Wednesday, February 21, 2007

It's a trick, I tell you...

Here at the ND Ag Expo in Grand Forks the conversations have flowed almost inevitably from "things are pretty good, I guess" to "how long can it last though?" We seemed to be determined to put a cloud in front of this silver lining.

Still the gossip was flowing and rated ex-cell-ent! Some choice "I-heard-from-this-guy" morsels. (Believe at your own risk):
  • Some minor crop processors - notably edible beans - got caught with their acres down and are having a hard time to convince growers to shift away from corn. Bids have been raised three times at least to get contracts signed. Ditto for potatoes (although watch the "quality" fine print) and sunflowers.
  • Seed corn dealers are being allotted 40% of their orders from one major (I'm always suspicious of rumors with actual numbers).
  • Urea is over $400 and then only to long-time customers.
  • Sugar beets could be in for a big boom as the world price rises to our "rigged" price due to cane diversion to ethanol. The sugar program could fade away as can enters from Mexico next year.
  • Some guy bid $160 for cash rent in Cass county today for approximately 110-bu. ground.
  • CNH 2377 combines are not hot sellers.
  • If it wasn't for lack of APH, more ground might go to corn. (ND really digs crop insurance.)
Most amazing to me was the relative lack of interest in the farm bill debate. Could it be slip-sliding into ethanol-irrelevance?

And don't tell me men don't gossip:
Men gossip as much as women. The study found that men gossip at least as much as women, especially on their mobiles. Thirty-three percent of men indulge in mobile gossip every day or almost every day, compared with twenty-six percent of women. Men gossip for just as long and about the same subjects as women, but tend to talk more about themselves. The study did find a sex difference in 'gossip partners', with men more likely to gossip with work colleagues, partners and female friends, while women gossip more with same-sex friends and family. Male and female gossip also sounds different, as women use more animated tones, more detail and more feedback.

More about mobile phones and gossip.

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