More farmers and ranchers are getting closer to their customers, and finding that they can capture a higher margin when they grow vegetable or meat products with a specific consumer market segment in mind.
Policy & Politics
Many rural communities find themselves losing their retail base. Local retailers are competing with Internet retailers who do not have to collect sales tax if they do not have a physical presence in that state.
Pre-harvest food safety has become a topic of increasing focus, particularly in the beef industry. USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced that their next step in reducing E. coli is through pre-harvest intervention, and they have repeatedly re-stated their intentions.
The Mississippi River is used to transport agricultural goods from across the country. There is a problem with silt/soil removal along the Mississippi River, causing barges and carriers to load their cargo in increasingly shallow waters.
From their inception in the mid-19th century, futures markets have functioned as an important tool for agricultural producers to transfer their price risk to other investors.