• Josh Flint

    I Fell For Two April Fool's Jokes This Year

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on April 4, 2014

    This fool fell for not one, but two, April Fool’s jokes this year. I’m not proud of it, but in both cases my inner optimist was on full display. As I browsed my Facebook feed, I came across one post that said “Obamacare has been repealed!” I immediately took to the web to confirm this exciting announcement. When I came up empty, I checked the post date. Yep, April 1. (I was reading this on April 2.) I’d been got. You would think I’d be on guard for more of…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Has the Sun Set on High Corn Prices?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 4, 2013

    This week, I interviewed several market analysts on corn price projections. Not one of them was optimistic about the potential for a rally. Pondering these price downturns, experts agree on several things. First off, this was expected. Once the 2012 drought had firmly established itself, market analysts started warning about the short crop, long tail scenario. Next, the ethanol industry is mature. In past years, ethanol producers had not yet hit the blend wall, i.e. the amount needed…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Spread the Cautious Optimism

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 29, 2013

    April is upon us. It's almost time to leave the artificially-lit conference halls for the sweet smell of freshly-tilled black soil. Before folks get out there, let's reflect on the winter conference season. Perhaps the most notable theme is caution. In March alone, I heard multiple economists warn that ag could be headed for a downturn in 2013. During the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers famland value conference, DuPont economist Steve…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Why Laws Against Undercover Animal Videos Are Worthless

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on February 20, 2013

    More and more states are enacting laws that prohibit employees from taking undercover videos of livestock operations. Sounds like a win for ag, right? Well, sort of, says Joe Miller, general counsel for Rose Acre Farms, the second largest producer of eggs in the U.S. Unfortunately, the laws only allow aggrieved farms to push back against the actual employee who took the video. So getting to the animal rights group who uses the video for their benefit is extremely difficult. (Miller spoke…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Finding Some Predictability in Diesel Prices

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on March 29, 2009

    Last week, Growmark hosted its second annual Media Day. Division managers took time to present an overview and answer questions.   For two divisions, fertilizer and grain storage, managers noted that a wait and see attitude really paid off this year. However, John Cripe, manager of the energy risk management division, says diesel prices are following a longstanding price trend.   According to Cripe, 90% of the time, petroleum prices will bottom out sometime between December and February…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Finding Inspiration During the Winter Months

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on December 12, 2008

    Conferences, trade shows, seminars, whatever you want to call them, they're a great place to find new ideas and inspiration for the coming year.   After attending the Farm Futures Management Summit in St. Louis the past couple of days, I'm excited to explore a host of new story ideas. The speakers were top notch. Even more impressive was the give and take between farmers.   During lunch, I listened as two Texas farmers discussed survival strategies with a farmer from Idaho. The Texans had…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Putting Things In Perspective

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 28, 2008

    Over the summer, I read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. The novel makes you realize the current financial crisis is nothing compared to what tenant farmers endured during the Great Depression.   The story focuses on the Joads, who leave Oklahoma in search for work in California. Once the family arrives in California, things get even tougher. Work is hard to find. When they do find work, the wages aren't enough to feed a family.   At one point in the book, one of the farmers says if a…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    How Are You Capitalizing on Cheap Diesel?

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 24, 2008

    I've heard if you enlist in the military, you're in for a culture shock after completing 15 weeks of basic training. I had a little culture shock of my own last week.   My wife was rushed to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana on Oct. 15. She was having complications with her pregnancy, and ended up having a c-section on Monday, Oct. 20. Our son, Lucas, was born at 34 weeks, and was 4 lbs, 4 ounces. Mom was released Oct. 24.   Of course, this meant dad was also in the hospital for a little…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Montgomery County Farmers Continue to Fight Against Longwall Miners

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 6, 2008

    Mary Bates, a member of Citizens Against Longwall Mining is still working hard to keep coal companies out of Montgomery County. As she explains, they've proposed to longwall mine in the Hillsboro area. This process essentially removes panels of coal from beneath the surface. The problem is, once the coal is mined, the topsoil subsides four to six inches, resulting in a drainage nightmare for farmers. According to Bates, mining could begin as early as this winter. Holly Spangler covered…

    Continue Reading


  • Josh Flint

    Here's What I've Heard Regarding Fertilizer Prices

    Prairie Gleanings

     by Josh Flint
     on October 1, 2008

    I spoke with a farmer yesterday who had just made one of the most difficult operating decisions of his career.   Last week, he took out a 2009 operating loan to lock in anhydrous ammonia at around $950 per ton. Since it's the most he's ever spent on nitrogen, he's afraid prices will come crashing down.   For the October issue of Prairie Farmer, we'll be taking an in depth look at the supply and demand issues surrounding fertilizer. Over the course of several weeks, I spoke to more than ten…

    Continue Reading