A few years ago, a farmer in northern Minnesota told me will never raise corn. Too much hassle, especially in wet falls, he said. He was nearing retirement, which he acknowledged factored into his decision. If he were younger, then, yeah, maybe he’d think differently, he said. Even so, he said, he just didn’t like the idea of battling cold and snow to harvest corn.
Farmers in much of the region have faced big challenges harvesting corn this moisture-filled fall. Even worse, the price of corn has plummeted. Battling to bring in a corn crop that sells for $6 or $7 per bushel is one thing; fighting the elements to harvest corn that sells for less than $4 per bushel is something else. (Of course, prices of other crops also have dropped, making them less attractiive, too.)
So here’s my question for Agweek readers: Do you think lower corn prices, added to the always-present threat of late-fall harvest hassles, will cause some area farmers to shy away from corn next year?
My guess is that farmers, on balance, will plant the crops that promise the best economic return and that corn will remain extremely popular But I also suspect a few producers will be influenced by the combination of lower corn prices and corn’s potential harvest problems. They’ll put up with the hassles for $6 or $7 per bushel — but not for $4.
Drop me a line and let me know what you think.