Economic Tidbits

Sluggish Crop Prices

Present Nebraska cash bids for corn and soybeans are $2.30-$2.80 per bushel and $2.00-$2.80 per bushel lower respectively compared to a year ago (Figure 4). Chad Hart, an agricultural economist with Iowa State University, when speaking at the Top Farmer Conference sponsored by the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture, commented that corn and soybean prices are returning to normal. Because production agriculture is a competitive industry, Hart said prices in the long-term tend to settle near the cost of production. As such, in the next few years, corn prices could settle between $4.00-$5.00 per bushel and soybeans between $10.50-$11.50 per bushel. The USDA forecasts season-average corn price will be $4.80 per bushel this marketing year compared to $6.54 in the last marketing year. The average soybean price is estimated at $12.75 per bushel compared to $14.20 per bushel. Struggling exports, strong global competition, and larger grain and oilseed stocks suggest a limited upside in prices. Even with moderating costs, crop producers will likely struggle to break even in 2024.

FIGURE 4. NEBRASKA CROP PRICE INDICES (THROUGH NOVEMBER 2023)

Source: Rolling Prairie Economics using data from USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service

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