Monday, June 18, 2007

6/18/07 11:30 pm Farm pictures

We have had a very nice day staying with John and Lynn Greer. After a relaxing morning Ted and I used John's well equipped shop to finally clean our chains and derailleurs. They have been squeaking after we hit a lot of rain one day and they were sandy from a wet dirt road we travelled one morning in Kansas. It's a messy job but you are rewarded with a shiny chain for a day or two.

Since it was still pretty wet we went to the Sedan Grain Elevator and met the manager of the facility. I had all sorts of questions about where the grain went, how it is moved and who buys it. What I learned is that there are many, many new ethanol fuel plants being built in the midwest and this will dramatically alter the existing supply and demand for corn. This is presently reflected in the high commodities future prices for corn. How this all plays out in the end with supply, demand, markets and price is unknown. As John said the future will be interesting and full of possibilities. Afterwards John needed to go check on some calves in a pasture down near the Little Blue River, a few miles away. Ted was thrilled to have the opportunity to drive there on an ATV. On the way we passed by the Oregon Trail close to where it crossed the river. John told of finding old china in a nearby field from an Indian raid in 1864. In the forest by the river it would be difficult to guess that you were a short distance from the flat fields of corn, wheat and beans.

After that John took us to his very large equipment barn and we got to see the combine, planters, mowers, trucks, cultivators and many large tractors. Ted even had a chance to drive one around.

This has been a delightful day. I don't think we could have had better hosts and we are very grateful. From here we will be headed across southern Nebraska for the next day and a half before we cross the Missouri River and enter into Iowa on Thursday.

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