WILLAg Notes

September 07, 2016

Grain Farm Income & Cash Rent Outlook



Urbana, Illinois - Wednesday morning September 7, 2016 University of Illinois Extension Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey presented a webinar looking forward into 2017. The discussion centered on farm profitability, projected income, and cash rents. You may the watch the webinar. What follows is a summary of the hour long content.




The USDA WASDE monthly average corn price is $4.67 from 2006 to 2016. The price of corn has been below this average since the fall of 2013 & Gary Schnitkey believes it is likely to continue to stay below this average through the 2017/18 crop year.

Each year USDA tracks the average marketing year cash price. This price is updated monthly in the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. The average cash price for corn from 1975 to 2005 is $2.33, $5.95 for soybeans. This is a long term national average cash price. The USDA projected estimates for this marketing year (2016/17) are currently $3.15 and $9.10. The USDA estimate for the 2015 crops is $3.60 and $9.05. This last set can be used to compute expected ARC County payments to be delivered this fall.







Here is a [link](http://farmdoc.illinois.edu/fasttools/index.asp) to the FarmDoc Fast Tools web page from which you may download an Excel spreadsheet to project ARC & PLC payments.

The following tables detail gross revenue per acre for highly productive central Illinois farmland. These are actual, as derived from the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management records, and projected revenues.







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Operator and land returns have been declining for both corn and soybeans for several years. However, returns from soybeans have been out performing corn since 2013. Schnitkey predicts this will continue through 2017. It would be the fifth year of higher returns for soybeans than corn. Raising corn on cash rented farmland has been a loser since 2014.

Total income on all Illinois corn and soybean farm (all types of owned & cash rented combined) for 2016 projects a breakeven income year.




Schnitkey says farmers will face three key decision making factors as they consider cash renting farmland for 2017, and that it might be better to give up some of the land based on these considerations.




Across the board the University of Illinois agricultural economist says farmers might need to rethink crop rotations. Soybeans have proved better for several years, and it may be time to adjust to this reality. This or it needs to get cheaper to plant corn. Back in 2000 it costs $63 less to sow and harvest an acre of soybeans. This year the difference was more than $200 an acre of non-land costs in favor of soybeans over corn.



Last week the professional farm managers in Illinois suggested they'd be lowering cash rents by about $20 next year (ISPFMRA Survey). Gary Schnitkey's number is a more conservative $17 an acre based on the fact not all land is professionally managed. Neither of these would be enough to make a cash rented farm break even given $3.50 corn and $9.00 soybeans (2017 | by expected corn yield across Illinois).



So what's the impact on the price of farmland? Well, says Schnitkey, if interest rates stay low the price of farmland will drop by approximately the same percentage change as the cash rent drops. Because cash rent changes very slowly, this is good news for farmland owners, bankers, and producer owners.





Each Tuesday Gary Schnitkey posts a new article to the FarmDocDaily website. Periodically he and the other agricultural economist at the University of Illinois hosts webinars. You may register for upcoming webinars and watch those that have already concluded on this page.


August 31, 2016

Low Returns, Crop Prices Keeping Pressure on Farmland Values



(Boone, IA, August 31, 2016) – Illinois farmland values continued their pullback around the state during the first half of 2016 as prices retraced between an estimated 3.3 percent and 7 percent. Continued low net returns and softening commodity prices are cited as the primary cause of the decrease. This is according to the Mid-Year “Snapshot Survey” information gathered by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers as well as the Illinois Farm and Land Chapter of the REALTORS® Land Institute (RLI). The data analysis is provided by Gary Schnitkey, Ph.D., with the University of Illinois College of ACES. The survey is part of an ongoing and larger annual Land Values and Lease Trends project conducted by the Society.

The survey results were released today at the Farm Progress Show being held in Boone, IA.

According to the survey, below $4 per bushel prices paid for corn are expected to continue into 2017 with some decreases in production costs expected. Cash rents paid are also expected to drop about $20 per acre.

Farmland Values and Volumes
Survey respondents indicated that land values decreased 3.3 percent for Excellent-quality farmland; decreased 4.5 percent for Good-quality land; 5.6 percent of Average-quality land; and dropped 7.0 percent for Fair- quality land.

(In a normal year, Excellent- quality farmland averages over 190 bushels of corn per acre, Good- quality farmland averages between 170 and 190 bushels per acre, Average- quality farmland averages between 150 and 170 bushels per acre, and Fair- quality farmland averages below 150 bushels per acre. )

Respondents estimated prices paid for Excellent-quality farmland during the first half of 2016 averaged $11,100 per acre; $9,400 for Good land; $7,600 for Average-quality land; and $5,800 for Fair-quality farmland. Sixty three percent of those responding to the survey reported that less farmland was sold during the year and 85 percent expect the same amount of land, or less, to be available for sale in 2017. Typical buyers (64 percent) continue to be other farmers and there are no expectations of significant changes in this.

Respondents indicate they are split on whether there will be the same or more demand for land with 48 percent expecting there will be some decreases in demand and 51 percent anticipating no change or a very slight increase.

Price Expectations
Overall, respondents are more pessimistic about prices at midyear this year compared to recent surveys with a full 90 percent expecting some further decreases in values ranging from 1 percent to 10 percent. Corresponding decreases on per-acre-return are also forecast with 49 percent expecting a drop between $25 and $50 per acre and 16 percent predicting decreases of more than $50 per acre. A mere 2 percent expect returns to increase and then only very modestly.

Cash Rents
While a full 93 percent expect corn yields to be above average they expect the price for corn to be around $3.45 per bushel. A full two-thirds of respondents expect a ‘slight’ decrease in production costs. All of this leads to expectations that cash rents will continue their decline along the lines of land productivity.

Expected rents for 2017 for Excellent- and Good-quality land are expected to decrease by 7 percent; 9 percent for Average land; and 6 percent for Fair farmland.




Currently the most popular type of lease arrangement is for Cash Rent (32 percent) followed by Share Rent (29 percent), Variable Cash Rent (20 percent), Modified Share Rent (12 percent) and Custom Farming (7 percent). Respondents indicate Share Rent leases and Fixed Cash Rents will decrease in use while Variable Cash Rents will become more popular.

The ISPFMRA will be conducting its annual Land Values and Lease Trends Survey over the upcoming winter months. The results of this larger survey will be released at the 2017 Illinois Land Values Conference set for March 23, 2017 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Bloomington, IL.


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