Citizens are reveling in the price for a commodity they can’t do without – gasoline – just as they were grumbling about a price they could do nothing about a few months ago. For farmers and ranchers, commodity prices are a matter of survival. They can do little to control commodity prices and must live with the fact that larger harvests depress prices and lower harvests raise them – just when they have less of a crop to sell. Weather is the “commodity” that no one can control. Oklahoma harvests were generally mediocre last year, the Tulsa World reports, and farmers were often unable to take advantage of higher prices for some crops because of weather. The state’s cotton, corn and hay crops were down in 2008, but wheat, soybeans and peanuts had improved harvests from 2007. Think filling your gas tank was rough last summer? Try making a living when your petroleum-based inputs such as diesel and fertilizer are sky high and the skies are lowering with storm clouds right before harvest.
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