Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Life is a maze. I just saw on the morning news where a family got lost on the Connor Farm in Massachusetts trying to get out of their corn maze, a "maize maze."
There was a corn maze at the Golden Spike railroad museum we visited in North Platte, Nebraska two weeks ago. Our son Eric keeps reminding us we are in a great location for a corn maze and he likes the idea of charging people money to walk your corn fields.
It's not quite that simple planning a corn maze and planting and cutting the paths and having something to buy or give away at the end of the maze like pumpkins. That's a lot of work few farms are suited for.
It's hard enough for me to plan a production corn field and carry it out profitably, let alone a corn maze or a sweet corn patch. But the obvious point is this year it pays better than soybeans this year and did last year. Farmers are already discussing more corn next year in response to the market price. The market has bid up corn since last harvest over soybeans.
Soybeans are stuck in a two to one price ratio over corn where the average farmer gets 3-4 times more corn per acre. There is extra cost in doing that but the corn still wins on paper and in the checkbook.
The only way most farmers can increase corn acres is to increase planting corn after corn. Everyone admits that corn on corn is more costly to manage and produce and usually yields less than corn after soybeans but the numbers still favor it. They are and have been discussing that on Ag Talk also for many months and years.
Life is a maze. Planning next year's crop is a maze, too but we better focus on getting this one out first. More soybean fields have disappeared but there are a LOT of soybean fields to harvest before we even get started on corn.