Editor’s Notebook: Fast Finish, Quick Start

October 28, 2010 06:29 AM

Our glorious fall weather and the near picture-perfect harvest gives most of the country a welcome opportunity to set the stage for a strong start to 2011.Field scars left by the hard-fought, wet fall of 2009 can be fixed with tailored tillage, fertilizer can go on, marketing plans can be put in place while prices are rallying and there’s simply more time to step back and plan.

One of the things I love about farmers is that they are always looking to do better next year. The surprise yields of 2010—both good and bad—make it easy to be motivated to do better in 2011.
That’s especially true for anyone who watched the yield monitor fluctuate across the field. Yields ping-ponged up and down as combines buzzed through drowned-out spots and then marched through the better areas. Seeing corn yields bounce around and fluctuate 70 bu. wasn’t uncommon. As one of Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie’s clients joked, “I’ve never combined so much 220-bu. corn to end up with a 150-bu. average.”

That type of experience goes a long way in explaining the big yield estimate correction that USDA made during the harvest season. It’s also no surprise that tile and surface drainage are being
installed at a lightning pace.

The price volatility in the commodity market weaves together promise and risk. As you try to decipher your best moves, we hope you’ll join us for our Marketing Rally on Dec. 1, south of
Chicago. The stakes are high—and having the time to master your marketing strategy could be one more advantage of a fast finish this fall.

Hope to see you there!

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