R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: Grain farm net income sees yield boost

By Tim Alexander for Chronicle Media

Though the corn harvest is 100 percent complete in much of central and southern Illinois, farm machinery may still be on the roads in parts of northern Illinois, according to the latest USDA crop progress report. (Tim Alexander photo)

Farmers in Illinois received some welcomed good news for the holiday season from ag economist Gary Schnitkey last week: Net income for grain farms is better than originally expected for this year. Also in farm and rural news, as the corn harvest lingers on in northern Illinois, farm shows and conferences are gearing up and Springfield will be the ‘Capital of Soybean Knowledge’ on Jan. 11. For more info, please read on …

Grain farm net income sees yield boost

URBANA — Average net income on Illinois grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) is forecast at around $60,000 per farm in 2017, according to a net income forecast issued last week by University of Illinois agricultural economist Gary Schnitkey. Though the forecast is projected at around $34,000 less than the average 2016 net income of $94,000 for Illinois grain farms, things could be worse, the U of I Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics professor said.

“Incomes in 2017 are projected lower because of lower corn prices, lower soybean prices and lower Agricultural Risk Coverage (ARC) payments. Partially offsetting these reductions are lower non-land costs,” Schnitkey reported in his Nov. 21 essay, “Forecast of 2017 Net Income on Grain Farms in Illinois,” posted on the U of I farmdocDAILY website. “Overall, 2017 net farm incomes could have been worse as yields on many farms turned out to be better than expected. Still, deterioration of working capital on most farms should be expected. As always, incomes will vary across farms, with some farms having higher incomes in 2017 than in 2016. Those farms with below average yields will have lower incomes and could potentially face more financial stress.”

Schnitkey’s income projection was determined by estimating yield, revenue and cost differences from 2016-17 to achieve a per-acre cost difference average. The average difference is estimated at $19 per acre of less income in 2017 as compared to 2016, according to the economist.

Corn harvest continues in parts of state

SPRINGFIELD — Agricultural columnist Alan Guebert Jr. noted in his Thanksgiving column that in the days of his youth on his family’s southern Illinois grain and cattle farm, the corn and soybean harvests would usually extend well into the holiday season. This year, farmers in northern areas of the state are experiencing the same.

Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusener reported the harvest in Illinois was “largely complete” in his Nov. 20 USDA-NASS “Illinois Crop Progress and Condition” report, though the corn harvest lingers on for producers in the northeast district of Illinois, where only 83 percent of the crop has been brought in, and in the northwest, where the corn harvest is 89 percent complete. Statewide, corn harvested for grain was 95 percent complete, compared to the five-year average of 98 percent. One hundred percent of the corn crop had been retrieved in southwestern Illinois, with 99 percent completion reported in central and west-southwest Illinois.

Meanwhile, wet weather was delaying fall tillage and anhydrous ammonia applications in parts of the state, according to the report.

Illinois Farm Fact:

The average 2017 U.S. Thanksgiving dinner cost was $49.12. (American Farm Bureau Federation)

Springfield to be ‘capital of soybean knowledge’

BLOOMINGTON — More information including breakout session topics and other agenda updates for the 2018 ILSoyAdvisor.com Soybean Summit has been released by the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), the host organization for the event. Formerly held in Peoria and Effingham, the summit has been condensed into a single-date event and relocated to the Wyndham Springfield City Centre from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 11.

The agenda is packed with valuable learning and networking opportunities, according to ISA production and outreach committee chairwoman Jenny Mennenga. “If you grow soybeans– especially if you want bigger yields and better profits — you need to attend the 2018 ILSoyAdvisor Soybean Summit. We’re extending our ILSoyAdvisor.com platform to share valuable insights that will boost yields and improve your bottom line,” she said.

Keynote sessions will include 2017 ISA “master adviser” Kris Ehler’s presentation on attaining 100-bushel soybeans, and a perspective on soy industry challenges from Dale Durchholz, senior marketing analyst for AgriVisor LLC. Breakout session topics for the summit include “Learning How to Optimize Yield by Resource Allocation,” “Boron Management for Soybean Production,” “Selecting Management Strategies for Producing High Yield and Profitable Soybeans,” “Habits of Financially Resilient Farmers” and “What the Illinois Yield Challenge Results Have Taught us About Managing Soybeans.”

While the 2018 ILSoyAdvisor.com Soybean Summit will update soybean farmers and industry participants on the latest management techniques and new products and services for soybean production, it will also serve as a mini-trade show, with the newest products and services for soybean production represented.

For more information on the free summit, visit www.ilsoy.org. (ISA news)

Berg named to United Soybean Board

WASHINGTON, D.C. — An Illinois soybean producer was among 19 members and three alternate members appointed to serve on the United Soybean Board by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. Gary Berg of Saint Elmo was appointed to a three-year term by Perdue and will be part of the 73-member USB, which empowers farmers to leverage their own resources to develop new markets, strengthen existing markets, and conduct important research and promotion activities. One of 22 industry-funded research and promotion boards established by Congress, the USB was formed in 1991 and is overseen by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.

“I truly appreciate the time and expertise that these individuals have agreed to provide, and know U.S. soybean producers will be well served by these men and women,” said Perdue, in a Nov. 22 USDA news release. Berg has been active in Illinois soybean, corn and wheat producers groups, serving in leadership roles in each.


R.F.D. NEWS & VIEWS: Grain farm net income sees yield boost–