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Black Swan?

are the current whiz kids in marketing old enough to remember why corn yields were depressed severely in the early 1990's, and a parallel event or events that is going on in the world right now?

Hint....Philippines Mt. Pinatubu ….and Australian wildfires.....what do you think all that ash in atmosphere is going to do to crop yields from the current volcano?

I remember how bad one of those years were , I think it was 1991, and how lucky I was...I had just went from six row equipment to 12 row, got my crops planted timely as it was, got 150 bpa corn and 50 bpa soybeans after shipping all the 105 day corn back and replacing it with 95 day type corn....Pioneer 3751 was the hero I think.

Lots of unplanted fields, and 40-40-40 corn disked up that fall....set the stage for the rally to $5 which back then was unbelievable.


20 Replies
Honored Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

What a wonderful entry......   Black swans....... the ever dangerous "unexpected"..........

Do they result in higher prices.......... better crops....... or just anxiety because we were not prepared for it.  (we leave that to congress Smiley Happy )

1.  WW2........ higher priced crops eventually......after we sacraficed half a billion lives world wide over a 40 year span.

2.  Stock market crash and economic depression world wide ......... grain prices lost 90% of value..... 

3. Mt. St. Helen's.......... Not sure It can be seen on the grain charts..... probably not a black swan unless you live and die by headlines or on the southeast slope of it.  

4  The plague ...... maybe but probably an expected back in the days of early social medicine.  "A group chant" similar to what congress has given us.

5   The internet gone in a blip .................Government shut down,  cell phone termination,  steering wheel dependency ---- grain markets fall.  Records gone   transactions stop.   Grain prices don't exist.  Markets gone.  Cash is king and no one really has any.   IRS recovers first and goes paper. ........... all data destruction.  No more pictures of great sunsets.  Only one God left to communicate with.   or all good.?????????

6.    Death of a child........ yours or if your one of the 20% that takes care of others, your neighbors.  Well maybe that's not a black swan since we all know that is the end game.....just came way too early.  Maybe this should be........

6a.   Death of love.......when marriage is just a contract for common good and no one sacrafices for anything.  Is that Full socialism..... where givernment does all the caring and we get banned from bell ringing and group prayer?  Whatever form sports will be there for us to cry about.

7  What is a black swan event.......... just a journalist's catchy phrase?  What we get when we expect every crop to be emaculate?  Or IMO it might be the unexpected event that takes the individual out of his career?  death, divorce, 9th Circuit's swing of its sickle, most often crop failure(here this time instead of over there at poor joe's).  I personally think the big black swans happen close to home.  The others we need to keep in perspective......... otherwise we become nitwits.... usda candidates..... telling each other how wonderful we are and how big the next crop will be.  

We have failed to teach mellinials most of the basics......... the ones we forgot.


Ash in the atmosphere is a good thing long term...... (notice how many homes we burn in california and Australia recently and has there been one article about "where we choose to build homes"  )  we have a wonderful filtering system called weather that constantly cleans the atmosphere.  cooler. wetter, hotter, windier than normal is all part of the system we CANNOT control, but only marvel at its efficiency---the gift to mankind, that we can neither create or reproduce.

Take heart, if you still have one after farming for most of a lifetime, when it happens--- the next big one after it won't be all that big of a deal.  We need a black swan occasionally to realize that congress can't fix everything.



Veteran Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

This was the Taal Volcano eruption from the other day (Sunday).  Ash fired 55,000 feet into the stratosphere.  They think there may be an even bigger eruption over the next few weeks.

And this is Hawaii on January 13.... 4+ snow drifts

hawaii snow big island, hawaii snow big island january 2020, hawaii big island flooding, hawaii snow big island video, hawaii flooding big island

Saudi Arabia on January 10, 2020

....multiple scientific sources are saying by 2024, food will be very, very expensive because of lack of long-enough grow seasons due to things like increasing volcanic explosions. 

I know today's generation(s) of folks don't believe that the sun is the main driver of Earth's climate, but they will figure it out for themselves soon enough. 

Veteran Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

Will be interesting to watch where the ash and particles from the volcano go with the upper level winds.

Especially if there is a major eruption as some are forecasting.

Being that Taal volcano is about 14 degrees north of the equator it may have an effect on the US but a good polar vortex should push it south of us.  Bring on the cold air!!

Australia's fires are a southern hemisphere issue and the smoke is already having an impact in South America.

The Coriolis Effect should limit any effect on the northern hemisphere.


Veteran Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

Most people don't realize that at as of Jan 7, 2020, more than 180 people had been arrested in Australia on arson charges for starting many of those Australian bush fires in the past year.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

Also heard reports from down under that the fires in 2009 were worse.

Lots of info and links to be found thanks to the BBC along with local Aussie & New Zealand sources.

Fewer "filters" that way.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

If arsonists and human activity to save the Kangaroo Rat and such caused these fires, will that be the loophole to call all that wildfire & volcanic ash/carbon in the air "manmade"?   After all these are the same one`s spinning that "Trump was to blame for the Ukrainian airline being shot down in Iran".

Honored Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

Black swan ???  I tend to think this is all part of the system we didn't build, can't change, and so far, are still learning a very few basics of the worlds climate"programming".  But we do know the colors match on a few of the edge pieces.

Taal volcano is captivating.  An island in a lake, in the middle of an Island in the Phillipine chain of islands.  It's beautiful, and fun to watch.  (We gotta wonder when some of our less knowledgeable in the press will start chanting to throw a young Swedish girl into the hole to appease the environmental gods.)  Is the lake fresh water or salt?  So far it appears that everything coming out is destine for the jet stream, not much to build a volcano so far, but wow on the electrical generation by static electricity.  (I was once told that locally in the dust bowl days, tumbleweeds set fires and could knock men off their feet.  The cars in the dust cloud never crashed because the ignition was distorted by static elec.  They stopped running.)

That Hawaii picture of snow is probably true every year since it is likely above 13K feet elevation.  (Hawaii is the 6th tallest state of the 50, and has a mean elevation higher than 97% approx. of the state of Kansas. Same as the Hugoton Ks area.  That is how massive their little volcano is.   But while your marveling at the amazing system we live under, keep in mind that that little nearly 14K volcano on the Big Island ( which began another 20K feet below the surface of the water and didn't just start a few decades ago).  It is unfortunate to have to point that out because some body in the education system(many somebodies), somewhere in the world is convincing 16 year old spoiled children that earthquakes and volcano's are active because of man's burning of fossil fuels in the last 150 years.  And worse than that --teaching children that if they enslave themselves to a political cause, they can change the earths future .

Totally backwards.  We are watching human behavior self destruct, as the world continues to clean up the messes in its amazing and wonderful system of cleanse, replenish, and renew as needed........ we won't live long enough to ever fully understand the process, even as a society, but every time we invent some simple idea, or live through another self imposed dilemma, the con men and con women come out of the woodwork and take out the weak minds from the herd.  Just another survival of the fittest exercise among the dumb animals of this earth.

If Iowa (one of the lowest 3rd of our state elevations) just had a volcano, somewhere around Des Moines.  We could cover Chicago in ash.  It would probably raise the farm land values.  We could sacrafice our equipment mortgages in it.  Scald our chickens---- and once every four years ................ you guessed it.......... appease the Gods with political candidates.



Veteran Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

It wasn't the presence of snow in that area that surprised the folks in Hawaii, it was the 4-foot snow drifts that blocked them from entering buildings.  Smiley Wink



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Veteran Advisor

Re: Black Swan?

Couple pics from volcanoes closer to home - taken @ MacKenzie Pass west of Bend, OR.

You can see the 3 Sisters, Broken Top, Mt. Jefferson and on a clear day Mt. Hood among others.

Always some volcano blowing somewhere.  It's when one like Yellowstone goes we'll have a "black swan".

Mac Pass-1.JPGMac Pass-2.JPG