No-Tillers Keep Their Noses Above Water

From highs to lows, No-Till Farmer readers adjusted to a weakening U.S. ag economy during the last decade by cutting expenses to maintain slim profits.

A lot can happen over 10 years. In the spring of 2008, George W. Bush was the President of the U.S. and the U.S. economy was humming along. It was only several months later that the real estate market and economy collapsed.

That’s been followed by the election of two Presidents — Barack Obama and Donald Trump — and a revitalization of the U.S. economy after nearly 9 years of tepid growth.

As for the farm economy, it benefited from lower fuel prices and robust commodity prices for the better part of 4 years. Corn soared to more than $8 per bushel and soybeans went above $17 per bushel in the summer of 2012.

Grain prices still looked good to no-tillers for a short time, until corn prices began a steep decline in the summer of 2013. Soybeans followed the path of corn a year later. Since then, no-tillers have patiently waited for a change in fortune with commodity prices.

Within that decade, no-tillers have withstood the drought of 2012 and relatively weak yields in the 2 years leading up to the drought, primarily due to wet springs that hurt crop establishment.

On the plus side, yields have hit record highs in the past 2 years, although one could argue with a glass half empty that those high yields have further stifled a rebound in grain prices.

With that in mind, the editors of No-Till Farmer offer some of the trends and observations regarding the financial state of the No-Till

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Darrell Bruggink

Executive Editor/Publisher

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