How to React to the September Crop Report
Aug 29, 2017
Enough time has elapsed, perhaps, to get back in the water around the August crop report. In fact, most of ag is already bitterly disputing then upcoming September report.
I have left to others the repetitive tasks of defending or attacking NASS, WASDE, the USDA, and government in general. Mostly because I have learned such fevered discussions change few minds.
In fact, it is those minds I want to talk about. While on our farm we have had almost no rain for six weeks, there are many farmers even drier.
In a helpful book entitled, Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, two economists illuminate what happens to our brain when it decides we're running short on food, time, human contact or any of the things we feel are critical to our lives.
Their research, done with subsistence sugar cane growers highlighted some astonishing effects of scarcity. I think is it important right now because as we do yield checks and income projections, many of us have triggered that scarcity mode in our brains as well.
One stunning discovery is how our brain begins to exclude information and develop tunnel vision centered on what we lack. This is hard-wired into our species primarily to counteract hunger, but the responses can happen for perceived poverty.
In the process, we can lower our IQ as much as 13 points - which is a lot. Looking back on the ranting about the crop reports, much of the rancor could be explained by otherwise capable minds running at less than full capacity.
More importantly, this will impact the decisions we make for the foreseeable future.
It is under such conditions that having friends and family outside the scarcity zone can be invaluable.
Explain your thinking to them and see if they can spot flaws in your planning. Even if they don't know much about agriculture they know about your capabilities and can help you avoid unreasonable choices.
We can't change how our brains instinctively react to scarcity, but we can tap into clearer thinking by working to maintain our friendships.