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Farm Bureau’s Duvall Warns ‘Empty Shelves Are Frightening, but Empty Fields Would Be Devastating’

April 8, 2020 (EIRNS)—On March 18, American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, who heads one of the oldest U.S. farm organizations, wrote that “Empty shelves can be frightening, but empty fields and barns would be devastating,” as he promised American farmers would do their utmost to keep fellow Americans fed. Yesterday, however, the Farm Bureau issued a press release, in which Duvall called for swift action by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deliver aid to farmers and ranchers, given the collapse of prices they receive. The release presented a summary picture:

“Nearby futures prices for nearly all the major crops have dropped by double-digit percentages. Pushed down by a 40% plunge in ethanol prices, corn prices have fallen 15%. Soybean prices are down 10%, while the price for cotton, which is heavily dependent on foreign manufacturing capacity, sank nearly 30%. Buoyed by demand in the U.S. and China, wheat prices have declined only 3%.

“On the livestock front, since the beginning of the year, both beef and pork futures prices have declined more than 30%. Milk futures prices have also fallen sharply, with the price for milk used to make cheese down 28% and the price for milk used to make nonfat dry milk falling by 34%.

“ ‘The resilience of farmers and ranchers has been nothing short of stunning, but we must not take for granted their ability to hold on with prices spiraling, taking all hope of breaking even with them,’ said AFBF President Zippy Duvall.”

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