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Doggerel 2012: Freedom, Edam…?

Yes, with the first issue of the year, it’s once again surely

Time to review the events of the past one, in verse that rhymes poorly

Then if there’s some time, and to the end that you’ve stickted

We’ll look ahead a few months and see what I’ve predicted

I don’t want to brag, but you’ll recall my last year’s prognostication

I said there’d be plenty of moisture for spring germination

Indeed, in the west of the province, where it’s often quite droughty

There was moisture aplenty to make the crop nice and sproughty

Though as a result, there were one or two hitches

As in a bit more water than could be confined to the ditches

In fact, when things warmed up and the ditches were flowing

There was more water than could be confined to the Assiniboine

The water had to be sent to Lake Manitoba or it would mean

Much greater damage for the properties farther downstream

Those around Lake Manitoba were told there’d be redress

For taking the bullet for others and for cleaning the mess

The flood’s still not over for some, and many are still waiting

Let’s hope the promise is held and they get full compensating

After two years of precip which seemed to come daily and nightly

Around about June the skies seem to have zipped up quite tightly

Farmers didn’t say much; it would seem funny to complain

But after a while they were thinking they could stand some more rain

That would have helped yields, but I must say a rare treat is

To spend a summer in Manitoba without any mosquitoes

I don’t want to complain either, but some more precipitation

Would be welcome to provide moisture for spring germination

Then there’s all those unseeded fields that were heavily cultivated

Come spring I fear that black soil could become extensively elevated

Now if a farmer’s price is too low, or he has a slight pain in the hip

Or an elevator manager is frustrated about no cars to ship

For the last 77 years in this part of the nation

There’s been someone to blame, a good explanation

Whatever the problem, and whatever the season

You could blame the wheat board — it was always the reason

But not for much longer, after next August the first

No longer will farmers have the wheat board to curse

Now if you ask Gerry Ritz, you’ll find that he’s liable

To say that without a monopoly, the board’s still strong and viable

Perhaps he’s right, but to me it seems funny

That a grain company could survive without elevators or money

He’ll prop it up with an initial payment (but how high?) guarantee

But a government-supported grain company sounds socialist to me

One way or another, perhaps one good thing that will happen

Is the end of so much pro- and anti-board fightin’ and scrappin’

But with such a sudden big change, I’m afraid that my guess is

There will be quite a few growing pains, and several big messes

Due to a shortage of space last year it just wasn’t viable

To include my advice that buying more cows would be advisable

Since feeder prices have since reached record height

The advice that I wasn’t able to give you was right

Should you buy cows now? Well, that’s harder to deceipher

At these prices it might be safer to just retain heifers

But one thing’s for sure; I can say without being reserved

Is that the current cattle prices are certainly well deserved

What with too much rain or too little, or COOL and BSE

It’s been a tough time for cattle producers since 2003

The same goes for producers of pigs, at least the ones that remain

Despite higher feed prices I’ve heard there’s still a few dollars to gain

Now let’s look to the future; you’ll be pleased to know I’ve

Just taken a market forecasting course on the Internet for $29.95

I now have a certificate which guarantees that in market analysis

That my predictions are just as good as anyone else’s

I’ve examined the liver and gizzard from my Christmas turkey

They tell me that supply management prices will stay fairly perky

For grain prices however, they tell me that for the next while

The outlook for them appears to remain volatile

See? I just told you what other market analysts always say chiefly

But I squeezed it into two lines, and said it more briefly

What crops should you plant? Well, that’s easy to call

Mr. Ritz says that post-CWB farmers will seed wheat wall to wall

So don’t plant any — the secrets to maximizing fruit of your labours?

Ignore governments, and plant different crops than your neighbours

Once again, I have several more surefire predictions

But I can’t fit all of them in; this space has too much constriction

So that’s it for now, please accept our best wishes

For good weather, good prices, and a harvest auspicious

May your crops all be bumpers, your calves all be healthy

May the new year for all farmers be happy and wealthy!

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