This past week I was in Auburn and Kokomo, IN; Carmel, CA; Columbia, MO; and Omaha, NE. While my students go to Florida for spring break, this is my destiny!
Land values are still strong in Indiana. However, a note of caution: The values are exceeding the ability of producers who rent and lease to generate a substantial income. Many who rent and lease are living off depreciation and not replacing machinery. Landlords are going to have to be careful that they don’t kill the goose that provides the long-term golden egg for their retirement in the form of land rent. They will be required to work closely with the producers to make sure that with margin compaction the result of high fuel and fertilizer cost does not put the stewards of their soils out of business providing fewer individuals available to rent the farm ground. To the landowner, your 401K could become a 201B, just like many mutual funds.
The economy still tends to struggle. This is an investment-led recession. A key indicator is that if oil prices stay above $35 per barrel for the next eight weeks, it could place us back into recession.
If any of you get the opportunity to go through the Kruse Museum just off of Interstate 69 in Indiana, it’s great! It has all the World War II German and American equipment in less than 224,000 square feet of space. It’s actual equipment taken from European museums.
I visited the Corvette Museum just south of Fort Wayne. Wow! It has the original Route 66 Corvette on display.
Next month my retirement gift to myself is coming in the form of an older Corvette. We will have to put a picture on this site!
This week I will be traveling to Minnesota, North Dakota, and back to California, as well as teaching my classes here at Virginia Tech.
Editors' note: Dave Kohl, Soybean Digest Trends Editor, is an ag economist at Virginia Tech. He recently completed a sabbatical working with the Royal Bank of Canada. He is now back at Virginia Tech with his academic appointment, which is teaching, extension, and applied research.
To see Dave Kohl's previous road warrior adventures type Dave Kohl in the Search blank at the top of the page.