Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Times Are Tough

Times are tough in southwest Ohio.  I hear that all over the USA.  Not from the media necessarily but by talking to the people we meet each day.   Over half the people don't like what is going on from Ebola to grain prices.

Sable and I went to our favorite Post Office this morning to mail my weekly soybean inspection reports.  Many Post Office's this small have been closed and it is a matter of time before we lose ours.  I saw Cecil who owns that 55 Chevy that looks like the one I owned in 1968 and struck up a conversation with him.

I asked him how sales were going at his Marathon gas station general store type deal common here in southwest Ohio.  He said it has been the worst year since he bought it some years ago.  I knew that well enough to almost NOT ask him my stupid but inquisitive question because I thought that is what he would say.  He verified my feelings about our local economy.

To commiserate with him I chimed in my $5 corn is worth $2.50 on the market today.  I don't think either one of us got any good out of that statement.  Every one agrees that this over production low price scenario is not good for the sector that have been "propping up" the other sectors.  Add to that we have the CAUV or Current Agricultural Use Valuation situation that is going to double or triple local real estate tax bills.  We may have to dig into savings because of these situations.  We are thankful that we have some but we never thought this would be the "rainy day."

The population is aging like me and there is not enough of us working to operate the budget like we did 40 years ago.  The farmers have had some good years but they are always operate on a  low margin.  This year we are operating on a negative margin at best in the grain sector.

The Misery Index is increasing but we need to share the bright spots.  I am looking for them this morning!

Are your times tough where you live?  What happiness can we share today to lift our spirits?

Ed Winkle


  1. Thanks for that insight. I know spending is very low in SW IN as seen at tractor show antique markets and malls. Property taxes here have been increased highly. There are so many sales on line and from catalogs telling me that sales are down. linda

  2. Thanks, LInda, for your comment. We are in hunker down mode here in southwest Ohio which is not good for the economy.

    We have been so good to it the last ten years or so but now its turned on us.

    We have to do whatever we can to stay solvent.

    It may not be easy.

    Ed Winkle

  3. Ed, now please don't take this the wrong way... But... You post on hard times and show one of the most expensive combines money can buy and two new pickups. I realize it is a custom operator but I don't think people really understand. Most people see a combine that costs more than their house.
    I expect to see a lot less sympathy for farmers in the future. Look at the comments on news stories about farming. I don't exactly have an answer. I'm just saying what I've observed.