November 18, 2017

EWG Claims Farmers Double Dipping

The Environmental Working Group is pushing Congress to eliminate the ARC-County farm program. Todd Gleason asks EWG's Anne Weir Schechinger why this is the case.



NOTE: EWG is the organization that publishes USDA's farm bill payments database online.


November 18, 2017

Using the Productivity Index to Figure Cash Rents

Right now farmers are in the middle of negotiating 2018 cash rents. This while their incomes have been depressed for four years. Agricultural economist Gary Schnitkey has been working up a way for landowners and their tenants to feel better about bringing cash rents down.



The University of Illinois number cruncher has developed a formula to derive cash rent from a fields P.I.. That's the Productivity Index. It is benchmarked, in a fashion, to USDA's Cash Rents Survey and uses a geographic adjustment tied to the CRD, that's USDA's Crop Reporting District. This allows for demand patterns in an area to show up in the formula. Schnitkey, in a farmdocDaily article says the P.I. and CRD adjustment explains 91% of the variability in the average cash rents as reported by USDA. Here's how the formula, he says, works in the state of Illinois, "Just to give you an example, if you are in east-central Illinois, in the eastern CRD, the CRD index is 26. This means you take your P.I. multiplied by 2.79, then subtract 147 and add 26 to it that will give you an average cash rent for that parcel.

Again, the formula is... Cash Rent = (2.79 x PI) - 147 + the CRD Adjustment... ...in this case 26.

If you fill all those numbers in for a farm in Champaign County with a P.I. of 134 the expected average cash rent for that farm with a 134 P.I. would be $253 per acre. This...benchmark...says Schnitkey provides a jumping off point from which farmers and landowners can discuss adjustments based on current economic conditions. By the way, the P.I. of farmland in Illinois, many farms around the nation, can be found in a free online tool called Acre Value. Look for it at www.acrevalue.com.


November 18, 2017

Corn Supply A Burden To Prices

The USDA’s Crop Production report released on November 9 reported an unexpectedly large corn yield increase for the 2017 crop. Corn prices suffered a moderate decline following the report release considering the magnitude of the yield increase. However, University of Illinois Commodity Markets Specialist Todd Hubbs says corn prices will struggle to find support due to the ample supply available during the 2017-18 marketing year
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November 09, 2017

Howard G. Buffett Discusses the Future of Agricutlure



Howard Buffett discusses his view of agriculture with National Association of Farm Broadcasting 2016/2017 President Max Armstrong at a November 8 forum during the 2017 NAFB Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. Buffett is a Philanthropist, Farmer, & Macon County Sherriff from Decatur, Illinois.


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