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

ASEAN Ministers Set to Push for South China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs