KEYC - KETELSEN REPORT: Farmers Remain Optimistic Looking Ahead

KETELSEN REPORT: Farmers Remain Optimistic Looking Ahead

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Low crop prices the past couple years have put many farmers in tight financial conditions. Strong yields in 2016 have helped make up for lower commodity prices. 
With fall fieldwork coming to a close across Minnesota, farmers are turning their attention to planning for the year ahead and dealing with a tough profit and loss situation. While generally prices have been low across the board, there are some bright spots. Mark Greenwood is senior vice president for AgStar financial services and a very respected speaker across the country.
Yields on corn and beans were really good. Surprisingly, when you start looking at soybean prices we had bean prices close to ten dollars, over ten dollars on the board. When you look at 2017 soybean prices, if you're a producer you could actually lock in $9.80 a bushel for new crop beans for next fall. Granted, I know corn prices aren't quite what we wanted, but when you look at the insured level for soybeans we're sitting at about $8.86, so economically soybean prices are actually helping out Along with the yield things are actually looking a little better than we anticipated.
Ketelsen said, "Greenwood says it's imperative for farmers to know their input costs in doing their planning for next season."
Greenwood said, "Really understand their current financial situation, they need to understand that, point number one. They need to understand the cost of production, whatever commodity they're raising, whether it's corn, beans, milking cows or raising pigs, truly understand your cost of production and then look for the opportunities. There's usually opportunities along the way throughout the year to manage risk and manage margin as well."
The last couple of years have been a challenge for many segments of agriculture, however, there are areas of good news. And that's what farmers are focusing on as they go on the meat and potatoes circuit this winter, hearing speakers talk about what's ahead for agriculture.