Farm sector exports and profits are down sharply as escalating tariffs choke off international trade. Yet one group is benefitting from the tariff wars: over 40 million food insecure Americans who struggle to buy groceries.
From California to Georgia, farmers can’t find enough workers to harvest their crops or milk their cows. Combined with Congress’s decades-long failure to act on long-promised comprehensive immigration reform, the result is that U.S. consumers are paying more for a less-secure food supply as more production moves south of the Mexican border in search of farm labor.
With 95 percent of California’s Central Valley wetlands lost over the last century to urbanization and highly productive agriculture, researchers warn that the area’s once prolific native salmon could disappear within 50 years.
NFU President Roger Johnson tells Agri-Pulse a perfect storm has created opportunities for beginning farmers who write solid business plans that take advantage of lower entry costs at a time of depressed commodity prices.
Editor’s note: This is the fifth installment in our seven-part in-depth editorial series where we look ahead at “Farm & Food 2040.” This story focuses on the changing consumer expectations for food and how that’s impacting many aspects of the value chain of the present and future.
“Adapt or die,” a saying made famous in the early 1970s by then-Agriculture Secretary Earl Butz as he encouraged farmers to look for ways to be more efficient and responsive to market signals, still rings true for many in agriculture today.
Despite sharp attacks on two specific changes affecting the National Organic Standards Board, the U.S. organics industry has enthusiastically welcomed the new farm bill that President Trump signed into law Dec. 20.