18 Aug Farming RN is a Nightmare – So What Does This Mean?
Agriculture is never an easy line of work. As JFK noted, “The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways.” Farmers are expected to do more than that now. So what does this mean for you?
✔️ Farmers have been warning people for months about food and water shortages. People in agriculture are often on the frontlines of what’s yet to come. If you ignore them, you’re doing it at your own risk IMO.
✔️ I had seeds that did nothing. My corn was completely burned up in the flash drought. I’m hearing the same thing from other people around the country regardless of growing zone.
✔️ Hay prices are insane and that’s if you can find any. Some fields are seeing a 50% drop in bales produced this summer with no second cutting.
✔️ People are so disconnected from nature, the food supply, and wheel of the year. There IS a time for sowing and for reaping, for planting and for harvesting, for basking in the sun and for storing food for the winter months. So what happens if there is little or no harvest in the summer and early fall?
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Transcription by Otter.ai. Please forgive any typos!
Welcome to the Causey Consulting Podcast. You can find his online anytime at CauseyConsultingLLC.com. And now, here’s your host, Sara Causey. Hello, Hello, and thanks for tuning in. In today’s episode, I want to talk about what it’s like to be a farmer right now, spoiler alert, not easy, and also how that relates to whatever poopoo storm it is we have brewing up in the current economy. In fairness, there’s never an easy time to be involved in agriculture. It is a difficult line of work. By its very nature, no pun intended, it is a difficult line of work. That being said, when you have to deal with natural disasters, or once every 400 years type of climate cycles, it’s even more difficult. In some parts of the country, people are dealing with flash floods, wildfires, where I’m at in the Midwest, we’ve had the flash drought, the heat dome slash flash drought, and that has made it very, very difficult. So it’s gone from being not easy to being very, very difficult. You may have heard people talking about seeds being poor quality this year, I can vouch for that firsthand. There were seeds that I planted, I’m not going to start name dropping, I’m not going to talk about where I purchased the seeds or what manufacture any of that, I will just tell you, there were certain seeds that I planted that did nothing. I put them in the ground, I did everything that I normally would do to have success and nothing happened. If you’ve ever bought a firework or a firecracker and nothing happened, you lit it, the fuse went out, and it was just considered a dud. That’s exactly what it was like. We did have rain earlier. And so I think there may have been some seeds that just got washed away. But when I went back after the rains were over with and planted some of the same seeds. It was like nothing happened. It was just like dud seeds, which Yes, from time to time, that will happen every so often, you will plant some seeds that just seem to be a bad batch. They just they’re not compatible with the soil, or something has gone wrong. But when it happens repeatedly in the same season, you know you and it’s and it’s different plants, it’s not just the corn but it’s also the watermelons and the beans and the zucchini and the cucumbers, you’re like wait a minute, there’s something really weird about this. And I have heard the same thing from people all over the country, various different climates, different growing zones, all saying the same thing that they encountered dud seeds, and they don’t really understand why it happened. On top of that the flash drought. So we went from having rain, quite a lot of rain and everything being very soggy and very muddy, to everything suddenly being hot. When that heat dome hit it was just like suddenly, Inferno, you would walk outside and it felt like you were in the desert. Everything was dry and barren. There were cracks in the ground. The corn that I planted actually did come up, and it made tassels, but it never made ears and the corn itself burned. It was brown and desiccated and just absolutely burned from the sun. So I have no corn to speak of this year. And I know other farmers that encountered the same thing. Now if you’re growing corn or soybeans commercially, and your entire harvest was burned up, literally burned up and dried out from the flash drought, that has huge implications not only for your bottom line, but for the food supply itself. And that’s one of the things that I think people just don’t understand. people by and large, are so disconnected. They’re disconnected from the food supply. They’re disconnected from farming and agriculture. They’re disconnected from nature, and they’re disconnected from the Wheel of the Year itself. For example, if you tell someone outside of agriculture, hey, we’re already in the dark half of the year, they look at you like you’re crazy. Meanwhile, where I’m at, I’m in the northern hemisphere. So for those of you listening in the southern hemisphere, you’re in a different situation, but we’re in the dark half of the year. And people in agriculture get it they know that slightly at first it’s almost imperceptible at the beginning. But in this time of the year, you start to lose a little bit more daylight and a little bit more daylight. But people want to argue well, no, it’s August. It’s still summertime. It doesn’t get all the way dark until 9pm. And it’s like yeah, but you know how on the Fourth of July wasn’t all the way dark until 10pm. And now it’s dark at nine Hello. Connect the dots. at the summer solstice. It’s the longest day of the year. There’s the most sunlight summer is considered to be at its apex. And then after that slowly, we begin to lose a little bit more daylight and then a little bit more daylight and then a little bit more daylight even though it doesn’t seem like we would we do. The winter solstice is of course the opposite you have the shortest amount of daylight, aka the longest night. But then slowly but surely, imperceptibly at first, there starts to be more and more daylight. As dark starts to give way to the spring. This is just the natural ebb and flow the natural cycle of nature. At the spring equinox and the autumnal equinox, daylight and dark stand just about equal, of course at the autumnal equinox after that, you really begin to see dark taking over more and more daylight becoming less and less. At the spring equinox, it’s the opposite, you start to see more and more daylight, more things are coming into bloom grass is getting green, it’s like nature is waking up again. It’s been hibernating, the land has been fallow, but now nature itself, it’s like the Earth itself, and your hemisphere is starting to wake up again. This is just normal. It happens every year. But yet, it’s amazing to me how many people seem to be completely disconnected from that reality. We’re also in prime harvest season. And I think that the ancients understood that a bit better as a whole as an entire community than we do in the modern world. So towards the beginning of August, you were getting in the first fruits, and people would celebrate, they would make drinks and they would bake loaves of fresh bread. And then along about the equinox, you had another round of harvesting, and then along about the salad or Halloween. So around October 31, November 1, that was considered to be the last bit of the harvest season. In other words, that was the last chance Express for you to pick fruits before or vegetables before the land went fallow. If you had animals that needed to be processed, whatever it was your opportunity then to make sure that you had food in the larder that you had things put away in the root cellar, and you and your family were ready to make it through a long, cold winter. People now are just you know, they’re so accustomed to going into a grocery store with fluorescent lighting and air conditioning or heat or whatever. And everything’s just there. Everything is just there. And I really wonder how people would react, to go in a store and all of a sudden things are just not there. Or there’s less variety and whatever is there is so expensive. It feels like you have to donate a kidney just to get groceries. And yet there have been all of these warnings, not only from people directly involved in agriculture, but even just out there in mainstream news about hey, there’s probably a food shortage coming, hey, there’s gonna be parts of the world that experience a famine, hey, there’s probably water shortage is coming. And people are just like, ah, wah is like their head is in the clouds and they just can’t accept that information. And this is not something that’s isolated just to the United States. For example, there was recently a story about warning stones that had emerged from a riverbed. I’ll drop a link to it so that you can see it for yourself. It’s not something that I’m making up or something that somebody found on some fringe website. I’ll drop a link to it so you can see it for yourself. The headline reads, centuries old warnings emerge from riverbed as Europe faces historic drought. I’ll read from that article now. Water levels have dropped in major rivers across Europe as the region suffers under a historic drought. In those dry riverbeds. centuries old warning messages have emerged locals report the horrifying boulders are known as hunger Stein or hunger stones. One of these stones is embedded in the Elbe River, which runs from the mountains of Chechnya through Germany to the North Sea. The stone dating back to a drought in 1616 is once again visible in the dry riverbed. The Warning reads and I’m going to attempt this my German is usually pretty passable, although sometimes I get fussed at for speaking German with a Russian accent because I really want to Trill the Rs and do the eh sound all the time. So I’m going to attempt this as best I can. The Warning reads if you see me weep hunger stones like this were once used as hydrological landmarks across Central Europe. Apparently they last resurfaced during a 2018 drought. This is so sad. It’s it’s sad and it’s troubling. You may have also seen the video recently of ranchers I think in Texas, just row after row after row of livestock trailer trying to get their cattle to market to sell because they couldn’t afford to keep them. Because of the drought. There’s a lack of hay there’s a lack of grass out in the pasture. That’s the thing for those of you that don’t Have any animals that are grazing, this is a prime time for grazing. This would be a time when any of your ruminant animals should be outside eating the grass. And in some areas, the grass just burned up in the same way that my corn became dried out and desiccated. And it just like evaporated into nothingness. That’s what has happened to a lot of grass and pasture land. It’s also by the way, what has happened to a lot of wheat. So what do you think’s going to happen there? I think it was about three or four weeks ago, John Boyd Jr, who is the president of the National Black Farmers Association, went on TV to try to tell people, hey, there’s a bad situation brewing up here. I’ll drop a link to that too, so you can see it for yourself. One of the things he says is, you have the high cost of fuel, the high cost of fertilizer and lime, and all of these upfront costs for America’s farmers. And we haven’t done anything in place to fix that. We’re going to lose more and more farmers by not acting. We’re heading for a food shortage in this country, where you have different regions of the world such as Ukraine, that won’t be producing enough commodities such as corn, wheat, and soybeans. All of these things are going to affect us here at home, and we’re going to see empty food shelves in the coming months and quote, again, it’s really amazing to me how many people will not listen, they go to the grocery store, and they go, Well, there’s still stuff on the shelf right now. Or yeah, okay. So there’s pockets of emptiness. There’s places where some things are really picked over, but like, there’s still food there. I mean, I can still find stuff to eat, so it’s probably going to be okay. That kind of normalcy bias scares me. Because you wonder what would happen if people did go to the store, the average sort of John Q or Jane Q Public gets to the store. They’ve just been sort of in, I don’t know, a state of bliss unawareness. And they get in the store. And there’s rations. Yes, their stuff here. But you can only have one package of meat, you can only have one package of toilet paper. You can’t you know what I mean? What what, how are they going to react to that, because in my mind, I can’t see it playing out any other way. Besides pandemonium. I hope I’m wrong about that. And as Dennis Miller has always said, it is just my opinion, and I could be wrong, but I can’t see it playing out in any way that’s positive. Over in the UK, we have news such as mass crop failure is expected in England as farmers demand hose pipe bands. leaked documents predict crop failure rates of up to 50%, as water companies resist calls to prioritize food production. Oh, that is scary. That is scary. In my part of the Midwest, hay is is up anywhere from 30 to 50%, depending upon who you’re buying it from, and what’s available, because availability is a huge factor. To give you a for instance, some of the pastures that would typically yield a lot in the summer, and then you would be able to go back and get a second cutting, there’s no second cutting. There was a pasture a friend of mine was telling me about that he can typically get 300 square bales out and they only got 175. And there will be no second cutting, there won’t be any second cutting, there won’t be any fall cutting. That’s it, they’re just only going to get 175 square bales out of that lot. And that’s it. So what happens in that situation? Well, they don’t charge less for it, they charge more, because instead of having 301 cutting, and then being able to go back and get even more a second time around 175 is all they have. So let’s say last year, they were charging six or 650 a square bale Well, this year they’re charging nine, it’s tough, it is really, really tough. And that price is going to get passed on to the consumer. And for people like myself who do rescue rehabilitation sanctuary type work in a lot of ways. We have to just eat the costs. We have to figure out okay, well, how many extra hours do I need to work? Or is there something I can sell? What can I be doing, to try to just eat the cost and deal with it? It is tough. It is very tough. And I am compassionate for people that say I have to just sell off and get out of this because it’s eating me alive. I get it. I really do. And what scares me the most is just that disconnect the disconnect of the average person from the food supply the water supply, and what will happen when the average person the average, just John or Jane Q Public out on the street walks into the grocery store one day, because even though there’s been all of these mornings, there’s been all of this time that they could have prepared. I think the average person on the street is not going to wake up until they walk into the store one day and there’s a mass noticeable shortage or they walk in and there’s a ration one package of meat one package of toilet paper one gallon of milk. That’s it, we will not ring up anything else. I can’t give you advice. I cannot tell you what to do. You have to sit down and rough out a game plan that makes the most sense for you and your family. The most that I will tell you is I think is very wise to be alert. Stay awake. Stay aware. Do not bury your head in the sand. You know, if you hear local farmers and ranchers warning you, I think it would be smart to pay attention to that I really do. In the meantime, stay safe, stay sane, and I’ll see you in the next episode. We hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you haven’t already, please take a quick second to subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends. Thanks for tuning in. We’ll see you next time.