The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings to everyone in Western Illinois.
The crops seem to be come'n out of the fields and into the bins in fine order, albeit short on yield expectations in many instances.
The weather has certainly been condusive to outdoor activities and who could complain on warmer than normal weather for this time of year.
Last Friday the USDA came out with crop yields for corn much lower than they had been predict'n thru out the summer. That, follow'n the previous week where they found a large chunk of extra carry over corn.
The extra carry over corn report knocked the thunder out of prices and the lower production report increased prices dramatically.
Pity the poor marketer that placed any validity to the first report and made some sales for protection of his expenses and income.
That marketer now sees prices dramatically increase'n with a painful, mournful look on his face.
The individual that "ladders" his sales has opportunity to capture some of these increased prices.
In all probability this high volatility will continue for some time.
Corn and commodities carry their same intrinsic value in spite of the sale price be'n high or low.
Prices are determined in many cases by the market that determines whether there is sufficient volume production or not to meet demand.
Government "cheap food policy" for a long time controlled prices by a combination of their report'n statistics and release'n or hold'n tight to government held stocks.
Many gimmicks were devised. Included were acre set aside programs, loans on stored crops, Pic-and-Roll alternatives with merchandising of pic certificates, and numerous government imposed embargoes, just to name a few.
The producer has various alternatives to try for adequate farm income.
These include utilize'n various features of the Chicago Board of Trade, forward sell'n on what is perceived as a good price based on the best available information he has, and utilize'n various alternative, sometimes ever increase'n complicated, government programs.
For corn sales, opportunities are sought to add value thru various enterprises of livestock and poultry production and Ethanol or other value added projects.
EPA, public opinion resistance to change and other government regulatives complicate these decisions.
Communities, such as ours, in Western Illinois a dependent for their well being on the viability of agriculture and it's members ability to maneuver all of these obstacles.
Young folk flow into and out of our communities based on their perception of that possibility for future success and how it will affect not only their lifestyle but their ability to provide for their families.
It is in the best interest of the welfare of the future of our communities for agriculture to do well.
Just because prices have spiked up "does not" indicate that wellness is better for everyone dependent up marketing skills and a bit of luck.
With increased revenues come increased input costs. Fertilizer, chemicals, R.E. taxes, fuel expenses, cash rent, etc, etc all increase when commodity prices go up.
Oft times more than the off sett'n increases in revenue from increased prices.
It is even worse if'n you missed out on much of the increased revenue but are generously included in the increase in expenses, which if'n they ever come down, do so generally at a much slower pace.
All of the aforementioned facts, and more, makes for an interest'n career in agriculture. For the most part it is not dull and without suspense.
Add to those intrigue'n possibilities the life threatening dangers associated with accidents and unforeseen twists that come with operate'n large machinery and you now have a small Readers Digest version of what makes up the personalities of today's modern farmer.
So, when you see them lumber'n down the road try'n to accomplish their purpose in relatively slow move'n huge machinery, why not cut them some slack.
Make'n obscene gestures to them when you are unable to pass as quickly as you would like, is not helpful and only adds tension.
Besides, that hand gesture is more reflective of the I.Q. of the giver than it is of the recipients desire to expand his family.
I hear there's an October Moon Barn Dance this Saturday at the Sullivan Auction Barn east of Hamilton raise-n funds for Memorial Hospital in Carthage. They're have-n a Pink Glove Dance the committee made up. I guess they have a 1000 pink gloves to pass out.
I can't see men wear'n pink gloves. It's got me curious. The "Chicken Drop" has got-n me curious too. Is it a dance or do they drop a chicken.
We farm boys know about mechanical bulls which they are say-n will be there, but bet they are pull-n our leg about celebrity bull riders from 8 to midnight, and about a silent auction which is not typical of those Sullivan boys.
Well, hope some of you go and then write The Quill about it and we'll catch ya next week, hopefully with thoughts on "Make'n a life on the Farm".
Keep on Smile'n