INTUITION IS OVERRATED

To the Editor:
I am going to keep this brief, though I believe I could run on about this theme regarding your magazine almost cover to cover.

I was specifically incensed with the piece by Edward Clark, the pseudo-psychologist (Are You Hardwired For Marketing?, page 30, August 2005). If “Sensors” we farmer/producers are, so be it. If “Intuitives” they are, who gadfly in the halls of the CBOT, apparently with a large window to look out to see if it is raining on the windy streets of Chicago, so be it. But please don't get so condescending as to imply that “Sensors” are so impaired that they cannot recognize a market that refuses to pay even our “out-of-pocket” expenses.

We are fully aware of the risks we take to provide these “Intuitives” with an actual product to trade. And we are sick of being hyped up to our eyeballs about the benefits of hired market managers and their advice regarding the futures. These guys don't have even a toe in the terrible pool of risk that their clients are drowning in.

A Sensor can observe the wild abandon with which Intuitives flash a day-and-a-half of glimmerings of reasonable market trend and just as quickly knock the slats out from under it.

It is amazing, there are so many of us pushing this product and we are astonished to realize that there is actually a glut.

I would like to offer you an analogy. Suppose the USDA had the automotive industry under its tender wing and began to subsidize all the would-be auto producers (God knows, we have too many even now.). What do you suppose that market would look like in the next few years? What corporate colossus (read Syngenta, Monsanto …) would be standing by to pick up all the failed mortgages?

And don't think for a moment that I have a teardrop to shed for all those optimistic Brazilian Sensors. (See “2005 In Brazil,” August, page 27.)

At some point, before all my working capital is exhausted, the risk taker in me will say: Enough. No seed or fertilizer purchases this year. The economics will be the better for it. How's that for intuition?
George Webster
West Salem, WI

CONFIRMED GLYPHOSATE-RESISTANT PIGWEED

Researchers with the University of Tennessee (UT) Agricultural Experiment Station and UT Extension have confirmed that two populations of Palmer pigweed have survived properly applied applications of glyphosate. The weeds populations exist in West Tennessee in Lauderdale and Crockett counties.

“In some ways the Palmer pigweed appears to be similar to glyphosate-tolerant horseweed/mare's tail,” says UT weed scientist Tom Mueller.

These findings provide confirmation of an announcement earlier this year by University of Georgia scientists and Monsanto.

More details on this finding and recommendations on how to deal with glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed are available at: http://UTcrops.com.

5% BUMP IN CORN BIOTECH ACRES

The total percentage of biotech corn acreage rose to 52% in 2005, a 5% increase from 2004, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The categories of biotech corn used by NASS are: insect resistant (Bt), herbicide resistant and stacked gene varieties.

According to the NASS survey, South Dakota leads the nation with 83% of its corn acreage planted to biotech hybrids. Nebraska is second at 69%.

Every state increased its biotech acreage by at least 3%, says Darren Ihnen, chairman of the National Corn Growers Association Biotech Working Group.