The View From Here August 2021


As the triple digits and monsoons make their way into the Southwest, so goes the greening of the desert. After more than 18 months of almost moisture free weather, this has been a welcome relief for everyone. Especially so for the entire western ranching community who have been waiting and watching the skies to finally fill their ponds and provide some much-needed browse for domestic herds and wildlife alike.  

Tim Robinson

The Yuma and Imperial Valleys have turned under the winter produce fields and we have moved through melon harvest most everywhere.  Tillage tools are running across most fallow fields getting ready for fall planting of the winter salad bowl. Fertilizers will be spread and fields prepared to seed and irrigate by summers end when the temperatures return to the more pleasant ranges.

Silage harvest was generally uneventful until the very end when the winds from the monsoons laid some fields down. This phenomenon always leads to difficult harvest conditions and reduced yields. Thankfully the damage was isolated to a small acreage, even though the losses are still hard on those that experienced it. 

Alfalfa harvest has been in full swing through the 4th and 5th cuttings before rain slowed the run down. Yields for both forage crops have been acceptable and the quality was reported as very good in most spots before the rains came down. Summer forages are in full bloom and we are looking forward to the harvesting of even more silage this fall to bolster feed supplies in 2022.  

Dairy prices have been stagnant, and the futures show little hope for anything positive in the near term. Coupled with higher feed and protein costs, the dairy farmer has some concerns ahead. Prices for fat cattle finally strengthened and are beginning to show signs of exceeding growing costs. In turn, between higher futures for fats, and the blossoming of the western deserts, pairs, feeders and most every other cow in the market has shown improved pricing. 

Cotton growers are being blessed with both stronger prices for the current and future crops as well as some excellent growth across most fields. Between positive price movements and negative predicted water allocations for 2022, cotton may see a resurgence as a main crop, inching forages out by a few acres overall across most of the southwestern growing regions.

Windrowers, large and small rectangular balers, rakes and forage harvesting machines have continued moving throughout the Southwest as well as to other parts of the country at a brisk pace. And, Empire Southwest has again inched up inventory orders with a fresh run of machinery due in from the Hesston and CLAAS plants by summer’s end to help with anticipated yearend demand. Be sure to share your machinery plans for next year early to meet the production and delivery schedules we have become so entrenched in during these unprecedented times.  

We remain in uncertain, curious and challenging times in different areas of our agricultural business. Water remains the absolute top contender for the biggest challenge going forward as our drought, while temporarily quenched, remains in place out west. Empire Agriculture remains vigilant and poised to provide the best solutions for our clients to help overcome the adversity set upon them by the elements.

As always, we encourage everyone to work safe this summer, remain as prosperous as possible during this cycle, and to visit us about any opportunity to help you with your business needs.

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Empire Agriculture has been part of the southwestern agriculture community since 1950.

As an Arizona-based, family owned company, we have a unique understanding of the critical role that growers play in our communities and economies. We salute your dedication to our industry, and are committed to providing the machines, technologies and resources you need to succeed in every season.

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