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KayDee Gilkey Ag Economic Outlook
by KayDee Gilkey, click here for bio

Program: Farm and Ranch Report
Date: February 28, 2017

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At the recent USDA Outlook Forum, USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson says commodity prices may remain relatively flat for the year.

Johansson: “U.S. prices for most ag crops are expected to be flat or slightly higher for the 2017-18 marketing year. Wheat prices are estimated at $4.30 per bushel up about 12 percent from last year. Corn prices are projected to edge up only slightly to $3.50 a bushel, up 3 percent from last year but down 50 percent from 2012 record price.”

Farmers are expected to reduce planted acres of corn and perhaps switch to soybeans, the stronger priced commodity.

Johansson: “Combined corn and soybean acreage is expected to total 178 million acres, up .6 million acres from 2016. Corn areas are expected to decline by 4 million acres to 90 million.”

On the bright side, export prospects for U.S. ag products are looking better than they did three months ago.

Johansson: “U.S. ag exports are forecast at $136 billion for fiscal year 2017 with a rebound in Chinese demand and strong export sales at the beginning of this year. U.S. exports to China are projected to be up more than $3 billion year-over-year to $22.3 billion. Exports to Canada are also projected at more than $21 billion and exports to Mexico are expected to be more than $18 billion. Together these three countries purchase more than 45 percent of total U.S. ag exports.”

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