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View from the Cab: Rent talk

(CIFN photo)

Maybe instead of chatting with relatives over the dinner table this holiday season, you should be chatting with your landlords.

Even though most cash rents for 2019 are likely set, University of Illinois agriculture economist Gary Schnitkey encourages farmers to tell landowners things aren’t looking as good as last year in the world of agriculture.

“That’s primarily because of the trade dispute with China and low soybean prices,” Schnitkey told me during a cover crop tour near Fairbury last week.

Schnitkey believes cash rents will need to be lowered in the future if they haven’t been already. He’s a fan of going to a 50/50 crop share agreement or variable cash rent in these tough financial times.

“The big thing that does for us is it allows flexibility. We don’t know how 2019 is going to turn out.”

To hear more about cash rents and the current state of the farm economy, make plans to attend the 2018 Illinois Farm Economics Summit coming to a number of Illinois cities in December. The event, sponsored by the U of I Farmdoc, Agriculture and Consumer Economics, FBFM and Extension, will visit Mt. Vernon, Springfield, Peoria, Dekalb and Champaign the week of Dec. 17.

Speakers will explore the 2019 outlook for crop and livestock prices, farm profitability, the next farm bill, management challenges and long-term grain price trends. For registration information, visit If you have any questions, contact Nancy Simpson at 217-244-9687 or e-mail

I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and are able to spend time with family and friends during the upcoming weekend. We will be full of turkey by Thursday evening as we have two dinners to enjoy. Then we typically have enough leftovers to last through Sunday. Let’s all remember what we are thankful for not only this time of the year but all the time.

(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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