Planning for the New Year

JUNE 2016

 Hello to all our customers and friends,

              We’ve received some excellent moisture these past few days.  For the first time in five years there is not one area in Kansas considered to be in a drought.  While planting conditions have not been great, most of the corn and soybeans are in the ground.  The wet weather has made it a challenge to get crops planted in the desired time frame.

               The whole agricultural industry is in a bad place.  Corn cannot gain any momentum in the market and wheat is at one of the most ridiculous prices of all times.  It used to be a general supposition that wheat would be one and a half times the value of corn.  With corn at $3.33/bu and wheat at $3.72/bu there should probably be some wheat going into feed rations.  It improves feed conversion and rates of gain from results back when the payment in kind program made it economically feasible to feed.  Soybeans are the only commodity that has gone up in price this spring.  In March beans were $8.63 and are now $10.54/bu.  That’s a climb of almost $2.00 per bushel in 60 days.  Cattle have managed to go up and down like a yo-yo and in a 30 day period a finished steer can have a price swing of $200 per head.  It’s really difficult to feed cattle and feel like there is any possibility of making money with the extreme level of risk involved.  Finished cattle are $1.18/lb, but were $1.31/lb 60 days ago.  Couple that with the fluctuating price of feeder cattle and the potential loss is staggering.

            If we get really disenchanted with the Ag scene we can look at the national and state scene and take heart that it may be just about as bleak.  We have lots of dissention in Topeka with the state’s finances in turmoil.  Our schools viability being put in question as how to keep them afloat and lots of bickering at the state house.   Of course most political campaigns bring out the worst on both sides, and that does nothing to lift people’s spirits.  All of this brings me to my soap box segment. 

            As I watch some of the late night roaming reporters asking young people on the street to identify simple individuals in politics or government, I am appalled at the level of ignorance.  Can it be apathy, naivety, lack of social conscience, lack of moral compass, overindulgence, distraction, misinformation, propaganda, or is it just my age??  Just this week during lunch with a client, we were discussing how many important issues were not discussed, even in our younger days at home, and we came to the conclusion that it needs to be.  Back then we were taught civics in school, the importance of free speech, moral issues and how to arrive at sound decisions, thinking farther out than the end of our nose.  I think it’s time for my grandkids to start getting some education from grandpa.  I may have to put together a quiz for them to take of my opinions.  Until next month, Myron