Our friend and blog helper Chimel posted this interesting piece from Mother Jones. Whether you like them or this or not, they wrote an insightful article on the problem with "commodity farming."
Give the article a read. I don't know of any large agribusiness firms owning farm ground in my region unless you consider the large family farm operations here as "large agribusiness firms."
My friend Jay and I talked about local farming practices and how hard it is for little guys like us to even try to farm. He is looking at trading his nice, newer 6 row John Deere planter for a 12 row just to increase his efficiency. Besides, he said "I doubt you can even order a 6 row or 8 row corn planter unless it is a special order." I haven't tried but imagine he is correct.
Control of land around here is mainly in the hands of the largest farmers. If a piece becomes available, they snap it up as owned or rented ground. The recent sale of a very good 200 acre farm near Sabina is an example. It brought $10,200 per acre and a large family operation bought it. I asked who bid them up? There was a standing offer for $7500 from the large family that is farming it and that offer was never seriously considered. The result shows why.
It is a very interesting and thought provoking article. The soybean price chart shows the problem producing our most valuable crop in this region, soybeans. Our soil and weather is very conducive to produce high value soybeans. Yet, most of our local acres are traited and do go into feed or fuel or possibly cooking oil.
Who is producing the food LuAnn and I purchase on the outside row of our local Kroger store? No one around here, for sure. You have to raise a garden or shop at local farmers markets and freeze and can the produce for the rest of your eating year. 69 million people a day eat at McDonald's they said on the news last night at dinner time. I don't think they are eating what we are, either! I can't remember the last time we ate at McDonald's!
Who is Mother Jones and where will we be in 20 years? The trend they report seems to be in trenched in American agriculture.