Low prices for corn and other feed grains are expected to last for the rest of the decade, according to a recent forecast by a leading agricultural research group.
The dramatically lower prices being driven by this year's record crop harvests are not expected to continue, of course, but those in following years should still be very low in comparison to what was seen in 2008 and again from 2010 to 2013, according to the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri.
December corn ($3.41), November soybeans ($9.88) and December wheat ($5.17) all traded at 52-week lows yesterday morning at the Chicago Board of Trade. In 2012, by comparison, corn touched $8, soybeans approached $18 and wheat flirted with $9.
For the rest of the decade, FAPRI predicts two feed market conditions that dairy producers have not enjoyed since before the Great Recession ¬– modest prices, and very stable prices. Here is a season-by-season look at the report's predictions for farm prices per bushel:
The report also has a rosy outlook for national hay prices. While actual prices do vary enormously from region to region, its prediction of stable and moderately lower prices per ton is encouraging for producers everywhere:
The All Milk price outlook, however, is not as good. FAPRI forecasts stable but significantly lower prices than the record levels producers have enjoyed in 2014. But it appears that lower feed prices will allow producers to operate at profitable margins overall.
The author has served large Western dairy readers for the past 37 years and manages Hoard's WEST, a publication written specifically for Western herds. He is a graduate of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, majored in journalism and is known as a Western dairying specialist.