“When fuel and fertilizer have gone through the roof like they have and they’re such a big component of corn production, I don’t know that corn prices were that high. I think other commodities are just too cheap, cotton for instance.”
Lee Denena farms in the Brazos Bottom and says that we can talk about whether five dollars or six dollars a bushel is a profitable level to grow a given commodity, but there’s one aspect of bringing in a crop most people don’t think or talk much about.
“That doesn’t take into account risk. That’s the one factor, we can sit down here and talk about how much fuel’s gonna cost, the herbicide, seed and everything else, but when you start saying that corn was too high, it shouldn’t be that high..
Denena had a suggestion for consumers that might better their understanding of the kind of hazards faced by production agriculture.
“Get you a bag of corn at one hundred and fifty dollars a bag and go plant it on three acres, and do everything you need to do to grow it, and have a wind storm come through and knock that over, which I had on some of my dry land corn, the risk factor is the one you can’t take into account.”
The fact is that it’s easy for the fruits of agriculture to be taken for granted because most of us are far removed from it.
“Look we can get into a long discussion about the consumer, and how spoiled they are to a cheap, reliable food and fiber source, but it is what it is.”
So the next time you enjoy a good meal, bring home a load of groceries, or put on a soft cotton sweater or shirt, give a little thought and thanks for the industry that was where it all started, and the entrepreneurs who were willing take the risks they face every day of the growing season.