Ever since Joe Biden became President, the American agricultural economy has been doomed to go down in flames. With inflation sending prices sky high, many of these farmers that were already running on tight budgets are now in even worse shape than ever before.
Creighton University’s Rural Mainstreet Economic Index has the agricultural economy below the growth neutral score of 50. This is a position they have now been in for the fifth straight month. This is not a good sign for American agriculture or our food future. Given how much of the grain and meat we enjoy domestically is produced here, this should be very concerning for everyone.
According to the university’s website on October 26th, there is a lot that needs to be considered here. “The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI) fell for the sixth time in the past seven months, sinking below growth neutral for a fifth consecutive month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.”
They summarized it by saying “Overall: The region’s overall reading for October once again sank below growth neutral to 44.2 from 46.3 in September. The index ranges between 0 and 100 with a reading of 50.0 representing growth neutral. This was the fifth consecutive month the overall reading has fallen below growth neutral.”
A position like this is not good for the nation. South Dakota alone has an RMI even lower than the national average of 38.8 per a report by Fox. The state Cattleman’s Association President Eric Jennings has gone on record blaming high fuel prices and equipment costs burdening an already overworked industry. As he explained, high fertilizer costs and other expenses all add up. This makes farmers who are already having a rough go of it lose out on the profit margins that should be expected with these positive prices.
Of course, all of these costs get passed on to the consumer.
Unfortunately, many consumers are refusing to pay the price. Instead of choosing American-grown produce or American beef, many will opt for produce knowingly from Central America or Asia. As well as beef from Australia, China, or Mexico. With the substantially lower prices even after considering shipping, the American consumer is saving a substantial amount each month with these decisions.
With 93% of Americans being concerned about the economy and high inflation, the farmers should feel at least slightly reassured that they are not alone in their concerns. The problem is the average American has these choices in bigger cities and metropolitan areas. In rural states where most of the American agriculture exists, they don’t worry about this at all. They don’t have the option to choose another store without driving 20+ minutes each way, and that savings would be lost in gas costs.
Biden, so far, has done little to nothing to help farmers out. He has created laws and bans that make it harder and harder for American farmers to do their job. Unfortunately, this is not a nation where the farmer can just up and stop his career and livelihood because prices are up. If he doesn’t continue to fight and push for a better deal and lower prices, he and his family will lose everything.
There is no federal insurance for farms that go under because the President destroyed the economy. Farm subsidies to grow bumper crops, or to buy out a farm only last so long, and it rarely is much more than their expenses to run the farm. So as Biden runs this economy into the ground, he may very well end up buying the American farm, too. Both literally and figuratively.