Weekly Insights

July 6, 2020

The Squeeze in Agriculture

The following is a condensed version of an article that appeared in AEI Premium May 7. To get the latest content start your free trial here. The last decade has been a roller coaster ride for commodity prices, with most commodity prices starting 2020 at 2010 levels. This means that any revenue differences between today […]

June 29, 2020

A Closer Look at the Demographics of Off-Farm Income and Debt

A reader recently asked if it was possible to look more closely at the demographic data covered in our early post about off-farm income. This was a good question as the largest category, “commercial farms” were those with more than $350,000 in gross cash farm income[1]. This week’s post digs deeper into the USDA’s typography […]

June 22, 2020

A Wild Ride for Exchange Rates in 2020

In the early weeks of the COVID pandemic, we noted that exchange rates would be an important factor to watch in 2020. After surging higher, the Dollar has drifted lower in recent weeks. This week’s post reviews the latest data and potential implications for U.S. agriculture. Dollar Higher Shoots Higher… At Least Initially Figure 1 […]

June 15, 2020

Trade Progress with China: Disappointing

In January, the U.S. and China ceremoniously signed the Phase 1 trade agreement. This was a positive development for U.S. agriculture, especially on the grains side. While there was ambiguity about the metrics and some doubt about China’s ability to meet those goals, the consensus was that China would be buying a lot of U.S. […]

June 8, 2020

Direct Farm Payments to Soar in 2020

The USDA recently announced the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Like MFP, this is another ad hoc farm program that will send direct farm payments sharply higher. This week’s post is a review of direct farm payments and a look at what might be in store for 2020. Direct Payments Figure 1 shows inflation-adjusted direct […]

June 1, 2020

The 2020 Soybean Yield Guide

Following-up on the 2020 Corn Yield Guide, this week’s post, the Soybean Yield Guide, considers historic soybean yield data and what 2020 might have in store. Background Similar to corn, the USDA’s May WASDE report was the first estimate for 2020/2021 production. This report included an initial soybean yield estimate of 49.8 bushels per acre. […]