By Risë Labig, OCJ marketing specialist
Since I joined the Ohio’s Country Journal and Ohio Ag Net Team over eight years ago, I have enjoyed penning an article, in the spring and fall. Last spring I didn’t get an article written because the husband broke his ankle, and it was an unprecedented season of wet weather that had all of us wondering whether, for the first time ever, a crop could truly get planted.
Last season has taught us that the impossible is possible, and even probable. One of the great strengths of those in agricultural production is that handling risk is such an everyday part of our lives. We don’t often give it extra thought or allow it to overwhelm us. We keep on keepin’ on.
After last spring/summer, we were amazed that we could plant crops that late and still have good yields. It’s given us a sense of comfort as we approach this current season. I am guessing I won’t be alone in my thinking if I say that in some ways, last spring’s inundating rains almost seems “easy” compared to what many of us are facing this season: milk being dumped, livestock production experiencing record low prices and packing houses closing indefinitely. Will there be more transportation issues affecting food production that affects us all somehow?
Commodity prices are in the tank, and if the March 31 planting intentions report pans out, record corn production (on top of tons old crop corn stored and unpriced) will only degrade the market further. Should we switch corn acres to bean acres? What works best for MY farm?
I’m fortunate to be part of a great team that I can reach out to get answers quickly as to “why” something is happening. We have a host of experts that we can both reach out to and who reach out to us to get you information as quickly and accurately as possible. While we love to be the “first” with information, we take more care in getting you the “accurate” information quickly. Sometimes that may mean we aren’t first, and I think that’s what our audience and clients appreciate.
We know we live in a world that is becoming more digital every moment, and our team at Ohio Ag Net has done an amazing job of adapting to virtual remotes and videos as paths to reach you quickly. Yet, it was nice to have an Ohio’s Country Journal reader send us a sweet note over the weekend about our most recent issue that it was our “best issue yet” — and one of the key statement’s from that reader was that they enjoyed reading articles by people they KNOW and respect. We have statistics that show that when people physically read an article, paper readers remember more.
This will be our 40th year of farming as a married couple. We have been through some very trying times. Sometimes I wonder if what we had to experience in the 80s hasn’t enabled us to be wiser as we navigate these tough times. It IS incredibly difficult to plant seeds when prices are this low, but farming isn’t an industry that you can “shut down” overnight. We’ve always known we’re “essential” but we don’t need any pats on the back to tell us that.
What I perhaps love best about our ag community is that faith in God is what keeps us moving forward. It’s what we lean on because the going is tough, oftentimes more than not. We wondered how we could ever survive such a late spring as last year, and we will survive these challenging times, as well. I can’t think of a better industry I want to be part of if I have to navigate through a “time such as this.” My favorite scripture that gives me comfort is 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”
I was chatting over the weekend with a longtime friend and farm wife. We have weathered a lot through the years, and, while we were moaning and groaning about current economics, we realized that we had been through many difficult seasons, and this one, too shall pass. Better times are ahead.
Prayers and safety to all our readers, listeners and viewers as you #plant2020.