Jun 15, 2022
Monday, June 15, 2022
Greetings from the Heart of the Red River Valley!
We can FINALLY say that seeding ’22 has officially ended! I felt like this spring went on forever but in actuality, this crop was seeded in 10-14 days. There will be some seeding of potholes and edible beans, but the planters for the most part are back to the shed.
The transition from spreading fertilizer to spraying of crops was overnight and, in some cases, we had both going on at once.
In Monday’s progress report in North Dakota, spring wheat was 91% seeded vs. 100% last year and 5-year average of 97%. Corn is 90% seeded vs 100% last year and 97% average. Soybeans were 75% seeded vs. 97% last year and behind the 5-year average of 94%.
After a cold April and May we have a heat blast coming! Forecast has 100* degree heat coming into our area over the weekend. Hopefully our emerging crops can withstand these high temperatures.
With late planting across the Northern Plains, concerns shift to the need for an extended harvest season. According to some experts, the fall weather picture is still a little cloudy. La Nina will play a role in the fall weather. We’re going to have a high frequency of precipitation in the latter part of the summer. That humidity will counter the lingering La Nina.
This past week Moni & I celebrated our “45th” wedding anniversary. We were married June 10, 1977. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. I started my career in the ag business in July of 1977. She has been at my side my entire career. We all know about how important a farm wife is to farmer and the sacrifices she makes to make the marriage work and how her strength is critical to the success of the operation. The same can be said for the spouses of us involved in retail agriculture. They also have had to put up with late suppers, missed events and our crabbiness because of stress of the job. I am so thankful I have such a strong, caring and understanding partner in this journey. I would not be here if not for Moni.
The United States is committed to help Ukraine move grain out of its storage facilities to help feed the world, according to statements made by President Biden on Tuesday. The U.S. will help build temporary storage silos on both sides of Ukraine’s border with Poland. This would allow Ukraine trains to be more efficient in moving grain to the West, allowing cars to quickly unload and return for more grain. It still doesn’t necessarily get the grain to Romanian or other ports any quicker, but it does help speed the process of moving grain away from Russian aggressors, while also helping to relieve a tight storage situation within Ukraine as the 2022 harvest begins. My opinion that the world has no margin for error on continued stressful weather in India, Europe and the US and hopes for any normal grain trade from Russia and Ukraine are misguided. Ukraine announced this week 2.4 million hectares of winter grains will not be harvested this year due to the Russian invasion, while it has also stated previously that we can expect a significant reduction in winter crop acreage planted next year.
The Fed raised its benchmark interest rate by 75 basis points, doubling the rate at this meeting. It means odds of a similar rate hike will happen at next month’s meeting, with expectations that will be followed by a 50-basis point rate hike in September.
Cash prices at Valley United Co-op: wheat $11.57, New Crop $11.47; corn $7.30, New Crop $6.66, and soybeans at $14.75 with New Crop at $14.75.
In closing, I am including a letter from a farm wife to her husband. Kate Lambert is farmwife from Missouri. She gave me permission to add her letter to the Ramble.
I need you to hear something right now. I need you to hear this loud and clear - I’m so sorry for everything this year has thrown at you. I’m so sorry for all the things you cannot control that put so much weight on you. But hear me - YOU are not defined by this year’s crop. Or this year’s income. Or this year’s “success”.
You are not the farm. You are more than the farm.
I saw you leave again this morning, smiling, but still carrying the stress. I know the first thing you did was drive down by the creek to see how much the water has receded. After you do chores in flooded pastures, you’ll sit with your dad to try and figure out what fields might dry out the fastest and what, if anything, can be done while you wait.
You’ll run the numbers another time or two, to see if it all makes sense. You’ll run through the calendar a few more times, to count down how many days you have left to get caught up on work. We both know you’re never going to be caught up.
You’re standing there, facing wet fields and a crop that may not generate enough income to cover its own expenses, hay fields that can’t be cut, and calves that don’t quit eating just because it’s wet. In your head, you’re hearing the clock - tick, tick, tick - counting down the hours you’ve got to do the work you’re so far behind on.
I know, that even though you keep smiling and laughing, the stress is getting heavier each day. I see it in your eyes. I feel it in the way you toss and turn all night.
So, I need you to hear me again - YOU ARE NOT THE FARM.
You are a man who works harder than anyone I know. You are a man who is honest to a fault. You are a man who always finds new ways, better ways. You are a man who can keep the big picture in mind while maintaining laser focus on the details. You are a man who quietly, and humbly, prays for God to help you on the tasks he’s laid before you.
You’re a husband. A father. A son. A brother and an uncle. You are a farmer, a damn good one too, but you are not defined by the farm.
Your family and friends - we love you, regardless of your corn yield or planted acres or the price you sell your calves for.
We will get through this year - one, rainy, wet day at a time. Together, with the strength and guidance of God, we will get through this.
This letter could apply to either partner. Women also need to know they are not the farm.
With that, have a great balance of the week.
If God brings you to it, he'll bring you through it.............
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