Author

Travis Carlstrom

Travis is a Sr. Credit Analyst at FBN, working on the forefront of financing agricultural operations. He comes from a small ag-based community, which has guided much of his career. He holds a BA in business administration and a MBA with a specialization in agribusiness. He has more than 20 years of lending experience in the ag sector.


Jan. 27, 2023

by Travis Carlstrom

Between the 24/7 demands of running an agricultural operation and the blinding pace of our world today, there is little time to sift through all the headlines. The good news is that you no longer have to! Our goal is to point you to some of the most important headlines in agriculture, so you can stay informed on the forces shaping your livelihoods. To save you time, here are the week's top links and news items: Top news 1. How Pricey Are Cash Rents? Per acre rents are at all-time highs. However, there are other ways to consider overall land costs. This link takes a look at rents on a per-bushel basis and as a percentage of gross farm income.  Both measures suggest that overall cash rents are not at historical highs, due to productivity gains and strong commodity prices.  Does this mean that there are further increases in store for producers?  Watch for commodity prices to continue to be the strongest influence on the cash rent market. 2. Heifers on Feed Indicate Long-Term Liquidation Still Occuring The size of the beef herd decreased in 2022 due to drought conditions and strong demand for beef.  During periods of contraction producers sell more heifer calves. This increases the producer's income today, but contributes to further shrinking of the beef herd.  With fewer cows, we will have fewer feeder cattle, and lower total beef production. This is supportive to beef prices going forward.  This link combines the historical quarterly percentage of heifers on feed and cattle inventory report to show where herd numbers are heading.  3. Egg Prices Have Soared 60% in a Year. Here Is Why They Are So Expensive The single greatest factor contributing to higher egg prices is avian influenza. The current outbreak is the deadliest of all time, leading to egg inventories 29% lower than a year ago .  Despite increased biosecurity measures, avian flu has been difficult to prevent due to the wild birds that spread the virus as they migrate.  However, we can expect consumers to see high prices after the outbreak due to other contributing factors, such as inflation and higher input costs for producers. 4. New Year's Resolution: Good Grain Marketing Habits The last two years have rewarded producers who have waited to market their crop until the following year.  History suggests that this is not the best method to sell at market highs. In 7 out of the 10 previous crop years, the highest prices were found when selling in the spring or summer before harvest .  Selling a crop before the bushels are in the bin can be uncomfortable. However, history suggests that commodity prices typically hover close to the cost of production.  Accordingly, this link asks producers to consider whether it is more likely for prices to increase or decrease. 5. Chessboard of Producers This link utilizes a series of nice graphics to provide an overview of the cow/calf sector. As of the most recent Ag Census, there are approximately 729,000 operations running 31.7 million cows .  While the vast majority of operations manage fewer than 200 cows , the majority of cows are found in larger operations. Smaller operations also tend to have a much higher reliance on off-farm income and higher likelihood of exiting the business within the next five years. The data point to the conclusion that there is a wide disparity in the goals of cow/calf producers.  Because of this, industry leaders and legislators have a tremendous challenge in implementing policy to promote the cow/calf sector. Get in touch If you have any links you'd like to share or have any questions, please contact Travis Carlstrom, Sr. Ag Credit Analyst at FBN. © 2015-2023 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” and “FBN” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. The information and opinions expressed by others in this material are their own and are not endorsed or approved by FBN or its affiliates. 


Article Finance

Harvesting the Headlines

Jan. 19, 2023

by Travis Carlstrom

Between the 24/7 demands of running an agricultural operation and the blinding pace of our world today, there is little time to sift through all the headlines. The good news is that you no longer have to! Our goal is to point you to some of the most important headlines in agriculture, so you can stay informed on the forces shaping your livelihoods. To save you time, here are the week's top links and news items: Top news 1. Who's Really Behind All These Record Farmland Sales? and Grazing Land Values Keep Climbing Farmland recently sold in Sioux County, IA for $30,000/ac! While pasture/rangeland has not been quite as hot as cropland, values across all types of land have seen significant increases in 2022.  Prices have been driven by strong commodity prices and limited supply.  What is really interesting is that the vast majority of buyers are producers, not investors. While most analysts expect values to remain strong in 2023, there are reasons for caution. Keep an eye on rising interest rates and commodity prices going forward. 2. Crop Insurance Premium in 2023 It's time to start thinking about your risk management plan for the 2023 crop, and the backbone of any good plan is crop insurance. The University of Illinois has produced a Crop Insurance Decision Tool for the 2023 crop year.  The screenshots in the link highlight expectations for crop insurance prices in Illinois, but the tool does cover all of the major crop producing states.  Current expectations for a slight (less than 5%) increase in crop insurance premiums over 2022. However, much can change between now and March 15th. Go talk to your crop insurance agent! 3. 2023 Cattle Market Outlook High feed costs and the third straight year of drought conditions have resulted in relatively low cattle inventory numbers.  This link covers all the major factors influencing cattle prices (weather, production costs, demand, global trade, etc.) and includes some nice graphics.  The lower overall numbers would suggest that cattle prices will be strong in 2023.  4. Deere & Co. will allow farmers to repair their own equipment Up to this point, most major equipment manufacturers have required customers to use company service divisions for repairs.  A recently signed memorandum of understanding between Farm Bureau and John Deere has granted a significant win for the "right to repair" movement.  In a time when overall production costs are rising, this move has the potential to provide savings for many producers.  5. Global Farmer Insights Report, 2022 McKinsey & Co surveyed 5,500 farmers across the globe to determine the forces shaping the future of agriculture. The report has some very nice graphics and concludes that the top areas shaping the future are: 1. Willingness to Innovate 2. Digital Commerce Adoption 3. Growth in Digital Financing and Payments 4. AgTech Adoption 5. Adoption of Sustainability Practices Get in touch If you have any links you'd like to share or have any questions, please contact Travis Carlstrom, Sr. Ag Credit Analyst at FBN. © 2015-2023 Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. All rights reserved. The sprout logo, “Farmers Business Network,” and “FBN” are registered service marks of Farmer’s Business Network, Inc. or its affiliates and are used with permission. The material provided is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for specific professional advice. Neither Farmer’s Business Network nor any of its affiliates makes any representations or warranties, express or implied, as to the accuracy or completeness of the statements or any information contained in the material and any liability therefore is expressly disclaimed. The information and opinions expressed by others in this material are their own and are not endorsed or approved by FBN or its affiliates.