Coffee, Chaos and Navigating the Unpredictable

Katie Micik Dehlinger
By  Katie Micik Dehlinger , Farm Business Editor
(eggeeggjiew, Getty Images)

I love a good cup of coffee in the morning, but it's really not about the coffee. It's the ritual. It's a time to think and reflect, a time for calm and gratitude. A quiet moment, preferably to myself, but that's hard to come by these days.

I hope that someday, when I reflect back on 2022 while drinking my morning coffee, I'm sitting on a shaded, screened-in porch. I hope it's sunny and mild with a refreshing breeze. I hope it's the kind of calm that's been so hard to find this year.

For me, this year's chaos is due to my toddler and baby. There's just no predicting what's going to happen from one moment to the next.

Many of you will remember 2022's surging input prices, record grain prices, unpredictable weather, supply chain disruptions and such, many stemming from global forces that are completely uncontrollable.

There are people who study chaos and attempt to make sense of it. I am not one of those people. However, I think 2022 is a year that is a prime example of the power of The Butterfly Effect. A small change in initial conditions results in drastically different outcomes. A butterfly flaps its wings in one place and changes the weather halfway around the world.

Russia invading Ukraine is hardly a small thing, but the ramifications are still being felt around the globe, and in some unpredictable ways. The war has exposed shortfalls in the dynamics of global fuel supplies, disrupted the flow of essential foodstuffs to impoverished nations and encouraged historically neutral countries to join a storied military alliance.

On the farm, it's added a layer of uncertainty and volatility on top of market disruptions from the pandemic. Figuring out how to manage a business through these times is a challenge. That's why the editorial team at DTN/Progressive Farmer chose "Conquer the Chaos: Strategies to Build Endurance for Your Business" as the theme for this year's DTN Virtual Ag Summit.

With all that's going on in the world, we decided to make it easy for everyone to attend without the hassle of travel. We're still planning the details, but we hope you'll reserve the mornings of Dec. 12 and 13 for an in-depth look at markets, weather and the forces driving this chaotic ag economy.


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