From a number of sources, mariner has picked up a theme that the combination of pressure to increase farm production, increased regulations about farming methods, the need to continue the use of fossil fuel versus the pressure to revamp farm equipment, has put farmers in a target zone being fired upon from every direction.
Also making smoke is an antiquated supply chain which puts the cost of farming on the shoulders of farmers while a monopolized processing chain takes an easy profit from controlled pricing to the public. The most blatant example is the chicken industry where a corporation like Perdue avoids farming costs with a minimum payment for each chicken but gathers great profit from a tightly manipulated sales strategy. Through mergers and buyouts, beef processing, more or less, has been consolidated into four large beef processing firms – which caused a stink during the pandemic because it didn’t take much to shut down four processing firms caused by Covid absences.
Add to this pressured environment dysfunctional state and federal legislatures and rising inflation and being a farmer isn’t a quiet, countryside experience. Perhaps like mariner, they may yearn for the old horse and plow days; at least back then meat supply was dealt with directly at the farm.
The reason there is growing urgency in the farming sector has to do with a number of circumstances that are worldwide. One is the fact that in a couple of decades food production around the world may feed only half the world’s population. Another is the impact of climate change on huge regions; The U.S southwest, for example, is a major supplier of hay for beef farmers but already the temperature is growing too hot and droughts are setting new records. Along the Gulf Coast flooding and very heavy storms are wreaking havoc. This is the story around the world.
Keep an eye out for news from the farm sector; it may be the most serious situation for the next generation.