A University of Illinois budget forecast for 2019 corn and soybean production shows a large disparity between cost and return.
Farm management professor Gary Schnitkey says rising fertilizer values and the precipitous drop in soybean prices are penciling out near 2005 levels.
“Looking at returns in northern Illinois for corn and soybeans right at $160 per acre, and our average cash rent is $240. There’s a big difference there, so how you close that gap is going to be The Question for 2019.”
He tells Brownfield it’s going to be tough making a profit next year.
Schnitkey expects to see more corn acres in 2019.
“For the first time since 2013 corn is projected to be more profitable than soybeans, so we’ll probably see a switch in bean acres over to corn.”
He says preserving 2018 profits could help soften the blow.
Schnitkey anticipates strong yields and Market Facilitation Program payments this fall will provide a cushion for some farmers next year.