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CLAYTON RYE

By Staff | Oct 2, 2014

Bob Newhart had a popular television shows in the 1970s called (get ready for this) “The Bob Newhart Show,” where he played a psychiatrist in Chicago, who shared a receptionist with other office people on the same floor.

There was a lot of coming and going of people during the show, but Newhart was the main character. As people walked in and out, the greeting “Hi, Bob” was heard often.

I heard that when the show was watched in bars, it became a game that when someone on the show said, “Hi, Bob,” the bar patrons took a drink.

Now, hold that thought and let’s fast forward to today.

Another phrase has become so popular that it seems to being losing its impact.

That phrase is “the perfect storm” and is used when several different forces combine creating a bigger disaster than any one of them would do individually.

Agriculture is currently under a perfect storm of good growing conditions resulting in what appears to be very high yields.

We’ve had a cool summer with good moisture and now, when we need a little more warm weather to finish off the crop, it is here letting the big crop get bigger.

South America and other parts of the world are also enjoying good growing conditions.

It is a perfect storm of good news that has created bad news.What?

The bad news is that crop prices have dropped drastically from previous years when we were enjoying high prices.

My morning routine is listening to the opening of the markets and then the opinions of grain analysts about what is happening and what they see in the weeks ahead.

I was hearing the analysts say another phrase way too frequently. That phrase was “new contract lows.”

I figure if you can have a drinking game when you hear “Hi, Bob,” why not have a drinking game when we hear “new contract lows.”

You wouldn’t have to be in a bar to participate and my drink of choice in this game would be a cup of coffee. Just take a sip every time you hear “new contract lows.”

It has to be “new contract lows;” just “contract lows” are not enough.

With corn prices slipping below $3 a bushel, I may be rethinking my drink of choice.

I am a person who might drink a can of beer every two or three years and a bottle of wine would likely be undrinkable before I get to the bottom of the bottle.

I am not against alcohol; I just don’t have a taste for it.

However, $2 corn will take some getting used to and a shot of courage may be what I need.

Just think, after hauling your corn to the ethanol plant and selling it for half (or less) of what you sold it for only a couple years ago, you buy some ethanol in a bottle to shore up your spirits.

How about for each time I hear “new contract lows” I take a sip of coffee with an ethanol chaser?

It will be another use for corn.

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

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