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Dawn Of The Decade Doggerel

JOHN MORRISS

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

The holiday season is over, I hope you weren’t naughty Now it’s 2010, the end of the decade called “aughties” So it’s that time again, to which you all look ahead-fully Our year-end review in verse which rhymes dreadfully How time flies; I recall my first-ever annual bad-versification Cheered the end of the ’80s, and their lack of precipitation Be careful what you wish for, you might end up getting it It seems that in Manitoba since then, the rains just keep wetting it I hear that the provincial Department of Geographic Designation Has some changes in store for this part of the nation Red River Valley? Just “Red River,” by the end of this winter And up north in the Interlake, they’re dropping the “Inter” For Arborg and area what I hear they’ve got planned is To give it a new name, and I’m told it’s Atlantis And doesn’t it seem that it was just yesterday When we thought the world would end in 2000 (Y2K)? But the computers kept working, or at least in a fashion Now it’s not the computers, but the economy that’s crashin’ They say things are improving, but to me it seems funny Because it’s just because government is printing free money I think that soon we’re about to get re-education On how low-interest money just leads to inflation If you can pass on your costs that’s not so alarming But passing on costs is not an option in farming

If you’re making big purchases make sure you stay out of trouble Can you still make the payments if interest rates double?

Perhaps we can’t blame it on Finance Minister Flaherty But a big problem for farmers is the dollar’s near-parity The cattle and hog producers thought things were just nifty When a greenback, in loonies, equalled almost one-fifty Selling animals to the U. S.? To take them they’d hafta’ They couldn’t refuse it because we have NAFTA Or so goes the theory, but what I’ve found that the fact is When it comes to the U. S., there’s theory, and practice Some say it’s logical, others a trade barrier quite foolish Either way, to take Canadian livestock, the U. S. is now COOLish To settle it in trade court may be the government’s intention But by the time it’s settled, we’ll all be retired and on pension If it’s into more livestock and meat exports that we want to delve Then let’s find customers that don’t already produce it themselves Import restrictions on livestock weren’t all that would tax us The Europeans weren’t keen on finding traces of GMO flaxes Named Triffid, named for some reason which I can’t quite finger After a three-legged monster that blinds you with its stinger And speaking of choosing words poorly, our ag minister’s no slacker When China found blackleg in canola we got another “Ritz cracker” “Don’t worry,” said Gerry, “It’s not a problem humungous “Our canola has Terminator! It won’t sprout, even if it has fungus” I think Gerry hasn’t grown canola for quite a few years If he had, he’d know all about sprouting by H-T volunteers

When city folks used to visit the country, and smell something funny The hog farmers said, “Don’t worry, you’re just smelling money” Times have changed, now when you sniff something whiffy It’s a reminder of an industry that’s become somewhat iffy The problem, quite simply, I don’t think I’m mistaken Is too many pigs, but too few eaters of bacon

Back in the old days, when of a price drop there were more signs The hog farmers would respond, and grow fewer porcines Now there’s not many producers, in fact just a few biggies Who seemed to respond to low prices by growing more piggies Mind you, they were just following government advices To build plenty of barns, with no fear of low prices

Now they’re shutting down hog barns, with a government incentive So next time government gives you advice, don’t be too attentive

So much for the past on which there’s no point in dwelling You’ll want to hear of my future foretelling

You’re in luck; after two nights of Internet correspondence classes I’ve now graduated with a diploma in farm market analysis I learned that when a farmer asks about grain market trends You go through a PowerPoint presentation, then say “It depends” You talk of bulls, and of bears and of long and short hedges Of crops’ prospects for corn, and canola, and forage and sedges Then after throwing all of these factors together You conclude that grain prices really depend on the weather As for cattle and hog prices, will we finally see movement? You can quote me on this: there’s room for improvement

So bring on the next decade, it will be a good one, I’ll wager After all, in the teens, we’ll all be teen-agers May it rain just enough (please, no more big dumpers) May your calves all be healthy, and your crops all be bumpers The only problem that I hope you won’t lacks is Every year from now on, you’ll have to pay too much taxes Best wishes to farmers from all of us here

For good crops, and good prices, and a Happy New Year!

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