The grain price news is mostly bad

Jim Suber: View from Rural Route 8

By A Contributor

Another week gone by and about the only good news for farmers is that maybe this summer won’t be as hot and dry, now that the federal watchers are claiming that the effects of La Nina weather should be over by the end of April.

Other than that suggested change that might bring more rain but with perhaps more violent spring storms, nothing looks very rosy when it comes to grain prices.

Still stuck holding the empty part of the bag in the MF Global Fund scandal are American producers who are groping for their share totaling $900 million. Meanwhile a reported $800 million is sequestered inside the United Kingdom. Kind of gives a new twist to the old saying from World War II the British said of our boys who spent a lot of time, lives and money helping them beat back the Nazis: “Overpaid, over here and over sexed.”

If any grain commodity right now is showing any steadfastness it might be hard red winter wheat, if only because some of the northern spring wheat farms are cutting back acreage on that and going in with soybeans instead, according to some reports.

Meanwhile, it surely seems like all spring wants to break loose around here. A drive through part of the Kansas River Valley late last week revealed not much activity. Yet, a lone tractor and its implement were doing something in one field, but I couldn’t see much through the thick cloud of dust.

I should be more positive in tone, probably. Maybe this year the feds won’t flood most of the river bottoms in the nation. And if it does happen, probably we can still blame former President George W. Bush, at least until the end of 2012.

Everyone’s sick and tired of the higher gasoline and diesel prices, and even the marketing analysts are saying that the fundamentals of supply and demand are not at work here, but instead it has been driven by speculators betting on bad things happening. So when Iran cuts off France, you and I pay.  Some folks want to convert as of last night all the diesel trucks on the highways to natural gas. They say that would darn near fix our problem of high fuel costs.

That kind of talk is too little, too late for those I know who have already made big bulk purchases for the coming season because they had to. It’s the way of things and the way it always is.

This high cost of fuel monster is going to be passed yet again up and down the lines of where we all do business. It’s a bitter pill right now for many to ingest, and I can tell you that the working man and woman who have to drive a little to show up and go home each day are not happy about it one bit.

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