CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) – The biggest question in agriculture today is how fertilizer prices will impact corn and soybean acreage next spring. Noted grain market advisor Rick Brock has been surveying farmers to find the answer to the acreage question for 2022.
“A little surprising to us, this week we’ve done seminars in Lafayette, Indiana and Bloomington, Illinois and I’ve polled the audiences and both audiences in both cities said they are not planning on making any changes at all. They are going to keep the normal soybean-corn rotation,” Brock said. “And the other thing of interest is, with the price of fertilizer, are we going to see a big shift? Every audience, 90% of each room, said they had all their fertilizer needs covered from now until springtime. So I think this whole fertilizer shortage, I’m not going to downplay it that its not going to happen; but I don’t think its going to happen to some of the larger producers. I think they have that already taken care of. So I don’t think we’re going to see a big shift at all.”
“If we do, maybe a million acres going from corn to beans, but I don’t think it will be much more than that,” Brock continued. “And right now, there have been some pretty good studies put out by the University of Illinois that show, even at the price of fertilizer today, that corn is more profitable than soybeans. Profit is going to drive the bottom line; but farmers also like to keep a rotation if they need to and so we’re not looking for much of a change at all.”
Brock said that thanks to biofuels, there is good demand for both corn and beans.
“At this time of year, farmers in your listening area are probably experiencing the best basis levels for corn particularly than they’ve ever seen, and that is due to ethanol production that is near all time new highs. Ethanol plant profitability is back to where it was in 2013. And so all points of the chain are making profits right now, which normally is not the case. And so when that happens, my viewpoint is we’re probably not going to see much of a change.”
You’ll hear more from Brock on our weekend program, Midwest Ag This Week, Saturday morning and evening on WCIA and Sunday morning on Channel 49.