The American Farm Bureau Federation urges the Department of Agriculture to address supply chain issues facing farmers and ranchers. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, the organization details priorities for USDA to consider in response to President Joe Biden’s Executive Order on America’s Supply Chains.
AFBF President Zippy Duvall states, “our nation has witnessed vulnerabilities throughout the supply chain that haven’t been seen before,” due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Among the recommendations, AFBF asks USDA to consider actions on livestock markets and processing capacity, farm inputs, transportation, labor and trade.
The letter states supplies of farm inputs like crop protectants, fertilizers, and seeds have been difficult to obtain, and expensive to purchase. Highway transportation of farm products and supplies is more expensive and less available today than pre-pandemic levels. And agricultural labor, both domestic and foreign, is increasingly difficult to access and expensive, making already small margins even tighter.