From the Ground Up: Farming Today Is Complicated

Published: Mar. 12, 2020 at 8:12 AM CDT
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To say that over the last twenty years farming has become more complicated is a bit of an understatement. When you couple the technology that is required to put in a crop today with the marketing expertise it takes to sell a crop it’s easy to see why farmers would take exception to a politician claiming that he could teach anyone to be a farmer. Lee Denena farms and ranches in Robertson County.

“As far as involved in the marketing process, I am the marketing team so I’m one hundred percent involved in the process. We use a lot of futures, options and direct futures for hedging of commodities, in particular corn. Prior to this year, I’ve been with a marketing pool in my cotton. This year I’ve taken the cotton out of that marketing pool and I’ll be marketing it directly to a merchant via direct contract, so I’ll be one hundred percent responsible for when and what level to price cotton.”

Denena is constantly looking for the best marketing option.

“And I’ll tell you something else about marketing that we do that I find, and again I like to diversify, and we like to be as vertically integrated as we can be here. We’re expecting a large grain crop coming in this next year. So, the theory is generally that corn is going to be down a little bit this year. But conversely, we expect beef to be up. We’re able, we’ve implemented some facilities here at the farm where we grind our own grain. If we need to market our grain through our livestock, we’ll do it that way.”

And as far as a former New York mayor’s comments about farmers?

“The politician’s comments, I thought it was funny, you heard a lot of comments or saw a lot of remarks but one of them was, an image of a guy planting, in the tractor he didn’t have one computer monitor, he didn’t have two computer monitors, he has three separate computer monitors that he had to oversee and manage just to plant that crop. And that’s just that one pass of planting the crop. I don’t know, it just doesn’t seem like that’s a low-level acumen thing that you can do.”