Gary Schnitkey

Wheat-Double-Crop Soybeans Competitive with Corn

This article was originally published on the farmdoc Daily website by Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson and Carl Zulauf. As wheat planting season approaches, we evaluate expected returns for crop rotations that include wheat.  Given current 2021 grain bids, a combination of wheat and double-crop-soybeans is projected more profitable than either corn or stand-alone-soybeans in southern Illinois. Wheat alone is not more profitable than either corn or stand-alone soybeans. In central Illinois, stand-alone soybeans are projected more profitable than wheat-double-crop-soybeans. Current 2021 Commodity Bids in Historical Perspective Current bids for 2021 delivery in southern Illinois are: Wheat: $5.40 per bushel [...]

By |September 10, 2020|

2020 Planting Decisions in the Face of COVID-19

This article was originally published on farmdoc Daily by Gary Schnitkey, Krista Swanson, Jonathan Coppess, Nick Paulson. Trade conflicts, prevented and late planting, and policy innovations have presented a difficult decision-making environment to farmers over the past several years. The decisions for this spring are now drastically complicated given the rapidly changing situation with the spread of COVID-19 and its attendant health threats and control measures. Currently, a paramount concern is continuing farming and livestock activities in the face of COVID-19 health threats and control measures. Farmers and input suppliers are coming up on a very busy planting season. To [...]

By |March 23, 2020|

The Geography of Exceptional Soybean Yields

Originally published in FarmDoc Daily From 2013 to 2018, U.S. soybean yields have been above trend in all years, with an average yield-above-trend of 3.7 bushels per acre. States have had different experiences with above trend yields. Six states had an average yield-above-trend of over 5.0 bushels per acre. Four states had average yield-above-trends of less than 2.0 bushels per acre. The geographical patterns of state yields are described in this article. Above Trend Yields for the United States In the December Crop Production Report, the National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) reported the average U.S. soybean yield for 2018 [...]

By |December 17, 2018|

The Economics of Fertilizer Application

By Gary Schnitkey and Dan Davidson Today there are two certainties – corn and soybean prices are depressed and corn and soybeans both will yield if fed and managed intensively. Here is the dilemma growers are faced with - do they cut back on inputs to reduce cost and at same time reduce yield potential, or do they continue to invest in yield, albeit smartly based on return on investment? There is no easy answer to this challenge. After land costs, fertilizer expenses are the single biggest cost accrued when producing a crop. So trimming some dollars from the [...]

By |October 17, 2018|

Podcast: Habits of Highly Successful Farmers

Gary Schnitkey, agriculture and consumer economics professor at the University of Illinois Aired: January 2017 In both good times and bad there are commonalities among the farmers who tend to be most profitable. Last year a study sponsored by ISA and the Illinois Soybean checkoff program explored the on-farm practices that led to healthier bottom lines. Gary Schnitkey, agriculture and consumer economics professor at the University of Illinois, and his team of researchers found that certain habits of the most successful farmers set them apart. “The most resilient farmers are able to mitigate risks, make informed, cross-functional decisions and [...]

By |March 24, 2017|

2017 Crop Budgets and Current Prices Say Switch to Soybeans and Expect Low Returns

This article originally appeared on farmdocDAILY. Current 2017 fall delivery bids for central Illinois are near $10 per bushel for soybeans while corn is near $3.60 per bushel. At those prices, soybeans are projected to be near $80 per acre more profitable than corn, sending a strong signal to switch acres from corn to soybeans. With increased 2017 soybean plantings, consideration should be given to pricing production on additional acres, thereby mitigating some risks associated with soybean price decreases. Returns for 2017 are projected to be low. Corn prices need to approach or exceed $4.00 per bushel before the farm financial [...]

By |January 27, 2017|

Agronomy: Soybean Yields in Illinois

In recent years, soybean yields in Illinois have been exceptional, leading to questions on whether technologies have caused a "jump" in soybean yields. While the 2016 state yield will be an outlier, it is too early to say that a new regime of soybean yields exists. Relative to corn yields, soybean yields must increase more to have the same relative yields as in the early 1970s. Comparing Soybean Yields to Trend State soybean yields for Illinois have been exceptional from 2014 through 2016. In 2014, Illinois' soybean yield was 56 bushels per acre. The 2014 yield was a record [...]

By |October 27, 2016|

Agronomy: Continuous Beans: Are soybeans after soybeans profitable?

Recent analysis suggests that soybeans have been more profitable than corn in Illinois from 2013 to 2015, and there is a reasonable chance that soybeans will be more profitable than corn in 2016 (farmdoc daily, February 16, 2016). Soybeans being more profitable than corn leads to the question: Should Illinois farmers raise more soybeans and cut back on corn acres in 2016? For many Illinois farmers, raising more soybeans will require planting soybeans on farmland planted to soybeans in 2015 (soybeans-after-soybeans). In this article, soybean-after-soybean budgets are presented for four regions of Illinois. When the previous crop is soybeans, [...]

By |March 21, 2016|

Agronomy: 2015 Crop and Income Outlook – Conserve Cash Income

This is a presentation summary from the 2015 Illinois Farm Economics Summit (IFES) which occurred December 14-18, 2015. A complete collection of presentations including PowerPoint Slides (PPT) and printable summaries (PDF) are available here. Net incomes on Illinois farms have decreased form an all-time high near $290,000 in 2012. In 2014, net income for Illinois grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) averaged near $100,000 per farm. Much lower income levels are expected in 2015. If commodity prices do not increase in 2016, net income in 2016 likely will be at similar levels to that in [...]

By |January 22, 2016|

Agronomy: Profitability Matters: Cutting $100 per Acre in Soybeans

2015 delivered a tough growing season for many Illinois farmers, and lower soybean prices to follow. For incomes to increase in 2016, either commodity prices need to rise or farmers need to cut costs.  “Looking at where commodity prices are now, farmers’ costs need to be $100 less in some cases just to break even. They need to focus on their cost structure and see where they can afford to make cuts,” says Gary Schnitkey, Ph.D., professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois. In the kickoff episode of “Profitability Matters,” Schnitkey explains how growers can [...]

By |November 10, 2015|
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