Farming - A Challenge

August 5, 2021

August 5, 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 for today’s commentary –

 Drought and wildfires are still taking a toll in the west. Some vegetable farms in California have not been able to get the moisture to raise their crops. They can’t get rain or irrigation water. The last year has been costly and difficult for many of our families and small businesses.

 Our farms and ranches are blessed with better prices. That will be a big lift for those that are able to raise a good crop. On the other hand, we will be harvesting our crop soon. We will be applying fertilizer this fall for next year’s corn and soybean crops. Our import costs are going through the roof. Anhydrous ammonia is priced from 40-60% higher than last year. Natural gas is a major ingredient in fertilizer production, and gas prices are almost double what we spent last year. We will need to buy phosphates and potash to feed next year’s crop of corn. The price is up 70%. The higher input costs will raise production costs more than $60 per acre.

 Why the explosion in cost? One reason is with a world still trying to recover from COVID-19, our global supply chains are not operating as they should. Pandemic related production problems persist. Farming and ranching are never easy and always challenging – but I love it.

 New subject – Most of us have spent at least some time watching and reading about the Olympic Games in Japan. It is sad and quite a contrast comparing the almost empty stands in Japan and our baseball stadiums filled full here in the U.S. The athletes that we are watching are so fantastic. Makes me think back to former years. I will never forget in 1980 during the Cold War when our U.S. Hockey Team defeated the Soviet Union. One for the history books. In 1992 our basketball “Dream Team” had Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Over the years we have had so many outstanding athletes representing the U.S. The USA is the envy of the world. People from other countries all over the world want to come here to live. Some are welcomed legally. Other just walk across the border illegally. The USA is a great nation. Are we perfect? Of course not. None of the countries in the world are. I fly the stars and stripes on my front porch, and I am proud of it.

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