The price of corn is never far from farmers’ minds. To gauge profit goals, the Farm Journal Pulse asked this question: At what price do you expect to make money on your 2018 corn crop?
For almost half of the respondents, corn needs to top $4 per bushel for them to turn a profit. That could be a challenge because USDA’s Economic Research Service expects the midpoint of the price range to be $3.80.
Calculating a price target is the first step so you know when to pull the trigger, says Chris Barron, director of operations and president of Carson and Barron Farms in Rowley, Iowa. From there, he suggests setting sales increments to meet cash flow needs. Use futures and options to protect downside risk, leave the top side open or both.
“It’s not a question of whether a profit opportunity will present itself,” says Barron, also a financial consultant for Ag View Solutions and a Top Producer columnist. “Instead, it’s a question of if you will take advantage of that opportunity and to what degree. Be ready because sometimes the best opportunities last only days if not minutes.”