The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.
Greetings ta ever one in western Illinois and all readers of "The Quill."
I'm a hope'n ever one is have'n a good week and enjoy'n life as it comes your way.
It seems in the agriculture community, there is no end to up come'n proposed mergers in the crop protection and seed business. Recent proposals are DOW possibly merge'n with DuPont, Bayer with Monsanto, and Syngenta with ChemChina. It's almost like a Tsunami!.
The Syngenta merger with ChemChina is particularly enterest'n since China has been very adamant about keep'n crops grown with Syngenta products out of China.
There is concern that these concentrations will reduce choice and raise the price of chemicals and seed for farmers, which ultimately will affect choice and costs for consumers.
There is also concern these consolidations will diminish critical research and development initiatives which drive innovation and technological advances for the agricultural sector.
Many feel the hands off approach that has been experienced in recent years in antitrust enforcement has led to the highly consolidated economic conditions prevalent today which results in vulnerability for American farmers and American consumers.
If'n that is not enough ta be concerned about, there is EPA expand'n their reach on outlaw'n or severely limit'n the use of Atrazine, expand'n their reach on waters of the U.S. rule (WOTUS) which dramatically expands EPA's jurisdiction over waterways and farmland include'n house lots, and the list'n of certain species such as the Lesser Prairie-Chicken under the Endangered Species Act.
Over 50 years of research and over 7,000 scientific studies have shown Atrazine to be safe. EPA seems to have abandoned credible scientific research, include'n their own scientific advisory panels in favor of questionable theoretical models and risk assessments that purposely target Altrazine.
This path sets a trouble'n precedent for regulation of any crop protection product. If'n Atrazine's registration can be taken away, then the registration of any established herbicide or insecticide is jeopardized under this new methodology.
With grain prices in the basement, and margins that are radar thin to negligible, it is trouble'n to watch EPA take'n unwarranted regulatory action to effectively eliminate Altrazine which dramatically increases herbicide costs and disrupts soil conservation efforts in no-till operations.
WOTUS affects ever' one and what they can do with their property. With bureaucratic delays such as they are, long expensive wait'n periods will be involved with procedures you may choose ta apply ta your soil include'n your lawn and farm'n tillage practices. When ya control the water, ya in effect control ever one accord's ta what ever the wins and ideology is for who ever happens to run the EPA at the time and how quickly they want to delay or act on the private land owner's request.
The Endangered Species Act is be'n changed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in defiance of the Administrative Procedure Act because the Agency did not access conservation efforts already in place.
Well enough on that fer now. Today's farmer faces many other new and sometimes unexpected challenges. Profit margins and production costs are in a constant mode of change. Weather patterns change to offset the best laid plans.
Here are 11 things to be careful on do'n unless your goal is ta cut your profit margins:
#1 Blindly follow seasonal trends or patterns. If the market is going up,do not sell. It may go higher. If the market falls-do not sell. It may turn around and go up.
#2 Never trust a U.S. Dept. of Agriculture crop or livestock report. From all the information available these reports are "strictly legit." But never mind: Discard these reports at all cost.
#3 Blame the big grain companies. Ever'one knows they manipulate the farmer and make all the profits.
#4 Blame the big cattle packers. Ever'one knows they manipulate the stockmen and make all the profits.
#5 Assume prices and costs are related. No place is it written that because you spend $1,000 an acre to produce irrigated corn you are guaranteed a profit on your grain.
#6 Hold the short crop because less corn, wheat or beans must mean the price of these commodities will increase. In reality, by the time you hear a crop is in short supply, everyone else has heard the news too, and the price has already gone up.
#7 Follow the majority. If your neighbor sells his corn, it's probably the right time for you to sell yours. Ignore most conversations in the local coffee shop or coop. Figure out your own marketing strategy.
#8 Ignore the futures market and basis because everyone know that a bunch of speculators are rigging the market. Remember spectulators lose money too and provide liquidity for the market.
#9 Never sell until you have a crop. Oftentimes, before you harvest a crop is best time to lock in profits. Take a hard look at future contracting.
#10 Shoot for the market high. Smart marketers have abandoned this philosophy for the goal of, "shooting for higher."
#11 Blame the banker or your wife. Again, everyone knows a banker lends you money when he/she shouldn't. And if all else fails, who has any broader shoulders than your spouse.
There ya have it then. That's it fer this week's column.
We have much to be thankful fer. Have a great rest of the week!
Hope'n ta see ya in church this week.
Remember: Wherever ya are, whatever ya be a do'n BE A GOOD ONE!
Keep on Smile'n
Catch a later