A bottomless pit for corn prices

Corn prices continue to plummet, and a University of Illinois ag economist says he doesn’t think farmers have seen the bottom of the market yet.

Gary Schnitkey tells Brownfield he published an analysis for the National Corn Growers Association that shows cash corn prices have declined by 16% on average since March 1st as a result of COVID-19.

“If we look at cash prices since the beginning of the year, from January and February, and then look at it through April 15th, on average across the nation prices fell 60 cents per bushel.”

He says the price per bushel fell even more in Nebraska and the Dakotas and other areas that serve ethanol.

He says the data also projects a $50 per acre revenue decline for the 2019 corn crop, adding that government aid probably will not cover those losses.

Schnitkey says corn is taking more hits compared to soybeans and wheat because of lower demand for its two biggest uses- ethanol and livestock feed.

“We would expect to see demand for livestock feed decrease in the future because of the processing plant problems that we are currently facing and then reduced demand for livestock and meat down the road as consumers face a recession type situation.”

The analysis was commissioned by NCGA to better understand the economic impact on the corn industry and use it to help create solutions for corn farmers to recover financially.

Interview with Gary Schnitkey
  • I would not be surprised to see a 2 in front of corn on the board as we are right there in the local cash market. The destruction this shutdown of the nation has caused will be felt for a long time. Sweden did not shut down and has the same death rate we have with their economy intact. Makes you wonder if it was worth it. Computer models can say anything.

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