South East Farm Press Logo

All profit when farmers profit

Inflation and high production costs won’t magically disappear in 2023.

John Hart, Associate Editor

February 1, 2023

2 Min Read
High yields a must
High yields will be a must to make ends meet. John Hart

As farmers continue to chart the course for the 2023 crop year, they know it will be far from easy. Crop producers are the masters of dealing with a multitude of challenges yet still finding a path to success, even in the most difficult years.  They will once again be put to the test in 2023.

Inflation and high production costs won’t magically disappear in 2023. And once again, high yields will be a must to make ends meet. Farmers know that prayer continues to be their most powerful production practice with prayers for good weather on the lips of farmers everywhere.

While the crop year ahead will certainly be challenging, it will be far from dull or boring. Calculating the right crop mix and factoring in high fertilizer and fuel costs will be job one. As I have noted in this space before, MBA students who use case studies of successful businesses in their course work would learn far more if they examined a family farm rather than such companies as Tesla, Amazon, or Apple.

Clemson farm business consultant Scott Mickey presented his crop budget for 2023 at the South Carolina Corn and Soybean Growers Meeting at Santee Conference Center in Santee Dec. 14. He sees a squeeze on costs and returns; farmers will need to find the right margins to succeed. A drop in diesel prices would certainly help the bottom line. Mickey sees diesel prices as the wild card for 2023. “I’d like to see diesel come down some more and that would make a big difference in our input costs in 2023.” Mickey says.

Certainly, farmers will be looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing yield. But for corn farmers, cutting nitrogen fertilizer rates to save money won’t be the way to go. North Carolina State University Extension fertility specialist Luke Gatiboni urges farmers to continue to use their recommended nitrogen rates and not cut back to save money, unless they have been overapplying nitrogen. 

Gatiboni says market indicators show fertilizer prices will remain high in 2023, due to the energy market and geopolitical factors, particularly the Russia-Ukraine war. He says research by fertilizer market analysts indicates any time fertilizer prices go up, it takes three years for prices to return to normal levels.

In short, the crop year ahead will be far from easy. Few if any crop years are. Farmers have always been the masters of overcoming challenges and are the greatest purveyors of hope. My hope for 2023 is that come harvest, everything will fall into place and bumper crops will fill the bins of farmers everywhere. More importantly, my hope is farmers will find the right margins to make strong profits in 2023.

We all profit when farmers profit.

About the Author(s)

John Hart

Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press

John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry.  John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.

John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a  graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge.  At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like