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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Feb 8, 2013

It is fun to have people show their enthusiasm for their home team.

That may sound strange from someone like me whose interest in sports is barely measurable. I am a person who, if given a choice between watching a game and reading a magazine, will choose the magazine.

Then again, my definition of a home team may differ from most people’s too.

Home does not have to be the local team.

My college roommate lived in Racine, Wis., until the late 1960s. For the last 20 years he has lived in Idaho and yet his home team always has been and will be in the town of Green Bay – the Packers.

A team is not limited to a sports team.

For example, one of my home teams is farm equipment in the color of red. I occasionally get teased by those loyal to green as having the wrong color, but I tell them there are only two colors, red and not red.

I have no argument with green loyalists. My dad used green tractors throughout his farm life.

The first tractor I sat on was on was probably his John Deere D. Then came an A, a 720, an 830, a 4010, then a 4020, a 5020, and a 4430, all of them served him well.

When I graduated from college I was offered a job with International Harvester (and bypassed by John Deere). That created a lifelong commitment to red machinery.

Most anyone can still admire a Farmall Super MTA or an 856 as handsome tractors, just as handsome as a John Deere 720 diesel, another one of my favorites.

Another home team of mine are products of Ford, especially from the 1950s and 1960s. It helps if they are in red.

My son drives vehicles of the bowtie brand and is a fan of Allis-Chalmers, so there you go. To each, his own.

I have another home team I am following with great interest now, new crop soybeans.

Everyone enjoys a winning streak and in the grain market, soybeans are where the excitement is. Soybeans right now are like Cinderella at the ball. Corn and wheat are watching from the side as everyone wonders how far soybeans will go.

Any game is more exciting when there is a personal involvement. Just ask any parent who has a son or daughter playing on a team which game is more exciting, the local high school team or some major league team.

I don’t have any personal interest in old crop soybeans. Rather than keep paying storage, I liquidated last year’s unpriced soybeans just after the first of this year. It was also time to pay for fertilizer.

But I sure do have interest in new crop beans as another crop year is getting closer each day.

I have a satellite dish and monitor that follows the markets (with a 10-minute delay) and there was a time when trading began at 9:30 each morning and was wrapping up by 1:30 in the afternoon.

The overnight trade and expanded hours of trading have given additional excitement to following the markets. It makes those late night trips to the bathroom in the dark a lot more interesting when I pause to turn the monitor on and check what is up and down in the market.

My dad followed the markets listening to the local radio AM radio station most of his life.

Today, following the markets is as easy as reaching for whatever device is in your pocket or on your desktop. Technology has made following crop conditions in South America or the Ukraine as easy as hearing about conditions in the U.S.

However, part of my morning routine each day is tuning into an AM radio station west of me a couple hundred miles at 9:30 to hear any news about markets and what is moving them.

Then to another AM radio station at 9:40 for more market news and analysis.

Whether it is a Farmall 350, a John Deere 60, an Allis-Chalmers WD45, listening to a farm broadcaster on an AM radio station or reading a farm newspaper, the classics are still enjoyable and make it easy to appreciate today’s advances in technology.

Let’s hear it for the home team.

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

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