Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Veteran Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?



Interesting question. In fact, I would like to pose right back to the crowd how they would define the three terms used to describe somebody in your profession.







What say you?



Senior Advisor

Grower - Producer - Farmer

Just from a quick Google search for their definitions:

Grower -- "a person who grows a particular type of crop."

Producer -- "a person, company, or country that makes, grows, or supplies goods or commodities for sale."

Farmer -- "a person engaged in agriculture, raising living organisms for food or raw materials. The term usually applies to people who do some combination of raising field crops, orchards, vineyards, poultry, or other livestock. A farmer might own the farmed land or might work as a laborer on land owned by others, but in advanced economies, a farmer is usually a farm owner, while employees of the farm are known as farm workers, or farmhands. However, in the not so distant past, a farmer was a person who promotes or improves the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention, land or crops or raises animals (as livestock or fish)."


I grew up as the son of a farmer.  In college, over 40 years ago, it often seemed the term "farmer" was used in a derogatory manner, as though we were less advanced, less intelligent, etc.  On a personal level, it wasn't difficult to prove that the assumptions of my less-rural friends were wrong, quite often performing better than most of them in various non-agricultural classes.  Still, in my agricultural classes, the trend seemed to be to minimize the term "farmer", and replace it with "grower" or "producer".  Whether or not these terms are appropriate might depend on the context within which they are used.  Personally, I prefer to be called a "farmer" -- I was raised a farmer, I am a farmer still.  When I choose to underplay my hand, or when I encounter someone I must deal with who is seemingly aloof,  I might say I am "just a farmer", but I have never actually been "just a farmer".  

Every farmer is also a grower or producer, but not every grower or producer is also a farmer.


Senior Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

While  your  wishing,    :  $9k   /  100 hp  new  tractor  &   $2900.  Schuler  feed  wagon - Smiley LOL  

0 Kudos
Senior Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

Broker    =    agent - ?  ,    middleman - ? ,   trustee  - ? 

Advisor  =   counselor - ? ,  consultant - ? ,  confidant - ? 

Great  to  light'n  the  mood ,  Mike  Smiley LOL 

0 Kudos
Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

Mike I agree with all comments so far.... often derogatory and often disrespected usually by friends who don't have the opportunity.  It offers a real "Green Acres" moment. Smiley Happy   The question revolves around choice.

Farmer=  Like current politics , the man most despised because he understands choices, has choices, and exercises choices.  Understands that he is conducting business on the land, and is willing to change and adapt when economics demand it.  Is not restrained by hours or daylight and usually makes choices in solitude.  Independent and understands the precious value of keeping choices in mind, for what is popular today will fade and wither, and change is always at hand.  A true farmer knows that he has a choice not to sell, grow, or buy.  Choices give him survival options.  He can consume or create with the things he produces if necessary.  


Producer= A producer has some variety in choice of products, but is still a producer and is out of business if he doesn't produce.  His production always needs a buyer(a market).  And has no other options.  Much more limited than a farmer.  Limited by either economics or ability.  He has one shot at survival.  Producing every year.


Grower=  Has no choice.......  He survives by doing what he is told to do by his contract.  Until its gone. and he moves on to his next employer or contract.


What say you?   Most of production ag would like to climb back up to farmer status.  Smiley Happy   

Most of the world wants to know the future and do the same thing over and over.  Most don't enjoy living in flux.  Most run away from the Risk of the Farm, and whether they verbalize it or not, most respect the have great respect for those who are comfortable with being Farmers.

Farmers won't be led around by a rope on a nose ring but they will feed you and get you on your way.....  Producers and Growers find comfort in the nose ring, can't find meaning in life without a consistent profit, and won't have time to stop and help others.

Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

Rick and the ethanol plant "rumors"    ---- Seems to me it compares to the ASF or the virus exploitation writing.

This came out in the FC Stone data today ---- Look what happened in ethanol production this last 6 months.  September through November show what harvest did to the ethanol output.... We were short corn going into harvest as we always are because we live with a 45 day supply of carry which is never in place for ethanol use when we finish the year.  Harvest was 40 to 60 days late this fall.  ethanol production reflects that harvest but look what happens from november to february 13th..... ethanol production exceeded last year by more than it was behind in sept -November.  Enough to raise the Anual grind pace "projection" beyond last year.

How does that happen with E plants shut down??  Truth is not found in the propaganda your reading.


"as of Sept. 2019 the Renewable Fuel Assoc. said there were 17 closings in 2020."  That statement is either a missquote or impossible.....

The fight over RIN issues has very little to do with demand for corn.  I think it is a logistics issue.... just as I do not believe that if all exemptions were canceled it would increase the amount the demand for corn.  Miles and freight stop grain flow.  Increased ethanol takes increased use of gasoline....if the blend is the whole story...... it is not.

Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

One other comment on "Farmers"........... We have to ask ourselves ..... Do we even care?

Don't we spend most of our time and thoughts these days in the worshop of technology that slaughters chickens so we don't have to.  Or the unmanned tractor..... or the fight for reasonably priced data.....

I think we tend to "worship" the 20,000+ acre farm that handles an $8 million cash flow with a profit margin of 2%, and ignore the 1,500 acre farm where 2 brothers and their families work out a living with multiple projects, live frugally, and share the same net profit of $160,000.  When risk and life style are factored in...... which one will survive.... or which one should.

In the US alone...... less than 5/100 of 1% of the population.... 185,000 producers and growers are producing 85% of the commodity agriculture.  Does it make sense to whittle that down to 25,000 producers supplying 350,000,000 people.(and a few others around the world).......  My friend the MD and I agree on this much, after a few decades of observation,  There is a degree of mental decay and illusion that follows success throughout society, not just in congress.  We all become excited over the bazaar.

0 Kudos
Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

Check out the "Biggest Shop" article and video from SF.

I went to the farm sale of an entity in SW Ks that had a little brother to that one 4 decades ago.  I remember thinking "I see why they failed"

There are a lot of questions that should be addressed, on that video...... but Probably just as well to let those go.....We have a lot of problems in our legal entity and "institutional" farmer issues that congress just won't deal with.  Like the heavy presence of University Endowments in Agriculture production.

Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

I don`t see anything necessarily sinister  in adding "grower and producer" to the term of farmer. Some woke folks (Democrats) replace terms  "they and them" instead of "he and she" .   A receptionist is called "administrative support" and there`s fancy terms for garbagemen and plumbers.

But farming is specialized, a "farmer" might just specifically finish hogs and not do crops at all "Pork producer" , ect.  When I see the term "grower" it`s usually filling out a Corteva Rebate form.  Because, I suppose there are "producers" that custom hire their field operations, but make decisions of inputs in addition to their Chicago Law practice. They define themselves as a "attorney" but their farms are a sideline investment/hobby.  (notice I didn`t say the attorney was a him or a her   Smiley Happy  ) .

The "seedcorn salesman" that I buy Channel are called "seedsmen"  that practice "seedsmanship". 

In the spirit of Valentines Day ♥  "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet".   Smiley Happy

Honored Advisor

Re: Ethanol plants closing?

Addendum to Growers and Producers....... 

Marketing, Price recieved for Production  is not part of the Grower, Producer choices.  The price is set by the buyer.  without exception.  The options we discuss on and call Marketing are just repackaging the set price in regards to time.

Farmers find more than one buyer or option of trading production.... For example, it can be argued that Iowa with livestock in the yard had farmers.  Iowa with exports and ethanol became producers.

And Iowa with one huge coop became Growers for a monopoly market without an option for their production.


So maybe the terminology points to a shrinking economic picture.

0 Kudos