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Volatility

Agriculture.com Staff 03/09/2007 @ 8:42am

We could call it a lesson in volatility. Actually, it was more like being slapped in the face with volatility.

There we were, less than two weeks ago, watching the grain market climb while the ground was getting bare. I was wondering, "How could things get any better?" That should have been a warning right there. Just when you think things cannot get any better, they will not.

In just ten days, we had two blizzards and the grain markets seem to be searching for the floor. I could ask, "How could things get worse?" but I am afraid to find out. It is a question that I do not want answered. One of life's lessons is that no matter how bad things get, they can get worse and occasionally they do just that.

Another lesson in life is that even in the worst of times, there are still little things that appear to make things bearable. Being stranded in a blizzard (if you are in a safe place) allows for things like longer times for relaxing and doing things more slowly.

The blizzards I remember that lasted one and two days from the early 1960s when I was in school had good memories. School was called off and once my dad had the livestock checked to be sure they had feed, water, and shelter, he was in the house, meals were leisurely and we all found things to occupy our time. It was like getting the gift of an extra free day added on to our life. God was saying to us, "This one is on me."

The blizzards of the last ten days were similar. We had time to enjoy whatever good show we could find on the television, a warm treat from the oven, or just talk to each other. Even our two dogs, who are actually are outdoor dogs, were invited inside not only during the night, but during the day as well. So much for being outdoor dogs.

The second blizzard seemed to be stronger than the first one. It was as if we had the first one for practice so we could have the second one for keeps. We had a chance to do with the second one the things we did not quite get right with the first one. How is that for finding the silver lining in the dark cloud, make that a storm cloud?

We have dug everything out for the second time. The snow blower on the tractor has moved more snow in the last ten days than it has in the last three years. In addition, it has been decided that late next summer we will buy a set of chains for the tractor. We may not need them next winter but they will be hanging on the wall ready to go. It will be our chance to do next winter what we missed doing right this winter.

While we were weathering the storm going on outside, we were also weathering the grain market storm going on inside. It was just days ago I sold corn for next January delivery for $3.96 and the same day sold soybeans for fall delivery for $7.77. The only thing I can say about that is I did not sell enough. However, the market gurus say that the ride is not over yet and there are still good days in the future. The storm will end and the sun will come out.

That is one thing you can say about volatility, it goes both ways. It can go up and down from good to bad and back again. When it is good, make the most of it and enjoy it. When it is bad, make the most of it and ride it out. If things really work out well, you can become an indoor dog.

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