Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shrinking Paycheck

Today we started with the prospect of finishing harvest. We just had a little over 60 acres of soybeans to harvest. Not a daunting task, but it would take a good, problem free day.

That is not how today went. The morning started with the transmission going out on our good truck (a 1983 model, so good is a relative term). This little break down probably will cost us several thousand dollars. Later in the morning the starter went out on our other truck.While this was not as tramatic as the transmission, it was another couple hundred bucks. So we were down to one truck and off to a start two hours later than we planned.

So we had not harvested an acre and we were already down several thousand dollars. Why is this a big issue. Well our paycheck is the harvest each fall and all of these breakdowns chip away at our paycheck. Unlike many other businesses, farmers and ranchers are price takers.

In many other businesses, if your cost of producing a product goes up, the price goes up. Agriculture is not that way. While our cost of producing soybeans went up this morning the price we received went down 30 cents a bushel. Why the price went down I am not sure, but it all equates in a smaller paycheck.

I am not telling you this to complain, I am the one who chose to farm and ranch. But I do think that there is a perception that we are getting rich in agriculture and that is simply not the fact. None of us would trade our chosen lifestyle for another profession, but we do not do this for the money. We do this out of a love for the land and a pride in feeding the world.

1 comment:

  1. Enjoy reading your posts. As a dairy farmer we are also feeling the pinch - or I should say vice grip. You do a great job.