The Farm Bureau recently held their annual meeting in Atlanta. Nathan Bartals is on the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors and says they discussed a number of issues that will impact farmers in the future.
Farmers do not want history to repeat itself. Back in the 1970’s farmers say good prices for corn and soybeans but then the farm crisis hit in the ’80’s. We are once again seeing high commodity prices and some economists say we are setting up for another crisis. Bartals says farmers learned a huge lesson then and have taken precautions so that doesn’t happen again.
“Agriculture is in a lot better shape than when it was 20, 30 years ago when the farm crisis occurred. There is a lot more equity that exists.”
While some forecasters call for a 2 to 3-percent jump in food prices in coming months, Bartals says farmers are doing their part to keep prices down. He says because we do have less expensive food, other industries benefit.
“So many consumers have more money in their pockets because of agriculture because the American farm to retail system takes less of a percentage or proportion of every consumers pocket, they have more money in their pocket to go spend on other things.”
Bartals says we have to remember that Nebraska is an agriculture-based state and as a whole did not suffer as hard from the economic downturn as other areas.
“Nebraska is strong because of agriculture. A lot of the jobs in Omaha, Lincoln, across the state exist because of agriculture so we believe if agriculture in Nebraska is strong then Nebraska will be strong and there will be jobs to keep paying those food bills.”
Bartals says Farm Bureau members also addressed the upcoming Farm Bill and the importance of having a strong crop insurance program.