Today, we revisit our five most popular blog posts of 2020.
Local Market Conditions
Top Blog Posts of 2020
Since we’ve (mercifully) reached the end of 2020 and with it the end of the first full calendar year of the Amarillo AgEcon blog, I’ve decided to review the most viewed posts of the year. In my first year in this role I never would’ve guessed the issues we would be discussing in 2020.
At the end of 2019 I assumed we would be discussing a lot more hemp, trade, and alternative proteins. As it turns out, I didn’t devote any writing to alternative proteins this year, though the topic does linger in the background. I also did not devote a single week of this blog to hemp, though we have published other resources on the topic here. Even though trade was at the forefront of the agricultural world at the end of 2019, I have only devoted one (one!) post explicitly to trade this year.
While COVID-19 has disrupted the global market place for all products, it has had an outsized impact on agriculture and the food system. Much of Amarillo AgEcon’s most viewed content this year reflected the interest you all had on COVID-19’s effects on the food system. There were disruptions in meat processing, where we as consumers purchase food, how food gets from one place to another, and disruptions in the labor market for food production. With that, the following five posts received the most engagement of the year, and I think are worth your review as we move into a more prosperous (and hopefully profitable) 2021.
It Depends – What Now? – Beef Cattle Marketing Decisions
The most viewed post of the year by far was one I had the privilege to write with Dr. David Anderson and Pancho Abello. In the post, we discussed how to adjust your marketing plan to the sudden livestock market shocks from COVID-19. There are examples of retained ownership evaluation, immediate sales, and staying the course. The group also walked through how to evaluate these decisions for yourself. While we developed this material for the immediate shocks following the outbreak of COVID-19, the tools work for any time. If you’re interested in your marketing opportunities going in to 2021, I highly recommend giving this post a read.
High Plains Ag Week 3/27/2020 – Wheat Market Adjustments
The second most viewed post was another marketing write up. Following the onset of the pandemic wheat price benefitted from some unique support. As consumer staples and shelf-stable products flew off of the grocery store shelves, the demand for wheat grew rapidly. This sudden demand growth provided significant strength for wheat prices, and in fact, hard red winter wheat has out-performed its pre-COVID-19 price levels most of the year. This strength was a rare outcome in the crop complex until late fall when Chinese purchases and international weather concerns provided strength in corn, beans, cotton, and sorghum among other crops.
High Plains Ag Week 9/21/2020 – CFAP 2.0
The post on the structure of CFAP 2.0 received a significant amount of traffic. The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 is a support program for agricultural producers who continue to face market disruptions and associated costs because of COVID-19. The post from September provides an outline of how payments are calculated for different commodities. There are payments for livestock, row crops, and specialty commodities. Be sure to check the program out. It’s likely that a commodity you produce is covered. As a reminder, the signup deadline for CFAP 2.0 is December 11. You can find signup information here.
High Plains Ag Week 10/5/2020 – Long Term Weather Outlook
As if dealing with COVID-19 all year wasn’t enough, much of the western U.S. is facing a drought. My first post in October began our series on livestock production risk management. The long term weather outlook is for very little precipitation for western Texas through the spring of 2021. For the remainder of the month of October, I outlined programs that could provide a safety net in these oncoming dry months or indemnify you for a portion of losses. If you are in livestock production the posts from the entire month of October is worth a skim.
High Plains Ag Week 4/17/2020 – What is a recession and what does one mean for the Agricultural Economy?
One of the most visited posts for the year was our overview of what economists mean when we talk about recessions. In this post I talked about the measures we use to determine what a recession is, primarily changes in Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In the rest of the post I discuss the implications for a recession in the livestock, fiber, and grain markets.
I’ll be taking the rest of December to work on plans for the blog for the upcoming year. I sincerely appreciate all of you who have kept up with me along the way in 2020. We’ll be making a few changes and planning for a more regular release schedule in 2021 than what we provided in 2020 and I hope that you’ll all continue to join us each week. I am always open to feedback and suggestions for posts, and if there is more information you would like to see on a regular basis I would like to provide that for you. If you’d like to contact me feel free to email me at email@example.com
I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season!