Challenges Ahead for North American Agriculture in 2024

Leaders in the grain industry are preparing to confront a variety of issues head-on, including storage constraints, labor shortages, and persistent supply chain disruptions.

As the new year unfolds, the agricultural sector in North America is bracing for a host of challenges. Grain industry leaders anticipate issues like storage constraints, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions. After enjoying profitable years, the industry braces for a slowdown with declining grain prices.

In discussions with Feed and Grain, producers express concerns over rising costs affecting bidding rates. Inflation adds to these challenges, increasing the overall cost of business.

The sugar industry also raises concerns. Lily Hultgren, representing the Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative, underscores the economic pressures shared across agriculture:

“All of agriculture is just facing the same economic pressures of high input costs. We’re also seeing prices start to soften, which is of great concern to everybody, but it also presents an opportunity for policymakers. We just really want the ability to ensure the long-term sustainability of our operations. Like on our farm, we’re constantly innovating and adapting to improve efficiency and reduce our environmental footprint, but we can’t really ensure long-term viability on our own. So, we do need federal policy to address the fact that there are foreign countries that are heavily subsidizing their sugar industries. But working together, I think farmers and policymakers can take steps to really ensure strong domestic industry that is able to provide a reliable and affordable supply of domestic sugar.”

Hultgren emphasizes the need for federal action to counter foreign subsidies impacting domestic sugar producers.

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