Anderson Live Viewer Question of the Week
October 22, 2012 by USFRA
Each day consumers have questions about how their food is grown and raised – and who better to answer those questions than a farmer or rancher? Each week we’re highlighting an Anderson Live viewers' question from our Facebook page along with a farmer/rancher answer.
Today, we are exploring “Did this year’s drought put farmers out of businesses? And should I be concerned of the impact I’ll see at the grocery store?”
Here’s what our farmer/rancher expert says:
Carriage House Farm We have not been put out of business. While we were hit hard by the drought, we did not lose everything and the increase in market prices will cover that loss to our commodity crops.
We have seen late rainfalls post Labor Day weekend, which have helped some things.
Our beekeeping operation saw some impact as well with honey harvest down by about a half-ton, or about 12.5%.
Pastures have rebounded quickly. We are still down 25% in our hay production and will be purchasing hay for the first time EVER in the last decade of a boarding operation.
In our organic production, we never had a decent bean crop as June heat was incredible and affected germination so badly we tilled most under and stopped planting rotational plantings. We are now hip deep in salad, root crop, and greens production, and we saw zero impact on herb production.
Paul Murray The drought caused several people to sell out their livestock; or trying to keep the best and hoping for rain relief. Three of my livestock ponds totally dry -- only one is left at 1/2 level -- and I’m concerned about the well before any rain.
I survived 144 days, but with hay crop at less than 40% of normal, winter feed prices still higher, I will be selling half of my livestock trying to keep the best. I am sure the row crop, veggies, and fruit market hit hard also.
Stay tuned for more answers on how food gets from a farm or ranch to your plate. To be part of the conversation, visit: https://www.facebook.com/USFarmersandRanchers.