As producers meet with their lenders and walk the aisles of trade shows, they are typically making final plans for the upcoming growing season. But this year those final decisions are taking a bit longer, says Ron Harter with Brodbeck Seeds, “We had a warm fall and plenty of time to do fall fieldwork; and, for many, they were just not in the mood to make decisions about the next year.” He added that a warm December also did not put many producers in the mood, “Then we had the low grain prices and guys were just not ready to make up their minds; it has been a stretched out decision making progress this year.”
He told HAT that, for many growers, backing away from the latest traits and technology may be one way to cut costs, “Not everyone sees the value of the BT trait, the root worm traits, or the triple stack, or even the refuge in a bag. This year we have done a lot of talking about conventional seeds and straight Roundup, and it has saved some guys some money.” He warns those choices come with some risks, “Whenever you go away from the assurance of a root worm and BT product, there are other obstacles to think about.”
But, according to Harter, one decision that can increase your chances of making a profit in 2016 has nothing to do with traits or hybrid selection, it has to do with timing, “We need to have that crop in the ground as soon as possible so we have time to repair or replace it.” He said those who got flooded out last summer remember this all too well.
A farm magazine reported in their latest grower survey that farmers still plan to increase corn acres despite low prices. Growers told Farm Futures they plan to cut back on soybeans, intending to plant 82.2 million acres, down about 500,000 from 2015. While flooding also set back soybean seedings in 2015, economics may keep growers from taking another crack at soybeans with that ground.
“Neither corn nor soybeans is showing a profit based on current 2016 crop prices, but corn has better potential to break even this year,” says Bryce Knorr, Farm Futures senior grain market analyst. “Farmers are beginning to recognize this, even though corn will require more cash flow in a tight year to plant, due to higher production costs.”