Monday, December 30, 2013
Well, another year is near its end. It had significant ups and downs. For Carnahan & Sons, we celebrated our first crop from the new Burke farm. We moved up to a new and larger soybean planter. Ross got to use a new header to harvest wheat and soybeans. We installed many acres of tile drainage. We made some significant repairs to our grain conditioning and storage system. We had a really good wheat crop, even though it was harvested a little later than normal. Our soybean crop was a bit below average, but the price helped make up for the lower yield. And, we were blessed with the best-yielding corn crop of our farming careers.
As we look ahead to the new year ’14, we sense today what we always do at this time of year. Much of what we anticipate has already been put into motion– the die is pretty much cast. The ’14 wheat crop is growing and looking pretty good. The P & K fertilizers for the ’14 corn crop have been applied, and the seeds for corn and soybeans have been purchased. Yes, it would be possible to change our corn/soybean mix of acres at the last minute, if we need to respond to some wacky weather or market circumstances, but it’s not likely to change very much.
So, we wait for what our Creator brings us… will it be another wet year like ’13, a dry year like ’12, or something in between? We are hopeful for an ‘average’ year (whatever that is) and confident that we can adapt to whatever comes our way. As we do our planning each year, we work our projections and budgets based on an average-yielding crop. We try not to be pessimistic or cocky in our expectations. If the conditions turn out to be more favorable (like ’13), we rejoice in the extra blessing, and try not to think that the abundance was strictly of our own doing or expertise. Dad always warned us, “Don’t start writing checks on that crop out in the field… you don’t have it in the bin just yet.” But we do utilize an extra-good crop to make improvements to the farm, investing in things that will enhance long-term productivity– things like tile drainage, and soil conservation practices, or grain system upgrades. When the crop result is below expectations, we tighten our belts in prudent ways, and adjust our plans for the succeeding years. Because we are commodity producers, we are always looking for ways to decrease our per-bushel costs.
We look forward in hope and optimism. We trust our Maker to provide what is needed. And it will be all right with us.
Happy New Year to you all.