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Veteran Advisor

Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

For much of our memory of U.S. agriculture, farming used diverse practices.  In an attempt to use every resource, every bit of ground, every family member and every market, farms often grew many products.  Of course, in some areas there was only one thing to do - graze catte or sheep, grow wheat and so forth.  But in many areas, up until recent times farms grew nearly all their own food.  They had cattle, hogs, chickens, horses, sheep, geese, and grew corn, oats, timothy, wheat.  Farm families worked all year round at something.

 

If one enterprise went bad, often something else propped the farm up.  Granted, not always, but often.

 

Now, we are a monoculture.  Corn and soybeans.  Wheat.  Rice.  We've gotten so good at doing some things that we feel we can't stay diverse.

 

So we live and die on one or two products.  We got ourselves into this mess and we can't get out.

 

Along comes different trade rules and we're unable to adapt.  

 

Is this Darwinism at work?  

 

Does the government owe us a stable economic environment so that we can tweak and fine tune our corn production?  Or does the government just owe us an opportunity to produce what the consumer wants , even if that means some lean years when we're out of whack?

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24 Replies
Veteran Contributor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

Race to the bottom. Without the economies of scale our farmers couldn't compete against farmers overseas, and we can't revert back to subsistence farming now. Just too late in the game and the economies of scales for these products have been developed in other countries as well. You mention diversifying, but don't mention organic, non-gmo, and niche crops. This is the only way out for the modern economy of scales, you have to differentiate yourself just like any other product. 

 

I'm of the belief that the government doesn't owe us anything, except for potential opportunity. 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

While  visiting  some  folks  in  Northern  &  Central  Indiana  it  is  prevalent  those  folks  have  not  fall'n  into  the  mono  culture  destiny  -  -  -

 

 This  area  around  US  20  &  US  30  corridor  -   -   - 

 

High  presence  of  livestock  -  VERY  LITTLE  Nuisance  observed  -  in  comparison  of  some  states  to  the  west  ?          

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

WHO    R    THESE   oversea's  competitors  -  South America -  where  seed  was  priced  well  under  the  USA  seed  price  ? 

 

So   raising   5000  acres  of   something  at  a  20  %  under  cost  of  production  is  WHAT  ? 

 

Looking  at  forecast  for  2019  - what  is  your  break  even  ? 

 

Please  -  Explain  your  last  sentence   92  ?      

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Advisor

Re: it appears your version of supposed govt

Rules is the same....the govt owes, it owes, it owes.

 

 

What would happen if the govt just protected the shores and delivered the mail?

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Veteran Advisor

Re: it appears your version of supposed govt

NO  Schools  

 

No  Roads

 

No  Ports 

 

No  Broadband   for  Rural  Land 

 

No  Brand  Inspection 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

The "overseas competitor" is the BTO neighbor that has 20,000 acres and buys seed, fertilizer and chemicals 50% cheaper than you and if you have the volume to sell corn and beans in 100,000 bushels slugs, there`s a premium over the guy selling grain one 200 bushel Parker box at a time.   The "Walmartization of agriculture", it sucks but it`s the rules of the game for some time now.  And still some wonder why the small rural towns are boarded up and empty, no young person in their right mind won`t want to crawl into that snake pit to make a living.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

Lack of reality here

Those glamorous diversified farms of bygone, failed at a 70% rate.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

For a variety of reasons.
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Honored Advisor

Re: Changing The Rules In The Middle Of The Game

SW, volume is rewarded in today`s economy including agricultural specialization.  You might not like the economist that explained it  Smiley Happy  but he did give a simple explanation.  

 

 

See the source image

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