March 18, 2015

How Much Would a Corn Acre in 2015 Make

The ag economists at ILLINOIS have done an interesting exercise to see how much an acre of corn might gross in 2015. Or maybe it might be better explained as what would happen in 2015 if this year was like 1979.

Or what if it were like 2012, or 1983, or 1995, or just pick a year. The idea is to give farmers some hard data on how variable gross revenue from a corn acre is over time by moving that time into 2015. So that’s what U of I ag economists Gary Schnitkey did.

He wanted to look and see what gross revenues would be like for 2015 considering crop revenue, crop insurance, government payments, and price risk. The goal was to know under what conditions would a corn acre produce higher gross revenues this year?


The question then is, “In 2015 what would revenue be like this year if a year like 1972 happened?”.

"When we looked at it, 50% of the revenues were above and 50% of the revenues were below $825 per acre."

Schnitkey put those all into a table on the Farm Doc Daily website from 1972 to 2014. It shows how much of gross revenue would come from price x yield, crop insurance, and government payments.


At $825 most $300 an acre cash rented farms in central Illinois would lose money. Over the span of the years this would happen about 75% of the time and a big yield does not solve the problem - it takes higher prices from some other force. You may read the “Gross Revenues in 2015” article on the Farm Doc Daily website.

March 18, 2015

Cold Weather Maintenance Diets for Dairy Calves

Feeding a heifer dairy calf properly during cold weather can mean up to 1500 extra pounds of milk during her first lactation period. Todd Gleason has more on the increased cold weather maintenance diet that results in such a gain.

March 17, 2015

Grain Stocks & Prospective Plantings

USDA annually surveys U.S. farmers in hopes of discovering which crops they'll plant and to what degree in terms of acreage. Todd Gleason spoke with USDA NASS Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusner about how the Prospective Plantings survey and the Grain Stocks census are carried out. 

March 15, 2015

The Next Mile Post for Soybeans & the Crush

Farmers and the trade are very concerned the price of soybeans will fade over the next six months. There are a couple of mile posts indicators most will be watching as it relates to the production of soybeans. University of Illinois Ag Economist John Newton says the next one up is the Prospective Plantings report due March 31st from the United States of Department of Agriculture.

March 10, 2015

2015 All Day Ag Outlook

* You may watch each panel from the All Day Ag Outlook using the player below. Switch panels and topics using the playlist in the upper left corner of the player.

* If you would prefer to only listen to the content (or have a slow internet connection) please use the provided audio files by clicking the "2015 All Day Ag Outlook" title / link above. 

March 05, 2015

Soybeans + Numbers

Those listening to the markets every day know there is a big difference between the number of acres the trade thinks will be planted to soybeans and the number of acres USDA is so far projecting. These aren’t as far apart as you might think and there may even be some positive wiggle room in them.

The trade has long thought U.S. farmers will plant about 86 million acres of soybeans. USDA thinks they’ll plant 83 and half million. Because USDA is using a much bigger national average yield the total number of soybeans raised is only about 56 million bushels apart…both in the 3.8 billion bushel range. USDA thinks that means the cash price of soybeans paid to farmers next year will average about nine bucks. University of Illinois Ag Economist John Newton has a brighter outlook.

Quote Summary - The big picture supply and demand fundamentals for next year, with production increasing and supply building naturally points to lower prices. USDA has pegged the soybean marketing year average price at $9 per bushel. This is a dollar and twenty cents below this year’s projections under similar conditions. There is opportunity, then, for the price to come up from there.

This opportunity lies in the soybean export market which is already on pace to set a record for this year and projected by USDA to be even better next year.

Quote Summary - So where is the potential for prices. Well, USDA has lower planted acreage of soybeans, but a pretty high yield. If yield is closer to U of I’s calculated trend of 44.3 bushels to the acre going back to 1960, then there would be a lower total production of soybeans with strong consumption. Stocks could be reduced, however highly unlikely, and we could see positive price pressure.

Farmers will add their take on how many acres of soybeans will be planted in the Prospective Plantings report to be released March 31st. USDA is now surveying them.

March 04, 2015

Pork’s Boom & Bust Price Cycle

Markets can take your breath away and the hog market over the past year has left many breathless says one Purdue University ag economist

March 04, 2015

Estimated 2014 ARC County Payments

Farmers throughout the nation are deciding which of the new farm programs to take. Another piece of that puzzle was put into place when USDA released the county wide corn and soybean yields late last month. These can be used to estimate some of the 2014 farm program payments.

County wide yields as calculated by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service along with the estimated season's average cash price - the marketing year average - can be used to forward figure 2014 ARC County payments. It is possible therefore to know a lot, if not everything, about the first potential crop year farm program payments before any farmer ever signs up for the safety net says University of Illinois Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey.

ARC County makes payments to farmers when revenue falls below a bench mark. It is calculated using county wide yields and a marketing year average price. Both are available and can be used to make estimates. The Marketing Year Average price won't be finalized until the fall. It is projected, however, each month in USDA's World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report (WASDE).

The mid-point for corn is $3.65, but this could vary up or down. Using the county yields, it is possible to project fairly large ARC County corn payments for farms from New York and Ohio through Indiana, northern Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and into the Dakota's.

Some of these areas may even receive the maximum payment from ARC County.

Other areas may not get a 2014 ARC County payment for corn. These include central and southern Illinois, parts of Missouri, eastern Kansas and southern Indiana. Only a few counties around the nation will receive an ARC County soybean payment.

These are found in Iowa, Wisconsin, eastern Ohio, and New York. Does it change anything as it relates to the ARC County vs PLC farm program decision? Not likely, but the only way to really tell is to run the numbers. That can be done using the online Farm Bill Toolbox and USDA's APAS website.

You may read Gary Schnitkey's article about 2014 ARC County and PLC payments online.

Farm Bill Deadline
Todd E. Gleason
February 27, 2015

USDA Extends first Farm Bill Sign Up Deadline

USDA has extended the deadline to update base acres and yields under the new farm bill until March 31, 2015. The final ARC/PLC decision remains due on that same date.

February 20, 2015

2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum

Last week the United States Department of Agriculture presented its view of the commodity markets. Todd Gleason has this review of the numbers.

Thursday USDA Acting Chief Economist Robert Johansson made a plenary session presentation on the current agricultural landscape. Interestingly, he set the tone by showing how commodity prices have been trending downward for more than 60 years.


The next slide in the set showed how Americans have steadily spent less on food over the past 9 decades. Nearly 25% of disposable income was used to purchase food in the 1930’s. This number has now dropped to about 10%.

The Acting Chief Economist took up commodity crops in detail. He explained global supplies of wheat, corn, and soybeans are plentiful. The planet will have more than 113 days of soybeans at the end of the marketing year. This is a record supply. However, demand for the miracle crop remains very strong with most of the world’s soybean exports going to China. These are primarily supplied by the United States, Brazil, and Argentina.


The U.S. is expected to be the planet’s largest exporter of soybeans for the 2015/16 marketing year, but Brazil should take that title for 2016/17 and beyond. USDA projects Brazil’s market share of soybean exports will grow to 46% by 2024 while the U.S.’ share is expected to fall to 33%.

The U.S. is expected to remain the world’s largest exporter of corn with its share of the global corn trade growing from 40% in 2015/16 to 45% over the next 10 years.

This year the Agricultural Outlook Forum projects U.S. farmers are likely to plant 89 million acres of corn and 83.5 million acres of soybeans. Analysts have rolled those numbers into their 2015/16 marketing year supply and demand tables. They could produce a 13.6 billion bushel corn crop and result in an ending stocks figure of about 1.7 billion bushels.

USDA’s planting estimate of 83.5 million acres for soybeans is low by comparison to the trade expectations. It might mean next year’s ending stocks figure would be about the same as this years. That is 385 million bushels.

USDA Acting Chief Economist Robert Johansson says the marketing year average cash price for fall 2015 corn is expected to be $3.50 per bushel. The MYA soybean price is forecast at $9 per bushel.

Winter wheat seeding was projected down 1.9 million acres from last year. USDA sees an increase in spring wheat seedings. This should offset some of the decline. All wheat seedings are expected to decline 1.3 million acres.

The number of acres sown to coarse grains like barley, oats and sorghum are expected to go up based on strong demand from China. Chinese demand has propped up sorghum prices and export demand for these feed grains.


USDA reports overall acreage at about 255 million, down 3.3 million from last year. CRP acreage is also expected to decline.

2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum highlights follow;

  • Total meat and poultry production at 95 billion pounds in 2015 would be a record setter with pork and poultry making the greatest gains.
  • Farm equity (assets minus debt) on average is the highest since USDA began reporting on profitability in 1960.
  • Land values are expected to decline by less than 1% in 2015. However, it is important to note data from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank indicates year-over-year declines of 7% for farmland values in Iowa.
  • China is expected to purchase 60% of the U.S. 2014 soybean exports. Its purchases of DDGs should reach 5 mmt and, as presented in the baseline projections last week, sorghum buying is expected to continue.

Page 9 of 30 pages ‹ First  < 7 8 9 10 11 >  Last ›