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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid