One of the most important decisions many American farmers will make this year is what crop to grow. For most in the Cornbelt that choice primarily comes down to how they allocate acres to corn and soybeans. A while back we looked at how corn plantings had changed around the country. We decided that we ought to give soybeans their due, so this post looks at how soybean acreage has shifted across the U.S. in the last decade.
The rapid decline in commodity prices has pushed prices toward, if not below, breakeven prices for many producers. Due to forward sales, possible crop insurance indemnities, and government payments, the profitability outlook for this year remains better than bleak for many producers. However, recently released budgets for the 2015 crop look downright ugly. For instance, Purdue’s budgets show a net expected loss ranging from $156 to $317 per acre on average quality soils. Results from Illinois suggest a similar situation. Continue reading
David A. Widmar
It happens about once a month. I pick up a popular press publication, something of national focus and not agricultural focuses, and find an article about the amazing potential of grain sorghum for U.S. grain producers. From superior drought-tolerance to advanced bio-fuels or favorable export conditions to China, these articles seem contrary to the trend I had in mind for sorghum in the U.S.