Support Your Local Producers
It is no surprise that the agriculture industry would be impacted by the current events that are not only happening in the United States but across the globe. Our farmers and ranchers were hurting before the economic slowdown and pandemic but now we are witnessing some of the lowest prices in history. It’s also no surprise that these low prices take a toll on our farmers and ranchers well-being.
Currently, a video of a dairy farmer explaining why the milk is being dumped is circling the major media outlets. Which invoked some thought of how many people do not fully understand where their food comes from or how it is processed to get it to the table. That fact is one the agriculture industry has been struggling with for quite so time.
So how does the economic slowdown, the well-being of producers and the misconceptions about the industry all tie together?
Our producers are the backbone of our nation they are the very reason why we can have the products, goods, and services that we have become so custom to. During this slow down, many industries can move to working from home or pause work until everything clears. That is the difference between those industries and the agriculture industry. Every morning our producers wake up to care for their animals often before they eat breakfast themselves. This is also one of the most important season for our farmers if they stop then crops are not planted and their potential for income that year is gone. We are part of an industry that doesn’t stop and quite honestly cannot stop.
This is the reason why our farmer’s well-being is being affected largely. The agriculture industry is home to some of the most passionate individuals. Like mentioned before they do not stop because they know the amount of weight that is resting one there shoulders to feed the world. But when prices are at these insane lows it has many farmers concerned about making their payments and worst-case not being able to afford to continue to do what they love.
For example, the video explaining why milk was being dumped brought light to the current state of the industry because the restaurants are not serving for the amount of people they were before, they are no longer are ordering the industrial-sized goods they once were there. So then the processing plants no longer need to process the amount of milk like before the COVID 19 pandemic. This results in milk being poured because we cannot shut off our dairy cows from producing milk (Hence the industry not being able to stop).
The misconception is milk goes straight from the dairy to the shelf at the store but that isn’t the case. There are different plants (milk, cheese, powder, etc.) and different grades of milk which determines which plant gets what milk. If you are curious about learning more about this issue in the dairy industry I would suggest taking a few minutes and watching Cow Comfort Inn Dairy’s Facebook Live explaining the issue. https://www.facebook.com/cowcomfortinn/videos/209390420508912/
This is only one example of the impacts of COVID 19 on the agriculture industry as a whole. Though producers might get to breathe for a little bit.
The USDA recently released a statement with the plan to aid $16 billion being spent to aid the United States producers. This coronavirus relief plan will include purchases of as much milk and meat for hunger relief. Even with this aid, the industry could see the US net farm income could plummet by 19 percent, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute. Losses in the cattle industry could be a total of $13.6 billion, in cow-calf operation alone we could be seeing a loss of $3.7 billion. There is more information regarding this plan that they hope to present to the president this week in Successful Farming’s new article. https://www.agriculture.com/news/business/usda-to-buy-as-much-excess-milk-and-meat-as-possible-says-perdue
Now the main goal is not to get you down about the agriculture industry but the goal is to invoke thought, challenge you to ask why is this happening and what can I do. Times are very difficult for our farmers and ranchers again no surprise there but it is important to note that the agriculture industry is one of the strongest industries in the world, and we will get through this together. We are all neighbors that want each other to succeed so then the industry can operate most productively and successfully possible. At Grossenburg Implement we are doing our part to help our farmers and ranchers be efficient. What can you do to help your neighbors and farmers?
Remember we are all in this together.