Depressed prices, rising input costs, trade disruptions, COVID-19; when will agriculture catch a break?
Jasper County farmer Kendell Culp is a pretty positive and upbeat person, but he says it’s been tough recently to maintain that positive attitude.
“The market price for corn now, it starts with a 2 and not with a 3 or a 4. That’s really tough to think, ‘Am I making the right decision by putting corn in the ground knowing that today I cannot lock in a profit?’ All you can do is lock-in a loss.”
Yet, he continued to plant that corn because he’s optimistic that the trade disputes will get resolved and his corn will find a market.
Indiana Pork’s Jeanette Merritt, a farmer herself, says that after a rough 2019 where trade disruptions cost them markets, “2020 was supposed to be the year that we were going to make some of that up. Now, I see farmers who were very optimistic about the beginning of the year and I see things that are now worrying them. I see mental health struggles and then concerns me.
Merritt says the mental health aspect is something that isn’t being talked about enough.
If you’re a farmer and you need someone to talk to about the hardships you’re facing, you can dial 800-FARM-AID Monday-Friday from 9-5 Eastern time. You can also find resources from Indiana Farm Bureau by visiting www.infb.org/resources/mental-health-resources.