In 2009, agricultural producers experienced a year of excesses; excessive dryness, excessive heat, and then finally excessive moisture. This time of the year farmers usually have their business plans in place, their land ready for planting, and are waiting for different crop planting windows. Joe Brown has more in this week’s From The Ground Up.
"If we just get one rain during the month of July, June or July, this year in 2010, it’ll be a good year for us basically in general compared to as bad as '08 and '09 have been. It should be a good dry land year, unless we just turn back to la Nina and it just turns out May 15th and all of the sudden we start having 100 degree days, then we’re going to have to look out again."
Jason Wendler farms and ranches in the Brazos Valley and is optimistic about 2010.
"Our input costs that we have purchased to go in with and what we’re doing for the 010 crop have been substantially less than what the '08 and '09 crop have been, so our input costs are somewhat less, and there is optimism of being able to make a crop. We saw the highest prices on commodities we’ve ever seen in '08 and part of '09, but what happened was that we weren’t able to produce those commodities."
Fall rains have kept farmers out of their fields.
"Nothing ever beats having your land prepared and in good shape and all of your fall fertilizer incorporated like you want to, to make an optimum crop, but there’s still some window, now if you’ll talk to me in 60 days and we’re still in this same situation of getting a rain once a week every week and so forth and not being able to get in the field, it’s going to be very very serious at that point."
The ample sub soil moisture should also help ranchers grow grass.
"This economy’s going to have to get a little bit better, people are going to have to get a little more optimistic in order to be able to get our beef prices to trend up. There again, if we have a little grass, at least we won’t have to spend all of our money on supplementing the feed to the animals, the cows and the calves, and so forth and should be able to raise those calves for a little bit less than what it’s been costing the last 2 years."
To make your living in production agriculture, a good dose of optimism is not only recommended, but required. I’m Joe Brown, looking at Brazos Valley agriculture, From The Ground Up.