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

Why Soybean Acres Aren’t a Clear Winner in 2017

by David Widmar and Brent Gloy

If you ask three economists the same question, you’re likely to get (at least) three different answers. While soybean acres seem to have an advantage going into the Spring, particularly in Indiana and the Eastern Corn Belt, we thought it would be valuable to evaluate university crop budgets from across the Corn Belt.  This week’s post takes a look at recent crop budgets and why additional soybean acres in 2017 might not be a clear winner for producers in all regions of the country. Continue reading