Following the events of recent weeks, many grain markets have dropped dramatically and there are a lot of references to Black Swan events and the Black Swan theory. By definition, a Black Swan event is one that is a surprise to the observer while having a major impact. In retrospect, you wonder why it wasn’t predicted. The term comes from the incorrect belief people once had that all swans are white. The political unrest and turmoil in a number of Middle East countries could be considered a Black Swan. So is the disaster in Japan. No one was predicting the biggest earthquake in Japan’s history, followed by a tsunami, followed by a nuclear crisis. In retrospect, one might wonder about the wisdom of building nuclear reactors on a major fault line and near a shoreline, but the plants have been running since the 70s. When grain markets are going up and everyone is bullish, it’s a bit scary because nothing goes up forever. It should be noted, however, that Black Swan events can also be positive for grain prices – events such as last year’s unprecedented drought in Russia and the flooding in Australia. High impact, rare events may be practically impossible to predict, but there’s an old adage that seems to be more prophetic all the time – expect the unexpected. I’m Kevin Hursh.