The State of Agriculture

February 29, 2000

February 29, 2000

What's hot and what's not? That's a good questions. Look at the stock market as a barometer of the nation's economic health and you would have to conclude that we have a mixed bag. Although mostly on the positive side of the ledger. The old line blue chip stand-by stocks are the ones struggling.

Almost all of the food companies -- so basic to our lives -- are languishing at the bottom of the barrel. Take a look. There is IBP, ADM, Kellogg, Philip Morris, John Deere, Ag Co. Up and down the line -- just miserable. Their suffering follows on the heels of 2 years of disastrous prices for most farm commodities. In the face of this food industry depression, the tech stock, the's are flying high. What is going on here?

The food and ag industry really is high tech. We know that. We need to change our handle. How about -- "tender"? Comfy And dairy really needs some help. Even though cheese consumption is at a record 30 lbs. Per capita, those cows are just giving too much milk! Talk about volatility! Dairy has to get the prize. I can't even think of a dot com powerful enough to fix the dairy problem. You can reach the Borden cow "Elsie" at But even she can't raise milk prices. I'm looking at a series of farm commodity charts and, although still low, most commodities seem to be turning the corner. The next 2 years should be better.

Agriculture is an industry that seems to always be on a roller coaster. If we're down now, there's only one way to go and that's up.