Farmland Cash Rental Rates in 2016: Where Cash Rents are Falling


David A. Widmar

Just as rising farm incomes place upward pressure on farmland values and cash rental rates, falling farm incomes place downward pressure on farmland values and cash rental rates. In August, the USDA released its annual update on farmland market conditions. Much attention focused on the slight drop in U.S. cropland values and unchanged pasture values. This week’s post takes a look at the changes in cash rental rates at the national, state, and county-level. Continue reading

Global Grain Inventories and China


by David A. Widmar

One could summarize the current focus of grain markets with three phrases: low prices, large crops, and growing inventories. This has been especially true given strong U.S. corn, soybean, and wheat yields in 2016. Several reports of large piles of grain around the country and world, especially in China, have further captured this reality. This week’s post takes a look at corn, soybean, and wheat global grain inventories and China’s share of the market.  Continue reading

Will Farmers Benefit from Lower Fertilizer Prices Again in 2017?


by David A. Widmar

Lower fertilizer prices have been a welcome relief for producers facing falling commodity prices and farm incomes. Fertilizer prices offered big cost relief in 2016 and were the largest source of total cost reductions. These fertilizer price reductions came even with strong quantities of fertilizer demanded from a large corn crop; U.S. corn acreage was up 7% from 2015 and was the third highest acreage since 1944. Given lower fertilizer prices but strong usage from increased corn acres, this week’s post takes a look the prospects of even lower fertilizer prices again in 2017. Continue reading