Frances Gould, Schultz, Bruce | 6/25/2009 7:01:42 PM
We just completed another usual unusual year. It seems each crop year is unique in its own way. We look to this next one in 2009 and we see uncertainty even more than ever. As Donald Rumsfeld once said, "We have a list of known unknowns."
It seems extremely difficult to get a handle on costs as we attempt to anticipate decisions on crop inputs.
Marketing, while always difficult, seems to be more so now as rice prices are swinging in wider and wider ranges.
We are operating in 2009 under a new farm bill that will implement tighter eligibility rules and require operating structures that are not understood completely even by those who administer them.
Our whole national financial structure is at risk.
We have a shift in leadership in Washington, D.C., that is untested, with indications it will lead in directions where we have never been as a nation.
With all this uncertainty, it is equally important to recognize those issues we know are certain. It is gratifying to know – as a known, not an unknown – that our research dollars are and will be spent wisely. It also is satisfying to know that research will continue, that problems will be dealt with, that answers will be found and that we will not concede to the unknown.
This report is one way we have of communicating with you that our dollars are not only spent wisely but to flesh out exactly what ways they are being spent in all the many areas where we need solutions. We can worry about the unknown, but we can plant this crop knowing that we are using our own dollars to seek solutions that will pay off this year and into the future.
Jackie Loewer, Chairman
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture