2009: It’s Decision Time

January 4, 2009 06:00 PM

Sara Muri, AgWeb Crops Online Editor
In 2008, uncertainty certainly became the norm. After seeing high and low prices for commodities, fertilizer, seed, fuel and land, farmers are anxious to see what 2009 will bring. Find out what farming decisions farmers are making in all corners of the country, courtesy of AgWeb's Crop Comments.

LaSalle County, Illinois: With a late harvest and high input costs, it will take a much higher corn price to convince us to plant corn. We have been planting corn on corn for many years, therefore our bean yields should be very strong. Just going to order seed for both and decide when we see a clearer picture.  
Jasper County, Indiana: I'm going back to bean corn rotation; local nitrogen is too high for corn on corn especially with the high cost of seed today and lower grain prices.
Benton County, Indiana: It just took my whole check from my bean crop to pay for my maintenance fertilizer, chemicals and seed for 2009 crop. Next year we go back to traditional corn and no plowdown to see what happens. Don't feel like we need to produce so much and spend so much to get a good price.
St. Joe County, Indiana: We are going middle of the road. I've locked in 80-90% of my seed. I've heard prices of $350-388 for urea and phosphorus getting down quite a bit. 10-34-0 is still very high so we may just use 28% as our starter. I won't lock in fertilizer until I can lock in grain sales for 2009 at our ethanol plant.
Buena Vista County, Northwest Iowa: So far we are not going to plant any corn on corn. We are going back to 50-50 rotation unless fertilizer drops 50% here. 
Nobles County, Southwest Minnesota: I was just told a week ago N. is $650 a ton, P and K $1,000. If N doesn't come down I'll go beans on beans and take the 4-5 bu. hit. I'm not putting in a crop that guarantees me a loss the day I plant it!
Southeast Missouri: Last year we had 7,200 cotton, 800 rice, this year 3,800 cotton, 4,200 beans. All acres irrigated. I love cotton but 10 dollar beans (or higher, some contracted) against loan rate cotton is dragging us away from cotton even on land that produces some of the best yields in the delta. 

North Dakota/South Dakota
Perkins County, South Dakota/Adams County, North Dakota: My goal is to get back to the 50% chem-limited tillage fallow and 50% cereal grain. This 'old method' may not yield high income but I also do not have to get as much crop input financing to produce a crop that might not yield equal the input costs.
Umatilla County, Oregon: Generally, with the CRC price guarantee so high for the 2009 wheat crop, few farmers are greatly concerned about crop conditions at this time. On the other hand, most are concerned whether the new Administration will take a hard shot at government payments, including crop insurance subsidies, for example, in order to re-prioritize federal spending for 2009. If this should reduce crop insurance proceeds materially, every farmer here will be "very upset”, to say the least.
Rock County, Wisconsin: The fertilizer sales man called and $1030.00 for anhydrous a ton, 595.00 a ton for urea and 537.00 a ton for 28%. All cash prices. I told to keep it. We may try a year without; it won't hurt. I have plenty of cow manure to put on. I think I am going to seed more alfalfa down and feed more hay and put in less corn maybe 70 acres for silage and grain I need. With 10 - 11 dollar milk you can afford it. 
For More Information
What decisions are you making? Send your Crop Comments to cropcomments@agweb.com.

Read more AgWeb Crop Comments.

You can e-mail Sara Muri at smuri@farmjournal.com.

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