Inflated prices also hit agricultural countries


We’re all feeling the pressures these days of rising costs, from groceries to the gas pump. Most Americans are already making adjustments here and there. Some might drive less, take family vacations closer to home, or cook a few more meals rather than dining out. But finding small ways to save can only go so far when your very livelihood depends on ever more expensive goods, sometimes skyrocketing in price. When you have to plant crops, tend to them, and take care of the animals to make the farm work, you have to find a way to make it work, and many American farmers are hoping to at least hold on until the chain is over. supply comes.

As a beef and poultry farmer, I’m a price taker — and it’s the same story for farmers across the country. Most consumers don’t know that the higher prices they pay at the grocery store these days don’t mean higher profits for my farm or yours. This year’s input cost spikes have been tough, but they’re also part of the bigger story of the rising cost of farming. For livestock producers in particular, operating costs have increased by 46% since 2013. These costs include animal care, feed and seed. Today, those costs continue to rise, and with supply chain disruptions, you also have to pray that your farm supplies arrive on time.

I know everyone is feeling the pressure of rising costs, but where it hits differently on the farm is our inability to set prices.

Nor is the story any better for farmers who grow row crops. While market prices are high for crops like corn and soybeans, higher costs for seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and fuel make it difficult to balance. It is also too early to tell whether prices will follow agricultural costs or be swallowed up.

I know everyone is feeling the pressure of rising costs, but where it hits differently on the farm is our inability to set prices. A restaurant can adjust its menu and increase prices to keep pace, or reduce hours and staff, but those adjustments just don’t work on the farm. Whether you grow grain, raise livestock, or grow fruits and vegetables, you do not set the price you will receive at harvest unless you directly market your produce, and that price can change between the time you plan and time of planting until time of harvest. There are no downtimes on the farm or margins to reduce employee time. Plus, you can’t control when your equipment might fail or, even worse, when a storm or natural disaster might strike.

Farmers and ranchers meet these challenges every day because we are rooted in our commitment to feed our families and yours. But the pressures of rising agricultural costs – from seeds to equipment – ​​are on the minds of all regions right now, and supply chain relief must be a top priority for our country. We at the Farm Bureau have called on the administration to address skyrocketing fertilizer costs, remove import duties, decongest ports and increase the efficiency of shipping channels. Our team of economists are closely monitoring market impacts and will continue to provide analysis as farmers and ranchers adjust their budgets to keep pace. The pressures that keep you up at night on the farm keep us from seeking solutions and advocating on your behalf here in Washington. We will weather this storm together, as we work to keep our country’s food supply secure and our farms strong.

The importance of food self-sufficiency has become crystal clear in recent weeks as more and more people understand the link between food security and national security. The cost of farming may be high, but as world events remind us, the cost of losing American farms would be even higher.

Zippy Duval

Vincent “Zippy” Duvall, a poultry, livestock and hay producer from Greene County, Georgia, is the 12th president of the American Farm Bureau Federation.


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