Small Farm & Homestead News – 11/1/2018
Homesteaders and small farmers have many challenges in today’s world. We want to help you stay up to date on important news.
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How Tariffs Affect Small Farms
In this first article, Forbes contributor, Michael Helmstetter, gives an in depth look at how our current trade war with China is causing a glut of soybeans which will have a detrimental effect on small farmers…
The author also unpacks problems with inequity of farm subsidy allocation and the power of politics to affect farmers. He believes that small family farms can be saved with research and development, investment in new uses for agriculture commodities, and opening up trade across our border. Even if you aren’t a farmer or homesteader, these issues will affect every consumer in the USA with fluctuating costs and uncertain markets.
Perhaps in the short term this soybean glut could lead to lower feed costs for homesteaders and small farmers who can’t grow their own feed, so you may keep a bit more cash in your pocket this winter. However, in the long run these tit for tat trade wars could hurt all of us.
Small dairy farmers have are under increasing pressure to adapt or die. Low milk prices may sound great as you walk down the grocery aisle, but they are causing a huge problem for small farms.
The Fence Post gives a breakdown of the pros and cons of larger dairy operations vs small dairy farms. With larger farms come lower prices, but an inability to adapt to disease, natural disaster, and consumer interest. Larger and larger dairy farms are putting small family farms out of business. Here’s a good overview…
The organic dairy industry may be healthier for people and the environment, but also has its share of challenges, as discussed in this article in Civil Eats by Lela Nargi …
And Some Good News…
In this article from Forbes contributor, Jenny Splitter, we take a look at how Hungry Harvest is using existing technology to help farmers, producers, and retailers find a market for produce that would normally add to our landfill problems…
Not only does this program help reduce the amount of nutritious food going into dumps, it gives farmers and the produce industry a market for ‘ugly’ fruits and veggies. Now, instead of paying to throw food away, they are feeding people at a reduced cost and increases profits for farms and suppliers.
The Bottom Line – Diversify & Reduce Waste
For small farmers and homesteaders who struggle to produce a profit from their hard work, there is hope in the modern, industrial world of agriculture. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket and use technology to help you sell those eggs, before they go bad.
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In addition to writing for her own websites, Lisa has contributed articles to The Prepper Project and Homestead.org.
The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry.