Positive Future News #902 (Feature Photo – Soybean Harvest – CCA 2.0 Generic, United Soybean Board)
Very few small farmers, or even larger farmers, are aware of the larger world position when it comes to primary commodities. Market intelligence on the global production of primary food crops is researched and published by the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB). The WAOB publishes a monthly report called the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates. The WAOB is a project of the Office of the Chief Economist of the USDA.
For the small farmer, staying on the pulse of global production and trade of key commodities, provides insight in to how geopolitics, or other crazy human activities, encroach on food security. This data may contain insights for small farm marketing, expansion, crop selection and conversations with customers. If folks are feeling concerns about food volatility, maybe there is more opportunity for the local grower.
With the current global population of 7.95 billion, total global production of the primary commodities in the magnitude of 7.8 trillion pounds, equates to roughly 2.7 lbs. per person per day. Hay, for example goes into meat and dairy products. A significant portion of corn and soybeans goes into animal feed.
The wild card in it all, is that production and consumption is not evenly achieved in each country. This means global food trade is essential to every nation as either an exporter or importer. How the world’s nations get along (or not), impacts production, access and costs of food for all.
Since small farm enterprises are more directly connected to their customers, the possibility for new and expanded relationships, might be an arena of attention for small farmers.
You can visit the WAOB website here: https://www.usda.gov/oce/commodity-markets/waob