What is Corporate Farming? Explained!

Regardless of whether you are a farmer or not, you should be aware of what Corporate farming is and how it affects the environment. This type of farming has been around since the industrial revolution, and has caused widespread damage to the environment. It’s also a threat to the family farm, as well as consumers.

Bigger is not always better

Despite the growing power of the agribusiness industry in the US, the old adage – bigger is better – remains intact. The old boys club is on full display, and in some cases the big dogs are obliterating the competition. In some cases, farmers have been pushed out of the game and land has been re-sold to the big boys. The aforementioned Bigger is Better is not exactly the most inspiring of scenarios. It is a far cry from the early settlers who built the country’s largest agricultural empire. This is not to say that the Bigger is Better is a bad thing, but it’s certainly not what the US has become. The biggest corporate farming operations in the US straddle the border between California and Illinois. A recent census of agriculture in the US by the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service suggests the aforementioned farm is not the only example of its ilk. A similar trend afflicts many other states in the union. This is also where the big and small come into play. The biggest ag producers are also some of the most competitive in the business.

The best part about this trend is that corporate ag giants have been able to use their massive capital budgets to better utilise resources such as water, electricity and land. The result is a slew of innovative technologies that were only a few years in the making.

It’s a threat to the family farm

Agricultural and food sectors represent one fifth of the US economy. They directly support 23 million jobs. Despite these significant numbers, the US agricultural landscape has become dominated by multinational firms. These corporations acquire seed and chemical giants and merge to increase efficiency.

The United States has been dominated by industrial agriculture since the 1970s. This was seen as the future of the American food system. Corporate farms view food as a commodity and seek to maximize profits.

But the power of unchecked corporate power is pushing out independent family farms. Each new factory farm forces 10 family farmers out of business. And the prices of crops are being driven down by the global market. Several dairy farmers have filed lawsuits against milk buyers.

But these large firms are not the only threat to the family farm. Small farms are being pummeled by trade wars, political polarization, and severe weather associated with climate change.

In the past few years, several companies have closed shop in the Waupaca County area. Shopko closed this year and Kmart is gone. Other small businesses have gone out of business and a local pharmacy has shut down.

The United States has a concentration ratio of over 40% in most sectors of the economy. This concentration has led to economic and geographic divisions.

Large bureaucratic organized firms routinely manage farm businesses in Eastern Europe and South America. These companies feature salaried managers and technical experts.

Large industrial farms use industrial practices, such as synthetic agrichemicals such as herbicides and pesticides. These chemicals are required in large-scale monocrop production. Without them, it is impossible to produce large-scale crops.

Large farms also can afford to make do with lower prices on crops. Large agricultural firms also depend on technology developments. These innovations may help them overcome the advantages of the family farm.

It’s a form of industrial firm since the industrial revolution

Among the many industries that have shaped the US, corporate farming has arguably topped the list. These conglomerates are essentially megacorporations with a plethora of divisions, from seed to processing to branding. Corporate farms are the new face of agriculture, and the only way to survive the competition is to become bigger. The perks include a captive audience, and better wages. These megacorporations are a good match for the burgeoning nouveau riche. These companies have mastered the art of vertical integration. In fact, they have more control over their own supply chain than the average family.

One of the many benefits of this corporate farming model is that it enables giants like Tyson Foods and General Mills to grow exponentially. This in turn has created a plethora of small businesses that have gotten in on the act. As a result, the industry has become a harbinger of change.

In the past, corporate farming was more of a cottage industry, with farmers selling their crops to a select few megacorporations. In the era of austerity, these companies have repositioned themselves into more profitable and scalable sectors. These include agrochemical and agri-tech firms, and meat and beverage producers. These companies are arguably the backbone of the nation’s food supply. These corporations are able to produce a variety of foods in quantity and quality that are not available to smaller, more local operators.

It’s caused widespread damage to the environment

Agricultural pollution is a major contributor to global warming. Some of the biggest polluters include the top five meat and dairy companies, which produce more carbon dioxide than any other group of companies combined. Corporate farming also plays a key role in deforestation in some of the country’s most important habitats.

In the US, the agricultural industry is dominated by the uber-big four corporations: Cargill, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta. Each of these companies produces more than a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The top five companies also have the dubious honor of contributing the most to deforestation in critical habitats.

Although corporate farming is not the only culprit in this crime against the environment, it is certainly the most obvious culprit. The industry’s reliance on fossil fuels and synthetic agrichemicals, such as herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers, is a major contributor to our nation’s emissions and climate change woes. Corporate farming also has a lot to answer for in the health department. This industry also has an unfortunate reputation for systematic animal welfare violations.

Several studies have shown that corporate industrial farming has led to the widespread extinction of many endangered species. These animals are treated as commodities and often killed before they even enter the food chain. Similarly, many livestock operations release large amounts of nitrogen and methane into the air and water. These emissions not only harm animals but also contribute to climate change. Despite the government’s efforts to mitigate the problem, corporate farming is still the dominant force in the US agricultural sector. Fortunately, it’s not all bad news. A recent EWG report on farm bill enforcement found that the federal government did not enforce a key Farm Bill rule requiring farmers to maintain a 50 foot buffer between their cropland and nearby waterways.

It’s harmful to both farmers and consumers

Agricultural corporations have become increasingly dominant in the US food system. Their consolidation has largely disempowered family farmers. This has left them vulnerable to exploitation and suppressed commodity prices.

Large-scale conventional farming depends on synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and antibiotics. It also pollutes the air and water. It depletes soil fertility, and contributes to climate change.

The rise of industrial corporate farming has been fueled by government subsidies. Corporate farms typically have larger acreage, more investments in farm equipment, and higher production volume. They also have the advantage of favorable environmental regulations.

Corporate farming entities often have significant political influence. They also have a fiduciary duty to produce shareholder profits. They can use government stock buybacks to recoup losses. They also have the ability to suppress prices offered to farmers. In addition, they have a close relationship with the regulatory process, allowing them to minimize compliance.

The corporate food and agriculture industry has dominated the US agricultural landscape through vertical integration and acquisition of seed and chemical giants. These firms produce commodity crops, such as corn, wheat, and soy. They also produce animal feed for the food industry.

These firms also produce highly processed food that is linked to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. The increasing demand for animal protein has contributed to the emergence of zoonotic diseases.

Corporate farming also plays an outsized role in climate change. It contributes to deforestation in critical habitats. The top five meat and dairy corporations produce more carbon dioxide than fossil fuel companies.

Farm Aid has long worked to fight corporate abuse. They have been active in public workshops and have testified before Congress. They have also joined with family farmers and other agricultural groups to request antitrust enforcement.

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