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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid