The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Read the latest crop reports from the fields across America! Also, submit your own comments.
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Here's a sampling of what some folks are saying:
-- Shelby County, Ohio near Botkins
(Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)
There was no "dry land" crops planted this year. The crops under circles were decent but the circles never stopped running and pulling water 450 feet out of the wells takes a lot of energy.
We rode the crop prices roller coaster rides like everyone else, and the Port of Corpus Christi is a trip of 175 miles so the freight was, 0075 cwt. to deliver the grain. Wish you better luck next year!
ACRE pays when a loss occurs both on your farm, and the state that you reside in. It costs, you 20% of your direct pay, and 30% of your CCC loan capacity. The flip side is you have the potential to earn more money in a disaster situation.
I’m leaning towards the current program, since “a bird in the hand is worth two in a bush” saying. Between normal payments, and crop insurance, I feel I can survive.
Do we really need the government to bail us out all the time? That’s my 2 cents worth. I’m interested in other’s comments.
We do have a $1.90 premium on club wheat, since this is a white wheat area that is good if you have any to sell; approximate price 7 plus dollars.
We are the best of the best when it comes to agriculture, and America reaps the rewards by eating cheap. I’m sure the young man got lucky and made a lot of money this year. Don’t feel bad guys, he’ll spend it all on inputs and rent.
I wanted to farm since I was a little boy my dad farmed a quarter and worked two jobs in town and my mother stayed home so, we got by but I had no real start. My dad owned a 706 and an AB John Deere disk we had no planter, no combine, no nothing so I don't feel that I had a big start. When I was 12 years-old I started helping a neighbor square bale hay and he talked so highly of me that I baled hay almost 7 days a week though the summers and did other farm chores when I wasn't in school. When I was 16, I went on a bin building crew and saw that there were a lot of used grain bins cheep so I bought a set of bin jacks and some concrete forms and started buying and selling used bins with the money I had saved working (there was a lot of profit in this for a couple years) when this dried up I started pouring concrete for a living and still have a crew operating to this day.
I have since started two other businesses so I feel I have worked very hard for everything I have and from where I'm sitting farming still looks pretty good. I pay the high price rent by not having a big investment in machinery and believe it or not there is strength in numbers. My input costs are about $100/ac., less than my neighbor who farms very little. This is sad but true and I know this may be the problem with agriculture today but that is were it is headed. This is no different than Wal-Mart or any other big box stores, they deal in volume and sell for less and they slowly take over and the ma & pa stores close. This sucks, I get it, but I could not stop it if I wanted to. As far as the financing goes believe me it was a struggle for the first five years or so but I am not farming the land for nothing and I have been turning a profit so I am on very good standings with my banker. I spend a lot of time on marketing and I believe that is what will make a farm profitable. I was not trying to brag about myself, all I was trying to say is the high price rent and turning a profit are possible and we have to find ways to work with them because they are not going away. Lastly, I would like to clarify that I have never went out and raised rent on anyone. I have only excepted the offers that have been presented to me. Sorry I disrespected everyone. Let’s try to be more positive, me included!
-- Central Illinois
The government claims that crop insurance is a greatest thing since sliced bread, after paying the 120 dollar an acre premium, we finally received our indemnity check. In one day the whole check is gone to pay for fertilizer and seed, we made nothing growing 1,000 acres. All we did we worked for others that raised the price of our inputs that made farming unprofitable. The salesman for all the above have all been around and we told them we can't afford to work for nothing anymore.
I have sat punching numbers into little boxes now to 2 months trying to figure out what happen last year with the cash flow. Now how to make this farming 2009 year work out with some income left over.
All the suppliers are out in full force with there hands out for pre pay, pay early and get it while we have it. There prices have gone up 40% to 60% in just one year!
Like many comments here, I'm beyond knowing how far to TRUST this farming game at this moment. I have seen the effort many years to hold back on planted acres and grow what's needed only and make the same money as trying to overfill the grain market for nothing or a major loss. At who's cost? That's the question.
Now, if this was a closed country for trade it might work to a point, but the way it is now other country's would come in and flood us with there extra grain at the higher value we took the lost acres to gain.
A farmers union at this time, I don't think so, but a movement to hold our ground on the markets might work. Now what's the magic value for the grains for use all to be happy with?
-- Livingston County, Illinois
Our wheat stand varies widely among farms. Those that gambled on deep seeding early in the planting period have wheat almost 4-6 inches tall, and well rooted. Those farmers who waited for rain, or dusted in their what have smaller than normal wheat under the snow, not well rooted, but it should survive the snow well, unless we get freezing rain on top of the snow. Ice over snow cover is not a good environment for small wheat, if those conditions last too long. This smaller wheat will also be subject to severe damage if we get cold north winds after the snow melts.
Generally, with the CRC price guarantee so high for the 2009 wheat crop, few farmers are greatly concerned about crop conditions at this time. On the other hand, most are concerned whether the new Administration will take a hard shot at government payments, including crop insurance subsidies, for example, in order to re-prioritize federal spending for 2009. If this should reduce crop insurance proceeds materially, every farmer here will be “very upset”, to say the least.
-- Lee County, Iowa
Wood County, Ohio
Rick Schuchardt, Elgin, Neb.