February 22, 2017

Forming Expectations for the 2017 Brazil and Argentina Corn and Soybean Yields: The Impact of La Niña

There continues to be considerable discussion about the likely magnitude of South American corn and soybean production in 2017, with much of current focus on weather developments influencing yield prospects. Current USDA forecasts for Brazil place corn and soybean production at 3.41 and 3.82 billion bushels, respectively. Argentine corn and soybean production projections currently sit at 1.44 and 2.04 billion bushels, respectively. This paper is the final entry in our series on South American corn and soybean yield trend and deviation analysis. The development of a La Niña episode in the latter half of 2016 created a significant amount of discussion on the possible yield impacts for both crops in Brazil and Argentina. This article evaluates the possible impact on yield potential in both countries using the trend and deviation analysis developed in the previous reports of the series.

  • Authors: Todd Hubbs, Scott Irwin, and Darrel Good
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February 21, 2017

Implied Probabilities for Corn and Soybeans Prices in 2017

As crop insurance and crop planting decisions are being made for the 2017 crop year, it is useful to assess possible indemnity, marketing, and harvest price information. Average futures settlement prices during the month of February for December 2017 corn and November 2017 soybeans are used to establish Projected Prices, and volatility factors are taken from options prices during the final week of the month. In addition to crop insurance decisions, marketing and crop planting decisions also depend critically on prices and relative corn/soybean prices. In addition to the current levels of prices, it is also useful to understand the degree of uncertainty about future market prices and the associated implied probabilities of possible prices.

  • Authors: Bruce Sherrick and Gary Schnitkey
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February 20, 2017

Weekly Outlook: 2017 Corn Prospects

The time of year to develop corn balance sheet projections for the upcoming crop year is upon us. As we approach the halfway point of the 2016-17 marketing year, decision making regarding planting and new crop marketing get determined. The expectations for corn in the 2017 crop year put forth in this analysis show lower production leading to decreased ending stocks in 2017-18. The magnitude of reduced ending stocks provides important implications for corn prices moving through 2017-18.

February 17, 2017

Agricultural Debt Continues to Increase

Agricultural debt on a nominal basis in Illinois has been increasing since 1991. Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) are shown to see if increasing debt levels pose problems for the financial health of Illinois farms. With the continued downturn in the farm economy, increasing debt levels need to be monitored closely.

  • Authors: Brandy Krapf, Dwight Raab and Bradley Zwilling
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February 16, 2017

Reviewing Farm Bill History: the Agricultural Act of 1954

The election of Donald Trump in conjunction with a Republican Majority in Congress opens a new chapter of farm bill history. While history may not repeat itself, it does seem to recycle, and it is that recycling that could offer perspective on the issues, politics and challenges facing the upcoming farm bill effort. With that in mind, this article begins a review of chapters in farm bill history. It begins with the last farm bill written by a united Republican government, the Agricultural Act of 1954.