It’s become a tradition and we aren’t stopping now! Want to know what’s on IL Corn’s Christmas list this year? We’re hoping Santa brings us …
2. More Stable Farm Profitability
Because after you have a basic understanding of the extremely high costs and extreme risks involved in running a farm, there won’t be much more to say about this item on the wish list.
Farming is hard. And it’s even harder when market prices are drastically up and down over the course of a year and even year to year, leaving a farmer grasping at straws trying to predict what the market will do, what the weather will do and how he will make money.
A few years ago, farmers were making around $7 a bushel for their corn. In those years, yields weren’t as high because of drought pressure or other concerns, but farmers still made a profit. Three short years later, corn prices are around $3.50 a bushel in Central Illinois. Yields are high, but that price doesn’t even cover the cost farmers paid to plant those acres!
It becomes very difficult to manage. Farmers have to be smart, futuristic, and forward thinking if they want to continue to make enough money to raise their families on the farm. They have to predict whether or not the farm will grow enough, whether market prices will be high enough to make enough money to pay their bills and feed their families.
(Also included in this formula is available markets. Farmers have to think through what Congress or the Administration might arbitrarily do to ruin the market opportunity for farmers. Can’t pass a Free Trade Agreement? Huge impact. Decide we hate ethanol and we’ll lower the volume obligation? Market prices are out the window.)
This year, Santa, it would be so nice to not have that pressure. Anything you can do?