It was mentioned the family broke-even on the ranch they owned. I was reminded of the recent crush of commodity prices.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Severe drought reduced cattle herds, raising beef prices and causing a surplus in grain for feeding domestic livestock.
The Story from the Northeast part of the U.S. is different from the drought-stricken Southwest.
The production costs remaining the same is partly due to farmers locking in long-term price contracts on fuel and fertilizer which are related to the price of oil.
The Real News
I was looking for some kind of rational explanation from the above articles. This seems to go all the way back to Joseph Smith and the LDS Church.
In the end it's really just illegal business practices.
I wondered if the drought might have something to do with this, but it turns out the problems go much farther back before the drought.