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

Clues From Crop Insurance Price Discovery


by Brent Gloy

Planting intentions for 2016 will draw considerable attention in the coming months. Crop insurance guarantees are one factor which will play into this decision. As we pointed out last year, crop insurance guarantees have fallen considerably in the past two years and barring a rally, guarantee prices are likely to be lower again this year.

At current levels, crop insurance will not guarantee revenue sufficient to cover variable costs plus land rents. The relative levels of corn and soybean prices are similar to last year and do not appear to suggest a large shift in acres from last year. Continue reading

A Look at Crop Insurance Products and Coverage

By David A. Widmar

Crop insurance has become an essential risk management tool for U.S. farmers.  With the crop insurance decision deadline looming, farmers must quickly make any changes to their policy and coverage levels for 2015.  Given the current tighter budget realities and fresh memories of the 2012 drought when crop insurance proved very valuable, the stakes are high. A delicate balance between affordability and ample coverage is needed.

Rather than look at lots of different budget and premium data, we decided to examine the crop insurance decisions that producers in different parts of the country made in 2014.  I know that when I saw the data for my own county I was a bit surprised as to the predominant coverage level being purchased.

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