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         2020 a Profitable Year for Many Farmers

         AFBF's John Newton Says We Have Many Things to be Thankful For Including Affordable Food and More Farm Profitability in 2021



2020 a Profitable Year for Many Farmers


By Eric Pfeiffer, Hoosier Ag Today

Nov 19, 2020


2020 can be described in many ways, and not many are too flattering. However, for many farmers, 2020 can be described as profitable. Ad hoc government payments contributed to that, but an unanticipated and surprising rally in the markets are driving it as well.


Tim Koch, Chief Credit Officer at Farm Credit Services of America, says the opportunity is there to make 2021 a profitable year as well by locking in some of these high prices.


ďFor some that have struggled these last 2 or 3 years with lower commodity prices, 2020 was an opportunity to pay down some debt and to replenish some working capital. For that segment, they probably should more strongly consider taking some opportunities to lock in a profit for 2021. For those that are more financially stable who can take a little more variability, that option and opportunity exists. Thereís also an option of pricing some of your crop. It doesnít have to be an all or none scenario. I think far too often people think of it that way.Ē


Koch adds that, if you havenít already, you should be talking with your lender about these low interest rates...





AFBF's John Newton Says We Have Many Things to be Thankful For Including Affordable Food and More Farm Profitability in 2021


Oklahoma Farm Report

19 Nov 2020


There are many things for farmers, ranchers and consumers to be thankful for going into the Thanksgiving holiday and at the top of the list for consumers is more affordable food. American Farm Bureauís annual Thanksgiving Day dinner survey shows traditional holiday items will be a bargain, said Farm Bureau Economist John Newton.


Newton was recently interviewed by Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.


This year we had more than 230 volunteer shoppers surveying prices for that classic dinner for ten people, Newton said.


What we found is the average price came in at $46.90 and that is down 4 percent from last year, Newton said.


He noted this is the lowest price in 10 years lead by turkey prices at $1.21 per pound, which was down nearly 7 percent helping make that meal more affordable.


I think COVID-19 is going to result in families having smaller groups with plentiful, affordable turkey, Newton said.


In regard to other Covid impacts, Newton said the governmentís CFAP payments have been a big help for farmers and ranchers.


If Congress had not come up with the assistance, agriculture would be in a much different position today, Newton said. The outlook for 2020 has improved and for 2021 it is better going into planting season next spring, he said.


Looking ahead to expected market prices for grain and livestock commodities, the AFBF economist is optimistic for the coming year.


On the crop side, supplies got tight in a hurry with acreage cuts and strong demand this year, Newton said.


Ending stocks for corn and soybeans are low so moving into 2021 we see competitive race for acres for corn, soybeans and wheat, he said.


On the livestock side the market has done a 180-degree flip on pork as prices have gone through the roof compared to spring due mainly to strong demand from China, he said.


Things will get better on the other side of this Covid, thing thatís for sure, Newton said.


The pandemic added to the list of concerns for cattle producers worried about adequate price discovery. Newton said that is one of the hot topics going into the annual American Farm Bureau business session in January.


Farm Bureau members will work on new policy at the virtual business session in January and much of the focus will be on cattle market transparency, Newton said.


All eyes are on the cattle market and I am certain when we come out of our convention in January, we will have an updated policy on these issues, Newton said.


Newton is optimistic the dark days of the pandemic are behind us and the future looks better as the entire food supply chain has adjusted...


more, including audio [10:26 min.]