Friday, December 10, 2010

Got Corn?

Being a farmer is tough these days. In addition to contending with volatile and often adverse conditions from Mother Nature, today's farmers have to navigate a maze of federal regulations for everything from carbon footprints to chemical usage. And then, after the farming is done and the crop is harvested, the choices and related pitfalls of the various marketing strategies can prove to be their undoing even after a successful harvest. But farmers in Nebraska continue to do what they do best - grow excellent crops. As can be seen from these pictures of corn storage. Above is the pile of corn just east of the elevator in Sutherland.
Above is protected storage as well as corn on the ground just outside of Hershey.
This pile of corn is just west of the elevator in North Platte. You can also see two alternative corn storage facilities just behind it.
The above massive pile of corn is shown from the Poplar Street viaduct in North Platte, just east of the elevator.
Above is the huge pile of corn on the ground on the outskirts of Paxton, Nebraska.

For once, corn prices have risen to a sustainable level for farmers. While the current high prices are being blamed for everything from famine and food shortages worldwide to high food prices here in the U.S., the current prices represent a very small profit margin for farmers, who usually produce their crops at a loss.

Raw materials in the form of corn, wheat, soybeans and other commodities reflect a very small portion of the food we purchase to put on our tables. Most of the cost comes from transportation, processing and packaging. Everyone along the line needs to make a profit. Farmers are generally the ones who are short changed, and also the ones to be unjustifiably blamed when prices rise.

Ah well, the above pictures represent a bountiful harvest here in Nebraska, and I hope across the entire U.S. corn belt. Now the process starts all over again with planning and preparation for the spring planting season. Such is the life of a farmer.

Thanks for stopping by. The coffee is always on.

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