« From the Manager - April 2017 | Main | From the Manager - September 2016 »

From the Manager - December 2016

What a year! Who would have thought that we could harvest two excellent corn crops in a row. Last year’s corn crop was good and this year’s was better, for the most part. Plus, our soybean crop was better than a year ago. With the current market prices, big yields will be our only redeeming value. On behalf of the Employees and Directors, I would like to thank each and every one of you that helped make this a successful fall season for Equity. We handled a record amount of grain this fall. Our soybean handle was the most bushels we ever received during harvest and our corn handle was definitely way above the average of years past. Once again, THANK YOU!!!

This past week I had the opportunity to attend the CHS Annual Meeting in Minneapolis. This usually proves to be a very educational meeting in many ways. In visiting with friends and acquaintances from all over the midwest, the comments were pretty much the same. Tremendous yields, not enough storage, large ground piles, disappointing market prices, farmers selling very little corn and selling soybeans to meet their cash flow needs. Listening to the “marketing experts” did not prove to be an emotionally uplifting experience either. They all agreed we have too many bushels of both wheat and corn, and if we have a third good year, prices will tank worse than they are now. (Although they did say we have never had three years in a row of above trend line yields.) Soybeans on the other hand are commanding a much better price today, topping $10.00 on the CBOT. Even with the prices we have now, they were very skeptical of keeping prices at this level, without growing season problems in South America. Their words of advice were to either sell or watch South America very closely.

The one really “bright spot” I heard in two days at this meeting came from a geopolitical strategist, Peter Zeihan. A featured speaker, Zeihan spoke about the world and how American agriculture is and would fit into the scheme of “feeding the people”. In all honesty, he was the most optimistic speaker I have heard in the last twenty years on the future of American agriculture. Zeihan feels we are on the cusp of an agricultural boom in the U.S. as we try to feed the world. Positive comments he made about the future demand for our agricultural products centered around Southeast Asia, Mexico-Central America, Cuba, and Africa. These four areas of the world are and will continue to demand the food we raise. Cuba, he noted, is 12,000,000 new customers, anxious to improve their diets with American food. Aside from the “boom” for our agricultural products, Zeihan also noted that we are an energy independent nation, if we decide to be. Overall, Zeihan was very optimistic of the future of the USA in general and USA agriculture in particular. His underlying message was that the USA will be the world leader and leading supplier of food, if we embrace the fact that we are the most influential and blessed nation on earth.

After listening to Peter Zeihan, I am reminded that we, as a country and its citizens, are truly blessed. I think quite often we focus on the things we do not have and want, instead of the things we do have. It is not hard to look around and find more things or abilities that we think we need. The challenge is in taking inventory of the things that we do have and should be extremely grateful for. We just got done celebrating Thanksgiving. The many things we need to be grateful for is family, friends, health, safe communities, excellent crops and the freedom to enjoy our lifestyle. Be “thankful” for all that you do have!

As this year comes to an end and we get ready to celebrate the Holiday Season, remember to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas. Even though to some it may not be “politically correct”, I want you to know in “Our World” that it is “Correct” to celebrate the birth of our “Savior” and share that “Joy” with others.

Wishing you and your loved ones a “BLESSED CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR”!!!


Rod Winter
General Manager