Sunday, August 4, 2013

A commodity trader talks about the coming crisis in farming

This is a five minute video that basically states my views on farming in the US.  I'd like to hear your thoughts. 

Commodities, Agriculture boom & perilous times

4 comments:

James Gregory said...

Speaking to many farmers around here (Australia) they say that people have been telling them for decades that the worlds population is growing / there is food shortages / China & India are developing rapidly and want our food / etc. etc. which will soon translate into better prices and improved income for the farmer. But instead what has happened consistently over the years is that prices have DECLINED rather than improved, and this trend seems only to be continuing. Now more than ever farmers are struggling to makes ends meet.
These farmers of course all sell wholesale.

I wonder if their lot would really improve in the scenario described in your video...whether the higher prices would ever trickle down to the farmers themselves? Or will the middle-men continue to squeeze those farmers and keep them working for peanuts? Maybe they will all just fold and/or retire without succession to be consolidated into the ever-growing corporate run mega farms.

James Gregory said...

Speaking to many farmers around here (Australia) they say that people have been telling them for decades that the worlds population is growing / there is food shortages / China & India are developing rapidly and want our food / etc. etc. which will soon translate into better prices and improved income for the farmer. But instead what has happened consistently over the years is that prices have DECLINED rather than improved, and this trend seems only to be continuing. Now more than ever farmers are struggling to makes ends meet.
These farmers of course all sell wholesale.

I wonder if their lot would really improve in the scenario described in your video...whether the higher prices would ever trickle down to the farmers themselves? Or will the middle-men continue to squeeze those farmers and keep them working for peanuts? Maybe they will all just fold and/or retire without succession to be consolidated into the ever-growing corporate run mega farms.

Jeff said...

I agree (and hope) that food is undervalued at the moment and we're due for a correction, but I don't expect to see an economy where farmers are getting rich. Maybe the owners of mega-farms, CEOS, and commodity traders (but they're already rich aren't they?). I don't think that small-medium scale family farming has ever been a vocation that makes one well-off. If nothing else, if food prices go up it's probably because energy prices are going up as well, which is going to cancel out a lot of those profits for commodity growers.

George said...

I've been trying to get farms I know personally to raise their prices for years, at farmers markets, CSA shares, wholesale, retail etc...

The overwhelming answer is that people just do not see the value in a $10lb of hot dogs, or $2 tomato, or a $1200, 26 week CSA share....