Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Grandpa, Cotton, and the Fed Chairman

Usually, I post stock market information...but this link is about commodities. Cotton in particular. I've never traded the futures market. But, I do have a bit of a commodities bug in me. I believe I got it from my grandfather. A man I never met and from the stories told...a man I sure would've liked to have known. He was a cattle rancher and farmer...cotton being one of his favorite crops. I sure wish the new seed technologies would have been around when he was breaking his back in cotton. Read cotton article here. Key points below:
  • The Texas cotton harvest is expected to be 7.5 million bales, best since at least 1949. The United States, largely because of the Texas crop, expects a record, too. Worldwide, cotton harvests in many countries will hit records. "Nobody had a crop failure to speak of," says Shawn Wade of the Plains Cotton Growers, which represents West Texas growers.

  • A decline in the water table and its quality could have a long-term effect on West Texas cotton growers.

  • Genetic engineering of seeds has meant farmers can plant varieties that are drought-resistant or that can thrive in colder areas. The genetic engineering that produces such seeds is one reason U.S. cotton harvests have become more plentiful. "We used to have one seed, and now we have 5,200 varieties," says Candice Poteet, executive vice president of the Texas Cotton Association in Dallas, which represents cotton merchandisers. "If you're planting in an area prone to high winds, you can plant a hearty variety with a thicker stalk."

  • That, plus technology such as irrigation, cotton strippers and chemical fertilizers, have helped turn cotton into one of the nation's most successful crops. "Today, we can harvest more cotton in one day than my daddy could in a whole season," says David Jones, 68, a cotton farmer who lives south of Lubbock.

  • The USA is the world's largest cotton exporter; China, the largest importer.
On to other's an article that discusses what I think will become the number one topic of 2005. The replacement of Greenspan. Read here. My favorite quip in the article is from Drew Matus, "Hiring a Fed chairman is like firing a missile. There's no recall button." The article lists the candidates as:
Do me a favor and review each of the links above. Each one should take you to a picture and bio of the person. Spend a few seconds looking at the picture and glancing at the bio. Make your decision on 1) who you think should be the new Fed Chairman and 2) who will be chosen as the Fed Chairman by Bush. The less you know of these people the better. Mark down your decision and keep it with you. See how your Blink process performs.

Later Trades...

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