Count your blessings this holiday season. As you look back on 2009 in agriculture, no doubt you will have mixed feelings. I know I do. But for all the stuff Mother Nature threw at agriculture, and al the stuff livestock agriculture withstood, things could have been much worse. Agriculture withstood the challenge, another testament to your hard work and dedication.
Here's my way of pointing out that while 2009 was challenging, it could have been worse. See if you agree.
#10- Soybean rust didn't arrive earlier in the north- Once again, now some four years or more after the alarm bell rang, soybean rust has yet to cause loss to a single field we know of north of the Ohio River. It's a testament to the response by USDA, companies and the ag community.
#9- Congress didn't pass Cap and Trade- It may happen next year, but not this year. And while a few ag people support it, most fear it will just lead to more costly production inputs and an overall negative balance sheet for farmers.
#8- Ohio voters didn't reject livestock amendment proposal- As it is, state officials in Ohio are preparing to launch an animal care board that wills et standards in animal care. This preemptive strike against the Humane Society of the United States and other groups likely won't stop them form seeking a ballot initiative, but it sent a strong message.
#7- HINI wasn't permanently labeled swine flu- It was for a while, and it took some outlets a long time to quit saying swine flue and call it by its real name, H1N1. If the conversion hadn't finally happened, who knows when the bleeding to hop prices might have stopped.
#6- Tiger Woods didn't endorse milk!(to our knowledge)- Are you awake? Dairymen had hard enough time with $9 milk without such a potential public relations bombshell.
#5- Santa Claus didn't vacation in Panama—Instead, he chose to spend summer in the Midwest. Translated, the cool, North-Pole like weather for July helped corn immensely, especially corn under drought stress, and there was some, believe it or not. If the cool weather went elsewhere or not developed, corn yields could have been much lower.
#4- Indian Summer never showed up- Many farmers with hair graying around the edges know they were one good Indiana summer harvest stretch away from combing soybeans in February and corn in march on frozen ground. By Nov 1 harvest prospects looked bleak. The Indiana summer that arrived late allowed most to wrap up beans.
#3- Jack Frost didn't make an early visit to the central Midwest- He arrived on time, and that was too soon in he northern parts of the Midwest. So he nipped some corn there. But predictions of a late September frost proved wrong, thank goodness!
#2- Another handful of major weeds didn't show resistance to glyphosate- There are enough on the list, but this unique chemistry remains an important weapon in weed control systems.
#1- Anhydrous ammonia prices didn't reach $1,200 per gallon. – Thank goodness fertilizer prices eased considerably, instead of continuing rising at a skyrocketing pace. At some point, there's a point of no return on high prices.
And that's 10 things that you can be thankful 'didn't' happen.