December was a historic month for agriculture as President Trump signed off on “phase-one” of a new wave of U.S. tariffs for $160 billion of consumer goods from China in return for China’s promise to buy more U.S. agricultural goods. And although stocks reached new records in response to the news, projections have commodity prices remaining in the extended bear market throughout 2020.
In a quarterly report provided by the Farm Credit Administration, findings support all major U.S. cash-crop prices to remain low throughout 2020, with elevated risk. Several factors are cited as drivers in the larger than normal soybean acreage with unfavorable corn pricing and rotation being the top two.
Large global supplies contribute as the leading reason for lower crop prices, further weakening the farm financial situation throughout the agricultural community — a long trade-and-weather story short, already tightened belts are going to get tighter in 2020. And now is the time to look beyond a traditional commodity-based-pricing model. 2020 will be the year to think outside the box, and look at specialty opportunities within the marketplace. Data, management and purpose will be the drivers distinguishing profitability from bankruptcy, and those growers willing to expand their marketing network and production offerings will have a better chance of sustaining in this not-so-short-term depressed agricultural economy.
Management tools, both hardware and software, continue to bring value to the operations that implement them. With solutions like SureTrack FARM™, and SureTrack PRO™ processors, farmers and co-ops are able to collect data, precisely apply inputs, safely store and condition grain and accurately inventory fuel and propane supplies.
The solutions also support seed selection choices and help farmers growing specialty varieties of corn, soybeans, rice and wheat. YieldFax has compiled over 1.5 million field trial results, allowing comparison of disease resistance, yield and pest resistance within a radius. The tool allows a farmer to select the seed variety that will work best for their operation.
When you’re ready to market, CashBidManager takes the challenge out of finding a buyer by providing the three best options available: best price, closest delivery and best overall offer.
For those who opt to grow specialty crops, live demands from merchandisers and processors can be viewed via SureTrack FARM MarketManager, providing connection and the opportunity to begin a conversation with buyers interested in your grain.