Thursday, January 18, 2007

I'm not worthy...

The Top producer Seminar has turned out to be the best meeting I've been at in year. Part of it is due to the general euphoria from $4 corn, but the large crowd also has a sense of the significance of this moment.

To be sure, there is a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming tome to the conversations, and a determined effort to not get overly worked up, but it is hard to keep from grinning. And I think more than a few of us are trying to figure out what we have done to deserve this economic blessing.

Some of them remember 1973-4 and how that price spike set the expectation level for my generation. I got to the party late in 1975, but my friends were still talking about then. Somehow, I think this good fortune is different.

First, demand for ethanol - and hence - corn is not a whim of the marketplace or foreign buyers - it is mandated by law. While I personally think mandates are bad policy, the fact remains they are in place an controlling corn demand.

Second, while small livestock producers will likely be hit hard by this run-up in feed prices, much of the feed demand is from very large operations who will adapt differently than individual producers - even running losses for significant periods. The events of 1995 showed us how long they will hang tough.

Farmers (and I'm talking grain farmers here) are better positioned and have, it is to be hoped improved management skills at their commands.

I think we can handle prosperity. But can we do it with grace and maturity?

No comments: