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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 07:02 PM

Joni Ernst's soybean blowup shows debates really do still matter

Opinion by Art Cullen

When Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and her Democratic challenger Theresa Greenfield first met to debate a few weeks ago, the spectacle was unpleasant to watch. The two women accused each other of being corporate tools, and each demanded an apology in return. Moderator David Yepsen was forced to stop the shouting and ask: “Is this the way Iowans expect their senator to act?”

Not much to learn there. But — whoa, Nellie — the candidates had a second debate Thursday night that will not be soon forgotten. Moderator Ron Steele asked Greenfield what the break-even price of a bushel of corn was for an Iowa farmer. Three dollars and 68 cents, she replied, adding that it depends on the individual farmer’s cost structure. Right answer! She can expect a gold star from the Iowa State University extension service.

Steele then asked Ernst to state the break-even price for soybeans. Ernst wasn’t sure. “You grew up on a farm. You should know this,” Steele said. Ernst guessed: Maybe $5.50 per bushel? “Would you care to give it another try?” asked co-moderator Matt Breen. No thanks, Ernst replied which was probably wise. The break-even on soybeans is around $10 per bushel.

Most farmers who intend to plant next year can quote the markets by the hour. They know their market prices, their subsidy levels, their break-even costs. A rule of running for statewide office in Iowa is to know corn and soybean prices and be facile with the donut hole for Medicare.


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Reply Joni Ernst's soybean blowup shows debates really do still matter (Original post)
Zorro Saturday OP
rurallib Saturday #1
Wellstone ruled Saturday #3
SWBTATTReg Saturday #2
rurallib Saturday #4

Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 07:07 PM

1. May I add that Art Cullen is the Pulitzer Prize winning editor of the Storm Lake (Ia) Times

and one of the best observers of Iowa politics.

He pretty well nails the impact of Ernst's flub.

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Response to rurallib (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 07:19 PM

3. BTW,Cullen asked what was the Replacement Cost of Corn as

well as the replacement cost for Beans. Ernst flunk both ugly. True replacement for corn is as low as 3.82 //bushel at 225 bushel per acre to well over 5 dollars in the storm damaged areas of Iowa.

Beans,again,that is all over the spectrum. From 9 dollars to as high as 12 dollars depending on yields.

BTW,this years Crop Insurance will disappoint these Growers thanks once again to those GOP folks they elected like Grassley who said,we cannot under write this program. So you all will have to have super yields.

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Response to Zorro (Original post)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 07:10 PM

2. This shocks me. The article is absolutely right, in that farmers literally monitor the prices on a

constant basis, not just because they have crops in the fields, but also, stored too, by literally the thousands of bushels, and probably tens of thousands of bushels. I think the senator really hurt her case, she should have known better and she should have done her homework too, as she is in the thick of bills right and left, but wait...Moscow Mitch has been holding up bills right and left, so nothing is getting done in the Senate to help anybody...nothing.

Scumbags care only about their tax cuts (the 2017 one) for their rich donor buddies and nobody else.

Whoa Nellie indeed!

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Response to SWBTATTReg (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 17, 2020, 08:16 PM

4. For a farmer, that is what a cell phone is for - checking the markets every 10 minutes

I had a farmer doing some work on my house about ten years ago - about every half hour or so out would come the phone. click, click, click and a little expression then back to work.

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