We have three-fourths of the year 2013 behind us and one-fourth to go.
That one-fourth of a year sounds even shorter when we say a mere 90 days from now we will have Christmas done.
What I find even more amazing is that 60 days from now, harvest will be completed and we will know what kind of a crop year we had.
I believe harvest will go especially fast this year, and it is likely that there will be very little left by the first of November.
Considering that one-fourth of our corn acres did not get planted because of last spring’s wet weather, we will start corn harvest with one-fourth of the acres done.
That means that we will go into next year with one-fourth less corn to sell, and many of my neighbors are in a similar shape.
Of course, we are in an isolated area so our short crop may not have that great of an impact in the overall market.
It is tough to swallow a short corn crop and a market price under $5 a bushel.
It has been seen in recent land sales where once the question was, “Did it bring more or less than $10,000 an acre,” the question is now “How much under $10,000 an acre did it bring?”
There are few land owners who haven’t gotten the message and when faced with prices less than six months ago, have decided to call a no-sale of the land.
That is their decision, and I believe the price they turned down today may look good in the coming year.
The last three years have been wonderful for gross farm income and it can be seen in many places, one of which is new buildings being erected by machinery dealers.
Farmers are very good at spreading their wealth around when they have it.
When they don’t have it, you can almost hear their billfolds snap shut.
So, it looks like everyone will be looking at any additional or new purchases more carefully.
As farmers pull back, there will be a ripple effect felt by machinery dealers, elevators, fertilizer dealers, and all the other suppliers of agriculture.
The year 2013 may serve as a notice that the bloom is off the rose.
I will be one of many who will say that I enjoyed the ride as long as it lasted.
However, while everyone may be more cautious, I do not believe anyone is less optimistic about agriculture’s future.
There is a new crop of farmers ready to pick up where my generation is leaving.
They know there will be good years and lean years ahead of them, and their challenge will be to make the most of whatever circumstances that is in front of them.
For those fortunate few (because there will fewer farmers in actual numbers), it will be a good life made up of more successes than failures.
That is what my dad would say about his farming career and what I can say about mine.
When my son turns over the farm to his successor, he will say the same thing.
But, first, there is a crop to harvest, the crop of the year 2013.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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