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Farmer concerned about ag’s vulnerabilities to COVID disruptions

A Midwestern farmer says he is not personally disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, but he worries about vulnerabilities of the supply chain. Kyle Durham, a grower near the western Missouri town of Norborne, tells Brownfield farmers’ efficient, just-in-time delivery system allows for tremendous growth and gain, but it’s susceptible.

“One weak link in that chain can have ripple effects throughout the industry,” said Durham, in an interview with Brownfield Ag News, “so if it’s a processor processing animals that goes down, suddenly feed rations are needing to be changed and animals are being held onto longer than they otherwise would have been.”

As the growing season progresses, Durham says he worries what a small-town outbreak might do to that town’s grain elevator.

“Even a two or three-day disruption can really halt a harvest season,” said Durham, “and what would a ten-to-fourteen-day shutdown look like?”

Durham was recently elected to chair the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council.

AUDIO: Kyle Durham

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