Economist: Growers Should Be Profitable Again in 2010

Higher input prices and lower prices for corn and soybeans will likely hurt farm profitability in 2009, but University of Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey forecasts a brighter future for farmers.

He projects net farm operator returns for 2009 at a loss of $8 per acre for corn and a loss of $15 per acre for soybeans, which he says are the first negative returns within the past 20 years.

However, Schnitkey expects net operator returns for 2010 will finish in the black at $94 per acre for corn and $84 per acre for soybeans. He anticipates 2010 non-land costs for corn in Illinois at $440 per acre, a $77-per-acre decline.

His 2010 budget includes corn prices at $3.75 per bushel and soybeans at $10 per bushel. He put 2009 corn prices at $3.25 per bushel, which was down from $4.05 in 2008.

“These 2009 returns indicate that farms will likely face financial stress,” Schnitkey says. “However, returns in 2007 and 2008 were above average and many farmers built financial reserves that will carry them through the low income year of 2009.

“I don’t expect widespread financial difficulties across grain farms in the Corn Belt.”

  • Terra will acquire a 50% stake in an Agrium facility in Canada, representing about 340,000 tons of urea and 60,000 tons of ammonia production a year. The sale is conditional on Agrium acquiring fertilizer company CF Industries and Terra raising $600 million of debt capital, the companies say.
  • Pioneer Hi-Bred is adding 26 new soybean varieties…
To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all No-Till Farmer content and archives online. Learn more about the different versions and what is included.

Top Articles

Current Issue


No-Till Farmer

Get full access NOW to the most comprehensive, powerful and easy-to-use online resource for no-tillage practices. Just one good idea will pay for your subscription hundreds of times over.

Subscribe Now

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings