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Vegans Cause End of American Farms? Minnesota Has Lowest Profits Since’80’s

by | April 1, 2019

An analysis by the University of Minnesota Extension declared the farming industry of the state encountered a historically low downfall since the 1980’s. But what could have been the possible downfall of profits that too the least in history? The results are declared based on data traced by the University of Minnesota. Scroll down to know more.

american farms
Credit: by Free-Photos/ Pixabay 

American Farms See Their Profits Lowest Since 1980s

According to the data tracked by the ‘University of Minnesota Extension and agricultural Centers of Excellence within Minnesota State,’ the American farms in the state has for the first time in the history encountered the lowest ever sales, a growing trend as more and more of the population embrace veganism and turn their backs on meat diets. The median farm income reportedly fell by 8 percent in Minnesota last year and the lower commodity prices and higher output was to be blamed. Adding more to the bad luck, this year, Minnesota was hit by a bad spring and moreover the trade war. All these factors together led to the historic downfall at least in three decades.

Last year the net median income was reportedly $26,055, which was already an eight percent fall against the last year’s net income. As much as a loss of $72,000 has been reported by farmers of the lowest 20 percent. Data of 2,209 participants of ‘farming business management programs’ were used in the analysis alongside 101 members of the ‘Southwest Minnesota Farm Business Management Association.’ The participating members represented 10 percent of Minnesota’s commercial farmers. According to the reports, there has been a decline of 15 percent of participating dairy farms last year, depicting the number of dairy farms that sold their livestock.

Dale Nordquist of the Center for Farm Financial Management at the University of Minnesota said, “We don’t have consistent numbers that go back that far, but it is very likely that 2018 was the lowest income year for Minnesota farms since the early 1980s.” They continued, “That said, the previous five years were not much better, so many Minnesota farms have had a string of low-income years and that has both financial and emotional impacts.”

The negatively surging farming output of Minnesota includes outputs ranging from dairy, pork, beef, and even crops. The profitability consequently varied from the type as well. For instance, the Dairy and beef was worse off compared to the crops that were comparatively well off.

Dairy Farms Ending?

According to the reports, the dairy industry received the hardest hit, among others. Deflation of dairy products is the main reason behind the downfall. The dairy farms reportedly were forced to trade off their herds due to the ‘trade issues’ and ‘over-production.’ To give an idea of the fall, the same dairy farms that gathered $43,000 in 2017, fell to only $15,000 is 2018. That is more than fifty percent a downfall.

Credit: by Pete Linforth/ Pixabay 

“Dairy farmers work really hard and to see low earnings and, in a lot of cases loses, year after year has worn on them and their families.  As a result, many of them have decided they can’t wait for things to turn around,” said the Central Lakes College farm business management instructor- Nate Converse. He mentioned it (the fall) ‘has been a real struggle’ for many of the dairy farms.

Pork and Beef

Credit: by Roy Buri / Pixabay 

The median earnings of the Pork industry in 2018 was $27,739, and this is from $101,000 in 2017. This indicates how in 2017, the pork which was a point of relief to the farmers in Minnesota clearly dwindled in the next year.


The median crop producer’s earning in 2018 was $30,650. The revenue in one hand showed a slight increase from the year before that, but the revenue generation was historically low. Weathers, trade issues and prices have been blamed for the lack of earning in 2018. For instance, crops like soybean and corn were hit hard. Average corn yield declined 20 percent throughout southern Minnesota. According to a Star Tribune report, Minnesota soybean sales suffered excruciatingly due to a trade war with China as most of the Minnesota soybean were grown for export to China.

american farms
Credit: by Pete Linforth/ Pixabay
American Farms

A Minnesota West Community and Technical College farm business instructor, Aaron Brudelie said, if the soybean farms showed any profits this year, that is due to ‘the federal Market Facilitation Program.’ The results could have been a lot worse, Brudelie mentioned.

The Contrasting Rise of Veganism

Veganism has been on a steady rise since the past few years. From competing with dairy milk to farm chickens, plant-based alternatives of the mainstream animal-derivatives can only be seen flying high. You ask for any animal-derived products, and you get a quality vegan alternative to it. To those few left outs (if any) you will soon find them on the vegan market shelves.

If you look into stats, the dairy products, for instance, has reportedly lost its foothold by 40 percent since the last decades. And trade issues and weather has not always been the cause to be blamed. A Mintel report even says the cause of the declined preference of dairy milk can be attributed to the awareness among the masses of the health related issues caused by diary milk. The plant based milk industry is supposed to surpass $34 Billion by 2014. In US alone, the sales of dairy based milk plummeted by 15 percent, as opposed to reportedly 61 percent (since 2012) surge of plant-based milks.

Credit: by Kololo/ Shutterstock

A Guardian article reportedly mentioned, the World Resource Institute stated more than 50% more food will be needed by 2050, in order to feed the upcoming growth of population. And to this, there has to be a two-third fall of greenhouse gas emission if the ecological balance is to be maintained. That too without taking up more space on land. In lieu of this recommendation, the report recommends (among other measures) on 40% reduction in beef and land consumption to Brazil, Russia, and the US, since greenhouse gas is an outcome from the digestion of ruminants.  

“We have to change how we produce and consume food, not just for environmental reasons, but because this is an existential issue for humans,” said Janet Ranganathan, VP of research and science at WRI.

All these are just a fraction of the tides of growth in the vegan trend. From the biggest players of the world food sector to minor farms, the ethical cause veganism, alongside environmental and health perks is bothering more and more with time. What do you think, will veganism close American farms? Let us know in the comments below.

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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]


Categories: News


One Response to “Vegans Cause End of American Farms? Minnesota Has Lowest Profits Since’80’s”

  1. Leigh
    April 2nd, 2019 @ 12:22 pm

    Animal products are just not healthy to consume. A plant-based diet is the way to go for me; I’ve never felt so good in my life.

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