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Looking forward to spring

Agriculture.com Staff 02/23/2009 @ 9:54am

This has been one of those marathon times that come around occasionally in my marketing business. Last week, I worked six workshops in as many days. I will have traveled to all parts of Nebraska except the Panhandle. A trip to that part of the state will come in March. Reaction to the workshops has been very positive even though it is difficult to find target years for the game that parallel the price pattern we are currently going through.

Farmers had the most questions about the bank failure in Nebraska last week. I wish I had answers to that puzzle. Not far behind on the curiosity scale is the uncertainty about the new government farm program. The extension person who was with me at the workshops suggested that farmers sign up right away. Changes can be made when the details of the new program become available. Stay in touch with the FSA office for the latest.

Sharon attended the workshop today in Elmwood to learn the software. She is going to be my computer operator when I make the trip to the Chadron area next month. It is always good to have an honest critic evaluate my presentation. She fulfills that role very well.

Marketing meetings are less enjoyable when prices are in a down trend than when they are headed up. It is always difficult to find good attitudes in February. Traditionally February has some of the lowest prices of the year. It seems to be destined to do that again this year.

To report the odds of a rally from February until spring according to my seasonal charts would be futile. This year the outside markets have too much influence on grain prices. The media seem to be bent on reporting all of the bad news and the grain markets seem destined to let that news be the deciding factor in determining the price direction.

I heard yesterday that 92 percent of home mortgages are not in default. That would seem to be good economic news. A friend at a church dinner last night observed that means only 8 percent of home owners are in trouble. She questioned why the rest of us have to suffer for such a small percentage of the population spending more than they could afford. I do not have an answer. If we let home prices float to their true value maybe developers would stop taking good farmland to build residential developments!

I look forward to this month being over. I hope that attitudes change when the calendar changes. I got a call this week from the agronomist at the company I buy fertilizer from. He reported on the results of my latest soil grid sampling. It was obvious from the results why soybean yields on that field were low last year. It is going to take a lot of added nutrients to correct the shortages.

However, the prices he quoted to me make the correction financially feasible. It was nice to put in the order for application because it makes me feel like spring is on the way.

This has been one of those marathon times that come around occasionally in my marketing business. Last week, I worked six workshops in as many days. I will have traveled to all parts of Nebraska except the Panhandle. A trip to that part of the state will come in March. Reaction to the workshops has been very positive even though it is difficult to find target years for the game that parallel the price pattern we are currently going through.

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