“Perfect Storm” CRUSHING American Farmers – It’s bad
(FeaturedNews.com) – Farmers across the US had to make tough decisions going into the 2022 planting season. From high fertilizer prices to drought conditions, a range of issues has forced them to change their plans. Some farmers are switching crops, while others are planting less. This situation could add up to trouble for consumers, so what is the government doing to help?
A Seed Is Planted
A survey from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) revealed farmers are planting more soybeans than ever. A 4% increase in the crop over last year will lead to 91 million acres planted.
On the flip side, the survey also showed farmers are reducing corn crops. There will be a 4% drop in planting, with only 89.5 million acres. Experts predicted the lowest corn-producing states include Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Wheat is also in trouble this year. While the projections are for 47.4 million acres, which is an increase over 2021 of 1%, it’s still one of the lowest amounts since 1919.
Reb Wayne of the Texas Department of Agriculture explained to The Epoch Times that despite what farmers plant, fertilizer shortages and drought conditions could lead to smaller yields. He stated the impact would be on all crops.
One of the top concerns due to the current issues is the expectation of a reduced corn crop. Corn is used widely in food, and with less of it available, consumers should expect to pay more at the grocery store. The impact will likely be on all food items.
A Perfect Storm Hits Farmers
Wayne called the situation a “perfect storm.” Various factors led to the current state of affairs in US agriculture. The pandemic created supply chain issues that sent the price of fertilizer and everything else associated with the industry skyrocketing. Getting products is also much more difficult because of the supply issues.
Then, Russia began its campaign against Ukraine, leading to sanctions and the world disconnecting from the country. The ripple effect hit the US because Russia is the largest producer of fertilizer globally. Cutting off that supplier has had a massive impact on an already weak supply.
Compounding the problematic environment are drought issues. The National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) reported that as of May 3, 45.01% of the United States is in a drought, with almost 54% of the lower 48 states suffering from the condition. The NIDIS noted 194.1 million acres of farmland within the drought areas. Plus, 30 states have moderate or worse drought conditions.
The Government’s Reaction
The USDA is trying to assist farmers by announcing an investment of $250 million into efforts to develop fertilizer in the US. The plan would give farmers more options and, hopefully, reduce costs.
The agency also introduced the Pandemic Cover Crop Program to offer up to $5 per acre premium support for qualifying crops. The program is for farmers who cover their crops through approved insurers. It will pay up to the total premium owed in some cases.
Only time will tell what happens with the 2022 harvest. In the meantime, the government is working to provide some assistance to back up farmers. But with nothing appearing to change, will more need to happen to also help consumers?
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