With 2019 now in our rearview mirror, I can’t help but reflect on the year and all it has brought us. Looking at the agricultural industry, below are my thoughts on some of the major headlines that helped to create this crazy year of 2019.
U.S. – China Trade War
To call this headline a challenge would be a drastic understatement. There were frequent rumors throughout the year on when the trade war would end. Meanwhile grain markets simply tried to keep their head (and prices) above water. Waiting for any flicker of solid news.
Arguably this was one of the biggest challenges faced across the Midwest this year. If you care to disagree, let’s remember the 20 million prevent plant acres.
Ugly spring weather was especially a headache in Nebraska. With flooding that wiped out roads, dams, and bridges, it’s safe to say this spring was one for the books!
Effects of heavy spring rains were faced long after the clouds cleared. Frequent rains during the beginning of summer kept the Missouri River high and the threat of more flooding fresh in many minds.
Market Facilitation Program 2019
As threats of tariffs flew between the U.S. and China, the farm economy felt it’s share of stress from the situation. Thus leading to MFP 2019!
And the slight confusion that followed.
Between waiting to see if one was qualified, waiting on the first payments, if you may qualify for second payments, it turned into a bit of a hoop jumping contest.
The farm economy did stabilize out a bit towards the close of 2019. This was largely due to MFP dollars pumped into the ag industry.
However, financial stress has continued to be a pain point throughout the Midwest. A stress that needs a better cure than yearly MFP payments.
Between late planted crops and excessive moisture, harvest 2019 was (putting it lightly) a bit sluggish. And even in some areas, harvest continues to push on.
History is History!
BUT… enough doom and gloom from 2019! There isn’t much we can do to change how 2019 turned out.
However, we can look to 2020 and the new decade it brings!
If signing Phase 1 of the U.S. – China agreement is any indicator of what the new year may bring, then hold on folks! We’re in for one heck of a year!!
Have a safe and happy 2020 everyone!
Cheers to the New Year!!
P.S. – Interested in more major headlines of 2019 in review? Check out the links below to learn more!
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