Farm and Food: Sixty days until the world shakes | Agriculture

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We know this because, he points out, it’s as obvious as the nose on our face. “If we go by USDA’s national estimates … in 2020/21, corn will lose $89 an acre, and soybeans will lose $41 an acre.”

Also, livestock producers “who purchased 560-pound feeder steers to finish … lost $144.67 per head” from October 2019 to June 2020 while farrow-to-finish hog producers “lost $23.20 a head …” over a similar period.

So “Instead of passing the hat” — bellying up to the federal trough for ever-bigger bailout schemes — “and pretending everything is fine, maybe it’s time we had a larger conversation about the financial participation of others in the food supply chain.”

Great idea; let’s begin with who these “others in the food supply chain” are and what we might say to them in a “larger conversation.”

Obvious “others” would be the first and last links in the international food supply chain — the swaggering, loosely-regulated giants in seed, crop protection, fertilizer, meatpacking, grain merchandising, and food manufacturing — that carve up, then capture, government and markets alike.

Other others would be U.S. government agencies charged with food safety and market antitrust — like the Department of Justice, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Agriculture — that could do more to level the farm and food playing field for every participant large or small instead of clearing the way for the powerful.

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