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

ARC-CO Yield Guarantees Increase Across Much of the Country

by Brent Gloy

Direct farm program payments have again become a critical component of net farm income.  In 2016 direct farm program payments are forecast to account for $13 billion of the sector’s $68 billion (19%) of net farm income.  At $5.9 billion the ARC-CO program is by far the largest category of direct farm program payments.

As we have discussed before, the price guarantees of the ARC-CO program have already begun to decline and this decline will likely accelerate for the 2017 crop year.  However, ARC-CO is a revenue based program, so guarantees are also dependent upon county level yield histories.  Given that the U.S. has harvested three very large corn and soybean crops in a row, we thought it would be interesting to see how the county level yields have changed over the course of the program.  Continue reading

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