Southern Spotlight: Chin Up

James Banahan

James Banahan

I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had this week alone about the prospect of not making any money in 2015.  I don’t know—maybe it’s the cold driving morale so low because the facts suggest otherwise.  As I’m writing this, December delivery on the Chicago board of trade, corn is selling at $4.25, soybeans at $10.25.  In the last 40 days or so, corn has rallied 60 cents a bushel and soybeans $1.25.  These are good signs!

I think that we paid a lot of attention to this year’s markets, which weren’t so friendly to us all, and we’re still a little peeved about high input prices.  And sure, focus on those two things, and you’re certain to have a pretty dismal day indeed.

So look to the future for a little hope.  Next year’s markets are looking up.  In fact, the cash price today is $3.52.  So it’s not $7, but it’s a good bit better than the $3.26 we got for the 2014 crop.  The markets right now are providing you an opportunity—you might look at locking in a floor and take some of the uncertainty out of your life rather than taking a firm price later.  If you’re still balking at fertilizer and seed prices, it might be just the peace of mind you need to move forward on these important purchases.

Now, I realize that the numbers I’m playing with here probably aren’t making any of you swoon.  You want to hear that the price of corn has doubled; the price of fertilizer has fallen by half.  I get it.  But like I said, I’m talking about facts here, and while these facts might not call for a bottle of bubbly, they do merit at least a sigh of relief.  If selling at $3.52 is the worst decision you make for 2015, I have to point out that you’re doing pretty darn good.

If the facts aren’t cutting it for you though, I might appeal to your sense of perspective.  I think I’ve made the appeal to y’all before to think of the money leaving your wallets not as expenditure but as investment.  That’s true.  Today I’ll tell you to take it one step further: expenditure or investment—quit thinking about that altogether and look to the return.  It takes money to make money.  Each dollar that leaves your pocket, so long as you’ve made good decisions and did your homework, is going to come back to you, and it’s going to bring friends.

You can’t save your way into prosperity, ladies and gents.  (So, by the by, passing on fertilizer or underfertilizing—neither are doing you any favors.)

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If you do have questions about any of this, we of course want you to have all the info you need before making any decisions, so talk to your Field Sales Agronomist.  They’ve got the info you need on things like input prices and can put you in contact with our grain marketing department if your questions tend that direction.  The weekly newsletter from our ProEdge people also has all sorts of meaty info on all things grain and is a resource at your disposal.

I can’t predict what the next 400 days might bring, but I can see what the last 40 did.  And I tell you that they give us reason to be jollier than we’ve been.  The news is good right now.

Say it to yourself again:

The news is good right now!