I think the old adage is 100% accurate: “Time goes by faster as we get older.” I am still struggling to come to grips with the fact we are wrapping up 2018. This has been a challenging and, in most cases, a rewarding year for our stockholders. We started the year with low commodity prices due to grain stockpiles and slightly declining cattle markets. The weaker prices coupled with no moisture through April had all of us concerned. In May, the skies opened up and we were blessed with rain throughout the rest of the year. Wheat yields were okay given the lack of early moisture and corn, milo and soybeans were bountiful harvests. The rain helped most of our stockholders “out produce” the prices which have been further impacted by the trade wars.

The rain was a true blessing this year, but it also created challenges since many of us have never experienced this much consistent moisture. Ground was worked and sprayed multiple times this year to help control the weeds. The moisture has given us a good start for 2019. Prices will likely be flat as the U.S. stockpiles continue to grow. There are marketing opportunities for producers that are willing to contract their crops forward to help limit basis risk and get a piece of the carry. I encourage all of our stockholders to save our Industry Insights website link as a favorite on their phone and computer. We have partnered with INTL FCStone to provide morning market comments. This information coupled with Dr. David Kohl’s Ag Globetrotter publications and CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange help our stockholders take advantage of those small windows of
market opportunity.

High Plains Farm Credit is a locally-owned and operated financial cooperative which has longstanding personal relationships with our customer-stockholders. Furthermore, our directors and staff live where they work and support their communities alongside our customers. In this issue of our newsletter, we are sharing how we support our rural communities via our public and member relations budget. Our profits are also reinvested in the rural communities we serve through our patronage program. Our directors will be determining the amount of patronage next month. I highly recommend you pick up and open the February newsletter to see that exciting announcement!

We commonly refer to our stockholders, board and staff as family. Living and working in the communities we serve establishes strong bonds and long-lasting friendships. High Plains Farm Credit is honored to be included in your family business and we are committed to helping generations of families start, grow and succeed. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

– Kevin

Kevin Swayne

Kevin Swayne
President