Recent Articles

January 19, 2021

9 Questions Facing Agriculture In 2021

by Brent Gloy and David Widmar   Each year we carve out time to think about the issues and uncertainties facing agriculture in the coming year. This week, we outline nine questions facing agriculture in 2021. 1) Another Strong Farm Income Year? The combination of record-high government farm payments and a Fall/Winter commodity price rally […]

January 11, 2021

Idling Acres and the 1980s

Last week’s post highlighted the burdensome ending stocks situation the farm economy faced during the 1980s. Ending stocks put significant pressure on commodity prices and, in turn, policymakers. This week’s post considers the massive acreage reduction efforts that took place during the 1980s. Idled Acres Figure 1 shows the scale of U.S. farmland enrolled in […]

January 4, 2021

Sizing up the Tight U.S. Grain Ending Stocks Situation

The tight U.S. grain ending stocks situation will be an important ag story in 2021. With that in mind, this week’s post considers the trends in U.S. corn, wheat, and soybean ending stocks. Tightening Stocks Figure 1 shows the U.S. corn ending stocks to use ratio since 2000. Also plotted (in black) is the average […]

December 21, 2020

6 Christmas Tree Facts

With Christmas just a few days away, we breakdown six Christmas Tree facts. These data come from the USDA’s 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties, which was released just this month. 1) Small Growth in Christmas Trees for Harvest, Then Trending Lower In 2019, the U.S. harvested 11.7 million Christmas trees. Given that it takes several […]

December 14, 2020

The 2020 Agricultural Year in Review

by Brent Gloy and David Widmar   For all the jokes and snickers about 20/20 vision in the year 2020, it seems nobody had much foresight about the year that’s mostly behind us. One of the hard things about a year like 2020 is that you can forget all that took place. With that in […]

December 7, 2020

Farm Interest Rates Tumble

Interest rates are on our minds for two reasons. First, efforts to stimulate the U.S. economy in 2020 have pushed rates sharply lower. Secondly, the current farm interest rate environment couldn’t be more different than that experienced during the 1980’s farm financial crisis. This week, we review the tumble in farm interest rates in 2020, […]