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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we examine an apparent cap on US grain and oilseed acres, which have been range bound between 225 and 250 million acres since 1985. Some likely causes are restrictions that date to the 1985 farm bill on the conversion of highly erodible land into new cropland and conversion of wetlands, specifically hydric soils, into new cropland. Whatever its cause, the lack of new acres puts pressure on raising production by other means to meet increasing demand.
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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we examine the Conservation Reserve Program — the largest conservation program in Title II of the Farm Bill — which was first authorized in the landmark Food Security Act of 1985. The modern CRP has built upon traditional conservation policies, evolving and expanding to include partial field enrollments that compliment working lands and protect soil, water, or other natural resources in conjunction with farming.
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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we explore how the impacts of recent extreme weather events have been felt among US households. Using results from the August 2023 wave of the Gardner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey, we see that US consumers have been impacted in several ways, from changing plans (e.g., vacation) to experiencing property damage, missing work, and seeking medical care. We also find continued support for responding to and mitigating extreme weather events.
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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we examine how variability around average nitrogen fertilizer prices can be more pronounced during periods of quickly adjusting markets — like current conditions — when average prices are rising or falling at a relatively fast pace. This has important implications for farmers as they make pricing and purchasing decisions. To the extent possible, soliciting price quotes for nitrogen fertilizer products, as well as other inputs, from multiple sources is advised.
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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we examine how the US corn market is adjusting to the idea of a relatively large crop and big ending stocks in 2023/24. Corn futures price levels have settled in the $4.70 to $4.90 per bushel range. But with long-run projections for US corn stocks expecting 2-billion-plus bushel corn ending stocks into the foreseeable future, what is the long run ‘normal’ price level? Historical observation suggests it is lower than the current level of about $4.80 per bushel.
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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we delve into the financial results on Illinois farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management, which show that on average 2022 was another good year. The average farms are in strong financial positions — particularly when it comes to liquidity, solvency, profitability, and financial efficiency — which will be needed with projected much lower incomes for 2023 and 2024.
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In today’s farmdoc daily article, we try to reason with the 1,000 Congressional Budget Office scores for the 2023 Farm Bill that were produced by mid-July. While the entire matter of CBO cost projections and the number of scores produced this summer may seem like little more than a tempest in a shot glass — because these are all projections into an unknown future and will be wrong — they are critically important because they determine policy designs and political success.
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