Tough Times in Agriculture

Jun 24, 2019

I am in my 34th year in agriculture and I don’t remember a year like this one, from last fall throughout this spring.  Yes, weather has been an issue, but there is so much chaos in the ag space sometimes I wonder how it could have gotten this bad.

We can’t seem to get the USMCA agreement ratified with Mexico and Canada, which should have been completed by now.  Then we have the embargo with China that no one seems to know what direction, if any, we are headed. Now the government is supposedly going to pay out a second round of payments to producers and, again, there is no certainty when this might happen.  The USDA is all over the board on planted acres and what they think the harvested acres will be. So, if this is not chaos, I don’t know what is.

Last week, the USDA changed the timeline on harvesting cover crops from November 1 to September 1.  While this will help the livestock sector capture some energy, I am sure everyone would rather have planted those acres.

As a producer, I can’t begin to wonder what your stress level and thoughts are.  This has got to be very disheartening, to all producers, wondering where your profits are going to come from.  The only plus side is the markets have been more friendly as the markets are also confused. Should the markets get even a sniff of a drought this summer, where will these markets end up?

From Full Circle Ag’s perspective, it is difficult to plan also.  We know we are going to get some returns due to the preventive plant acres.  However, it will be a few weeks before we know how many acres were put into preventive plant.  Now it is spraying season and that is at a stand still with all the moisture we have been receiving.  However, the forecast for the next 14 days is dry and hot which should boost the growth of crops.  It will be challenging for everyone to get the top dressing and spraying completed in a small window.

Although it appears all the cards are stacked against agriculture right now, somehow, we all find a way to get all the work done.  During these tight windows of time, a lot of long hours will be in store for all of you and your cooperative.

So, I would ask everyone to slow down and stay safe out there.  While it might be tough not to get all your tasks done, it pales in comparison should someone get hurt or worse. 
Remember that your family needs you, so again, stay safe out there.

Dave Andresen

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