Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Farmers and Markets
Whew, yesterday was a BAD day! Here is what one of my grain buyers sent by email yesterday afternoon:
CORN - 30.00 CENTS
BEANS - 70.00 CENTS
WHEAT - 60.00 CENTS
Now that is a really bad day for farmers! Fuel went out the roof last summer but drug the grain markets with it. Some prognosticators predicted a new era in prices and we would see $10 corn and blah, blah, blah!
By harvest, prices were nearly half the summer price. Fertilizer is priced behind fuel and never came down. We were looking at $4 corn and double the ferilizer price at harvest.
Now we are less than that and fertilizer has come down a little. Too many of our suppliers bought at the high price and are now sitting on it. Rivers full of barges and no where to go because wholesalers and retailers couldn't take it because farmers said they couldn't pay that price. It all happened in a matter of weeks.
Landlords want the same or higher rent, seed price doubled, causing a really tight squeeze for the farmer. Remember, most farmers can't afford to own all their land so they rent it. Talk about red ink, look at any online 2009 crop budget!
Farmers are the source of eternal hope with the famous saying "it will be better next year." Well, next year is here and it is worse! It looks bleak if you dwell on the negative.
The big thing is no one can see the future. So much as happened in such a short period of time. Hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, droughts all in the same country in a very short time. Housing crashed, financial markets crashed, banks are hurting, too much credit card debt, presidential election, the list is huge.
Here we sit trying to figure out how we are going to pay the bills this year.
Should be interesting!