So far in 2010, the only decision being made on farms is to be indecisive. It has been an unbelievable spring of yes…no…maybe…no….yes….i have no idea!!! Sometimes I wish that farmers had the decisiveness of cattlemen in their unshattered confidence that things will get better and having conviction is allowable.
The early cropping favourites in North America has been corn, soybeans, lentils and canola depending on where you live in North America. Outside of that the pickings for farmers has been all over the map. There are many acres in play depending on where you farm because of the poor commodity prices and the reduction in winter wheat planted in the fall of 2009.
As a seed retailer, one of things that I do a lot of is help customer devise their cropping strategy based on the farmers goals. It has been a struggle to find black margins within the traditional rotation which caused some to experiment with non-traditional crops for the area of the farm. For example, there will definitely be an increase in the amount of soybeans in Southern Alberta.
Sometimes I think that this spring is an example of the trappings of group think. Many farmers go to the coffee shop and hear nothing but indecision from their buddies and this creates an atmosphere of further indecision. I was talking to a friend of mine that farms in North Dakota who is always quick to make decisions and even he is participating in the indecisiveness of 2010. Apparently it is contagious. In many areas planting is underway and so as is the case every year you have to plant something. I would encourage you to ignore all the noise around you and make your cropping decisions based on what is best for your operation. Based on things like, price outlook, soil conditions, moisture available, inputs needed, storage capacity required and marketing timing. These are the same factors you base your decision on every year but sometimes a reminder is good. Take a deep breath and remember that making decisions is not a sign of weakness but more so conviction on proper analysis.