• Last modified 3042 days ago (Feb. 24, 2011)


Grain prices outpacing cost of production

Staff writer

Although many Marion County farmers have sold their past year’s grain production, the future looks bright as they look ahead to this year’s production; that is, if nothing happens to change the dynamics of the market.

Grain prices have risen steadily since August.

According to Dick Tippin, grain coordinator for Cooperative Grain and Supply, there seems to be more demand worldwide as exports are up.

“As long as exports are strong, prices should remain strong,” he said.

He noted there is a high demand for corn right now, and what happens to the price going forward will depend on weather conditions during the next growing season and the size of the crop.

Chad Arnold, manager of the Crop Production Center at Hillsboro, said prices of fertilizer are a lot higher than a year ago but have not gone up as much as grain prices. Herbicide prices remain stable.

Greg Bowers of Central National Bank is cautiously optimistic that prices will remain much higher than the cost of production.

“It’s nice to see that farmers now have the potential to make money raising crops,” he said.

He noted that high livestock prices also contribute to a positive bottom line for farmers. On the other hand, the good prices are tending to make land prices “substantially higher” in some areas of the county, he said.

“It’s interesting,” he said. “Every day another piece of the puzzle is laid down. Sometimes it makes sense, and sometimes it doesn’t.”

According to elevator managers around the county, many farmers have been forward-contracting some portion of their future grain harvests to lock in current prices.

Last modified Feb. 24, 2011