January 2 – Another Purdue Economist with Bad News on Corn

(Unfortunately) here’s a little more bearish news out of Purdue University for American corn farmers.

When it comes to the Big Ten, every farmer has a bias toward their preferred agricultural college. So, I always end up talking about agricultural economists from Purdue University because it’s home (just don’t tell my professors from Northwestern or Indiana). Here’s a little bit of bearish news out of West Lafayette for corn farmers regarding corn pricews. 

Chris Hurt at Purdue projects that corn prices will hit their lowest level in 16 years.

When you add up all the bearish factors, it’s hard to argue against him. But it also means that we have to be vigilant about finding potential exit points for old crop as the year progresses.

“The secret to 2018 is that corn prices will be ugly, but soybeans will pay the bills,” he said.

The thing is that it’s already ugly.

For example, a report just crossed my desk out of Rochester, Minnesota saying that the average price for corn for the state’s farmers fell to $2.92 per bushel in November. That was a 10 cent drop from the previous month.

Naturally, they’re already questioning if they should be turning to hay or alfalfa if they can swing it.

Hurt makes the argument that farmers should plant more soybeans this year. While it’s important that enough corn is planted to meet demand, he argues that soybeans are going to keep the lights on around the country.

The start to 2018 is setting up for an ugly time for corn.

The USDA has set a price of $3.20, and yields are pushing higher – not lower.

This will place a lot of importance on tracking day-to-day prices and looking for potential rallies.

I know it’s not the most interesting topic, but the weather is going to play the most critical role at trading exchange across the globe.

In addition, the focus will be again on quality and not quantity.


Corn prices paid to Minnesota farmers down again, hay prices jump sharply


For Minnesota corn farmers crunching the numbers over the past six weeks–things have gone from bad to worse.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said just as some producers had to make the decision whether to market or store their corn from the harvest, prices in Minnesota edged down again.  Compared to a year ago, the average prices paid to corn farmers in Minnesota are down 5.8 percent.

USDA’s Dan Lofthus said Thursday that the average price paid to Minnesota farmers for corn in November was $2.92 per bushel.  That’s ten cents a bushel below the October price of $3.02 and a whopping 18 cents lower than November, 2016.

Lofthus reports the average price-per-bushel paid for soybeans was up a penny from the October price but down 18 cents from November of a year ago.

Farmers who were able to produce and store hay were seeing gains.  Hay prices in Minnesota jumped 21 percent from October to November, now at $109 per ton on average.  The price per ton for alfalfa hay was at $134 per ton, up 24 percent.

About the Author
Garrett Baldwin

Garrett Baldwin is a content strategist and editor at FarmLead. He covers the global grain markets and public policy issues related to the agricultural industry. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. He also holds a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy from The Johns Hopkins University, an MS in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and an MBA in Finance from Indiana University.