I had just interviewed Dewie Clark, farmer of 3 decades in West Texas, and was thinking of writing an article about the current plight of farming in the United States. Then I picked up a copy of PROGRESSIVE FARMER, and there was a full page article written by Todd Hultman, the DTN (Progressive Farmer Magazine) lead analysis, who said almost everything I was thinking, but wrote it in an articulate way, better than I could have. So I called and humbly asked if we could quote some of his words. He promptly said yes, to which we say:
Read on and hear a smart man tell it like it is in Agriculture and why it is so important to all of us with thanks to Progressive Farmer magazine.
"If feeding the world is so important, maybe somebody should pay farmers and ranchers for their work!"
"2020 stands out as the poster child thanks to the global pandemic. In 2020 many farmers and ranchers are suffering large financial losses outside the scope of their control."
"If we go by USDA's national estimates of production costs and what prices are expected to bring in 2020-2021, corn will lose $89 per acre, and soybeans will lose $41 per acre. 560 pound feeder steers to finish at 1,300 pounds lost $144.67 a head from October 2019 to June 2020."
"Farrow to finish hog production lost $23.30 a head in the November 2019 to June 2020 period. In some cases hogs were euthanized as packing plants were unable to keep up with the normal flow of supplies"
BGP Editors comment: "During this time, meat a the retail grocery markets had skyrocketed. Somehow the farmers had to pay 10 times more at the grocery store, what they sold their cattle and hogs at from the field."
Todd Hultman tells us: "Retailers saw goods fly off the shelves, and packers watched profit margins soar; but farmers and ranchers, operating with the smallest fraction of the food dollar, suffered disproportionate losses."
"For the few cents that go to a farmer from a loaf of bread, do we really expect him to shoulder the costs of a broken food-supply system?"
"Maybe it's time we had a larger conversation about the financial participation of others in the food supply chain."
We at BootheGlobalPerspectives, say "Well said Todd Hultman" and suggest that you follow him in Progressive Farmer magazine.
Further, my cousin Dewie Clark, farmer in West Texas tells me:
"A big farm tractor can cost $250,000, farming becomes expensive, and then we have the risks of market fluctuation and weather, insects and foreign markets. This year the rains didn't come at the right time, and many dryland cotton farmers in Dawson County, Texas didn't make a crop. Farmers got a check from the Government, which kept many from going bankrupt. But the politicians, on both sides of the aisle, don't seem to understand or appreciate how important agriculture is to the United States. We feed and clothe the nation, but we need the nation to remember and give us a chance to do well."
We at BootheGlobalPerspectives agree. We do appraisals of farms and ranches throughout the Southwest. And we can attest to what Todd Hultman and Dewie Clark are saying. Farmers can feed and clothe America, but we need to give them a financial chance to survive and profit. Otherwise, we could lose the greatest farming industry in the world, right here in the USA. I don't know about you, dear reader, but I love farmers and I am on their side! You should be too, and you should let your Congressman and Senator know, why farming is important, to all of us.
I love farmers and I am on their side! You should be too, and you should let your Congressman, Congresswoman, and Senator know why farming is important to all of us. That is if you like to eat and wear clothing! Ben Boothe, Publisher