Big in ag: Fiscal Cliff & weather pain
Growing nervousness about the 'Fiscal Cliff' and how it affects agriculture and worsening crop weather in many parts of the world have dominated the ag headlines this week.
Will the U.S. fall off the Fiscal Cliff? If so, what's it mean to your farm? It could push incomes lower, though grain prices might benefit from a lower U.S. dollar. The next farm bill might be a victim of current inaction on the issue.
While that issue has ramifications on the farm level, the bigger issue right now is the weather. Parts of the nation have gotten rain in the last week, but it's not been enough to get crop conditions anywhere near where they need to be.
The hurt of the current weather pattern has been worst on farmers in the Plains, where some are watching their wheat crop go into dormancy in the worst condition it's ever been in. Still, it may be too early to throw in the towel yet.
The wheat crop's not in bad shape just in the U.S. Farmers around the world, from Argentina to Australia, are facing weather extremes that have some analysts saying the wheat market could be poised for a run higher down the road.
While weather's been the 800-pound gorilla in the room this week, farmland values are a hot topic. Next week, Iowa officials will release that state's latest land values survey. Will it show higher or lower values? Here are a few of the factors influencing market movement either way.
Another hot topic this week has been the future of 'industrial' agriculture. Opinions vary as much as the farms that make up the nation's ag industry, though there's a common theme: Agriculture's got to come together instead of different sectors arguing amongst one another.
Any Elvis Presley fans out there? If so, check this out: A couple of years ago, a technical school class took on the task of refurbishing a classic John Deere 4010 tractor. Little did the class know that the tractor once belonged to "The King" himself. Check out the job they did on this machine!
While you're checking out the iron, how about these motor cultivators? During the early 20th century, they were all the rage among implement designers, even though they were a little on the "outlandish" side. Check out these wild machines!
The clock's ticking and Christmas will be here before you know it. Are you looking to drop a few hints for gift ideas, or do you have a farmer to shop for? Check out our 2012 Christmas gift special, with ideas and inspirations for you and your farm!
The future of your farm if we fall off the Fiscal Cliff and troubling crop weather worldwide are big stories this week in ag.