Wednesday, February 11, 2015

North Missouri Road Trip

Had to take a trip up into Iowa today which included many miles through the North Central Missouri Plains again. I really find driving up through there enjoyable especially when the weather is nice or at least clear. Last time I was up that way it was raining so hard I almost couldn't see the road let alone the landscape.

I did notice quite a few for sale signs and a few abandoned homes here and there. A quick look at census levels is also showing a slight decline in the census from 2000 to 2010 so I wonder if maybe things have picked up a bit.

Interesting I came across this article this evening too.

US Farmers Watch $100 Billion a Year Profits Fade

Farm income this year in the U.S., the world’s top agricultural producer and exporter, is heading for a third straight decline and will post its biggest slide since the Great Depression, the government said today. While raising livestock remains profitable, as tight meat supplies keep prices high, growers of corn, soybeans and wheat saw crop and land values fall faster than many of their costs. That’s pinching sales for equipment maker Deere & Co. and seed producers including DuPont Co. 

I also heard on the radio up there that Deere was laying off almost another 1000 workers this Spring.

Kinda sad to me. The Northern Missouri Plains is some damned fine country and honestly is some of the most rural I know of. Sure the trees begin to shrink and look a bit stunted compared to their cousins that grow to the South but the fields are huge and the land fertile.  The towns are smaller and although you can see a long ways there just isn't as much congestion overall. Traffic is certainly much lighter. My guess is jobs are harder to come by though.

As it turns out I am heading up that way again in the morning so I think a bit more on the subject maybe in order.

Anyway sorry I haven't gotten to comment replies today. Been a busy one so far.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!


  1. Rural jobs, or even small town jobs really, have been getting killed in North Carolina. Our job growth is in the big metropolises, and around the military bases because of the pull back from overseas a few years ago.

    The countryside is aging.

    1. Russ - Ours here seem to be around government centers and universities although I will say I think farm and home company out of Moberly Mo seems to still be going strong or looks like it is anyway.

  2. True throughout much of the country I think. The metropolii (plural of metropolis) pull in resources and personnel and return nothing in their wake.

    I hope farmers are not as overleveraged as they have been from time to time in the past. That would be disasterous.

    1. TB - I find myself wondering if over leverage isn't why I am seeing so many properties for sale and abandoned. I know I am not the only one seeing such things in the middle part of the country.

  3. No worries, the elite will just import cheap food to keep things rolling along. The other people better make plans.

  4. PP,

    I just love Paul Harvey's video, "So God Made A Farmer". It's the Farmers of America who fed this country, then our government and commercial farms took over. Making it difficult for a family farms to make ends meet or just survive. We see family farms folding daily, it's just heart wrenching. We need to be America strong again!!!

  5. When I was talking to my banker in MN last month I asked what land values were doing in that area. He said they were holding steady at $7-8,000 per acre, with a few areas reaching $12-14K per acre. For bare farm land. How in the hell anyone can cash flow that with $4 corn is beyond me. Livestock producers have been forced over the years to put their animals in confinements, they just can't afford to keep cattle on pasture with land values that high.

  6. The 20's and 30's give a very good clue as to how the agribusiness will turn out and it will not turn out well. Commodities in general have been in a decline for some time. Just check the CRB index and the Baltic dry index. My mother grew up on a farm and they burned corn in the furnace in the 30's as it was cheaper than selling corn and buying coal to burn. Alcohol for fuel will likely go away as eventually the government won't be able to afford the subsidy payments for alcohol or corn. With prices for land where they currently are there is little room for long term price drops. Farmers can defer new equipment, then pay less for rental land, but eventually they run out of room to maneuver. I have seen this squeeze before and it results in many, many bankruptcies. And lastly, as this applies to all of us, interest rates bottomed about 2 years ago and are stair stepping higher. Interest rates run in a Kondratieff cycle so rates will eventually get very ugly again...stay out of debt.

  7. Nice to see my part of the state getting a little recognition. Born and raised here, moved away for a bit and found my way back. There are definitely some nice places south of the river, but I'm pretty partial to my half of the state. The small towns (<1000 pop) up here are taking a beating though. There is a fair amount of manufacturing if you look hard enough but for the most part if you're not making money off agriculture or education, you're not making much.


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