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Latest farmdoc Daily Articles

Ethanol Production Profits in 2020: A Year Like No Other

The U.S. ethanol industry entered 2020 in a slump. The industry experienced a losing year in 2019 for the first time in seven years and the average ethanol plant lost over $2 million. The early months of 2020 were more…

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Revised 2020 and 2021 Crop Budgets Indicate Higher Returns

Publications on farmdoc giving 2020 and 2021 returns for Illinois grain crops have been revised since their last release in October 2020. Three changes have been made: 1) corn and soybean prices for 2020 and 2021 have been increased, 2)…

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Trying to Reason with Parchment Barriers on the Other Side of a Nightmare

At noon on January 20, 2021, the American experiment in self-government passed a crucial, difficult test: Joseph R. Biden, Jr. took the Oath of Office and became President of the United States two weeks to the day after the most…

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Have Consumers’ Food Values Changed During the Covid-19 Pandemic?

There are many factors that influence consumers’ food purchasing decisions – taste, price, appearance, environmental impact, etc. Researchers and marketers alike are interested in the weight consumers place on these different factors, also referred to as “food values”. While research…

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Recent Trends in the Operational Efficiency of the U.S. Ethanol Industry

The operational efficiency of any industry is key to long-term profitability, no less so for the U.S. ethanol industry. Surprisingly little information is available in the public domain on this important aspect of ethanol production in the U.S. Fortunately, the…

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Release of the 2021 Crop Insurance Decision Tool

The 2021 Crop Insurance Decision Tool has been released to aid in crop insurance decisions. It is a Microsoft Excel workbook that can be downloaded from farmdoc. One sheet in this workbook provides farmer-paid premiums for different federally-regulated policies administered…

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Latest Farm Policy News Articles

“Unrelenting” Chinese Demand Boosts Corn Prices

Bloomberg writers Nicholas Larkin and Anatoly Medetsky reported this week that, “Corn’s surge to a seven-year high on the back of unrelenting Chinese demand looks like it could have a lot further to go.”

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Corn, Soybean Prices Have Soared, Adding Firmness to Farmland Values

Jesse Newman reported on the front page of Saturday’s Wall Street Journal that, “A crop glut that battered American farmers is subsiding, fueling an unexpected recovery in the U.S. Farm Belt following a yearslong agricultural recession.”

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China’s 2020 Phase One Ag Purchases Well Below Target, But Back Up to 2017 Levels

Late last week, Aime Williams and Justin Jacobs reported at The Financial Times Online that, “China has purchased less than three-fifths of the US goods projected under the “phase one” trade deal that paused a tariff dispute between the two…

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Pork Export Variables and China

Earlier this month, in its Livestock and Poultry: World Markets and Trade report, the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) stated that, “Driven by higher estimates for pork, the China total meat import forecasts for both 2020 and 2021 are revised…

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In Last-Minute Move, Trump Administration Grants Three Refinery RFS Exemptions, But Court Stays EPA Action

Bloomberg writers Kim Chipman and Jennifer A Dlouhy reported on Tuesday that, “The Trump administration granted three oil refineries exemptions from biofuel-blending requirements in a last-minute move, prompting quick rebuke from ethanol and biodiesel producers.”

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Chinese Demand Undergirds Robust Soybean, Corn Prices

Reuters writers Hallie Gu and Dominique Patton reported last week that, “China’s soybean imports jumped 13% to an annual record in 2020, customs data showed on Thursday, after crushers ramped up purchases amid improved margins and healthy demand from the…

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Follow these social media channels for all the latest ag commentary from Keith Good - the farmdoc social media director. Also includes general updates on farmdoc publications and events (Twitter and Facebook channels).

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