There are many reasons I love being involved with agriculture and food. Among them, the fact that agriculture is a core industry – one that keeps evolving, keeps innovating, and will continue to be a foundation for our country and the people of this world who need to eat.
Put simply, agriculture is a true contributor to the health and well-being of our society and the wealth of our country. Or put even more simply, it is a value creator.
Here’s an e-mail I recently received from a person in the cow-calf business:
“Why would a young guy ever want to get into beef cows? We are being challenged in many ways: shortage of feed, expensive feed, cropper guys are bidding 2-3 times on the rent for our pastures and hay ground, and we are growing old as an ag sector… John, why would a young guy ever want to get into beef cows?” Signed, poor old beef cow guy.
So much information, all the time. We are positively drowning in it.
Don’t get me wrong: information is critical to a farming operation. But the real value isn’t in the news itself, not in the many facts or opinions or speculation flowing your way every second of every day. I believe the real value is in the filter: making the connections between the information that matters, drawing out the insight where possible, and letting the rest go.
In recent newsletters for our subscribers, I predicted that the drought-driven bull markets would eventually attract a lot of media coverage. Coverage about the drought’s impact on food prices. About food security. About climate change, even.
The current market situation is a historic one: we are seeing devastating drought in the US, but good crops in Canada. Disaster for American farmers, bounty for Canadians. Dramatic upward revisions for crop profits are taking place. This week saw one of the biggest rallies ever for corn futures; soybean futures were driven to the highest level in four years and came within 20 cents of their record high; and wheat futures jumped the most in 16 years.