Changing America’s agriculture Industry
The landscape of farm products has changed tremendously over time. What used to be the main resources of modern agriculture have become secondary, as demand changes and trends shift. The crops and livestock that the average American farmer is producing today all come down on a very narrow range based on current preferences, trends, cost, and value. What was once a very profitable industry is now a very limited one, because people are becoming less interested in spending their money to grow and produce their own products.
While there are certainly some exceptions to this trend, the bulk of modern farming is now geared toward the raising of livestock. The number of farms growing livestock (which includes poultry, cattle, and horses) has actually declined slightly in recent years, while the number of farms growing crops (which include corn, wheat, and soy) has actually been increasing (though not as significantly as livestock production). This is because more people are growing crops to eat, as opposed to just to supply plants and other agricultural needs. The number of farms which are only growing livestock is beginning to shrink, as well. Fewer farmers are actually building permanent barns to house and raise cattle on their properties, so they don’t need as large of barns to house the animals they keep on their properties.
Cotton has been one of the major beneficiaries of this change in the landscape of farm products, as it has become one of the primary staple products of the American agricultural industry. In years past, cotton was grown mostly for cashmere, which is the trade name for the fabric that most of the world’s consumers know as cash. Cashmere is considered to be one of the finest, highest quality fabrics available for production, so this change means big business for the farmers who make it and the manufacturers who sell it. Many farmers who grow cotton for cashmere have found that they can earn twice or even three times the income they did a few short decades ago, simply by selling their cotton to the cashmere industry instead of to consumers themselves.