WILLAg Notes

February 06, 2017

All Day Ag Outlook March 7, 2017

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or call 1-800-898-1065 between 8:30 AM and 5 PM
 



Doors Open
9:00am eastern / 8:00am central
    
Beef House Rolls & Coffee Available

Opening Remarks
9:25am eastern / 8:25am central
    Todd E. Gleason, University of Illinois Extension

Weather Outlook
9:30am eastern / 8:30am central
    Eric Snodgrass, Agrible - Champaign, Illinois

Special Guest for the Day
     Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Cash Grain Panel
10:15am eastern / 9:15am central
    
Matt Bennett, Bennett Consulting - Windsor, Illinois
    Aaron Curtis, MIDCO - Bloomington, Illinois
    Brian Stark, The Andersons - Champaign, Illinois
    Chuck Shelby, Risk Management Commodities - Lafayette, Indiana

Break (30 min)

Soybean Panel
11:30am eastern / 10:30am central
    Ellen Dearden, AgReview - Morton, Illinois
    Bill Gentry, Risk Management Commodities - Lafayette, Indiana
    Pete Manhart, Bates Commodities - Normal, Illinois
    Bill Mayer, Strategic Farm Marketing - Champaign, Illinois

Lunch and Trade Show
12:15pm eastern / 11:15am central
    
Beef House Lunch

Farm Policy, Trade, & the Farm Bill
Gardner Agriculture Policy Program
1:15pm eastern / 12:15pm central
    Jonathan Coppess, Agricultural Policy Specialist - University of Illinois
    Gary Schnitkey, Farm Management & Crop Insurance - University of Illinois
    Nick Paulson, Agricultural Finance & Policy Assessment - University of Illinois

Corn Panel
2:15pm eastern / 1:15pm central
    Curt Kimmel, Bates Commodities - Normal, Illinois
    Wayne Nelson, L&M Commodities - New Market, Indiana
    Mike Zuzolo, Global Commodity Analytics & Consulting - Atchison, Kansas
    Dan Zwicker, Zwicker Consulting - Waco, Texas


February 15, 2017

2017 Projected Incomes on Illinois Grain Farms



Net incomes for Illinois grain farms are projected to be lower this year than last. If this University of Illinois estimate holds, writes agricultural economist Gary Schnitkey on the farmdocdaily website, the weakening financial position of farms in the state will worsen. The last half decade has really changed the financial picture for farmers says Schnitkey, “So we had high incomes from 2010 to 2012 and every year since 2012 we’ve been on a downward trend through 2015. This is when we hit a $500 per farm average net income on Illinois grain farms enrolled in FBFM. This is very low and the lowest through the entire period we’ve examined. Obviously this is not enough to maintain the financial position of farms.”

Schnitkey evaluated FBFM net income records going back to 1996. FBFM stands for Farm Business Farm Management and is a record keeping service for farmers. The service has not yet summarized net incomes for 2016. However it is projecting a substantial rebound.



It appears net income for grain farms in the service will average somewhere between forty and fifty-thousand dollars. There are three primary reasons for this says Schnitkey, “What lead to it was higher than trend line yields. USDA estimates the statewide corn yield at 197 bushels per acre. Just three bushels off the record yield set in 2014 of 200 bushels. Soybean yields averaged 59 bushels. It is a record setting yield. Both of those record setting yields lead to higher incomes in 2016 along with very good ARC County payments.”

Those are two of the three factors leading to a better 2016. The high yields and sizable ARC County payments - that’s the farm safety net from Washington D.C. - aren’t likely to be repeated this season. The third factor very well could be repeated. It is lower input costs including cash rents and fertilizer. It won’t be enough thinks Schnitkey.

 

Quote Summary - For 2017 we used trend yields and commodity prices of $3.80 for corn and $9.90 for soybeans that resulted in lower incomes for the year. Probably something in the $20,000 range per farm.

Schnitkey cautions it is very early in the season, and that at this same time last year 2016 was projected to be a very, very bad year. It rebounded. It is also important to note that while higher than 2015 incomes, the projected 2016 incomes do not result in the building of financial reserves on most Illinois farms. Schnitkey believes most farms will continue to see the erosion of working capital, potentially leading to the need to refinance outstanding operating loan balances.


February 06, 2017

Consider Using ARP for Soybeans

farmdoc daily source article

It seems likely the price of soybeans at harvest this fall could be much lower than it is now. The options a farmer might consider because of this potential is choosing a different crop insurance plan.

Federal crop insurance comes in two basic revenue protection forms, R-P and A-R-P. R-P stands for Revenue Protection and A-R-P stands for Area Risk Protection. The difference between the two says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey is simple enough to understand.

Gary Schnitkey - RP is what most people buy, Revenue Protection. It is a farm level product and makes payments based on what happens to farm yields. ARP is a county level product. So, it makes payments on what happens to county wide yields, county revenue, but it is the county yield that is entered into the equation rather the farm yield (as is the case) for RP.

It is the available coverage level under the ARP federal crop insurance option that put Schnitkey’s mind to work when he was considering how farmers should use the risk management program this season.

Gary Schnitkey - The reason why I think farmers should consider it is because they have a 90% coverage level in ARP versus only 85% on ARP. This year, you know, we are probably looking at some more downside risk on soybeans and a 90% guarantee would cover more of that price risk.

Moving up to a 90% coverage level increases the price below which crop insurance payments occur. Given a $10.20 projected February price and a 90% coverage level, harvest prices below $9.18 a bushel for soybeans in November ($10.20 x .90) would generate payments, given that the harvest yield equals the guarantee yield. The $9.18 price compares to an $8.67 break-even price at an 85% RP coverage level, and an $8.16 break-even at an 80% coverage level.

There are some caveats when switching from RP to ARP.

ARP does not have prevented planting or replant payments while RP does. The coverage on ARP begins when the crop is planted. Because ARP uses county yields in its calculations, a farm may not receive a payment if the farm has a poor yield and the county does not. The relative premiums on RP and ARP vary across counties. Not all counties will have a 90% ARP premium that is lower than the 85% RP policies.

Finally, here’s an important note about the crop insurance guarantee from Gary Schnitkey. The CME Group soybean contract for November 2017 delivery currently is trading around $10.20 per bushel. A $10.20 per bushel projected price would be $1.35 higher than last year’s projected price of $8.85 per bushel. In and of itself, a higher projected price will offer additional revenue protection on soybeans without the need to consider the merits of RP versus ARP.


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