News / USA

Outlook Positive for Farmers as Commodity Prices Remain High

Outlook Positive for Farmers as Commodity Prices Remain High
Outlook Positive for Farmers as Commodity Prices Remain High

Multimedia

Kane Farabaugh

Farmers across the United States are heading to the fields to plant crops at a time when commodity prices are rising as global demand surges.  Many farmers are hopeful this year's crop could be one of the best on record.

Farmer Monty Whipple is several weeks behind schedule.  Rain and cold temperatures delayed plans to start planting in the middle of April.  But Whipple is making progress, thanks to a heat wave in the Midwest state of Illinois.

"If we get all this corn planted here in the next week or so, I'm not too concerned about it," Whipple explained.

Whipple is planting corn at a time when demand for his product is strong.  While demand is up, so is the cost of doing business.

"All commodity prices are high," he added.  "Cotton is exceptionally high.  Commodities such as oil obviously, exceptionally high, all the talk about high fuel costs and gasoline costs and so on."

Farming is a family tradition for Whipple.  He tends to fields once harvested by his father and uncle.  The farmer says when they lived off the land the demand for their goods was primarily domestic.  But in a global economy, the business of farming has changed.

"It's no longer a U.S. economy, or U.S. demand," Whipple noted.  "It's a worldwide demand, and as we've seen over and over again, partially because of our own doing by buying Chinese products, by buying products made in Vietnam and India - foreign countries - Korea, we're making their middle class, so called, more affluent."

That new, affluent middle class Whipple refers to is fueling the demand for his crop.

"For the last three years, world consumption has outpaced world production," noted Matthew Pierce who watches commodity prices for GrainAnalyst.com.  "We now need to take a look at the changing diet of the world, specifically China and India once again, and look at how are we going to gain more acres either in the United States, Brazil or Argentina.  Those are the only three countries that can truly produce and produce at a consistent rate where the world can count on it."

Pierce says until that acreage is identified, demand for corn, wheat, and soybeans from U.S. farmers should remain high.  And that translates into more money when it comes time to sell the commodities, particularly this year.

"Farmers domestically in the United States should see one of the banner years they've had in their entire career," added Pierce.  "We have strong basis, we have incredible demand, and we have acreage right now that offers nothing but upside incentive for the farmers."

As Monty Whipple looks to the future, when his crops head to market, he is mindful of the past.  He says he isn't taking the high prices for granted.

"The first thing that goes through your mind when you are out planting is, you know, am I doing the best job I can to get the most out of this crop," said Whipple.  "I mean every year is different.  Just because you had a great year last year, there are so many unknowns every year in farming."

What is known is that corn, soybean, and wheat prices are high.  But the great unknown every farmer faces - and in some cases can dread - is the weather, and whether or not there is an abundant crop to harvest in the fall.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid