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Corn+Soybean Digest

The Road Warrior of Agriculture

Ted Turner’s Influence on Agriculture

This past weekend while conducting a young and beginning producer conference for the Arizona and California Farm Credit associations, I was asked how Ted Turner, owner of CNN, was impacting the landscape of agriculture. Behold, the next day in Omaha, this question was part of the headlines in the Sunday newspaper!

Ted is having a major influence particularly in Nebraska. He is now the largest landowner in the Big Red State. Currently he is making a bid to acquire another large ranch that is in an estate close to his current land holdings. The unfortunate fact is that because of tax laws, the estate may have to sell the ranch rather than place it in a foundation.

The West is being bought up by the wealthy, not only for recreational purposes but also for the water rights. These very wealthy individuals are making it prohibitive for the everyday person to enter the industry.

Yes, Ted Turner and others are having an impact on the landscape and the future of our industry!

Fast Facts

  • 15% of corn produced in Nebraska is being used for ethanol. Nebraska produces nearly 10% of the corn in the U.S.
  • I was in Omaha and got to see Warren Buffet’s crowd of more than 15,000 people! I agree with him that interest rates will be on the rise, resulting from the federal deficit and inflation.
  • Will the meltdown of the Chinese banking system and economy be the Asian flu of the 2005 Era, and will we call it the “China Syndrome?” Chinese real estate is way too hot, creating a bubble.
  • Is the WTO’s ruling on U.S. cotton payments the start of the dismantling of American farm supports? Only time will tell, but don’t be surprised!

My e-mail address is:[email protected]

Editors' note: Dave Kohl, The Corn and Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.

To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.

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