Our Food Supply Cannot Afford This Economic Shutdown

Our Food Supply Cannot Afford This Economic Shutdown

Our Food Supply Cannot Afford This Economic Shutdown

Quite frankly, our food supply and agriculture industry cannot afford this economic shutdown much longer. Every food item at our stores is sourced from a farmer or rancher. What happens if they can no longer afford to grow/raise the food we eat?

Right now there are thousands of dairymen, cattle ranchers, vegetable farmers, and more whose food product is going to waste. Why? Restaurants, schools, farmers markets, and more were shut down across this country. Which meant that their product went nowhere. Therefore it was rotting on the ground, dumped down the drain, or stuck at the feedlot or packing plant. 

I watched in real time as Sam’s was limiting the amount of ground beef people could buy. You thought it was only limits on toilet paper, paper towel, and diapers? Nope. Try FOOD. With supply chains shut down, food doesn’t get harvested or is plowed under. 

“Mounds of harvested zucchini and yellow squash ripened and then rotted in the hot Florida sun. Juicy tomatoes were left to wither — unpicked — in farmers’ fields.

Thousands of acres of fruits and vegetables grown in Florida are being plowed over or left to rot because farmers can’t sell to restaurants, theme parks or schools nationwide that have closed because of the coronavirus.

Other states are having the same issues — agriculture officials say leafy greens in California are being hit especially hard, and dairy farmers in Vermont and Wisconsin say they have had to dump a surplus of milk intended for restaurants.

With most of its harvests in the winter months, the problem is acute in Florida. For example, a few dozen people clamored to buy 25-pound (11- kilogram) boxes of Roma tomatoes direct from a packing plant over the weekend in Palmetto, a city on the western coast.”

Here in Colorado there are vegetable farmers and bison ranchers who are selling to the public because the restaurants they sell to were shut down. Will selling to the public sustain them through this? One would hope. But when you sell food to multiple restaurants on a weekly basis and the public will only buy once or twice a month…is that sustainable? 

NO. 

You see, the models everyone including Drs Birx and Fauci have been touting have been wrong at every turn. Yet those were the numbers used to shut down the economy. This is what Bill Bennet and Seth Liebsohn proposed on March 31st. 

“To help restore a sense of calm and normalcy, we ought to look at this disease at its center of harm and engage something like a more vertical strategy as Thomas Friedman recommended, “sequestering those among us most likely to be killed or suffer long-term damage by exposure to coronavirus infection … while basically treating the rest of society the way we have always dealt with familiar threats like the flu.” The horizontal strategy of “restricting the movement and commerce of the entire population, without consideration of varying risks for severe infection,” is too blunt, too paralyzing — and too haunting.”

Everyone in this country was/is considered a virus risk, hence shutting down the world. But we need food to sustain ourselves. However, planting your own garden is, hello Vermont!, not allowed according to some. 

Except that the numbers are showing that is not true. We are already seeing that the numbers are being skewed, and when one model doesn’t work, other models will be touted as the next greatest thing. 

What we must recognize, as Ray Hunkins points out, is that one size does not fit all. The idea that Wyoming must implement the same type of orders as a Baltimore, Las Vegas, or New York City, is ludicrous given the vast differences between each of them. But stimulus for small business! Except that it’s a small very short-term solution if we don’t reopen the economy now. 

Right now this is critical planting time for farmers. 

“A peach [that] is good today is not good tomorrow. That’s how quick things ripen,” Chalmers Carr told CNN Business. Carr owns and operates Titan Farms in Ridge Spring, South Carolina, where he grows peaches on around 6,200 acres, in addition to bell peppers and broccoli.
For blueberries and strawberries, he said, “if you leave them on the bush or the vine one extra day, they’re virtually worthless.” Even more forgiving crops, like bell peppers, have a short harvesting window of two to five days, Carr said.”

Here in the Rocky Mountain region, farmers are getting the fields of corn, wheat, hay, lettuce, squash, asparagus, cabbage, herbs, and more ready for planting. Calving season is underway as well. At the same time, farmers and ranchers are also having to convince government idiots that what they do – GROW FOOD!- is essential! 

Meanwhile food prices have already gone up in the stores, while the selling prices from farmers and ranchers are dropping like a rock. This is not sustainable for our farmers and ranchers, nor for the rest of us.

Do you want food on your table? Of course you do. In that case, we need to get VERY realistic and be prepared to take a big calculated risk. 

We need to reopen our economy NOW or our food supply will crater even more. Ranchers and farmers will go out of business, and food prices will skyrocket. Do you want that? I didn’t think so.

Welcome Instapundit Readers!

Feature Photo Credit: Farming wheat harvest by TheDigitalArtist via Pixabay, cropped and modified

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14 Comments
  • Angie says:

    Gardens are also nonessential according to our DUH-MAZING governor in Michigan.

    • GWB says:

      This is actually a good argument for planting heirloom plants in your garden (as opposed to hybrids). You don’t have to rely on a supply chain for your seeds. Instead, you scrape them out of your squash before you cook it, or out of your cucumbers or peppers, you let a tomato or two “rot”, you let a couple of your onions go to seed, etc. And you can do it year after year.

      This isn’t necessarily a prepper thing (yes, if the SHTF, you’re not going to be mail-ordering from the Burpee’s catalog anymore*), but simply a way of bringing some control back to your life (and taking it away from bureaucrats, companies, petty tyrants, etc.).
      (* Yes, I’m old. :p )

  • GWB says:

    Here in Colorado there are vegetable farmers and bison ranchers who are selling to the public
    Good to see your laws allow that. One of the problems with these supply chain issues is regulation in a lot of places doesn’t allow (or makes very difficult) sending stuff from one side to the other without totally re-packaging it.

    However, planting your own garden is … not allowed according to some.
    And, even if you could, there’s this lag time from buying a plant and planting it and actually getting produce from it. You plant those tomato plants now, and you’ll be seeing tomatoes in… mid-to-late May, at best.

    The problem with ALL bureaucrats is they are Rigid Thinkers. The rules are the rules, and they apply across the board*, and trying to bend them will get you shut down in a hurry. And, the more area they cover, the more rigid they are. And it’s bureaucrats that brought about this shutdown.
    (* This is why I say gov’t canNOT do charity. Charity requires addressing each person’s individual needs, and – in a place where equality is the rule – you not only can’t do that, but you SHOULD NOT. The law must be scrupulously fair. It has to be an ass. It’s not that we should therefore make more laws to handle all the nuances, but that we should reduce the laws and the scope of gov’t to handle more things as individuals and private institutions.)

  • Jim says:

    I sold a 2yo Angus steer Monday directly to a meat processing company. We have his brother in the freezer and decided we didn’t have enough room for him yet. The agent from the meat packing company told me that the issue for the company is not lack of beasts to slaughter, but that the whole supply chain has slowed down massively. Indeed a special store cattle sale for April 15 is oversubscribed by farmers due to the good autumn break we’re having. The stock is available. In particular refrigerated containers in which carcases are shipped around the country and for export are hard to come by as they are stuck over seas due to the slow down in shipping and freight in general.

  • Romey says:

    How does anyone become an expert on something that has never happened before? Letters in front and behind your name and speaking with confidence and authority does not automatically make you forsee the future.

  • Mad Max says:

    We need to buy all of the farm products that restaraunts, etc. aren’t buying and send them to Washington, DC and dump them in the streets to rot.

    Make sure the first 50 truckloads get dumped on the Capitol steps.

  • […] – The lockdown and resulting closure of restaurants, schools sport and music venues and farmers market…. Not only does it affect the cash flow of farmers but it also impacts their ability to plan for […]

  • wjamyers says:

    The United States of America… 5% of the world’s population producing 40% of the world’s food, the largest single exporter on earth. The rest of the world will be starving before we even have a hunger pang and NO ONE is going to sit still for it, so please rein in your hysterical fear-mongering.

    • Scott says:

      Under normal circumstances that’s true, but the cost of the shutdown hitting them could cause many of the farmers / ranchers to go out of business (their operations can’t just stop because they can’t sell the stuff. It’s not like building a product, where you just turn the assembly line on and off, it’s got much greater lead time, and if they can’t fund operations today, there will be no product available months from now. As someone in the farming / ranching community, this post is NOT fear-mongering, and the only people that would think so are those city dwellers that have no actual concept of how those nicely shrink wrapped packages of food end up int heir grocery stores.

    • Jim says:

      It’s a similar situation here in Australia on a smaller scale: we have a population of 25 million, but produce enough food for 75million. The problem is not lack of foodstuffs, but the supply chain slowing down due to increased health regulation but also, as you suggest, hysteria.

  • Chancellor says:

    We can all hope for this to happen, but reality certainly indicates the shutdown will go longer still. By all accounts, this will damage the restaurant business; only question is by how much. Right now, it looks like the farmers/ranchers supply chain is unable to respond to the change in demand – and this is the area they better be working on. It’s more likely than not that demand dynamics will be changed for at least the next two planting/harvesting seasons.

    IMO, where farmers/ranchers really need help relative to government interference is reduction in regulatory interference so they can implement more direct to customer sales, whether those customers are local grocers or actual consumers.

  • […] Food is starting to get dumped. Animals are close to being euthanized. One of the largest pork producers just shut down. […]

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