The Slowdown

by James Banahan

by James Banahan

Finally.

We’re hitting the “slow” time of our agronomy season.  For the next 60 days more or less, there’s not much to do in the fields and things are actually kind of quiet really.  Maybe even peaceful.  Unless you have livestock.  Sorry.

While some of you have met with the accountant in between checking items from your honey-do lists, the general sentiment I’ve heard from the producers I’ve been visiting with is that you’re not in a big hurry.  Not in a hurry to spend more money, not in a hurry to make decisions about next year, not even a hurry to cross things off that honey-do list.

But here’s the rub: I can’t help you plan for next year if you don’t want to plan for next year.

Sooner than we want to think about—which probably accounts for our collective sluggishness—it will be time to start back to the fields.  And when you do, I’m certain that you want the best and your favorite products available.  Not to mention a bang up plan for the season.  But those things to people who plan for them.

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Consider the year we just came through and how much your rotation of crops might have or will change.  Here in Kansas, according to the producers that I’ve called on, plans for wheat acres are down 50-70% from their historic average. I highly doubt that we’re the only ones looking at some serious row crop acres next fall harvest and this change will possibly, maybe even likely, prompt inputs to work higher due to the new demand.  Starting to plan now and speaking up for the tons of fertilizer, seed hybrids, or herbicide you prefer could save you some dough if your plans preempt any price hikes.  Or to put it the other way, waiting to plan might cost you a lot more dough come spring.

I won’t lecture y’all on economics, but I will offer the gentle reminder of the huge role that the laws and forces of economics exert upon us.  Talking sooner rather than later with your FSA might help to keep those laws and forces on your side.

You’ll only spend so much on your acres.  Planning for that now might help that so much go further.  Which is called a wise investment.