The Road Warrior Of Agriculture


This week I was on the Oklahoma State University campus speaking to a Farm Credit Association and its Board of Directors.

It was interesting that board members dealing in livestock production were doing very well. The consensus of the group was that the cattle cycle should stay strong for another 2 1/2 years. That is, if we have no outbreak of hoof-and-mouth or mad cow disease.

On the other hand, the grains people were keeping their fingers crossed that government supports and programs would continue. All producers and lenders in the group indicated that land was overpriced and that it was extremely difficult for a young producer to get established in agriculture.

Again, water use and cost were discussed as becoming more important in the equation for profit. The oil wells are pumping strong, bringing in the non-farm revenue source.

They Scream For Ice Cream
On Friday I was on an extension assignment in which we visited Maple View Dairy Farms in North Carolina. What was impressive was that they opened a dairy store seven miles from Chapel Hill and are selling 200 gallons of ice cream made from their farm each week. At a profit of $10/gallon, this is an example of the class I call Value-Added 101.

Perspective On Social Security
I received my annual Social Security update this week. Examining the figures, I found it interesting to look at the estimates concerning benefits at the age of 62, 65, and 70. Also listed were disability and death benefits for the family. However, according to the latest estimates, 17% of Americans’ sole source of retirement income is going to come from Social Security benefits.

Agricultural producers frequently do not record these benefits because of tax strategies to minimize net incomes. The individual who really suffers is the farm wife, who often outlives the husband.

Sports Perspective

It looks like the Lakers could run the distance undefeated. They are hot!!!

Final Note
Keep sending in those comments. I am always curious to know what’s on peoples’ minds. Next week I will be in Baton Rouge with a chance to interact with 500 bankers and many leading scholars in the fields of Economics, Banking, and Business.

My e-mail address is:sullylab@vt.edu

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He currently is on sabbatical and working with the Royal Bank of Canada.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures click here

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