore, he's got to remove those trees before replanting, somewhat more expensive then going back into the field with no-till planters to re-seed corn or beans.
Feeding the world? C'mon, that's a global opportunity to sell their product. Who else in business gets to enjoy someone else doing that kind of marketing for them but an American farmer?
And don't get me started on the "fence laws" that exist in almost every agricultural state. These require a neighbor to pay for half the cost of the farmer's fence bordering their properties no matter whether their property is agricultural or purely residential. How many of you have had a neighbor kick in a few thousand to help your struggles during the downturn? I sure didn't, but my neighbor forced me, with the help of our township's official "fence viewers," to pony up.
Now, ask me if I'm sympathetic to the farm's plight.