USDA Cost of Production Estimates Show Little Change from 2016

by Brent Gloy

According to the latest USDA cost of production estimates, U.S. farmers will find the 2017 cost of producing corn, soybeans, and wheat basically unchanged from 2016.  Combined with the outlook for flat to slightly better commodity prices, the cost of production estimates portray yet another year of challenging economic conditions throughout corn, soybean, and wheat country. Continue reading

Farm Loan Delinquencies Continue Higher

by David A. Widmar

As farm incomes decline and financial conditions erode, concerns about farmers’ ability to repay farm debts mount. The Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank provides great insight into the health of the farm economy – and specifically farm loans- through its Ag Finance Databook. This post considers the latest farm loan delinquency data and evaluates conditions at the end of 2016. 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