Trent Brandenburg does not foresee any big corn and soybean market moves upward in 2018. He believes careful management to maximize yields will provide enough cash flow to maintain most farm businesses. A combination of low yields and lower prices will be challenging for operators paying very high cash rents.
Trent plans to keep his 50-50 corn and soybean rotation. “There’s more money in beans right now,” he mused, but he’s sticking with the equal split because of cultural advantages. Since he has no control over prices, he will use offsets to protect himself. He will not cut back on fertilizer because he needs the highest possible yield due to the low prices. He will be very careful with crop protection chemical use, applying only if his field scouting shows enough economic damage to justify the expense.
Trent views crop insurance as a not very good safety net, because of the low market prices making the available insurance coverage lower. He sees it as providing some limited help in a major crop damage event.