Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Visit From A Farmer

Billy Sanders, a farmer for whom I have a lot of respect came by the office today to get some peanut gift boxes for Christmas.

We visited a bit on what was going on in the world of Agriculture, cotton boll weevil eradication, and more. I asked him to change horses a bit and we did.

I asked him what they were going to do on Sanders' Farms this year. He told me they would have some cotton and peanuts, wheat after peanuts even though usually they did cotton after peanuts. He told me they would have significant acreage in soybeans because the price may be the best of the Commodities and the cost is the least so they offer significantly less risk.

I told him a big challenge I have is convincing folks that soybeans are the same as a peanut when you consider rotation. It is hard to convince some folks in the industry that soybeans on an acre of land means you need to wait at least three years to go back on that land with peanuts. I think farmers understand that but economics sometimes causes us to make less than optimum decisions on rotation. If I could wave a magic wand and have all conventional acres of peanuts on a four rotation and all conservation tillage on three years I would do it.

Farmers are really frustrated with the situation with prices being weak and inputs being too expensive. I also sense frustration of some in the industry who don't know how to handle this feast and famine cycle. Too many peanuts in 2008 and likely too few in 2009. We are a small commodity with no futures market so we feel the ride on the roller coaster a lot more rough at times.

No comments: