Hello, and “welcome home” SWG producers! Yes, it seems like we have been gone for months from our families and supper at home at the kitchen table. It was a fast-paced year for farming and ranching. We were late to the game and worked hard to get and stay caught up. It seemed that whatever you were doing, there were 10 other jobs waiting for you next.
It was a great hay crop year, and with the wheat harvest hot and dry, it made for nice quality wheat yields that we are all thankful for. The canola crops threw us a surprise. The stands looked great, but the heat took its toll on the yields. The fall row crops were up and down. Sunflowers did well, but the corn disappointed most producers. We worked to get the corn through an early hailstorm with the hopes it will come back. Then a later hail stripped the leaves, but it still produced cobs. Next was 2+ days of winds in excess of 75 mph and it took the ears right down to the ground. In the end, it was a loss for a lot of grain producers. Also, livestock producers lost feed they needed for their livestock. Thankfully though, there were some varieties that were able to tolerate those winds and, based on maturity, were able to survive and compensate for some of the losses.
As I’m writing about our 2022 crop year, it does not seem to let up! We are in November, a month that most producers look at as a time to catch up with fall projects. Yet there are 2 words I keep hearing: Colorado Low. It is like a bad poker game where you come out losing. This spring was enough to last 10 years, yet here we go, after those insane winds the past several weeks, we are already looking at our first snowstorm of the fall. We have all heard stories of farmers and ranchers experiencing this in the past. Now it is our turn. I hope and pray as you read this, the storm did not develop as the Weather Channel predicted.
As we move into the end of 2022, the good news is that cattle prices for calves are better. We are thankful for that. Unfortunately, crop input prices have not improved from last spring and, to add to that, the crops used up most of the plant nutrients. Be sure to take the time needed to study your fields. Reach out to your SWG agronomy department and sit down with your agronomist to determine what crops could do better in your soil types for the upcoming year. SWG can help you with all your plant nutrient needs for crop protection. Now is the time to get some of those inputs locked in. SWG also has experienced livestock specialists that can help producers with all their livestock needs for the upcoming winter and early calving season.
As we take time to look back at our 2022 season and look ahead to 2023, we need to be thankful for everyone that helped get the crops harvested and the cattle on green pastures with good hay waiting for winter feeding. Be vigilant to remain safe as you clean equipment for the year and move livestock home to corrals for the winter.
I hope all SWG producers can enjoy all the upcoming holidays: Thanksgiving, the NFR, Christmas, and the New Year. Seriously, the NFR is a special ‘holiday’ to a lot of our producers and their families! Enjoy the season with your loved ones, young & old. God’s best gifts: our parents, your spouse, your kids, and especially those grandbabies, are who make holiday memories priceless!
Be safe, healthy, and grateful and take care of each other!
President, SWG Producer Board