Strong Corn Prices Come at a Cost

Source: By Katie Micik Dehlinger, DTN Staff Reporter • Posted: Monday, September 6, 2021

Soybeans could pencil out a profit of $150 per acre next year, substantially more than corn, with an average price of $12.35 per bushel. The big difference: Farmers who grow corn will spend three times as much on fertilizer this season.

Sinclair said the last time fertilizer prices spiked like this was in 2008, but prices fell back the following year.

“Will we see a similar reality check for corn and fertilizer prices in 2022? I think it might take until 2023 before prices come back down,” Sinclair said. “World ending stocks are so low, it may take another year to build up a safety net of grain stocks.”

Kansas City Federal Reserve ag economist Nathan Kauffman said input costs are often quick to catch up to higher commodity prices but slow to come back down.

“On a number of fronts, it’s possible that some of those cost pressures do start to squeeze margins” by driving up farmers’ break-even costs, Kauffman said. “We might not think about $4 corn in the way that we would have thought about it five years ago if the cost structure is different.”

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Katie Dehlinger can be reached at katie.dehlinger@dtn.com

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