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View from the Cab: An early gift?

By: Kent Casson

Most farmers have already received their Christmas gift, even though it came a bit early this year.

High crop prices paired with decent yields led to record farm income for many growers in 2021. The experts say we shouldn’t get too used to the favorable ag economic conditions since input prices are skyrocketing. Now we look forward to the challenges, and hopefully rewards, 2022 will bring.

Challenges have included fertilizer costs, supply and obtaining crop production products. Due to supply concerns which have stuck around since the start of the pandemic, it will be challenging for producers to know how much to get of certain products and what the cost may be.

While input costs have doubled for some farmers, they have more than doubled for others. When you weigh everything out with $12 soybeans and $5 corn, the current conditions aren’t horrible as long as prices don’t go in the wrong direction.

“We need to just sit back and be thankful for what we’ve had this season and start putting our plans together for the next,” John Allen of Brandt Agronomic Services told me last week.

Allen hopes growers take the time to examine the practices used this year to raise a good crop and use those same methods in 2022. It is always good to plan ahead and be prepared for any changes.

I am surprised at how many farmers are still trying to finish-up field work for the year. While driving near Paxton in east central Illinois last week, I noticed someone harvesting soybeans while several chisel plows and disks were out in fields. Some were mowing around field edges with batwing mowers while others were collecting sticks and cutting leaves in the yard one final time. I guess it is hard to resist outdoor work when the weather is unseasonably warm and dry this time of year.

We still need to finish putting out the rest of our outdoor decorations on the bushes near the shed. I’m not sure what it is about this year but we can’t seem to get everything put up like in years past. Perhaps we are too busy or just looking for excuses to put it off another day. It was rather windy on a couple of the days we were going to head outside.

The last minute Christmas rush is here – let’s all try to slow down a bit and take in the sights and sounds of this most special time of year.


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