Nearly every economist I’ve interviewed or listened to during the past three years focused on 2014 and 2015. Over and over again, they cautioned that those years would be the turning point. They predicted it would be the time when we say goodbye to record commodity prices and hello to tough times.
Commodity prices are softening, but I don’t think we’re headed into a historic watershed year. Instead, we’re moving into The New Normal. The lower corn and soybean prices are welcome relief for livestock producers, and the fundamentals are in place for sustained success for grain farmers. However, The New Normal is teaching us a lot:
- We can grow 40-bu.-per-acre corn on 200-bu. ground that rents for $500 or more per acre.
- We can grow 200-bu.-per-acre corn in fields planted on June 8 in central Illinois—and the replanted fields can outyield ones planted in April or May.
- There really are years we literally can’t get a crop in the ground.
- We have to learn how to spray again. The days of one herbicide and one nozzle are long gone.
- Everything about crop insurance.
Most importantly, as Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory shares, the industry is ready for The New Normal. The financial fundamentals in farm country are incredibly strong. Chip’s perspective is included in our staff report that starts on page 14. The article centers around an AgWeb survey on what you, America’s key farmers and ranchers, believe is most important to success in 2014.
Here’s to navigating The New Normal!
- December 2013