Some crop growers hit by losses are weighing exits through agriculture

Like a lot of corn farmers in America’s heartland, Don in addition to Barb Batie in Nebraska are struggling to make ends meet in addition to worry next year may bring another year of limited profitability or even losses.

“The farm crisis from the 1980s was much worse than what we currently have,” said Don Batie, a fourth-generation farmer. “nevertheless we’re headed from the same direction.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture can be forecasting of which cash receipts for corn in addition to soybean farmers will be down in 2017. Yet of which’s a different story for some livestock farmers, especially those who raise hogs. Also, cattle feedlots were under pressure nevertheless have recovered from the past year.

“If you look at the general economy in addition to the ag economy, they generally kind of historically have run countercyclical to one another,” said Curt Hudnutt, Rabobank’s St. Louis-based North America’s head of rural banking. “While the U.S. economy felt the recession in 2008, we were having record years in agriculture.”

Hudnutt said some corn farmers from the Midwest have been experiencing “below break-evens. This kind of can be actually year three at This kind of point. We actually expect more of the same in 2018. of which’s not simply a matter of grain prices as of which can be input costs [such as seed, chemical in addition to fertilizer supplies] are not coming down as quickly as grain prices have fallen.”

Overall, crop cash receipts — the income through crop sales during the 2017 — are forecast to be $189.9 billion, down 2 percent through last year. of which might represent the fifth-consecutive year of lower corn receipts, in addition to the total dollar value of the crop can be likely to be the lowest number recorded since 2009, according to USDA economist Carrie Litkowski.

Corn represents about 13 percent of total ag commodity receipts from the U.S., ranked second only behind cattle. of which can be also the main U.S. grain feed, in addition to almost 40 percent of the crop gets used for ethanol.

“A lot of operations are having trouble adjusting to the fact of which we had such a tremendous commodity runup through about 2007 to 2013 where there was tremendous margins from the production of corn in addition to soybeans,” said Mark Kenney, a farmer in central Iowa. He said some farmers’ cost structures shifted along with of which runup, in addition to at This kind of point they’re still catching up with lower crop prices.

Analysts say there was a limited time during the year when farmers could have sold corn at profitable levels. Also, some farmers who were fortunate to have large yields on their crops fared better This kind of year by lowering the amount of loss they had.

“of which was another poor year through an overall profitability in grain agriculture,” said Don Roose, president of Iowa broker U.S. Commodities. “of which was the second year in a row of which we had less than ideal growing conditions. nevertheless we had yields of which outperformed what the producers bought, primarily because of the genetics … in addition to the fresh technology practices of which are going on.”

For corn, average monthly prices have trended below $3.50 per bushel This kind of year in addition to remained below $4 since late mid-2014. of which can be well below the $7 per bushel cost of which averaged during some months of 2012-2013.

“Farming can be all about cycles, in addition to back in 2013 we actually had some super corn, soybean in addition to wheat prices of which actually afforded us the opportunity to pay down debt, replace some equipment,” said Richard Guebert Jr., president of the Illinois Farm Bureau in addition to a grower of corn, wheat in addition to soybeans.

“at This kind of point we’re in a downturn from the farm economy where farmers are not buying particularly fresh equipment unless they absolutely have to.”

Adding to the challenge can be weather in key parts of the Corn Belt has been unfavorable This kind of year, including portions of Nebraska, Iowa in addition to Illinois.

In Nebraska, the Baties lost money on their corn in addition to soybean crops This kind of year, partly reflecting wind-storm damage in October of which wiped out about 30 percent of one corn field. This kind of will be the third bad year crop-wise for their agribusiness, in addition to the couple isn’t optimistic next year can be looking any better.

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