Crop and hog farmer on mounting pressures
A North Carolina row crop and hog producer says back-to-back hurricanes and trade issues are taking their toll.
Lorenda Overman of Goldsboro, North Carolina told members of a House Ag Subcommittee this week their row crop side is hurting from low prices and if USDA had not issued MFP payments they would have ended 2019 in the red, “The bottom line is this, farmers need every USDA and US Department of Labor program that Congress has authorized to be well funded, well-staffed and operating at peak efficiency.”
While their hog farm is somewhat insulated amid the trade war with China, she says others are not as fortunate, “Because our integrator has processing capacity. But, area hog farmers around us with smaller integrators have, unfortunately, lost their contracts to grow hogs which means they’re growing hogs with no certainty of being able to sell those hogs because of the pressures on those smaller integrators.”
Overman says they’ve been selling timber to help make ends meet and have taken out loans against their life insurance policies to pay for operating costs. She says commercial banks are increasingly afraid to loan to farmers.
Even with their risk management tools and federal and state disaster payments, she says the financial and emotional impacts have been extremely difficult to manage.
~Testimony of Lorenda Overman, Overman Farms, Inc.