You can blame it on the weather or the pandemic or the supply chain woes, or something else, but the bottom line is this past year-and-a-half has been one for books for ag producers. Michael Swanson, Wells Fargo Chief Agricultural Economist, says every segment of the ag sector is experiencing challenges that feed the bigger problems.
“Typically, you know, it could be pears, it could be apples, hops, but this year is kind of the food inflation and what the food processors and retailers are doing about it. I mean it is very different.”
Even for farmers, Swanson says, who are used to facing a different challenge every year, but this; “Every year we have weather issues, commodities are up, commodities are down. But this is one of the first years in a long time that food inflation is front and center for most of the consumers since we’re talking about whether or not it’s going to persist or what they should do about it, because their input costs are really much higher than they were a year-and-a-half ago, even a year ago.”
And that, Swanson says has hit the supply chain particularly hard. “Trucker availability, containers, refers, pallets, cartons, packing material, they’re all kind of jumbled up together right now. So, it’s not that perhaps the apples aren’t there or the foods not there, it’s, huh, the trucks not there or the packaging’s not there.”