Is The U.S. Facing an Economic Downfall in the Poultry Agricultural Industry?

Could the United States be facing an economic crisis in the agricultural industry similar to the farmers’ debt crisis in the 1980s? There is the possibility that it may happen when we observe the events that occurred during those times. Farmers were consumed in debt which caused them to lose their land, equipment and homes. It affected global economies because of incurred loan debts and decreased assets value. The same thing happened in the mortgage industry beginning in 2007, which resulted in homeowners and entrepreneurs losing their assets.





In the 1980s, farmers relied on bank loans to purchase new equipment and inevitably increased prices for their farm products, such as chickens and turkeys. The profitability margin increased for many farmers, but only lasted for a little while. The agricultural debt in the U.S. increased to more than $350 billion by the end of 1981. Farmers were heavily in loan debt with low value of assets. According to The Huffington Post, over 60,000 farmers lost their farm and homes between 1981 through 1986.



It appears that farmers who raise poultry, including chickens and turkeys are subjected to loan debt compared to large chicken factories. Companies, such as Perdue and Tyson contract with farmers to produce the products. The poultry farmers obtain loans and put their whole possessions up for collateral without knowledge of the outcome. Just because the interest rates are low during the time of the loan, the Federal Reserve can interest rates at any time.



But, what happens when farmers have to refinance at a higher interest rate? It causes financial stress, risk, and burden on the farmer and his or her family. To start a chicken farm business, the entrepreneur needs approximately $1 million or more in capital. That’s an enormous debt for farmers considering one chicken is sold at approximately five cents per pound. So, who’s really bringing in high revenue, the chicken companies and manufacturers.



Farmers incur mostly financial debt and risk, rather than profits when they use their assets as collateral to receive loans from banking institutions. The banks are protected by federal government agencies, including Farm Service and Small Business. Who is protecting the farmers when they are encouraged to get loans and eventually default? Maybe the government can do something to start protecting the farmers who do all the hard work to raise chickens and turkeys.

Farming Robot Brings Automation To Agriculture

A New Generation Of Tech

Automation is affecting everything around us from fast food to factories. Now thanks to researchers we can add farming to the list of automated work. Through the combination of existing technologies such as solar power and computer vision engineers working at the Australian Center of Field Robotics have now developed farming robot RIPPA. The researchers hope their robot will become a fixture on farms across the world. This innovation both excites and frightens many in the agricultural industry. While productivity may increase job scarcity could result as many who work in farming find their previous roles automated.



The Inner Workings Of RIPPA

RIPPA is a combination of many technologies in one, but the way these technologies are used is very new. Before this product can see any commercialization. The researchers have conducted experiments to better understand how cattle will respond to the robots and how efficient the robots are compared to humans. After findings revealed the cattle willingly accept the robots ACFR are now focusing on ways to integrate the robots into the agricultural industry. These efforts are not without their own criticisms leveled against them.



The Drawbacks For Works

Like any other automation breakthrough RIPPA is the source of much controversy. Historical trends in industrial technology have vastly reduced the number of jobs in the agricultural industry already. In the 19th century the vast majority of Westerners were farmers, but by the 21st century no more than 5% were employed in some capacity by the agricultural industry. The creators of RIPPA do not believe there is any reason to a fear a possible similar issue arising. Although automation may eliminate certain jobs it can also help create jobs. In the 80s many believed ATMs would spell the end of the line for bank tellers. However, the move actually increased the number of people employed as bank tellers. RIPPA may do the same thing for farmers.