Today’s barely functioning cash grain and livestock markets will soon be getting their price signals from the world’s largest single, for-profit, around-the-clock money, grain, meat and metals futures trading operation.
One fine spring evening 35 or so years ago, I rang the doorbell of the home of the young lady I intended to ask to a high school dance. After a short pause, the front door opened to frame her father, his bare feet and a can of refreshment in the doorway. Momentarily stunned at […]
If either you or I get in a high-stakes poker game and we lose our shirts, an absolute certain bet is that the government will not bail us out.
When a former National Football League player known for his dirty play was asked if he ever “threw” a game — purposely helped the opposing team win — the player replied by stating the obvious.
A furrowed brow and clenched teeth usually accompany the phrases “Officer, you’re right,” and “I don’t know.” The former hasn’t split my lips since, oh, probably 1974, but the latter is quickly becoming a staple of daily conversations with farmers and ranchers emailing or telephoning to ask how long today’s grain and land markets can […]
History doesn’t record who first uttered the ageless business maxim that “Time is money,” but a good bet might be a meatpacker because minutes and hours, like cattle and hogs, are valuable commodities under constant assault by packers. As such, the most efficient packer — or, as they say in the business, the one that […]
Be it bird hunting in Minnesota or vote hunting on Capitol Hill, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson is seen as a straight shooter of both pheasants and fools.
An unwritten motto of a former employer, market adviser Professional Farmers of America, was that it’s easier to turn journalists into economists than economists into journalists.
One of the oldest truisms in agriculture noted that “when farmers make money, everybody in town makes money.
While other prophets and forecasters fill the first week of January – and endless inches of newspaper space – with predictions of what will happen this year, permit me 600 or so words to predict what won’t happen in 2008.
Every fence or barn built by a rancher, every tractor purchased by a farmer is an act of faith in the future because that fence, barn or tractor is an investment in 20, 30, maybe even 50 years of tomorrows.
‘Tis the warm-wish sending season; the once-a-year time when family, friends and former neighbors post colorful cards and newsy letters to the lovely Catherine and me detailing their lives since last Christmas.
Of the many memories I have of Christmas on the farm, I don’t have a single memory of ever telling Santa what I wanted for Christmas.
Before the cheerless rush to abandon Washington, D.C. hits, here are a few suggestions for our hired hands in Congress on what they should not give farmers, ranchers and the rest of us in rural America this holiday season.
Even by its Olympic standards for hyperbole and hypocrisy, the performance of the U.S. Senate during the fruitless, pre-Thanksgiving farm bill debate was breathtaking.
Despite Thanksgiving’s late November arrival, neither we nor the neighbors of the southern Illinois farm of my youth were done with harvest by the harvest holiday.
In the science of agronomy, no more sacred ground exists than that of the Morrow Plots, a hemmed-in acre in the middle of the University of Illinois campus that, since 1876, has been under continuous corn production.
If you tuned into the webcast debate of the Senate Ag Committee approving its long overdue 2007 farm bill Oct.
Before a months-long summer slips into a months-long winter, it’s time to use this week or two interlude – formerly called fall – to sweep my office.