This famous line modified from the movie Apollo 13 is very appropriate given the current agricultural economic environment. Grain and row crop producers are experiencing the brunt of the blow while many of the livestock sectors have been experiencing relatively profitable economic conditions. Let’s explore the challenge parallel to Apollo 13. Every problem creates opportunity for innovation. If you recall, duct tape was used as a means of solving the issue on the spacecraft.
Examining the University of Minnesota’s Center for Farm Financial Management (FINBIN) data illustrates the extent of the issue on a historical basis. The grain industry go-go years of 2007 – 2012 may be best described as an economic irregularity set up by the convergence of timely events. The emerging nations’ rapid economic growth, the Federal Reserve lowering interest rates and value of the dollar, encouraging exports, biofuel mandates, and weather were perfect conditions for record profits in the grain sector.