Trip Across Big Red Country

This past week I spent time in Nebraska. Boy, the sports talk radio DJs are not kind to the coaching staff of the football team!

My first stop was in Bruning, NE, the famous little town south of York, to speak to a young farmers and ranchers school. During my travel down Highway 81 it was interesting to note how the farms are becoming larger and there are fewer farmsteads. I find that many of the producers in this area are quite progressive, taking advantage of selective technology to gain the competitive edge. It appears that the good grain producers are definitely clustering to Class I and II soils, and living in the rural trade centers that provide some or all of the demanded lifestyle amenities.

Next I was off to Kearney, NE, to conduct United Nebraska’s annual seminar for producers. It was impressive to have a number of students and professors from area colleges in attendance. Producers generally were experiencing higher profits despite the lack of moisture. The large aquifers that are as big as the Great Lakes under this area of the Midwest are providing the ingredients for success. As I drove out in western Nebraska my thoughts centered on whether this water will be sold for other uses in 10 to 20 years.

Pit Stop

If any of you get to western Nebraska, and don’t belong to PETA, stop at Ole’s Big Game Steakhouse and Lounge in Paxton for a good steak and say, hi to Tim and his brother, and visit the displays that have been assembled by the big game hunter Ole, while enjoying a meal.

Tim and his brother are examples of the new 21st century producer, i.e. the agri-entertainer. They have a farm, convenience store, bar, restaurant and now a hotel and hunting service. These guys know how to get the most out of their natural resources.

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

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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