Grain and Farm Supply Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the grain and farm supply industries.

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Fertilizer Inflation Likely to Persist into Spring Planting

U.S. crop farmers and the farm supply cooperatives serving them are facing operational anxiety heading into 2022, driven by high fuel prices, shortages of agrochemicals (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides) due to COVID-related disruptions and, most importantly, the recent parabolic rise in fertilizer prices.

Precision Agronomy Services Will Factor Heavily in the Future of Ag Retailing

Ag retailers, including farm supply cooperatives, are benefitting from crop farmers’ strong spending on inputs and agronomic services in a second year of above-average grain prices.

Feeding the Hungry Dragon: China Changes Buying Tactics in Volatile Phase of U.S. Grain Run

China shook up the U.S. feed grain export market this past year when it nearly tripled its previous year’s purchase of soybeans, and made record purchases of sorghum and more recently, corn.

Agronomy Outlook: A Time to Plant, a Time to Prosper

U.S. farmers are in a sound financial position heading into spring 2021 given the cyclical turn in grain prices and robust government support, both of which have driven a rise in net farm income.

Dollar Divergence: US Dollar Index Does Not Reflect True Dollar Impact on US Ag Exports

The U.S. Dollar Index saw rapid deflation in 2020 and has coincided with a rally in commodity prices. 

Grain Elevator Outlook: Accelerated Merchandising Margins Today, Potential Volatility Tomorrow

An explosive rally in grain prices – driven by a smaller-than-expected U.S. harvest, strong China export demand, dryness concerns due to La Niña, and resulting tight corn and soybean stocks – dramatically changed the complexion of the 2020-21 grain marketing season.

Surging Feed Prices to Test US Animal Protein’s Recovery

Feed costs have been relatively benign since 2012, helping the beef, pork and poultry sectors to expand more from 2014 to 2019 than in any five year period in the industry’s history. But in the coming year, U.S. livestock and poultry producers will face more feed cost inflation than they have in over a decade, challenging their ability to recover after a difficult and volatile 2020.

Field of Agronomic Dreams: Rethinking the Farm Supply Co-op to Drive Value

Farm supply service cooperatives remain the dominant form of input distribution in North America. 

Ethanol Sector Outlook: Readjustment Today, Rationalization Tomorrow

The economic shock in spring 2020 resulting from COVID-19-led economic shutdowns was unprecedented, causing ethanol demand destruction. 

Spring 2020 Agronomy Outlook: Retailers Are Adequately Prepared to Ride Out the Storm

According to an analysis of CoBank’s proprietary borrower database, ag retailers are on relatively firm footing as they prepare for spring following last year’s complicated agronomy season.

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2020

The U.S. rural economy will continue to face headwinds in 2020 and is expected to underperform relative to the economy of urban America. 

Grain Elevator Outlook: Tight Basis Squeezes Grain and Oilseed Margins

Grain elevators face a struggle in the year ahead as they buy expensive basis on corn, soybeans, and wheat at levels not seen in years. 

Corn Crop Uncertainty Raises Volatility for Grain Elevators

Grain elevators and end users are navigating heightened market volatility as the size of this fall’s corn harvest remains uncertain.

Ethanol Outlook Weak Amid Sluggish Demand

Persistent low margins will likely drive ethanol plants to diversify revenue streams.

Gene Editing: A Potential Game Changer for Crop Agriculture

Interest, innovation, and investment in gene editing tools like CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) and TALEN® (transcription activator-like effector nucleases) have heated up in recent years, and will only intensify in 2019.  

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2019

The U.S. economy is still performing well by most key measures. However, consumers, investors, companies and other market participants have become more wary about the near-term future with seemingly good reason. 

Grain Elevator Outlook 2018/2019

Trade disputes and large fall crops have been the major drivers of grain markets this year. Both factors have contributed to wider carry and weakened basis.

Shifting Ground: Mega Mergers to Realign Farm Supply

Seed and crop protection rebate programs will change over the coming years due to mergers in the seed and crop protection industry.

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2018

U.S. cotton acreage will be up in 2018, but nowhere is that increase more transformative than in the Southwest. Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas are projected to increase planted area by 40 percent, 16 percent, and 6 percent, respectively.

2018-2020: Pressure on Grain and Farm Supply Sectors to Persist

The long-term outlook for grains and ethanol is one of cautious optimism, with domestic and global demand expected to continue rising as export competition builds abroad.