But our main farm income is from selling meats directly to the consumer, and yes our prices went up last year, a lot. I’d like to know how many folks got a 40% pay raise last year. Our feed costs alone went up by that much. I was only able to raise meat prices by about 10% this year before I started getting serious push-back from the customers. That means we need to cut costs by 30% in other areas, just to stay even with where we were last year. Since feed prices are a livestock owner’s #1 cost, cutting costs elsewhere to offset rising feed costs, is sometimes Mission Impossible. We still lost a few customers even after trying to explain that feed prices had gone up for everyone, and they’d be seeing those same prices at the grocery stores in the very near future. Those feed prices hit us little guys first, but they’ll ultimately hit everyone hard, sooner or later. That is the single biggest reason we’re spending $$$$$ over the last year and continuing this year, on getting combines and haymaking equipment of our own. So that we can control our feed costs better. But we’ll still be at the mercy of fuel costs, which have also contributed to those rising prices.
So I’m going to go find my happy place now, and try to convince myself that the below statement was in jest. But for folks who think farmers set their prices based on greed, and/or are just trying to rake consumers over the coals for meat prices, I hope you enjoy your new vegetarian menu options when more and more of us go out of business. We’re not at risk of going out of business entirely, since we also have hay sales and other non-meat products. But if feed prices continue to go up, the only places to get cheap meat will be China. Bon appettit!