Meeting season is here and famers are actively preparing for the 2020 crop year. And the question on everybody’s mind is what will the new crop year hold?
Unfortunately, 2020 looks like another challenging year of low commodity prices and continuing trade skirmishes. The trade war with China has impacted virtually all commodities from tobacco to cotton to corn to soybeans to hogs. If the trade war is resolved that will bring hope to all farmers this vital market will be reopened.
For 2020, Dr. Blake Brown, North Carolina State University Extension economist, sees more uncertainty and urges farmers to manage and plan accordingly. Prices for all commodities are expected to remain low in the year ahead, but Brown says sweet potatoes and peanuts do show promise.
Demand and exports for sweet potatoes continue to grow while fewer peanut acres in Georgia has benefited producers of Virginia-type peanuts. Also, corn farmers across the Southeast, particularly those who have center pivot irrigation, are faring better despite the trade war.
“Farmers in North Carolina have a strong basis for corn of 80 cents or more per bushel than in the Midwest due to our livestock industry. North Carolina farmers have a good market for their corn,” Brown said.
Despite the challenges that will come in the year ahead, farmers will carry on. They will watch the markets, keep a close eye on the bottom line and hope and pray for great weather which will lead to a bountiful harvest.
One thing is certain, they are all due for a good year of higher prices where they rightfully receive good money for their hard work. We all hope 2020 is that year.