Every day or two, I’m reminded that these are surreal times. Just tonight, our 13-year-old and her best friend were out building a snowman at 10:30 p.m. (yes, I’m a mom who encourages making memories during a blizzard that closes school.) It was thundering and lightening, all while dumping 10" of snow in short order.
Just as wild, never would I have believed that my farmer friends would receive single crop insurance indemnity checks for $3 million to $5 million (yes, with an M!). And, on top of that, the monster payments arrived in snail mail. Wouldn’t you think direct deposit would be a best practice?
Not only are the crop insurance checks enormous, but many of them are going to farmers who have rarely or never collected. Being from Missouri where we can go from fine to a drought in a week, that’s hard to fathom.
Meanwhile, farmland prices are soaring with the record being $21,900 per acre, and we still have folks wondering if we are in a land boom that might burst. I love owning land and having it be worth as much as possible, but I gave up on make-believe when I parted ways with the tooth fairy.
Like you, I’m grateful for the prosperity ag is experiencing. I wish it would last forever but that’s not the way free markets work. While some of his comments are sobering, Michael Boehlje, Purdue University economist, offers perspective and tips for success on page 44. Check them out—and remember, like it or not, all of us better be ready for the ride. We need our wits about us to be positioned for the downside and make the most of the opportunities the chaos brings.
- March 2013