BLOOMINGTON - Farmers have some important decisions to make regarding their crop acreage and profits. Speakers on an agriculture outlook panel at the Illinois Commodity Conference Tuesday offered their advice and predictions.
Corn prices are about $3.65 per bushel right now, and prices have looked good overall this year. But if farmers need to make some sales this year, they should do so in the next week or two, Dan Zwicker of AgriVisor Services told attendees at the conference, held at Bloomington's DoubleTree Hotel.
Zwicker studies the trends in the cost of crops and knows prices move in a circular movement. He cautions farmers that the market might start to become vulnerable in the coming weeks.
A decrease in corn price may not materialize in December, but he said the market often is weaker in December for a couple of reasons, including farmers taking profits on their commodities.
Estimated McLean County corn yields for the year are 186.9 bushels per acre, among the top yields on record.
Since corn yields have done so well this year, and ethanol interest is on the rise, farmers have talked about planting more corn next year.
Again, farmers should use caution and make a decision carefully, said Darrel Good, University of Illinois Extension ag economist.
The immediate focus is corn, and that's new territory for farmers, Good said. They need to add acres to take advantage of the higher price and demand created by ethanol, but they can't add so many acres that they end up hurting the soybean crop or livestock farmers.
"It's kind of a balancing act," Good said. "We don't want to overshoot that."
Farmers also need to carefully consider finances. It would cost farmers an extra $110 per acre to plant corn on top of corn instead of planting a soybean crop, Good said.
"Yield and price has to compensate for that increased cost," Good said.