Autumn in Weekes
FTLComm - Weekes - Monday, September 29, 2008

This past Saturday we went out to visit friends at Weekes. Weekes no longer has a rail link with the rest of the world and it has a bumper crop this year of wheat, oats, barley and Canola. All of these commodities need to be trucked almost 100 km to be marketed so the farmers have been coming up with ways to sell their produce locally with massive hog barns and now a huge feed lot in the Mistatim area. Despite these efforts the cost of transportation, even with a bumper crop and modestly good prices make the business of farming just barely profitable, then comes today.


What does the dramatic downturn expected in the economy mean for the folks in a rural village 100km from market? You will notice that one of today's market casualties was the price of oil which lost over $10. The reason is went down in price is that speculators are expecting the US economy to collapse and with it the demand for gasoline.

This means that economy that consumes and purchases so much of the world's production is in dire trouble. This also means that Weekes, thousands of miles


from New York has taken a hard blow. The Canola that was planted in the fields and fertilized with the most expensive fertilizer ever was worth about $15 a pail now as it is being harvested in top quality and outstanding yields is worth less than $11 a pail. With commodities about to become less and less in demand that price will fall well below the cost of production of around $9. The same story is true for the cereal grains, their value if not already fallen is about to do so.

The value of trading today in the New York Stock exchange saw the value of $1.2 trillion vanish in losses. Losses that will be directly effecting every part of the US and ultimately the world economy. Immediately it is expected that there will be huge lay offs in every field of work. The short term loan market is extinguished and employers will be unable to borrow to pay off their wages and will lay off workers. With the huge personal debt the average American carries on credit cards and accounts they are on the edge of deep deep trouble, with no income those credit card payments will not be met and the financial companies depending on the bloated profits from those accounts will in turn go belly up. This will not be gradual but will occur rapidly within the next thee months.

Economists are describing the effects of the downturn to take until 2015 at least for the economy to get back to where it was yesterday.

So for the farmers around Weekes that monster crop had better be delivered and sold before it has lost value to the point of being worth less than it cost to produce.

Weekes is just a little place on the edge of the forest and the edge of Saskatchewan's grain belt, that is not to severe a situation, now consider what this downturn is going to mean to places in the third world on subsistence conditions. No earns now, none in the future and the cost of everything way beyond any hope of acquisition.

IN a single word, today marks the beginning of a depression.

Timothy W. Shire

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Editor : Timothy W. Shire
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