Land O’Lakes CEO Beth Ford said that U.S. farmers' productivity and profit are being slashed this year due to market turmoil and natural disasters, according to an article Ford wrote at Fortune.
Ford said though most people would know if large tech firms or Wall Street’s banks were facing a crisis, the nation is paying no attention to the struggling farmers that are in a crisis right now. Median farm income in 2018 was negative $1,500, and bankruptcies in Midwest farm states are at a decade high. Crops are being planted late and some not at all, as floods and other disasters are ravaging the land and crops of America’s farmers.
Heavy regulation and a struggling market make it hard for farmers to even survive, much less profit from their business. Only 60 percent of soybean acres and 83 percent of corn crops have been planted at this time of the year. This is worrying when 90 percent of soybean crops should be planted by now and 100 percent of corn crops should be in the ground.
Farmers are not only struggling in a tough market, they are also fighting an uphill battle to get better doctors, internet access, and schools in the areas around them.
Roughly 1 in 4 farmers are without broadband access, making it difficult to keep their businesses up to speed and forcing their children to hit the nearest McDonald’s for internet to do their homework. There is a shortage of doctors, with more than 100 rural hospitals closing since 2010.