Long before the coronavirus outbreak, the farming community was already struggling — struggling to make ends meet with traditional commodities like corn and soybeans.
There is no nice way of putting this. America, all of it, is taking it on the chin in 2020. We had barely even come out of the gate this year when, all of a sudden, the entire population was forced back inside due to a sneaky virus that nobody seems to understand or have any control over.
As a result, the country has mostly shut down, leaving us all to watch the economy drop dead right from the living room couch. There is no end in sight to the madness either, at least nothing concrete of hope, making it a distinct possibility that our financial stability could soon be in dire straits.
Nobody understands the severity of the situation more than America’s hemp farmers. Long before the Coronapocalypse turned us into a masked society, one teetering on certain doom, the farming community was already struggling — struggling to make ends meet with traditional commodities like corn and soybeans. Farmers are now trying to make big things happen through the cultivation of hemp, a crop that was sold as a salvation’s wing for American dreams.
But it hasn’t been that at all.
In fact, since President Trump signed the 2018 Farm Bill, allowing for the production of industrial hemp in the United States for the first time since 1937, it has been nothing but despair and dread for those who jumped in with wide-eyed enthusiasm.
In addition to struggling to turn a profit, many are being left with a surplus they cannot unload. Others are being forced into bankruptcy and some are not even making it out alive. According to the Centers for Disease Control And Prevention, farmers in general are more likely to commit suicide than almost any other occupation.
Many farmers complain it is the learning curve associated with hemp, as well as equipment investments and retrofits that have made it next to impossible to achieve profitability with this crop. Others say they can’t make a score with it simply because they can’t find any new markets.
Regardless of the cause, American hemp, an idea that was supposed to resurrect farming, is now destitute and covered in rags. And this virus that is taking over the world is not helping matters either, not one bit.
While Trump likes to tell Americans that everything is going to be okay, some financial experts say the nation could see a total economic collapse. And since the country has not been in this bizarre place before, there’s just no telling what the economic consequences might be. Recessions are expected worldwide, and that is going to take a toll on everyone involved — starting with farmers.
But it’s almost planting season in the Midwest. Coronavirus or not, farmers cannot postpone getting those seeds into the ground. There are already so many unknowns to contend with — weather conditions, etc. — that the threat of disease is not even being considered.
And while many in this business agree that this is going to be a different farming year regardless of what happens from this point forward, they are hopeful. But it doesn’t look good right now. Crop prices have continued to take a hit over the past couple of weeks. So with the virus clamping down on established agricultural markets, it is sure to further sabotage efforts to get the hemp scene up and running. Some reports even suggest that investing in hemp is no longer a safe bet. That marijuana might actually be standing on more solid ground, despite its illegal status at the federal level.
One thing is certain: the farming community has its work cut out for it this year, and it desperately needs a break. It is even conceivable that some farmers won’t even entertain hemp production in 2020 to keep the foundation of their plow and pick repertoire from completely crashing down.
Those who decide to move forward with hemp, however, are going to need some serious luck to come out on top. That is, unless, by some strange miracle, science finds that hemp can somehow be used to rid the world of this pesky coronavirus. Sadly, this unlikely scenario is probably the only chance of this crop saving American farmers from scraping the bottom of ruins.