For those of us old enough to remember them, the late 1980s and early 1990s were a gloomy time for many agriculturalists in the Upper Midwest. Drought and poor commodity prices made it difficult for even the best farmers and ranchers to make enough money to sustain their operations and support their families.
Times sure have changed. A half-dozen years of strong prices and generally good yields have bolstered producers’ bottom lines and created new opportunities.
One of the opportunities is meeting the region’s need for more nitrogen fertilizer. Two different groups are working to build their own nitrogen fertilizer plant in North Dakota; each plant would cost more than $1 billion.
Quite a change from those dreary days in 1988 to 1993.
I have no idea of what the region’s agricultural health will be in 2033. I just hope it’s a lot closer to what it is in 2013 than what it was in 1993.