AgWest Meeting Confirms Struggles With Commodities Prices

Humboldt, Iowa – President of AgWest Commodities Steve Knuth stood in front of 70 plus Humboldt County Farmers yesterday and delivered the news that many knew was coming.

Commodities prices aren’t where they have been. And the prospects of recovery right now aren’t superb.

Yet, here’s Knuth, with a gleaning southern Nebraska drawl delivering hope and offering help like none other.

Yesterday at Gordy’s at Rustix in downtown Humboldt, Knuth spoke more as a motivational speaker, than a president of a booming company.

Knuth was the keynote speaker at AgWest’s 2017 Ag Outlook meeting: “Surviving in a Tight Margin Atmosphere.”

One of the main factors to low commodity prices, as Knuth stated, is over-capacity problems, meaning increased acreage and record yields has brought demand to an all-time low.

“The capacity started ramping up in the early 2000s, as the commodity boom took place” Knuth said.

“As prices started approaching record highs anybody who had access to dirt anyplace wanted to participate.”

Simply put, there was a massive amount of over-production.

Yet still, Knuth offered a sliver of hope, saying Humboldt County farmers need to strike when the iron is hot, which usually opens once per growing season.

“There just has to be a plan ahead of time [for that moment], human nature doesn’t let you scramble during the emotion of rallies” said Knuth.

“You need to have goals, processes put together and you need to let the market come to you. History has shown we have one good shot per year to make some things happen.