Corn, soybean crop expected to hit record high

Great season could mean bad prices for farmers
Corn, soybean crop expected to hit record high

Following a summer of good farming weather, the Midwest might be looking at a record crop season this year.

Both corn and soybeans in the state are expected out-produce yields from years past. You might think that’s great news for farmers growing the grains – but experts say a great season could do more harm than good.

This year, farming income is expected to drop by 14 percent. The decrease is partly due to too much grain supply following the summer’s strong yield.

“The prices are low and they don’t look like they’re going to be coming up again soon,” says Heidi Johnson of the UW Extension.

“For a lot of growers, they’re going to be looking at, is there a profit to be made from this year’s crop, or am I in the end taking a loss?” says Casey Langan, a spokesperson for the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation.

Low grain prices are hitting farmers across the nation – but in Wisconsin, that blow might not be quite as hard.

“We don’t just have corn and soybeans every year,” Langan explains. “We have a livestock sector, we have dairy, we have fruits and vegetables as well.”

Thanks to the state’s mix of agricultural products, Wisconsin farmers are turning to their other options to make ends meet – including livestock, which is expected to out-sell grain for the first time in nearly a decade.

“We’ve seen lower prices that farmers are receiving for their corn and soybeans, but we are seeing record high prices for their cattle and hogs, so livestock is the place to be right now for farmers,” Langan says.

With such a strong agricultural sector to fall back on, experts say too much grain won’t hurt Wisconsin.

A good grain season may not be good news for farmers, but it is good news for consumers. Experts say the strong supply is helping to drive prices down at the grocery store this fall.