There will be far reaching effects for the next few years. I Googled up some headlines to see what I could find in the news and it seems agriculture is front and center.
Probably fitting because for many folks the extremely dry weather has only meant a welcome break from cutting the grass and no rain dates for sporting events or that trip to the lake.
For farmers it could mean the end of their operation.
I consider myself a small farmer so I speak from experience in that realm. To be more specific I raise livestock.
When I went back to farming in about 1998, corn was $1.98 a bushel. This morning I saw the USDA is talking $8.20 a bushel as a high this winter.
Let’s look at some headlines I pulled up:
The dramatic effects of a small corn crop.
Corn futures could be headed for an explosive run up.
Terrifying Corn Supply/Demand Situation Unfolding.
High Corn, Soybean Prices to Slash Demand.
Say What? $55-Plus Soybeans and $17-Plus Corn!
U.S. drought drives up food prices worldwide – CNNMoney
Drought Impacting Livestock, Effects on Food Prices Still to Come —Accuweather
When I looked for pigs to start out with in the early days I decided on Tamworth pigs as they were an old breed and they were known to “do well on pasture.”
I had two foundational goals for all my livestock:
1) Cut out as much off farm inputs as possible (grain etc).
2) Develop our livestock to align with that goal. (minimal grain consumption)
Things have come a long way since those early years but I still find myself wishing we were farther down the road toward these goals when I see the grain prices.
I expect meat prices to go up across the board in the U.S. I also expect to see many small livestock farms fold their tents and quit trying to raise livestock while simultaneously handing the local feed mill all of the small profit they might have made if corn was cheap.
"These prices ought to scare the blazes out of ethanol and livestock producers. It appears that the biggest bulk of this cutback will fall on the backs of the livestock, poultry and hog industry. They have some serious decisions to make. And, once you write it on the wall in blood by USDA, I’d say you have a tendency to believe it." - Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group.
If you’re a consumer of farm products direct from the farm it’s inevitable to see prices rise…possibly dramatically.
If you’re a customer of Spring Hill Farms know that we are doing everything in our power to keep clean, healthy, grass based, food on your table regardless of the grain prices. That’s been our goal from the beginning.
Until next time….