Down on the Farm

November 18, 2021

November 18, 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now today’s commentary-

Last week I was on the farm in Illinois. We wrapped up harvest. Normally we would have
everything picked by the end of October. Not this year. Fall rains have held a lot of farms back.
In driving through that beautiful farm country, it was clear that some farms had more to do. Late
harvested corn was not standing as well as it should. Grain elevators that take in a lot of our grain
and soybeans told me that crop quality was deteriorating in some late picked fields.
Watching our combine come across the field and harvest the last rows of corn is a relief and time
to celebrate another successful year. I want to compliment all of the dedicated farmers and farm
workers that bring in the food that feeds the U.S. and the world. Now is the time to apply
fertilizer on our fields to feed next year’s crop. Get it done before this rain and snow and frozen
ground shut us out. Costs for next years crop are going off the chart. Fertilizer is double in price.
Seed and weed killers will both jump up in price. We all know that fuel cost is almost double.
We have to be grateful that grain and livestock prices are better than they were in recent years.
It seems that everything is getting much more expensive. Your Thanksgiving turkey will cost
20% more. Cranberries up 74%. Corn bread up 38%. Food is not going to get cheaper. With the
increased cost of energy, labor shortages, supply chain problems and machinery costs. We just
have to budget for the fire of inflation.

Another very timely subject that I want to talk about – The bipartisan infrastructure bill that passed and President Biden just signed. It is a $1.2 trillion package designed to upgrade our bridges, roads, ports and broadband. According to the Congressional Budget Office, it will add $256 billion to our deficit. Although there is some spending in there that is not infrastructure, I think it is worth the cost. Here is what the bill will do –

Build and repair our roads and bridges - $110 billion
Upgrade our railroads - $66 billion
Upgrade power lines - $65 billion
Water pipes - $55 billion
Public Transit - $39 billion
Airports - $23 billion and more. The ag industry is very excited to get started on this big project.

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