How to Kill a Groundhog
CF Industries and Agrium
Thanks to a mild spring, the crops came in early this year in
New England, and they've grown big.
My 10 tall blueberry bushes have been bearing fruit for over a
month now, and I've been able to freeze a lot of the berries I
pick, even after consuming them on a daily basis and giving some
And until last week I was congratulating myself on a netting job so
perfect that no birds had penetrated it-a first in the 20 years
I've been doing this.
Then came the morning when I discovered that both a squirrel and a
rabbit had found an entrance route down low. I shooed them out the
door, plugged the hole haphazardly, and got on with my picking.
The next morning, there were four squirrels in there!
So I got serious and plugged the hole properly, giving thanks once
again that I don't try to make a living by farming.
It's not just blueberries that are thriving, of course; everything
from lettuce to peas is off to a great start. Even the weeds are
championship quality. And the critters that feed on the greens,
from rabbits to groundhogs, are prolific, too.
Which brings me to my dog, Layla, now nine years old.
She's wonderful with children, and she's been taught not to bother
the chickens and guinea hens on the farm.
But she's a natural at killing groundhogs, and that's fine by me.
Here's a picture.
Speaking of farming, fertilizer stocks have been doing well this
year. The reasons? Drought, rapidly rising prices for corn, and a
growing global population. Two of the best stocks recently earned
Cabot Top Ten Trader.
CF Industries (
on July 9, which said, "When fertilizer giant CF Industries was
first featured in
Cabot Top Ten Trader
in early 2007, the big news was low wheat inventories caused by
droughts and demand for corn to make ethanol. Today, the demand for
corn ethanol remains constant, but the big news is that record heat
in the midwestern U.S. is threatening corn crops. And the constant
factor in the background is still a growing world population that
needs feeding. CF Industries manufactures and sells nitrogen and
phosphate fertilizers: 85% are sold in the U.S., 8% in Canada and
7% are exported. CF Industries is the second largest nitrogen
fertilizer producer in the world, a result of its acquisition of
Terra Industries in 2010. With a consistent and growing position in
North American fertilizer production and distribution, the way is
clear for CF Industries to make headway overseas. The company will
report Q2 results in early August."
Readers who got on board in the days after that issue are off to a
A week later,
Cabot Top Ten Trader
, writing, "The story on fertilizer manufacturer Agrium is very
similar to that of CF Industries. Agrium makes nitrogen, potash and
phosphate-based fertilizers and other agricultural products, 88% of
which are distributed in North America. Recent droughts have
created shortfalls in crop production, and that has raised the
price of agricultural commodities. So farmers are encouraged to buy
more fertilizer to try to take advantage of the situation. The
company recently announced that its Q2 results would be near the
top of its guidance, as strong demand is keeping prices high for
many products. Agrium had a 44% increase in revenue in 2011, and is
growing both in its home country of Canada and internationally. In
March, it was announced that Agrium will acquire 90% of Viterra's
Canadian operations and all of its Australian retail facilities in
a deal with Glencore, the company that is acquiring Viterra.
Investors are encouraged that Monsanto has already released strong
quarterly results, and a good report from Agrium would give the
stock another boost."
Readers who bought after that recommendation are off to a good
Today, moving in sync with the broad market, both CF and AGU have
pulled back from last week's highs. Their pullbacks could last
longer. But the main trends remain up, and we remain bullish on
both stocks, so you could buy here.
Smarter, though, is to take a no-risk trial subscription to
Cabot Top Ten Trader
so you can see what editor Mike Cintolo is recommending now.
Yours in pursuit of wisdom and wealth,
Cabot Stock of the Month