The Press-Dispatch

February 17, 2021

The Press-Dispatch

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Grain prices and marketing The great grain rally is well underway. With the coldest temperatures in a few years upon us, time indoors allows for a little thought on how best to capitalize on tight supplies and worries about South American harvest yields. Help exists through a quick analysis of past trends and an upcoming event. Looking at wheat, prices have in- creased from a low of 4.75 dollars per bushel back in late June, wheat harvest season, to around 6.50 as of this writing. The Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program with the Farm Service Agency considers 5.50 to be the safety net reference price after which payments would be issued. Wheat farmers have gone from guaran- teed losses to potential profits, assuming the crop that is marketed comes to pass. Initial concerns about this cold weather doing significant damage to the wheat crop are likely mitigated with the snow and ice coverage insulating the crop. The change in price comes from nearly every level of the market, from relative weak- ness of the dollar to protections placed on usual net exporting countries to pro- tect internal supply. In soybeans, China purchasing is in- fluencing the market. Tight supplies and lower expected carryover from good ex- port numbers all around also factor in. The low for soybean prices in the past year occurred at 8.24 dollars per bush- el back in March. Cur- rent prices for soybeans are in the 14 dollar range. The PLC safety net price is 8.40. Promising news for soybean farmers, but South America specializ- es in soybean production. Will harvest in the South- ern Hemisphere moderate these numbers as Spring approaches in the Northern Hemisphere? Corn is currently north of 5.50 dollars per bushel, with the low having been at 3.08 back in August prior to harvest. PLC reference price is 3.70. The derecho in the "I" states reduced anticipated yields greater than what was expected to start the rally, with exports coming in to fill the gap. WASDE reports, World Agricul- tural Supply and Demand Estimate re- ports, help all of these numbers tremen- dously. The year 2014 is referenced in ar- ticles relating to these reports, reflecting the end of the last agricultural boom in the economy. A grain marketing panel discussion will be held on February 19 featuring grain marketers from CMS Grain, Superior Ag, ADM, CGB, Valero, and Green Plains companies in southwestern Indiana. They all have excellent knowledge of world grain stocks and individ- ual company portfolios. Folks interested in learning more about agricultural economics during this period can join at j/97786080340?pwd=NWlFM- 3JV TU43d0Fnd0I3RllmMzlBQT09 or To the author's knowledge, Reddit has not influenced these markets. Investors willing to short or short squeeze can and have done so in the agricultural fu- tures market, however. Like other com- modities, one need not physically have the product to contract for delivery, as- suming one offloads the contract before it comes to maturity. For more informa- tion on grain markets or the panel discus- sion, contact Hans at hschmitz@purdue. edu or 812-838 -1331. The Press-Dispatch Wednesday, Feburar y 17, 2021 A-9 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Signed letters must be received by noon on Monday. Down on the Farm By Hans Schmitz, Purdue Extension Educator ligations. Ownership, rather than more government, is the an- swer. Now we just need coura- geous leadership. Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renew- al and Education and host of the new weekly news talk show "Cure America with Star Parker." OPT OUT Continued from page 8 Court Report FELONY Pike County Circuit Court Malinda Jo Daugherty charged with possession of methamphetamine, a lev- el 6 felony. Blaine Castle charged with unlawful possession of syringe, a level 6 felony. TRAFFIC AND MISDEMEANORS Pike County Circuit Court Jamie M. Weist charged with operat- ing a vehicle with an ACE of at least .08 but less than .15. Jenifer A. Najarro Pena charged with operating a vehicle while intoxicated, en- dangering a person. Zachary J. Kelle charged with posses- sion of methamphetamine. CIVIL Pike County Circuit Court Professional and Business Collections, LLC sues Alecia Stevens on complaint. Brooks C. Yon sues Steven Slunder and Kimberly Slunder on complaint. Josh Tindall petitions for specialized driving privileges. Amy M. Hyneman sues Joshua L. Hyneman for dissolution of marriage. Amber M. Leighty sues Jason Leighty for dissolution of marriage. SMALL CLAIMS Pike County Circuit Court Procol sues Mary Flenner on com- plaint. Procol sues Sonja Newberry and Tra- cy Newberry on complaint. Procol sues Jard Perry on complaint. INFRACTIONS Pike County Circuit Court Kevin L. White charged with federal motor carrier safety regulation violation. Jeanne M. Doench charged with driv- ing while suspended. Evan K. Payne charged with speeding, exceeding 70 mph. Paxton C. Mosby charged with speed- ing, exceeding 70 mph. Betty S. Branham charged with speed- ing, exceeding 55 mph. Stanley B. Cope charged with speed- ing, exceeding 70 mph. Addison C. Hoffman charged with speeding, exceeding 70 mph. Paul L. McConnell, Jr. charged with speeding, exceeding 55 mph. Michael S. Emmons charged with speeding. Christopher L. White charged with speeding. Phyllis R. Scott charged with child re- straint system violation, child less than 8 years of age. Alden J. Bartley charged with speed- ing. Paul G. DeWeese charged with driving while suspended. cut taxes, government spend- ing, and sold state-owned businesses. A fter economically igno- rant politicians like Bernie Sanders called Scandina- via "socialist," Denmark's prime minister even came to America to say: "Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a mar- ket economy." In fact, in rankings of eco- nomic freedom, Denmark ranks as more free market than the United States. Myth No. 5: Socialism is completely different from fascism. In Congress, Rep. Louie Gohmert called Hitler a "so- cialist." Rep. Steve Cohen took offense, shouting, "It's the Nazis that were terrible, not the socialists! " But Nazis were "nation- al socialists." There are dif- ferences between fascism and socialism, but "both re- place market decision-mak- ing with command and con- trol," says Powell. Fascism "leaves private ownership in nominal terms" but neither system allows individual freedom. "You lose... control over your own future. Only under capitalism do you have the freedom to say, 'No.'" Socialism appeals to peo- ple today because it promises "equality and social justice," but look at its track record. In Russia, Cuba, North Ko- rea, Nicaragua, Vietnam and China, socialism has meant a loss of freedom. Socialist experiments also failed in Israel, India, Great Britain, A fghanistan, Syria, Algeria, Cambodia, Soma- lia, etc. There are no social- ist success stories. Only capitalist countries create real wealth. "The history of humani- ty is poverty, starvation, ear- ly death," Powell points out. "In the last 20 years, we've seen more humans escape extreme poverty than any other time in human history. That's because of markets! " Yet, millions vote for so- cialism. John Stossel is author of "Give Me a Break: How I Ex- posed Hucksters, Cheats, and Scam Artists and Became the Scourge of the Liberal Media." SOCIALISM Continued from page 8 You Really Mean It. Sessions will be conducted by a certi- fied well-known and respect- ed communication expert. Classes start nightly from 7 p.m. and lasts two hours. En- rollment limited to two appli- cants per week due to previ- ous commitments of the pre- senter. Class 3: How To Direct Your Man to Follow Driving Directions. Be surprised to find GPS is not always accu- rate. This will lower your au- to insurance rates if you in- form your agent you had ap- plied for this program. Hur- ry up before classes get filled. Only few spots avail- able. Classes start this Mon- day. To Register: call 1-800 - WE- CARE or visit: www: Folks, these programs are all being shared with you for entertainment purposes on- ly. In other words, it's fake ads. If I get hate mails, I'll blame my friend. • • • On a serious note, we are extremely grateful the vac- cines for COVID are final- ly available. Do I believe vaccines work? The an- swer is yes, I do, because I have seen for nearly five de- cades involvement in health care field, many communi- cable diseases worldwide have been stopped, or con- trolled, or significantly less- ened through vaccination programs. Yes, I have also seen ad- verse events happen because of side effects from the vac- cines, but they are few. Some had real bad consequences. But understand we don't live in a perfect world and sci- ence is not exempt from er- rors as it travels it's amazing progress. Perhaps you might ask, will I take it? The answer is yes, I already did and had little to no side effects. My daughter who is in the health care field said,"Dad, if you grow a third arm on the in- jection site, report it right away." Well so far, I had not noticed any. • • • To everyone, I hope you had a Happy Valentine Cel- ebration. The entire world needs so much love, for there appears to be so much anger, despair, and pessimism in many places. I have a friend who said if everyone can just share love and goodwill to one anoth- er, then we will have a bet- ter world in which we can live. When everyone shows respect and caring for each other, we will enjoy healthi- er and longer lives. Science and faith have proven this beyond doubt. Now how hard can it be to un- derstand this. Have a bless- ed week. • • • Last but not least: thanks to our local Pike County Health Department, who for the past 11 months since the pandemic, has done a superb job of meeting all the chal- lenges presented by this gi- ant problem. Thank you for doing ev- erything humanly possible to keep us informed, for giv- ing us timely guidelines, pro- viding testing sites, provid- ing vaccinations and so ma- ny other things that keep us safe and well. Readers, whenever you meet anyone who has pro- vided their time and effort to battle this COVID, please thank them wholehearted- ly. We are so blessed to have these resources. Amen. SPIRITS Continued from page 8 not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." Embrace Lent. You may be surprised by the spiritu- al gifts and grace that Christ will flood you souls with. I can't wait! Think about it! has hit a five-year high. Un- employment claims are fall- ing, and there are 6.5 million open jobs in America. The stock market has surged to new all-time highs, and in the last quarter, private sector GDP was up a bullish 4.3% . Does this sound like a cri- sis? Perhaps in blue-state America, where governors such as Andrew Cuomo of New York and J.B. Pritzker of Illinois have foolishly shut- tered their businesses and schools. But the solution to getting back to the rap- id growth of the first three Trump years is to open up the state economies and speed up vaccine distributions. Those solutions cost al- most nothing. Instead, Biden insists that the lesson he learned from the failed $ 830 billion "shovel ready" bill back in 2009 was, "We spent too little." So, he's doubling down. Don't worry about the children and the grandchil- dren, who will be saddled with the Chinese and Sau- di debt repayment. The New Republic recently advised Biden to "spend like crazy." So, "crazy" is what we are getting. Crazy like driving 80 miles per hour down the highway drunk and wearing a blindfold. So, I repeat: Will some Democrat somewhere please stand up and tell the drunk-with-power Demo- crats to stop? I am terrified the answer is no. Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foun- dation and an economic con- sultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of "Trum- ponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive the Amer- ican Economy." BUDGET Continued from page 8 Heritage Viewpoint By James M. Roberts Corruption in Russia thrives, economic freedom dies As Alexis Mrachek, of The Heritage Foundation, has reported, Russian pro- testers have taken to the streets in re- cent weeks to express widespread anger and frustration with ongoing corruption in their country. Coincident with Alexei Navalny's ar- rest and conviction by Russian President Vladimir Putin's police state on trumped- up charges, allies of the opposition lead- er released a devastatingly effective You- Tube video showing the Russian people and the world incontrovertible proof of the regime's systematic corruption in the years since Putin and his KGB cronies seized power. The video is also a vivid illustration of the assault by the Putin dictatorship on economic freedom in Russia, which is measured annually by The Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Free- dom. The 2020 edition of the index reports that the Russian economy is burdened by structural weaknesses, low levels of in- vestment, and a poor demographic out- look. The connection between political power and property is strong in Russia, with some senior officials (e.g., Putin) us- ing their government positions to amass vast property holdings. Corruption is pervasive in the highly centralized, authoritarian government. Private businesses are routinely target- ed for extortion by both law enforce- ment and organized crim- inal groups. The Navalny video brought to light the Her- itage index's analysis of corruption and weak rule of law, illustrated with re- al people and real places in Russia. According to FoxNews. com, the video has been viewed more than 100 million times around the world. In it, Navalny patiently and com- prehensively paints a picture of a cor- rupt, ambitious, and totally cynical young KGB officer named Putin. Beginning in the early the 1980s, Putin and his KGB friends schemed and plotted their way to unthinkable power and wealth in post-So- viet Russia. The video features the most tangible and outrageous symbol of that corrup- tion; namely, the neoclassical "Putin's Palace" on the Black Sea, with its "ca- sino, ice-skating rink, theatre, and heli- copter pad." The video outlines an extensive paper trail linking ownership of the billion-dol- lar palace to Putin, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. The palace expose also spotlights the index's summary describing the lack of economic freedom in Rus- sia today. It is weak because the combination of a subser- vient judiciary, rampant cor- ruption, and links among bu- reaucrats and organized crim- inal groups have compromised government integrity. As long as the government tolerates the high levels of cor- ruption that the Navalny video exposes, while also pursuing statist, nationalist, and protec- tionist economic policies and maintain- ing a cautious approach to inward foreign investment, the index predicts that ex- pansion of economic freedom in Russia will be difficult. Navalny, with tremendous courage, is fighting for greater economic freedom in his homeland. His vision of a better way of life and standard of living in Russia could be realized if enough of his fellow citizens exhibit the same bravery and de- mand it. The early signs for that are cau- tiously positive. James M. Roberts, a Research Fellow For Economic Freedom and Growth, primary responsibility is to edit the Rule of Law and Monetary Freedom sections of Index of Eco- nomic Freedom. ASHES Continued from page 8 Social Security Matters By Rusty Gloor Will benefits be affected by state pension? Dear Rusty: I am 73 and receive a pen- sion from my state's Police and Fire Pen- sion Fund. I took a full pension, so my wife only gets a widow's pension when I die, and this is only a fraction of what my full pension is. I also get a small So- cial Security benefit, about $ 95 a month, and that amount is pro-rated because of the amount of my state pension. My wife is 71 and receives a Social Security ben- efit of about $ 600 a month. When I die, can she get a portion of my Social Securi- ty benefit? And will it increase since she will not be getting my full state pension? Signed: Retired Public Servant. Dear Retired: The state you live in is one of 26 which have opted for many state employees to not participate in the Federal Social Security program. As a re- sult, your Social Security benefit, earned from work outside of your state employ- ment, is reduced by your state pension. The details of your state pension and what portion of that pension your wife will receive as your widow isn't what af- fects your, or your wife's Social Security benefit amount. Rather, the base amount of your current state pension is what af- fects your benefit, due to a rule known as the Wind- fall Elimination Provision ( WEP). WEP is why your Social Security (SS) benefit is on- ly $ 95/month. WEP applies to your personal Social Se- curity retirement benefit (earned from working out- side of your state employ- ment) and reduces your So- cial Security benefit due to your state pension, because neither you nor your state employer paid SS FICA taxes on your earnings. And since your personal SS retirement ben- efit is reduced by WEP, your wife's spou- sal benefit (not her widow's benefit) from you would also be reduced, although from the numbers you shared your wife isn't entitled to a spousal benefit. Your wife's own SS retirement bene- fit from her own work record is not af- fected by WEP because WEP applies to your benefits only. And neither will your wife's SS survivor bene- fit as your widow be affected by your state pension, should you predecease her. If you die first, your wife will be el- igible to collect, as her survi- vor benefit, 100 percent of the amount you were entitled to before your WEP reduction, if that amount is greater than the SS benefit she is entitled to on her own work record. And that would, again, be totally independent of whatever she receives from your State pension. In other words, your wife's So- cial Security benefit - her own SS benefit or her survivor benefit - will not be at all affected by your state pension. To submit a question, visit our web- site ( social-security-advisory) or email us at

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