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Agrimarketing : November December 2008
® TRANSITION TIME, AGAIN Amonth ago while traveling through Iowa, I was struck by a sight that was going to be the basis for this column. I met a convoy of semis heading north hauling huge propellers and turbines to a wind field that was being constructed. They were crossing over a bridge under which a unit train of ethanol tankers was heading east. Avisual demonstration of the renaissance of rural America. But in just four weeks, the entire ag industry is going through a radically different transition period. In fast order, it has gone frombonanza time, to re-trenching time. Here are just a few of the shocks: Lynn Henderson Publisher • Cash corn in the $3 range. An unprecedented drop, following an unprece- dented run up in prices in the past year. • Ethanol plant closures and drop in exports. Both victims of the record high commodity prices, now lessening demand for ag products. • Fertilizer prices that have plummeted. Some organizations in the distribu- tion channel, unfortunately,bought on the wrong side of the prices and are now facing a market that will be demanding the much lower current prices. • Fuel prices which have been halved. This is good news for all. • Achange of federal government administrations. The implementation of the new Farm Bill will be in the hands of the unknown. In addition, there will be new leaders in agencies that are key to agriculture’s future including EPA, Dept. of Energy, FDA and several others. • Agribusiness companies whose market values had skyrocketed have now fallen to levels of two years ago. Interestingly enough, though, the ag industry is so huge that some will benefit from the realities of the new economy,while others will fail. Crop producers and their related suppliers, have had a great run the past three years. The smart ones put some away for the “rainy day” they knew would be coming. But even as the market adjusts, there will still be substantial money made within the industry. Innovative, well-informed agribusinesses and their cus- tomers that are willing to change and prosper will succeed. Just as importantly, the organizations whose mission is to increase demand for ag products through new uses and exports have never been more important to the future of the industry. AM THIS MONTH IN AgriMarketing Five Years Ago (2003) • Orion Samuelson is inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame. • Jeff Lapin is named Pres of Farm Progress Companies. • Rabobank acquires Lend Lease Agri-Business, one of the nation’s largest ag land mortgage lenders. Ten Years Ago (1998) •Monsanto and American Home Products (parent company of American Cyanamid) call off their proposed merger. • Hoescht Schering AgrEvo (legacy companies of Bayer CropScience) acquires Cargill Seed’s north American operations for $650 million. The company has a 4% market share of the N.A. seed corn market. Twenty Years Ago (1988) •Mycogen receives two patents relating to Bt-based insect control. • Robert Ratliff is named Pres/CEO of Deutz-Allis (legacy company of AGCO). • Greg Nickerson is promoted to Acc’t Group Supv at Bader Rutter. • NAMAmoves to its present offices. AM 4 AgriMarketing s November/December 2008 is published by: Henderson Communications L.L.C. 1422 Elbridge Payne Road, #250 Chesterfield,MO 63017 Phone: 636/728-1428 FAX: 636/777-4178 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher/Editorial Director ____________________________________________ Lynn Henderson (LynnH@AgriMarketing.com) ph: 636/728-1428, ext. 2001 Managing Editor ____________________________________________ Audrey Evans (AudreyE@AgriMarketing.com) ph: 636/728-1428, ext. 2003 EDITORIAL ____________________________________________ NAMA Liaison Editor Jenny Pickett (email@example.com) AMEditorial Advisory Board: Mike Borel, The Context Network TimBrackman, National Corn GrowernAssn Erika Brandt, AgCareers.com Jim Farrell, Farmers National Company Russ Green, CLAAS Jerry Harrington, Pioneer Hi-Bred Laura Henke, Charleston|Orwig Tommy Jones, John Deere Crop Insurance LauraMayfield,McCormick Company PatMorrow,BASF Steve Rhea, Rhea & Kaiser Brad Schu, Land O’Lakes/PurinaMills Angie Skochdopole, Quarry Integrated Comms BobWilhelm, AdFarm CIRCULATION _________________________________________________ Send subscription inquiries and address changes to: P.O. Box 16123 St. Louis,MO 63105 PRODUCTION _________________________________________________ Design/Layout Audrey Evans Design for NAMA News Jennifer Pickett ADVERTISING SALES ____________________________________________ Advertising Sales and Customer ServiceManager Judith Knoll (JudyK@AgriMarketing.com) ph: 636/728-1428, ext. 2002 AgriMarketing is sent to qualified executives employed by corporate agribusinesses and their communication agencies, farm media, trade associations and others providing services to North American agriculture. Daily news and updates about the Agricultural Industry can be obtained by going to: www.AgriMarketing.com. For a free subscription to AgriMarketingWeekly e-newsletter, go to www.AgriMarketing.com.
American Seed Trade Association