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View from the Cab: Plenty of uncertainty

By: Kent Casson

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it will cost you quite a bit to grow your crops this year.

It may be hard to imagine, but we could drop to $4.00 a bushel on corn if Argentina gets rain or something else happens in the world. Welcome to market volatility. These crazy times are here to stay and unfortunately could get even crazier.

Jeremy Strubhar with Advance Trading told growers attending the recent Bank of Pontiac ag meeting in Fairbury that costs are way up and we are not guaranteed to make money in 2023. He suggests farmers do something to protect themselves from dropping prices.

“Don’t take crop insurance and say I need to do nothing else,” said Strubhar.

If you have old crop corn, he recommends selling it. The market is still saying if you own corn, sell it today and it can still be protected with call options. Strubhar really wants to see corn exports pick up.

“If we want to have upside, we can do that on paper.”

The biggest question with raising a corn crop in 2023 seems to be costs. There isn’t much room to be wrong if the market moves lower. It is pretty much the same story for soybeans and we could be back to a situation with burdensome stocks.

Insurance information was also presented to the farmers attending the recent bank meeting. Alex Mizell with NAU Country Insurance in Heyworth reminded growers there are plenty of risks out there.

“We’ve seen about every one of these in the last few years,” he said.

Some risks on the farm include drought, excess moisture, frost and hail. In fact, a few claims are still being wrapped-up with some of the county plans. The industry has exploded and the next farm bill and subsidy percentages are being talked about now.

“The crop insurance plans are working as they’re supposed to,” Mizell noted.

Growers may be surprised to lock-in high guarantees at a lower rate than what we have seen over the last several years. March 15 is the deadline to sign-up for federal crop insurance. If you haven’t already seen your insurance specialist, do it soon.


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