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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Dec 30, 2011

Here we are between Christmas and New Year’s with the days now starting to lengthen which means good-bye to 2011 and hello to 2012.

This is the time brave souls predict what will happen in the coming year. The predictions will range from “better times are ahead” to “the bottom will drop out, so beware.”

It does not take any special talent to make a prediction. Being accurate is what separates the good from the bad.

Some forecasters are amateurs, while others are in the forecasting business. What they have in common is that they are frequently wrong, especially when looking ahead for more than a few weeks.

It was only a couple months ago I heard those in the weather predicting business saying that this winter was shaping up to be like the last two with cold temperatures and much snow.

I wondered at the time how that would come about with the drought we have been living with since August. This month of December has seen practically no snow and this week our overnight lows are what we would hope for as daily highs in past Decembers.

We still have January, February and much of March ahead of us, but December has been a bust for anyone predicting cold and snow.

Remember, that prediction came from people whose job it is to look into the future, and they have been educated and paid to do just that.

Then there are those who are predicting what 2012 holds for our economy and markets. Why would they be any more accurate or dependable than the weather forecasters?

If the professionals have a mixed record of success, how can we amateurs do any better?

If I had predicted what was going to happen to me and those around me a mere 12 months ago, I would have missed the mark terribly.

Should I be brave and stick my neck out just far enough to say something that 12 months from now will look completely wrong?

Okay, I will take a stab at the future so that a year from now I can look back and either congratulate myself at my great intuition or wonder what was I thinking of to make such an erroneous prediction.

First, I do not see our dry weather pattern ending, and I believe we will have a dry crop year with lower yields, but not necessarily the resulting high prices that come with a reduced crop.

Economic conditions seem to be slightly improving as people around here are feeling slightly more confident about the future.

The business people I deal with are busy and are not pessimistic about the work coming their way.

It is the uncertainty worldwide that will keep demand down and why we will not see a return to the high prices of the past year. Economic conditions in Europe and shifting political climates in the Mideast will have an impact on demand keeping prices in check.

I am feeling wary about 2012 and then throw in the fact it is an election year and there is more uncertainty. I am not sure 2012 will end as well as it started.

There is my opinion on what will be the year 2012. Put it in the pile with all the others.

I believe I can safely predict that my prediction will be like my other predictions, mostly wrong and that is my other prediction. It is possible that the prolonged dry condition will end with widespread flooding.

We will read these predictions in 12 months and either laugh or shake our heads as the year 2012 comes to an end. That is another prediction.

Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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