The landscape of farm products has changed drastically over recent years. What used to be the main agricultural sources of food crop production can disappear in favor of more efficient ones as demand changes. The crops and livestock that the average American farmer is growing in a single year now all depend greatly on the current taste, trends, price, and value of farm products. Many farmers and ranchers are struggling to adjust to the changes that are happening so badly and losing money at a steady pace. The fact is that farm products have been one of the key pillars supporting the economic stability of rural America for decades. If this stability was not maintained, then many of the problems that are occurring now could come to pass.
There are three major groups of farm products that have suffered major decreases in sales since the 1980s. Those are total dairy cattle, hay, and alfalfa. Each group has experienced a decline in sales, but the overall decline in dairy cattle has been the largest of the three. Since most American cows are pastured, most of the cattle producing for the market are being overcast, something that typically only happens in certain parts of the country.
Hay has also experienced a drop in sales, but the biggest decline has been in alfalfa, which is a by-product of sugar cane production. This means that farmers are having trouble selling alfalfa and switching over to another crop, especially if they are already making hay products, such as ethanol. There are several reasons why farmers are losing money with their dairy cattle, including without a natural replacement. This means that farmers are trying to make hay products, including fertilizer, because there is simply no need to make it from alfalfa now.
The drop in crop production is also having an impact on grain production. Soybeans and corn have both dropped in recent years, causing rice production to increase at a very low rate. Other agricultural products, such as wheat and oats, are not experiencing the same problems, but they are not growing at all. It is possible that as the world recovers from the global crisis, the world’s appetite will increase and prices will begin to go up for agricultural products again. The drop in the price of feed has had a negative impact on livestock markets across the board, including beef.
The United States had enjoyed a strong agricultural sector over the last decade or so, which has resulted in over two million jobs. While this has been a positive for farmers, the drop in agricultural product sales has hurt the economy. To help our struggling agricultural industry, the United States government is working hard to implement measures that will increase our farm production, helping to keep our people employed and our economy growing.
There is hope! With the right amount of acreage and technology, the United States government is implementing new programs that will see more acres planted with major crops like corn and soybeans. There is also talk of increasing our production of alfalfa and crocus by five percent over the next five years. More hay is on the way for cattle producers, who are currently growing record numbers of alfalfa for ethanol production. With the right policies and programs in place, the United States could see a significant increase in our agricultural production and a healthier, better-looking America.