Commodity Classics – Ken McCauley

(Jim) Welcome back to That’s My Farm. We’re in luck because we have Ken McCauley, a Donovan and Brown County farmer and he is on the Corn Grower’s Association and the Corn Commission and we’re here at the Commodity Classic here in Manhattan and I really wanted to kind of get your thought on what’s positive for corn growers right now? I’m thinking negatively cause I’m thinking corn prices, so I want to put a positive spin on this. So, tell me what’s going on that corn growers should be pleased about? (Ken) Well, I think we’ve got a lot of good things to think about in the Farm Bill, there’s a lot of protection there. Right now the farmers are evaluating everything and I really think that there’s a little over thinking going on about too much, too big of a deal. And really I heard yesterday that the state sign up is only 10 percent for Kansas right now, so guys really need to get that out there and get it figured out. And when you look at the protection that’s in this Farm Bill, it’s really good when you talk about if you’re a price minded guy that understands the counter cyclical program that is below a certain price. If you don’t think it will go back up, that’s the way you’re thinking. The other part is the revenue products if you understand crop insurance, you probably understand the ACR. And that to me is where I’m gonna be on the county level because it represents a grip type policy and you can look at that and you can understand that. So, I think farmers really need to get on the ball and start to get into the office and sign up, update you bases and yields. But aside from that, there’s a lot of things out there with the weather patterns, they’re looking better. We don’t know next… this summer what it’s gonna be. But there’s a lot of uses, lower prices spur demand and you know the exports might pick up. We don’t know what’s gonna happen to ethanol, but the other part of that is, when prices drop down people start using more of things. (Jim) Right, right. What about well genetics, corn genetics have just gone off the charts. (Ken) Oh yea. (Jim) I remember 35 years ago when I first came yields in northeast Kansas were well under 100 bushel and here we are some years later and they’re well above. So, kind of talk a little bit about that. (Ken) Well, when you look at that and you say, I started farming in 1971 and we hoped for 100 bushel, and last year’s crop on our farm we averaged 235. And that’s a lot of acres and a lot of high quality, good corn that we got in. The whole harvest was 60 days, which was a long time but that was a lot of bushels. And all the genetics, all the new machinery, all those things have made us more productive and really we are netting more per acre because of those things. (Jim) OK. So, you said some good things here. What are the down sides right now you see for corn or agriculture in Kansas? (Ken) Well, I think everything’s upside down right now on your inputs. We’re and that happens, you understand that too. But we’ve got at least one more year of that and if things get bad enough this year, like yields are low, I think they’ll adjust quicker. But right now things are… it’s too high to put corn in the ground. And if we don’t have 200 bushel yields at $3 dollars or $3.50 it’s a break even deal. (Jim) Right. (Ken) You might as well say we’ve got a $4 dollar break even on any estimate. And I think that’s a big negative. But farmers are still buying anhydrous at $700 dollars a ton and seed reflects if farmer’s don’t buy those things, prices go down. But everybody’s still buying ’em because you’ve just got to have that. (Jim) Tell me, you’re with the Corn Grower’s Association and Commission, tell me why should corn growers in the state be involved with the Corn Grower’s Association? What’s the advantage? (Ken) I think every farmer needs to think about who’s going to represent them at a state and national level and those things are just really important. After being president of the National Corn Grower’s Association, I saw that first hand, that if you’re not there, if you don’t have a good quality… (Jim) Representation? (Ken) Representation in Washington or Kansas you’ll get rolled because we’re a minority in the whole country less and less every year because we can do more and more and it’s not a bad thing, it’s just something that happens. But if you don’t have somebody there looking out for you, no matter what your belief is, you will get rolled and you will not have. (Jim) Goes around basically. (Ken) Yes, right. So, that’s really an important thing, I think organizations are very economical. I mean, everybody should belong. Nationwide, we’ve got about 12 percent, people belong to the National Corn and Kansas Corn Grower’s and that should be 100 percent. Because it’s a cheap deal that really represents very well. (Jim) Ken, I really appreciate you taking this time. Good to see you again too. (Ken) Good to see you. Thanks. (Jim) Folks,
stay with us. We’ll be right back after these words.

No Comments Yet.

Leave a reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.