Farmers in the Midwest and Plains are reaping a cash bonanza that has dramatically improved their finances a year after the pandemic pummeled commodity markets and prompted a record $46 billion in federal payments to agriculture, said three regional Federal Reserve banks on Thursday. (No paywall)
U.S. farmers will reap two of their largest corn and soybean crops ever and sell them for the highest average prices since the commodity boom ended several years ago, said the government Wednesday in its first projections of the fall harvest. The USDA also said that global soybean king Brazil would increase its share of the world market at the expense of U.S. exports.
The U.S. economy could grow at its fastest rate — 7 percent — in nearly four decades, with the farm sector sharing in the energetic recovery from the pandemic, said CoBank on Thursday. "Many in the agricultural industry are experiencing the best market conditions since 2013," said the lender in a quarterly assessment of the sector.
U.S. farmers will plant less corn and soybean land than expected this year, despite a surge in commodity prices, suggesting that tighter grain supplies will persist into 2022, said the USDA on Wednesday. Although with normal weather and yields, the corn and soybean harvests could be the second largest ever, they will not be quite as large as projected by traders and the government.
Heartened by sharp increases in commodity prices, farmers and ranchers across the Midwest and Plains are paying off bank loans and opening their wallets for big-ticket purchases, said a report from the Federal Reserve on Wednesday.
U.S. farmers are looking at their largest corn crop ever and a near-record soybean harvest, with huge stockpiles of both crops persisting into fall 2021, said the USDA on Wednesday. Some 2.8 billion bushels of corn would remain in the bin when next year's crop is mature, the largest carry-over since the Reagan era.
Crop and livestock prices could tumble by as much as 12 percent this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, pulling farm income down by $20 billion dollars, said the FAPRI think tank at the University of Missouri on Monday. "A lot of producers already are already in trouble. This is going to make it more severe," said FAPRI director Pat Westhoff. (No paywall)
Some 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop is refined into ethanol, but over the last two weeks, Covid-19 has joined a host of other disrupting factors to create what Geoff Cooper, president of the Renewable Fuels Association, calls “not just a perfect storm for ethanol, but a perfect tsunami.” Since the outbreak, ethanol prices have plunged to an all-time low of 88 cents a gallon and manufacturers are warning of more plant closures and reduced run rates.(No paywall)
After looking at the latest USDA price projections for corn, wheat, and soybeans, and taking into account price patterns for the crops, five university economists say the Price Loss Coverage subsidy is a better choice for growers than the Agricultural Risk Coverage subsidy for corn and wheat grown this year.
For the first time since the 2014 farm bill was implemented, the USDA is giving farmers the option of changing enrollment between the insurance-like Agriculture Risk Coverage and the traditionally designed Price Loss Coverage subsidies.