From The Editor
August 5, 2011
Hello Pro Farmer Members!
You should be able to pick up two very clear tones from your editors this week.
1. Passage of the debt package last week failed to make your editors and Washington consultant Jim Wiesemeyer more comfortable with what's happening in Congress. Some of the things Jim is hearing in Washington is more than concerning and more than suggests the only thing Congress and President Obama did successfully was to kick a bigger can down the road. You know Pro Farmer is in Iowa. We've got two Senators that have been elected and re-elected more times than I can count. What makes this pair of Senators "interesting" is one is Tom Harkin... he leans about as far left on the political spectrum as you can lean without toppling over. The other is Chuck Grassley... describe him the same as Harkin on the right. The really are a strange pair of Senators to come from one state because they rarely agree and almost always cancel out the other's vote on big issues.
On the debt package, they did not cancel out each other's vote... and they voted "No." If there is a piece of legislation that gets a no vote from both Harkin and Grassley, you know it's got to be fundamentally flawed.
Also... after Jim digested the legislation, it's clear the plan doesn't do everything they say it does... at least not without some additional action. That additional action is the focus of our feature article on News page 4. Hopefully, our ag panel leaders will read what we wrote and start the process we discuss on that page now.
2. We've been concerned about the 2011 corn crop, but we've tried to stay optimistic about corn yield potential. That optimism started to fade last week. We're starting to get yield observations in from long-time and trusted crop watchers. From central Iowa, one of these scouts reports their latest scouting trip revealed a lower-than-average number of kernels per row. In years past, central Iowa ears have kernel rows 34 to 37 kernels long. This year, they're finding averages of 27 to 30 kernels! Ouch! (Oh... and this is an area we figured would be "good" to "really good" this year.)
There are problems with the corn crop that have been well documented in what many market watchers call "non-reliable" forums. Places like Twitter and other social media outlets. One day last week, there was a picture of three ears floating around the floor that were very poorly pollinated. Which day was it? You guessed it... it was Tuesday with the limit-up price performance. Wow...
There are problems with the corn crop. The effort now is to determine just how many good acres will offset the bad... and how far down the national average corn yield will fall.
That's it for this week...
Have a great weekend!!