Coronavirus and farmers

 
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Post by Hoytman » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 6:06 pm

This pandemic and people reacting out of fear caused by fearmonger’s America’s farmers have resorted to plowing up lettuce fields...and now they are going to kill hogs and who knows what else by the tens to hundreds of thousands because they need them moved, supposedly because shoppers aren’t shopping like they were. I believe that only to a point. People still have to eat and eventually they will.

A farmers going to pay someone to kill all these animals?

What are their plans to do with them and where will they put them?

Why not offer them at discounts, make something for them rather than spend more to kill them and let some folks buy them, come and get them if they have the means.

Every farmer I know cries the blues. Yet one old deceased farmer I knew told me to never believe them crying the blues saying they all had money...and he said most were tight wage. His words, not mine. He was a multi-millionaire himself. Cattle farmer. He was talking about those owning and farming several hundred acres to those who farm several thousands of acres.

I see a resurgence needed of small local farmers and I hope to live to see it. I support the few small guys around here...but they are really few. Most don’t farm produce or even animals here anymore.

Farming is a matter of health and national security too.


 
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Post by johnjoseph » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 6:22 pm

There is a big difference between fear and self preservation.

Here's why farmers are hurting; all non-essential businesses, schools, Universities etc. are closed, therefore the products are done away with. Add to that many of our processors of meat are shut down.

 
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Post by warminmn » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 6:49 pm

I doubt many people would know how to process one even if it was free and if they had to pay someone to process one many wouldnt want it. I never had much luck selling anything as far as food to the general public. If you deliver it free, like to work some take it. Its kinda sad really. Hopefully this changes peoples thinking and like you said Hoyt, perhaps a few more small farms will start for that reason.

Try selling eggs for a penny more than they are in a store and a lot of people wont buy them, as an example.

And JJ is also correct. Less market and it looks like that market is gonna be gone a long time.

 
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Post by Hoytman » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 6:58 pm

johnjoseph wrote:
Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 6:22 pm
There is a big difference between fear and self preservation.

Here's why farmers are hurting; all non-essential businesses, schools, Universities etc. are closed, therefore the products are done away with. Add to that many of our processors of meat are shut down.
I realize that. I’m referring to the lack of local butcher shops in this country that used to be here. All those places you mentioned still have people that need to eat...only difference being they are home and not at those places. The food is still needed. When they are at those places...less food needed at their homes.

So again, farmers are not hurting. There is still a need for their products. They just don’t have the same avenues to get rid of them. The local guy was stomped out for a bigger and highly regulated producers.

So rather than figure out ways to get food to those who need it, like the super long food lines all over this country, it makes more sense to pay someone to kill and bury them.!I should think not.

Sounds as if some farmers are trying to figure out a way to destroy food in order to get government funding.

Besides, people are staying home and glutting now more than ever. Just take a gander at all the YouTube celebrities doing workouts to rid themselves of all the wait they’ve gained. No...

...that food is still needed, and furthermore it is wanted. Some farmers would rather lose it and use it as a tool to gain government funding rather than lose a small percentage of a decent profit margin.

 
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Post by Hoytman » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 7:05 pm

A small farmer can’t compete with $.89-$.99 cent a dozen eggs and those huge producers.

However I can compete with these “organic” eggs being sold in markets wanting $7-$9 a dozen Kroger for their free range eggs. Some farmers are making good $ on those even selling them cheaper to grocers. Those prices are still too high for my liking let alone what Kroger is asking.

We get $2 dozen and can’t supply enough and make enough for feed. It’s a hoody and our life. Don’t have the land to go big but have enough to expand the bird “herd” we have. Adding a few ducks in June.

 
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Post by grumpy » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 7:05 pm

Trump ordered the meat plants to stay open.

 
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Post by Rob R. » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 7:06 pm

The govt. wants cheap food, and fewer places to regulate...which encourages big farms and big processing plants. We are witnessing the downside to that approach.

The farmers are not organized, and most have no way to direct market their products.

If you don't like it support your local growers.


 
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Post by johnjoseph » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 7:31 pm

Hoytman wrote:
Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 6:58 pm
I realize that. I’m referring to the lack of local butcher shops in this country that used to be here. All those places you mentioned still have people that need to eat...only difference being they are home and not at those places. The food is still needed. When they are at those places...less food needed at their homes.

So again, farmers are not hurting. There is still a need for their products. They just don’t have the same avenues to get rid of them. The local guy was stomped out for a bigger and highly regulated producers.

So rather than figure out ways to get food to those who need it, like the super long food lines all over this country, it makes more sense to pay someone to kill and bury them.!I should think not.

Sounds as if some farmers are trying to figure out a way to destroy food in order to get government funding.

Besides, people are staying home and glutting now more than ever. Just take a gander at all the YouTube celebrities doing workouts to rid themselves of all the wait they’ve gained. No...

...that food is still needed, and furthermore it is wanted. Some farmers would rather lose it and use it as a tool to gain government funding rather than lose a small percentage of a decent profit margin.
Simple farming economics and I grew up farming; you produce based on demand . If you're meeting demand you're all set. If the demand is cut in half during you're time to deliver you're screwed. It happens we used to sell 2 beef cattle every and 6 pigs.
We asked for 25% hold. 1 guy bought 1 beef cow and 3 pigs. He pulled out 2 weeks before delivery. Everyone .buying beef and pork already had theirs, meaning no market. We lost 1200 dollars that year and the animal were shot and buried.

 
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Post by Hoytman » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 8:04 pm

A farmer might do that if they don’t have enough pasture ground, or enough feed, or too many animals already on the ground they have, but not around here. Wasting time and/or feed and then the animal only results in more loss and way more waste....any way that idea is sliced.

What these farmers are saying is before they’ll give it away, they’ll destroy it. Case in point, that farmer in California could have picked all the lettuce he and his family could, sold it or gave it away, or let people come and harvest it.

Because of the pandemic, he said, he couldn’t hire enough workers to harvest the crop which I understand. Where I come from you get you tail out of the big expensive tractor and you start picking yourself...especially when you have something people need. It had nothing to do with the lack of need. I’ll buy lack of help, still work to be done and product to be sold, and people in this country needing food during a time like this.

Why spend the money for fuel to cut the crop down when leaving to rot is just fine. It’s not like he was going to plow it under. So, just leave it. Just more propaganda...this time of the American kind.

Destroy the beef and totally waste it rather than make an effort to kill it and give it away, or just give it to someone or several families and let them pay for delivery from the farmer, kill and process themselves.

The old American saying is: “Where there’s a will there’s a way.”

You let people get hungry enough and they will work for food.

Let enough liberals make everyone stay home and the farmers on both sides of the isle would be far worse than they are now.

It’s just a way to gain another hand out from the government. No more, no less. All my friends are big farmers...and they get more tax breaks and incentives than anyone...and amongst themselves and me they brag about it. Just like (my uncles who are) union auto workers who’s co-workers brag about stealing toilet paper at work, get fired, and the union gets their job back for them.

If a farmer around had the issue of not selling animals for food if he couldn’t give them away then he wouldn’t be trying very hard and the same could be said for those who would want it and needed it processed. It isn’t that damn hard. No Ned to be particular when you’re starving.

I mean...I thank God this country and people in this country are blessed enough to be able to waste stuff, but fields of food and animals by the thousands...it isn’t right.

 
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Post by johnjoseph » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 8:38 pm

You still don't get it. There are regulations on how you can distribute your produce. You've got a bias towards farmers period; they have or getting something you aren't.

 
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Post by KLook » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 8:51 pm

I think he gets it alright.

Kevin

 
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Post by CapeCoaler » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 8:59 pm

The big farms are factories...
The 'smaller' farms are more directly connected to where they are located...
The small 10-120 acre farms would be more likely to give their produce or meats away...
For the goodwill...
But they probably don't need to do that because they are or could be direct to retail anyway...
Meat still needs to be processed, usually by a USDA inspected butcher...
That all costs money...
So if the Goodwill outweighs the Butchering/Packaging Expense the it will happen...
But it is still cheaper to 'cut the loss' by plowing under or burying the herd...

 
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Post by Rob R. » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 9:09 pm

It is not as simple as it seems.

Invite people to pick the lettuce, one will sprain their ankle and sue.

Can't give the meat away without it being processed in a USDA approved facility. We just went through that when a local farm wanted to give 12 pigs to families in need. They had to really search to find someone that could legally process the meat just so it could be given away.

Lots of the growers are already operating on very thin margins. The right decision to try and stay in business may seem heartless to others.

 
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Post by CapeCoaler » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 9:12 pm

Down here on The Cape...
The fishing/draggers are going direct to market but you need a retail license...
Shellfish grant holders are doing the same thing...
There are meetups for the purchase of the fish/shellfish on a weekly basis...
And some are donating a portion to a few local restaurants who do meal giveaways...
Bay Scallops only live for two years so ya gotta eat them or they perish...
So we have a nice mix...
Hake or Pollock, Sea Scallops, # 1-grade Yellowfin Tuna, and Shrimp.

Hake/Pollock is $7/lb in 2 lb bags.

Sea Scallops @ $15/lb, 1 lb bags

Tuna @ $14/lb, 1 lb bags

Shrimp @ 9/lb, 1 lb bags

 
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Post by titleist1 » Tue. Apr. 28, 2020 9:34 pm

I don't know how rich or poor farmers are....

But I am not surprised fields are getting plowed under and animals slaughtered. One of the limitations of the food supply chain is the ability of the packaging plants to process the food into consumer sized and approved packaging. The processing plants are extremely specialized and machinery is specific to maximize the profit margin for the companies.

That is the reason some potato fields are being plowed under, for example. They have contracts with plants that process and package for stadiums, hotels, food chains, etc. The packaging they use is much larger than even the biggest Costco or BJ's bag. It also doesn't have the barcoding or ingredient labeling that is required for consumer goods. The consumer grade packaging plants are running full out making french fries and tater tots using potatoes from farms they have contracts with. The guy that has the contract with the bulk suppliers has nobody to sell to so he plows his crop under.

It is not easy to just adjust the packaging equipment, most are specific to the line layout and to the package size and to order new equipment and install it into production can take months. I sell weigh belts used in food applications. They are a very simple machine that can be inserted into an existing line and it still takes a min of 8 weeks from when we get an order to when the machine gets shipped to the destination and they can get it installed. And that lead time is creeping longer because they can't quickly get the steel, rollers, belts, electronics due to limitations at their suppliers.

Besides potatoes, another example i have first hand experience with is a plant in Lancaster that processes ground meat and packages it to be sent to another nearby plant that makes burritos for taco bell. There is no way they could retool the meat packaging lines to create a consumer size ground meat package instead of the 50lb rolls in less than 2 months. By the way, I have given up burritos (and any other taco bell "food") after seeing the processing of that meat! :lol:


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