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Showing posts from March, 2015

How do farmers survive a year without profits?

By David Bau, Extension Educator

Forward contract bids for 2015 corn and soybeans are $3.50 and under $9.00 respectively. Farmer breakeven prices necessary to cover input costs and living expenses are in the $4.50 to $5.00 range for corn and $11.50 to $12.50 for soybeans, which means if prices do not improve, many will have losses on 2015 crops. Losses started for many in 2013 when over half the corn producers lost money on corn production and twenty percent of soybean producers in the Southern Minnesota Adult Farm Management programs. On average they sold their 2013 corn for $4.45 and 2013 soybeans for $9.47 and the average breakeven prices were $4.78 for corn and $11.69 for soybeans.

The first thing many farmers have done is they saved the good time profits from prior years in their balance sheets. This will allow them to weather a poor or a no profit year in 2015. But what else can a farmer do?

On the income side, the new farm bill program is designed to help when prices are low…