When prices go up and down, sometimes without reason, we call it “volatile.” When we can explain it, we describe cycles and retracements and corrections. We have a basket full of adjectives to describe the chicken-entrail sketching on our charts. This market we just describe as erratic.
I have a new favorite bird — the northern saw-whet owl. Until last week, I’d never seen one in the wild. But on Wednesday, Joey Herron invited me to his banding station at Valley Falls State Park, just east of Fairmont, W.Va. “That storm on the East Coast,” he told me, “is going to push […]
Each week Farm and Dairy challenges readers to identify a small tool or gadget (or at least ‘hazard a guess’ as to its use).
If idle hands are the devil’s workshop, idle thoughts are, what, the product of a devil’s advocate? Maybe, but one election result from early November leaves plenty of room for thought, idle or otherwise. On Nov. 3, Ohio voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 2, a statehouse-directed ballot initiative to create a “Livestock Care Standards Board.” The […]
Last week I suggested that mandatory national service in one of many different fields would be a good way to bridge the gap between high school and the real world. Furthermore, I suggested that FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) be resurrected as a form of national service. My perspective was to provide a work force […]
“The bright sun filtered through the clouds, warming the fields of alfalfa that my father was mowing. Within a day or two it would be put into bales of hay, gathered from the field, stored in the hay loft and used to feed our livestock. I stood at the fence line with the lunch my […]
Our sixth-grade son, Wonderboy, has gone to camp. Camp being yet another thing the school district cooked up specifically to test me. Much like the whole “Fifth graders totally belong in middle school with big giant huge children who look like they eat fifth graders for mid-morning snack!” They have helpfully decided that in sixth […]
I’m not a Scrooge, really, I’m not. So I can’t blame it on the upcoming holiday season. Maybe it’s just because I’m getting old(er). Or maybe I just need more chocolate. But for whatever the reason, I seem to be getting less tolerant of some of the news that crosses my desk. For example, there […]
USDA released the Sunday night Crop Progress Report Monday after the close, and it was not pretty. Harvest still drags on, and rain coming into the Midwest this week will not help. Thanksgiving will come and go with corn, and even soybeans, still in the fields. One of the biggest traditions of my youth was […]
If Walmart were in the cattle business, it would probably serve as an operating definition of “least-cost producer.” People might refer to its cowherd enterprise as the model for slashing expenses. That’s the way to make more money in this margin business, isn’t it? The simple economic equation is income minus expenses equals profit, so […]