OPINION: Animal feed prices are too expensive
I know, by living on a small farm, the feed prices are affecting how small animal farms make their money. This is also affecting the people with pets, who are now having to spend about 6.4% more for pet food.
For people that raise their own meat, the price of feed has gone up.
One theory is for some feed mills, they've alternatively gone to using grain byproducts. An indication of these grain byproducts is that animals don't grow as fast.
If you go to a fuel station today, it would not be a surprise to find fuel for $5 a gallon. In 2020, the average fuel price was $2 a gallon; in 2021 the average fuel price was $3.5 a gallon.
Fertilizer has also gone up. Potash fertilizer rose 134%, potash is in 90% of all fertilizers. In 2021, the average price per ton was $533 per ton. Now it is over $800 per ton.
Consequently, with fertilizer and fuel prices high, this will make the price of all items that require to be driven anywhere higher.
As many people have noticed, the price of meat in stores has gone up significantly from 2020 to 2021. The price of beef has gone up 20.9%, the price of pork has gone up 16.8%, and the price of poultry has gone up 8.4%.
The average price for 1 pound of ground beef was $4.63 in 2020; in 2021, it was $4.88; and now in 2022, the average is predicted to be $6.85. These prices are high since there was a shortage of workers. The context behind the price going up is that butcher plants were closed and drove the price of meat up.
Hay is in big demand right now. People are having to sell their animals because they are unable to find hay. There are many ways to interpret this shortage of hay; however, the main variable is lack of water. The hay prices are going to be way higher. A few factors are fertilizer, fuel and labor cost.
As the population grows, there are new concepts and methods being used to improve farming to get more bountiful harvests. If it was not for this new agricultural technology, farmers would not be able to feed the growing population; however, as the population grows, they are building new houses and cities on valuable farmland. As they keep doing this, they will be running out of good farmland.
Why not build cities where the ground is not as fertile? In Oregon, three of the largest cities are in the Willamette Valley, the most fertile land in Oregon.
If people buy the cheaper but still the same quality of feed, companies will have to respond and lower prices of the more expensive feeds. The feed prices start at the fuel to transport the fertilizer and the crops. The fact that fuel is about $3 more than two years ago makes everything more expensive, then fertilizer up 134% doesn't help either.
In conclusion, animal feed prices are affecting the price of meat.
Robby Harris is a student at Banks High School. This essay was written and submitted to the News-Times as part of a class project, and it was one of several student letters and columns selected for publication.
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