Agriculture and Exchange Rates: It’s Complicated

by David A. Widmar

Even though trade is important to U.S. agriculture, exchange rates are often overlooked. Currency exchange rates have been an important topic in recent years as the Dollar has trended stronger- or become more expensive – since 2012 (we’ve written about here and here). This week’s post is an updated look at exchange rates and how trends changed in 2016.  Continue reading

Tight Budgets Likely to Persist in 2017

by Brent Gloy and David Widmar

(Brent and David originally wrote this piece for the Fall issue of The Feed, available here).

With planning for 2017 underway, many are finding the tight budget environment is likely to persist in 2017.  When evaluating the major row crops and major growing regions of the country, our crop budget estimates suggest that 2017 will be another challenging year for row crop producers.

While there has been a significant amount of negative news about the 2016 economic situation, there were some positives.  Perhaps the most important of these is costs of production declines.  This year saw some reductions in fertilizer and fuel prices, as well as, cash rents.  Unfortunately, higher crop prices and additional cost reductions will likely be necessary to restore profitability in 2017. Continue reading

Trends in Corn and Soybean Exports

15071356297_a5178cccbe_m

by David Widmar

Grain commodities have faced significant headwinds in recent months. It seems that bearish news keeps following bearish news. In addition to above-trend crop yields in the U.S. adding to already abundant inventories, the strong U.S. Dollar has made it difficult for the U.S. to compete for global export markets. In this week’s post, we’ll take a look at corn and soybean exports to evaluate current conditions

Continue reading