2017 Soybean Acre Madness

by David Widmar and Brent Gloy

When you think of March, two big events come to mind: the NCAA’s March Madness and the USDA’s Planting Intentions report. In both cases, speculation and anticipation is in full force on how the brackets and balance sheets will sort out. Furthermore, both the NCAA tournament and U.S. spring crop plantings will likely have a few surprises.

This week’s post takes a look at the latest crop insurance and commodity price data to provide some insights on what 2017 planting might have in store. Continue reading

2017 Fertilizer Prices Turn Higher – Still Lower than 2016

2017 fertilizer prices. ag economic insights. ag trends.

by David A. Widmar

Lower fertilizer prices have been an important source of crop budget improvements in recent years. From 2014 to 2016, a majority of corn production costs reductions came from lower fertilizer expense. Last fall, we noted that fertilizer prices were again lower and could provide additional relief to crop budgets in 2017. Recently, however, fertilizer prices have turned higher. This week’s post looks at 2017 fertilizer prices and the farm-level implications. Continue reading

2017 Ag Policy Watch List: Issues Bigger than the Farm Bill

ag policy watch list. ag trends. agricultural economic insights

by David Widmar and Brent Gloy

We previously noted that macro-economic and policy issues seem poised to play a larger role in 2017 (and beyond) than in recent memory. This realization has become even more evident in recent weeks as a host of policy issues – both directly and indirectly impacting agriculture – have been discussed. We – Brent and David- are in no way ag policy experts, but the policy issues facing agriculture are significant enough we felt it was important to provide some context. With that said, this week’s post is our 2017 Ag Policy Watch List. Just six months ago is seemed the only issue ag policy gurus were debating was when to start planning for the next Farm Bill. As you will see from our list, ag policy makers will likely spend most of 2017 on issues much bigger than the Farm Bill. Continue reading