Here's a six things I took away from the recent Ag Outlook Conference held in Sioux Falls, S.D.
- Look for grain prices to be volatile. Nobody really knows for sure what direction the grain market is heading.
- Lock in input prices. You probably won't be comfortable forward selling grain unless know your current costs. Input prices will be volatile, too.
- Do more to reduce commercial N needs. Improve soil health, plant legumes, grow cover crops, produce more manure, or lock in a multi-year contract for manure.
- Prepare for higher interest rates. The federal deficit and the low value of the dollar are putting pressure on interest rates to move higher.
- Try to negotiate multi-year cash rents now. Land values and cash rents will likely continue to rise.
- Expect the unexpected. Weather disasters, wars, terrorist attacks and new technology can change affect the economy suddenly.
Speakers included Robert Utterback, Utterback Marketing Services; Al Ambrose, Cenex Harvest States and Don Reynolds, 21st Century Forecasting.