For most of the past 20 years that genetically modified crops have been cultivated in the U.S., their use has progressed with all the excitement of watching corn grow. In recent years, however, the verdant presence of bioengineered crops has drawn fear-mongering and undeserved scrutiny across the food chain. The pressure has fueled efforts in some states to force GMO cultivation bans, or mandatory food labels that threaten farming practices which are demonstrably beneficial to the environment and to society.
The laws of economics, being mostly man-made, are not quite as unassailable as the law of gravity, but the same theory applies to both categories: what goes up, eventually comes down…sometimes with painful results. Dairy farmers have experienced this problematic principle so far in 2015, as milk prices have come down by at least one-third from their record highs of last year.
There is some hope that the worst of the price trough is over, while at the same time, we have important tools to help America’s farmers confront the vicious swings of the economic pendulum: the government’s Margin Protection Program, and the industry’s own Cooperatives Working Together.