Your View: Do crop prices affect your management

Canadian crop producers are on the tail end of some of the best years ever, with record yields, prices and net farm income. Now though, with an eye-popping corn and soy yields south of the border and margin outlooks looking barely positive, does this change how you pencil-in acres this winter for the spring seeding campaign?

Do you change how your farm is operated when future prices fall for crops you traditionally grow?

I change my rotation and grow the crops with the best projected margins 0%
I stick to the rotations and fertility management I know0%
I grow my usual crops but apply less fertilizer 0%
l base my decisions on being able to secure profitable contracts or take futures positions0%
l store more grain on farm and wait for higher prices0%
I spread my risk by growing more crop types0%


When margins are tight for grain and oilseed producers, is it a good time to to deal with weed pressure and boost fertility in underperforming areas and fields by summer fallowing or adding a cover crop rotation?

Yes, so I’ll be in a better position to take advantage of higher prices at a future date0%
No, it’s even more important to get every possible bushel in the bin when prices are low0%
I don’t have underperforming areas or fields of any consequence0%


About the author

Robin Booker — Robin Booker is a reporter and editor at Western Producer, specializing in social media, video and production issues. You can find him on twitter here: @CdnAg

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  • ed

    When values get this low, summer fallow will add a hugh amount of net to the farm. Once profit levels drop to the point that summer fallow adds value, 50% summer fallow is the point where net profit is maximized. Growing a great crop on half your land is easier and cheaper when seeded into nutrient dense, weed free and resistant well rested land. Less crop insurance fees, TUA’s etc, etc, etc. Net profits can on any size farm be easily 20 times higher while seeding half, spraying half, combining, trucking, storing and selling half as much. In reality the net profit increase can’t even be calculated in many cases. For instance, if a farm calculated that with a historic yield and present prices that it was lined up to lose $100 per acre on operations in 2015 and by summer fallow of 50% of the land that this farm would net $20 per acre. How many fold profit increase is that? If you went from net profit of one cent per acre to $20 per acre it is a 2000 times higher. Minus $100 per acre up to plus $20 per acres equals what??? It works well when the rewards for producing are gone. If crop prices fall or yields are down the resistance to escalating loses is a definite benefit. Living to fight another day is some times better than the alternative in many cases. This is one of them!