2019 0413 Important Ag News!
Product Update –
1) Chicken- The FIRST batch arrived February 28th and are doing great! We have commitments for 95% of our annual volume. We have limited availability for June, July, and August. Email me to reserve yours today!
2)Beef - Individual cuts - we are be back in stock on all beef items and will be adding more for the May 1st delivery.
Custom Half Beef - I have added more for processing the week of May 13th. If you are interested in a half beef please follow this link to learn more and place your deposit to reserve your order https://naturesgourmetfarm.com/custom-bulk-orders
3) Pork- Individual cuts - pigs were delivered for processing on March 18th. This means we will be back in stock on all pork items April 19th. Additionally, we will have plenty of pork available starting in July.
4) Eggs- Egg production is running on ALL cylinders! Lay rate is 95-98% which is outstanding. We have added all size options to our website and can easily fill your orders.
Stew Hens are back in stock. As we processed them this week we noticed all the rich "yellow" fat". A TRUE Pastured Raised and NOT grain fed animal's fat will be yellow. This is a sure sign that you are buying a true forage or pasture raised animal vs. grain fed.
Hey, Ben here - this week I want to update you on various Ag news. First up is the USDA releases the 2017 Census of Agriculture. Some key highlights include:
There are 2.04 million farms and ranches (down 3.2% from 2012) with an average size of 441 acres (up 1.6%) on 900 million acres (down 1.6%).
The 273,000 smallest (1-9 acres) farms make up 0.1% of all farmland while the 85,127 largest (2,000 or more acres) farms make up 58% of farmland.
Just 105,453 farms produced 75% of all sales in 2017, down from 119,908 in 2012.
Of the 2.04 million farms and ranches, the 76,865 making $1 million or more in 2017 represent just over 2/3 of the $389 billion in total value of production while the 1.56 million operations making under $50,000 represent just 2.9%.
Farm expenses are $326 billion with feed, livestock purchased, hired labor, fertilizer and cash rents topping the list of farm expenses in 2017.
Average farm income is $43,053. A total of 43.6% of farms had positive net cash farm income in 2017.
Ninety-six percent of farms and ranches are family owned.
In 2017, 130,056 farms sold directly to consumers, with sales of $2.8 billion.
Sales to retail outlets, institutions and food hubs by 28,958 operations are valued at $9 billion.
Demographic highlights include:
The average age of all producers is 57.5, up 1.2 years from 2012.
The number of producers who have served in the military is 370,619, or 11% of all. They are older than the average at 67.9.
There are 321,261 young producers age 35 or less on 240,141 farms. Farms with young producers making decisions tend to be larger than average in both acres and sales.
One in four producers is a beginning farmer with 10 or fewer years of experience and an average age of 46.3.
Next, we are hearing that pork is about to get very expensive! Both China and Vietnam (#5 leading producer) pork production is being hammered by the African Swine Fever. China's production losses are expected to be at least 35% or an estimated 200 million pigs. This loss is at least 30% larger than the annual U.S. pork production. Remember, Smithfield is owned by China.
Additionally, heavy rain and flooding has impacted U.S. pork production in key midwest states.
Lastly, there is always more than one side to the story. USDA's FSIS Condemns The Washington Post for False Reporting on a Critical Public Health Issue.
On April 3, 2019, The Washington Post published a story titled, “Pork industry soon will have more power over meat inspections,” deciding to reprint the talking points of special interest groups while claiming the agency declined interview requests. The Washington Post knows full well that as a federal regulatory agency, FSIS cannot litigate or conduct rulemaking through the media, yet The Post wants to try the agency in the court of public opinion.
FSIS is appalled at The Washington Post’s poor attempt at explaining a proposal to modernize inspection. For the full story please click here.
Customer Feedback- "Amazing local farm - the order and pick up process was very simple. Great communication from the farm to confirm my order and pick up time. And, of course, the meat was delicious. I will be a regular customer." B Wooden
Quote Worth Re-Quoting – “The soil is the great connector of lives, the source and destination of all. It is the healer and restorer and resurrector, by which disease passes into health, age into youth, death into life. Without proper care for it we can have no community, because without proper care for it we can have no life.” – Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture
Thank you for supporting our regenerative, local farm.
Ben & Beth