Grain farmer has consolidation concerns


Grain farmer has consolidation concerns

A veteran farmer is concerned about crop insurance funding following recent Senate discussions on USDA funding.

“It would be every man for himself if we didn’t have crop insurance,” said Richard Oswald.

The Missouri corn and soybean grower said any decreases to crop insurance in the next Farm Bill would be detrimental to small farmers. Oswald tells Brownfield such action could spark consolidation in grain farming.

We’ll have a situation where only big [farms] can survive and not the little,” he said. “Because the little guy can’t make enough money to sustain himself in a situation like that.”

Oswald said his fear is crop farming will follow pork and poultry production to become vertically integrated. He said crop production is already trending that way because of major ag corporations.

“You buy all their products; buy their seed, buy their chemicals, they’ll market your carbon for you,” Oswald said. “The next thing is going to be they’re going to say ok, why don’t you just deliver the corn or the soybeans to where we tell you to, and we’ll get you a premium. And then voila, all of a sudden, we’re not working for ourselves anymore, we’re working for a big corporation.”

Oswald said ag consolidation impacts more than just farmers, pointing to his rural community shrinking around him.

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