Grain and milk markets present challenges for farmers in 2017-18

Milk and grain marketing series offers strategies to optimize farm profitability.

November 10, 2017 - Author: Paul Gross, Michigan State University Extension

Commodity price outlook for 2017-18 continues to be gloomy for corn, soybeans and wheat as harvest wraps up across Michigan. Dairy stocks are continuing to build heading into the end of this year and cow numbers continue to climb. Cattle futures have been in an uptrend since mid-October. Land rental rates remain high and costs for most farm inputs are stable or have pulled back.

Historically, farm input costs adjust to the changes in commodity prices, but this tends to occur over a longer period of time. Land costs are still high compared to commodity prices. Farms need to make adjustments in their cost of production budgets as well as the marketing plans to survive until commodity prices and input cost become more in line, allowing the farm to generate positive returns.

To assist farmers making marketing decisions, a Milk and Grain Marketing Series will be held this year on Dec. 12, 2017, and meet quarterly on March 13, 2018, June 12, 2018, and Sept. 11, 2018. Fred Hinkley, Michigan State University Extension educator emeritus and marketing specialist, will provide insight and outlook on the milk and grain markets and suggest strategies to minimize financial risk.

Agriculture markets remain in a narrow trading range near the cost of production. For most farms, profits are largely determined by how well you market your production. Now more than ever, your farm’s future success depends on your ability to understand the markets and use the basic marketing tools.

The meetings will be at the Isabella County Building Room 320, 200 N. Main Street, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The cost for attending these meetings will be $400 per farm. This will cover all four meetings and will not limit the number from each farm/agribusiness that may attend.

Pre-registration is encouraged by Dec.8, 2017. You can register for the program online at Milk and Grain Marketing Series 2017-2018.

If you have any questions, please contact me at 989-317-4079, 989-560-1371 or

Tags: agriculture, corn, dairy, farm financial management, farm management, field crops, msu extension, small grains, soybeans, wheat

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