There’s never a dull moment in farming. While I expect that’s true of most professions most of the time, the adage seems especially true in agriculture these days.
As you’d probably imagine, rapidly rising costs are one of the things trying to give me gray hair. Some of you have noticed small price increases on our turkey products, so I thought I’d unpack the backstory a bit here. Our feed costs were already on the rise, but grain costs have shot up further with the war in Ukraine. I don’t need to tell you what gas prices have been doing lately, and we rely on fuel in a few different ways: propane to heat our barns on cold days and diesel for our tractors and delivery trucks. Processing costs are following the same trend line, as our processing partners experience the same rising costs and short staffing. Long story short, it costs us a lot more to raise, harvest, and deliver a turkey than it did a year ago.
The other elephant in the room with any poultry farmer these days is Avian Influenza. You’ve likely heard that cases have been discovered on the East Coast and increasingly in our neighboring Midwestern states. In many ways, this feels like a bad flashback to 2015, when Minnesota last dealt with Avian Influenza. Thankfully, we were spared from any impact then, and we hope for the same good fortune this time around. We also hope we have some geographic advantages, being away from the more densely concentrated poultry regions and outside of the main migration path for ducks, geese, and other possible influenza carriers. We are doing all we can to prevent and keep our birds well, but trust me, it’s always somewhere in our mind during these days of spring migration.
Whether the rowing is easy or tough, we are grateful for customers that support us and see the difference in our model of farming. Thanks for your care and good wishes!