October 21, 2016

How Will Family Living Affect My 2017 Budgets?

In 2015, the total noncapital living expenses of 1,377 farm families enrolled in the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association (FBFM) averaged $78,538--or $6,545 a month for each family (Figure 1). This average was 3.9 percent lower than in 2014. Another $6,241 was used to buy capital items such as the personal share of the family automobile, furniture, and household equipment. Thus, the grand total for living expenses averaged $84,779 for 2015 compared with $88,936 for 2014, or a $3,173 decrease per family.

  • Authors: Bradley Zwilling, Brandy Krapf, and Dwight Raab
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October 20, 2016

Explaining Fluctuations in DDG Prices

Distiller's dried grains (DDG) are a co-product of dry-milled ethanol production. U.S. ethanol plants have the capacity to produce more than 15 billion gallons of ethanol and 45 million tons of DDG (Ag MRC). Approximately 17 pounds of DDG (10 percent moisture content) are produced from one bushel of corn. Of the 45 million tons of DDG produced, approximately 11.2 million tons are exported. Another way to gauge the use of DDG is to estimate the quantity of DDG substituted for corn and soybean meal. Estimated DDG substituted for corn and soybean meal for the 2016/17 marketing year are projected to be approximately 1.235 billion bushels of corn and 6.52 million tons of soybean meal (Ag MRC). More information pertaining to the substitution of DDG for corn and soybean meal in the U.S. can be found in Hoffman and Baker (2011).

October 19, 2016

Revisiting Surprises in USDA's Quarterly Grain Stocks Estimates--Evidence from Wheat

A major controversy about USDA grain stocks estimates erupted during the last decade. We found in an earlier study that there had indeed been a sharp decline in analysts' ability to anticipate actual quarterly corn stock estimates over the 2006-07 through 2012-13 marketing year. However, a similar decline was not found for soybeans, which was one of the reasons that we argued there was nothing inherently amiss with the USDA's corn stocks estimates. After all, corn and soybean stock estimates are based on the same USDA survey. Instead, we argued that the decline in analysts' ability to anticipate actual quarterly corn stock estimates for the 2006-07 through 2012-13 marketing years was most likely explained by unusually large and unresolved sampling errors in USDA corn production estimates, particularly for the 2009, 2010, and 2012 crops. We updated the results for corn and soybeans through the 2015-16 marketing year in a recent farmdoc daily article, and the updated results confirmed our previous conclusions. In this article, we make use of new data for quarterly wheat stock estimates to provide a fresh comparison to corn and soybeans.

  • Authors: Scott Irwin, Darrel Good, and Dwight Sanders
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October 18, 2016

2015 ARC-CO Payments for Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat

The Farm Service Agency has released 2015 county yields and is making payments on the Agricultural Risk Coverage - County Coverage (ARC-CO) commodity title program. This article contains maps showing payments per base acre for corn, soybeans, and wheat. Also shown is a table giving payments for Illinois Counties. An Excel file containing all counties and their yields and payments is provided here. Not all counties have complete enough data to calculate payments. As a result, additional counties will have their payments announced in the future.

  • Authors: Nick Paulson, Gary Schnitkey, Jonathan Coppess, and Carl Zulauf
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October 17, 2016

Weekly Outlook: Large U.S. Corn and Soybean Crops Place Emphasis on Foreign Markets

Corn and soybean harvest future prices moved higher after the release of the USDA October World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report on October 12. December corn futures closed the week ending October 14 at a 3 month high of $3.54 per bushel while November soybean futures moved up to close at $9.62 per bushel. Price movements through harvest in the United States can still be impacted by the domestic crop prospects for both corn and soybeans.