Tuesday, August 10, 2010

40 years

The Tri State's per capita income is down 2.8% to just over $38,000, the first decline in 40 years. You wouldn't have known it at the Outlet Malls or big stores this weekend as the parking lots were packed.

Not at the potato house, I guess everyone has plenty of potatos. We saw many fields about ready to dig last week but some still in bloom. There isn't much of anything blooming around here today with near 100 degree heat again. I know it's worse elsewhere so I don't mean to complain but I think everyone is just wore out with the heat. We thought that a month ago and it is still here.

Is this the hottest summer on record? It has to be close. Someone said a weatherman said it was the hottest July on record and I think that was Columbus, Ohio. Corn is turning brown record early so it all kind of fits together. I bet someone shells corn soon, maybe in the Chillicothe bottoms where they usually plant first.

Catching this crop in the right stage of maturity will take some planning. The neighbor got his hay baled yesterday and it never rained a drop. I was hoping we would get some rain to cool things down. They say maybe tomorrow so I guess we will see.

LuAnn and I need a marketing class for grain trading. I get all this good information and don't know what to do with it. Other farmers are fully hedged on the board of trade and we aren't. I was just getting into it about the time Alan Lines was ready to retire at Ohio State when I took the class at Southern State. Then our business went a new direction and I quit practicing what I had learned. You really have to practice it and it takes a lot of time to follow the markets that closely.

I think the average farmer needs a fundamentals class, an intermediate class and a advanced trading class around here. Probably a ten week class at popular location like Southern State campuses around here. We could have made enough extra money to pay LuAnn's salary but we could have lost it, too. The successful guys don't mention how much they lose hedging grain when the market turns on them so it keeps a lot of us out of that situation.

Ken Rulon put on an advanced class at his farm last month and I didn't go because I figured I wouldn't even know what they are talking about. The farmers who went said half knew what were going on and half didn't. I would be in the didn't understand group for sure.

When I make a sale the buyer hedges that trade so it makes sense to me I should too but that is just one aspect of farming and the farmer is already taxed with all the decisions to be made.

Lots of companies offer this service like Roach, E Trader, Top Third, Alan Brugler and so on and so forth. Maybe I should just turn it over to them but you need a good relationship with them to feel comfortable and I don't have that relationship.

Most American's are losing buying power right now and it is in the news today and you and I don't want to be there. I know I don't want to be like the farm couple who lost $400,000 in the stock market in October, 2007.

Ed Winkle


  1. If this economy keeps "improving" like it has been, we'll soon ALL be bankrupt!

    As for "hedging", I read a bunch of books about trading stocks a few years ago when I thought that I should do some investing. Ultimately, I decided that it was all about making money with other people's money, and often on stocks that you don't even own! It all sounded too dishonest for me, so I just squandered all the money instead.

  2. Chuckle out loud, I tell people we are spending the kid's inheritence! It looks like a full time job to me and hedging would flush it out quicker...