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By Staff | Aug 24, 2012

Rivalries seem to be part of being human. Our earliest rivalries are with our own brothers and sisters. Then we go off to school where we have rivalries with our classmates, then other schools.

Fortunately, we grow up and the rivalries do not seem as important. That is what a declining population that is increasingly elderly will teach you to do.

Rivalries still exist and today the competition is fierce for what appears to be a drought-reduced crop. The groups are both the producers and the users with each trying to work their way through this situation. As a producer of corn and soybeans, I am wondering just what I will have available to sell in the coming months to cover my expenses for this year and prepare for next year.

Until the combine starts and the yield monitor indicates my actual numbers, I am going on the estimation of a crop that is 60 percent of normal. That reduces 180 bushels per acre corn crop to 108.

My combine will work 60 percent as hard and use less diesel fuel. At harvest’s end, my bins will only contain 60 percent of what they held in previous years. My trips to deliver my crop will be 60 percent of normal.

I am counting heavily on crop insurance. After paying into crop insurance for many years, this will be the first year I will file a claim.

I believe every farmer has a one sentence prayer that goes, “Lord, let me be in business a year from now.”

While I am doing my best to stay in business, so are the people that depend on my crops; the livestock producers, ethanol plants and export buyers. I want them to remain healthy and in business a year from now.

It bothers me when one group wants preferential treatment and singles out another group to pay the price for their preferential treatment. The cattlemen’s organization wants the ethanol plants to go away and return to the days of cheap corn. They are using this calamity to justify their argument.

The days of cheap corn are coming; it just won’t be this year. The drought has put all of us in uncharted territory and it is a time when we need to work together and not seek to improve one’s welfare at the expense of another.

When times are tough, I believe a little humor is needed so here is my story.

Ole and Sven went to truck driving school. At the end of the school, it was time for the final exam and it was an oral exam.

The instructor sat down with Ole and said, “Ole, you are starting down a mountain pass and Sven is sleeping in the bunk behind you.

“You are fully loaded and you just lost your brakes. On one side of you is a drop off of 1,000 feet and coming at you the other way is a school bus with kids in it. What are you going to do?”

Ole thought a minute and said, “Well, I would wake up Sven.”

The instructor said, “What? You would wake up Sven? What kind of an answer is that?”

“Well,” said Ole. “You see, Sven has never seen an accident like this before.”

That is where we are today.

We have never seen an accident like this before. Let’s hope it is a long, long time before we see another one.

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

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