Wednesday, August 6, 2014
This morning has the thickest fog of the season so far. And, according to the “lore” of the post on last Friday, this will now make for 3 snow events in January!
Yesterday, we toured the fields with our banker, Steve Blinn of Old National Bank. It was a pleasant time, and we all liked what we saw. This is typically an annual event, as we use the opportunity to discuss future trends and current challenges and opportunities. It’s a good relationship-builder. Relationships are important in the way we do business.
As we traveled around, it was helpful to discuss with Steve our shared observations about the future outlook for grain farming in SW Indiana. Present-day grain prices are a ‘downer’, and we anticipate some certain amount of difficulty if they continue at these levels for an extended period. Even so, we remain optimistic for the long-term… we try not to let our ‘highs’ get too high, nor to allow our ‘lows’ to get too low. As of yesterday’s field tour, we anticipate above average corn and soybean yields, and that will help the cause quite a bit… lowering our per-bushel costs.
As a commodity producer, the best rewards go to those with the lowest per-unit costs. We have a tradition of doing what we can to keep those costs low, but that seems not to be as easy these days as in the past. We will pare back in every way possible without damaging our productivity. Current price levels are promoting fewer corn and wheat acres for ’15. But, a lot can happen to change the situation. The time is approaching to begin making those acre-allocation decisions. Corn and soybean seed is purchased in late October or early November…and wheat is planted in late September! So, we will be working on crop budgets, checking fertilizer costs and commodity prices from now through the ’15 crop marketing year.
Schools around the area are opening their doors for the 14-15 school year. Our South Knox schools will open to students on Tuesday the 12th, with the staff organization day on Monday. As board president, I get to offer the traditional ‘welcome back’ after the noon meal. I’m looking forward to giving that short talk. There will be some new faces in the crowd and many veterans. There is always a positive atmosphere at that opening day event.
On the ‘tour’ yesterday, I identified some more roadside areas that could benefit from the bush hog. We will turn our attention to those pretty soon.
Yesterday evening we brought home our red-stripe Mack truck from the shop. The brakes work very effectively now! It still needs an A/C re-charge before harvest time, about 5 weeks away…