Dennis Sun On Agriculture: Signs That 2023 Might Rebound Into A Good Year

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By Dennis Sun, Wyoming Livestock Roundup

As we happily ring in the New Year, many of us wonder what it will bring us, and more importantly, what we will bring to it. Today, the sun came out for the first time this year, and the snowpack in most of the mountains has increased. We are well on our way to better days.

We need to stop dating our checks for last year and be positive in thinking 2023 will be a better year than 2022.

Over the past few years, governmental policies have not always been in the best interest of our region or our industry. We hope these policies change for the better.

I believe we are going to get ourselves in trouble if our country moves away from long-standing sources of energy to renewable energy completely. It has been proven in Europe renewable energy sources alone will not guarantee adequate electricity to keep grids powered.

Not all economists are predicting bad times ahead. In fact, well-respected Wharton School of Business Professor Jeremy Siegel is predicting three big events will shake up the stock market in 2023.

Siegal expects to see job markets loosen up dramatically, with some job losses, but believes the gross domestic product will grow much faster than most people think. He hopes the Federal Reserve pivots to avoid a recession and have a good year for profits. He says if productivity comes back, it will put downward pressure on prices and upward pressure on margins.

Siegal also expects the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates to around two or three percent by the end of the year, and he thinks the stock market will surge 15 percent this year. We hope he is correct.

In Wyoming, many of us hope hydrogen and uranium will become important energy sources, as we’re finding out solar and wind energy are not as reliable as many have hoped.

It will be good to see the proposed West Fork Dam built in a tributary of the Little Snake River. This dam and reservoir would impound 6,500 acre-feet of irrigation storage in the Little Snake River Valley and neighboring areas in Colorado.

Another 1,500 acre-feet would maintain a “minimum bypass flow” into Battle Creek and the Little Snake, Yampa, Green and Colorado rivers downstream. They won’t be growing tomatoes, but the return flow will certainly help the downstream issues affecting the Lower Colorado River system.

I hear La Niña is starting to lose its grip on the Western states, as much needed moisture has come to the area.

Since 2020, upwards of three quarters of the nation have been in a drought or abnormally dry. The current seasonal drought outlook map provided by the Climate Prediction Center suggests conditions are unlikely to improve over the winter in major agricultural states with the drought persisting in the Central and Southern Plains, although some improvement is indicated in the Intermountain West.

However, the current climate outlook from the Climate Prediction Center predicts La Niña conditions to fade by spring, thus reviving some hope for improved conditions in the spring and early summer.

Hopefully we’ll remember what an irrigating shovel, muck boots and overshoes are for.

The Wyoming Livestock Roundup is a weekly agricultural newspaper available online and in print. To subscribe, visit wylr.net or call 800-967-1647.

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