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December 2012 Archive for From the Editor

RSS By: Brian Grete, Pro Farmer

Pro Farmer Editor Brian Grete takes time to talk with Pro Farmer Members about some of the key issues in each week's Pro Farmer newsletter.

Pro Farmer's Ag 'Person' of the Year

Dec 21, 2012

Chip Flory

From The Editor

December 21, 2012

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

I, for one, am glad the Mayans were wrong.

We selected our Ag Story and Ag Person of the year in this week's Pro Farmer newsletter. It's the last issue of the year and it was fun to reflect on a year that was heavy on news, but saw very little happen to fix issues that are slowing progress in the country. It was a weird year.

Here's our Person of the year announcement from this week's newsletter:

Pro Farmer’s 2012 Ag Person of the Year: Cattle Producers

Picking an individual for our person of the year was difficult this year. There just wasn’t enough “good stuff” that happened to find a standout among all the people that influence the ag industry. The list of contenders was long, but our in-house debate over candidates revealed many ag leaders suffer from “overreaching.” These leaders are in their positions to represent the interest of the groups they lead, but that representation shouldn’t include consequences for others in the ag industry. Unfortunately, that happens too often.

As a result, we selected a survivor for our 2012 Ag Person of the Year: U.S. cattle producers. It was a tough year! Drought raised costs for cow-calf producers; high-priced calves and feed stressed cattle finishers; lean finely textured beef (LFTB or “pink slime”) confusion hit a peak in March; and the fourth U.S. confirmation of BSE (“mad cow”) hit in April. That’s a bucket-full of issues. Poultry, dairy and pork producers dealt with similar issues, but LFTB and BSE put cattle producers over the top this year. And while many cattle producers rallied against ethanol in 2012, it was their demand for DDGs that helped bring some ethanol facilities back on line when 2012-corn supplies were available.

If we were forced to pick an individual for Ag Person of the Year, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would be our pick. He was a calm voice and a source of certainty for the markets. His efforts to encourage economic expansion through consistently accommodative monetary policy (low interest rates) and through purchasing long-term treasuries (quantitative easing) have been sources of support for equity and commodity markets. And he did all this tap-dancing in a hotly contested election year without bowing to political pressure. We expect more of the same from Bernanke’s Fed in 2013. In 2014, potential changes to Fed policy could signal the end of the long-run bull in ag markets.

That's it for now...

Have a very merry Christmas and God Bless you all!

Follow me on Twitter at @ChipFlory

To join Pro Farmer, click here!

Revealing Info from Profit Briefings!

Dec 14, 2012

Chip Flory

From The Editor

December 14, 2012

Hello Pro Farmer Members!

I had a great time seeing familiar faces and meeting new Pro Farmer Members this week at Profit Briefing Seminars in Tunica, Mississippi, and Columbus, Ohio. The guys in Tunica had some very brow-lifting opinions... they are running away from cotton in 2013. The cotton price stinks; the corn price doesn't. It costs more to grow cotton than corn; and the labor load on cotton is significantly more than for corn.

And they're coming off a great corn year in 2012. Irrigators saw yields over 250 bu. per acre and dryland corn was better than they'd normally expect. Revenue on corn was through the roof. Because of lower land costs, even the irrigators have costs of production around $700 per acre, so the $1,200 in revenue they generated with corn in 2012 is plenty of incentive to plant even more corn in the year ahead.

The acreage debate is going to start to heat up early in 2013. So far, we're convinced Midwest corn acres will be down from year-ago -- and we were thinking total corn acres would be down a touch from last year. After the trip to the Delta... we're not so sure total corn acres will be down. Steady-with-year-ago seems to be a much more likely outcome for 2013 corn plantings.

December Crop Tour newsletter -

We've got the latest on South American corn and soybean production potential from Dr. Michael Cordonnier in the December issue of Pro Farmer's Crop Tour newsletter. It's available now in the subscriptions box on the home page of your website. Click here to go straight to the Crop Tour newsletter.

Profit Briefing update -

LandOwner Editor Mike Walsten, Inputs Monitor reporter Davis Michaelsen, Pro Farmer Sr. Market Analyst Brian Grete and PF Washington consultant Jim Wiesemeyer will be at Profit Briefing Seminars next week in Quincy and Rock Island, Illinois. There's still time to register - call Shelley at 1-800-772-0023 to save your spot.


That's it for now...

I'm headed home. My son Thomas is 17... but he's going to have to put up with a big hug from me. My daughter Emily is 20 and her phone is about to get filled up with texts from her dad, too. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to all people at that school in Connecticut. How dreadful...

Follow me on Twitter at @ChipFlory

To join Pro Farmer, click here!

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