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February frustrations

We’re gathering financial data while grain markets continue to depress.

Usually by this time of year, we are ready to part with winter. This year hasn’t been all that bad. There were only two poor travel days through the basketball officiating season, and Wednesday, due to a snowstorm, was the only date with mass cancellations. The heavy, wet snow and mild temperatures left the kids outside building snowmen most of the afternoon.

While recovering from the flu this week, I finally found time to finish collecting financial info from year end to send to the banker. It was somewhat difficult to determine how much (if any) to mark down land and machinery. Apparently I wasn’t too far behind schedule; looking back at document dates, I was only a week earlier last year.

I also found the strength to finish some wiring and painting in the storage building. I’ve been waiting for some down time to catch up, I just thought it would be because of snow or cold!

The market is where frustration sets in. We just can’t seem to sustain any traction. Whether it is export inspections, China, the dollar, or crude oil, it just seems like we are anchored at these price levels. The market continues the emotional beat down. There must be some producer selling as basis levels have become stagnant.

Crop insurance is compounding the situation. With the pricing period coming to a close, revenue guarantees have once again fallen, while it seems premiums have not had a significant decline. There is no question guarantees are below breakeven levels on land that is rented or mortgaged.

Last week, we met with our agent. I wanted information on some of the companion policies which allow alternate pricing periods. For somewhere between $2 and $10, you can purchase the possibility to use pricing period(s) of your choice ranging from March until July. I have decided to use a combination of these companion policies. If it works out, the policy then uses the highest of the prices. If the fall price ends up the highest, you ‘wasted’ money on the additional premium.

I just think there has to be a bump sometime.

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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