May 31, 2024

The Impact of Strategic Risks

by Michael Langemeier, Brady Brewer, and James Mintert

In the second episode of the strategic risk series, the Purdue University Center for Commercial Agriculture’s James Mintert, Michael Langemeier, and Brady Brewer provide examples of strategic risks and discuss ways agricultural producers can make their farm operation more resilient to strategic risks. They wrap up their discussion with a scenario-based approach you can adopt to make your farm more resilient to strategic risks.

Slides and the transcript from the discussion are available below.

Audio Transcript

James Mintert: Thanks for joining us for the Purdue Commercial AgCast, the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture’s podcast featuring farm management news and information. I’m Jim Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. And joining me today are my colleagues, Dr. Michael Langemeier, who’s a professor of ag economics here at Purdue and also the associate director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, and Dr. Brady Brewer, who’s the associate professor of ag economics and also the director of the Purdue’s MS MBA program.

We’re going to spend a little time following up on a podcast that we released previously, focused on strategic risk. If you need some more details, you can go back and listen to that podcast but I want to start off, Michael, by asking you to talk a little bit about what we mean by strategic risk.

Michael Langemeier: When I think of strategic risk, typically what I think about is any risk that’s going to impact your strategic position or your competitive advantage. Typically that may involve being a low cost producer or maybe adding value or selling your product at a higher price.

On farms that could mean being a grain farmer that maybe grows non GM O corn. That could be an example of something that that adds value and leads to a competitive advantage for your farm. Uh, and these these shocks can be exogenous or endogenous. They’re not necessarily predictable because there are things like government policy changes, a major government policy change, maybe a geopolitical conflict like the Ukraine-Russia conflict, maybe a disease like covid, changes in consumer preferences, shifting weather patterns, technological uncertainties, like, for example, increase in artificial intelligence use in agriculture.

Any of these could change your strategic position, and therefore you need to think about how your how your business needs to change in response to some of these strategic risk. Now, it’s very, we need to be very clear here that, you uh, we can’t necessarily predict things that are gonna happen like a geopolitical conflict. So that’s not what we’re talking about. We know you can’t, uh, predict those things, but you can do some planning, using what if scenarios, where say if, if X, Y, or Z happens, I know that’s going to be something that I need to, uh, to react to, uh, in terms of my strategic position. So I’m going to come up with scenarios to adapt to a change. Uh, also when we talk about, uh, strategic risk, which is sometimes referred to as resilience, it’s important to, to realize that we’re talking about both the a positive reaction to a change and a negative reaction.

Typically, we focus on the negative reaction to a strategic risk or, you know, like geopolitical conflict. And that’s sometimes called absorptive capacity. This is a farm’s ability to withstand shocks from strategic risk. For example, if you have a farm balance sheet, we’re going to talk more about Uh, you know having a strong balance sheet a little later in this podcast. If you have a strong balance sheet, uh, that usually means you have absorptive capacity. Uh, you can withstand a, a shock to the system. But I also want you to think about this in terms of a positive way. If there’s a, a something that’s happening here and the rules of the game change or the environment changes, uh, then you need to be able to respond to that change, uh, in a positive way. In other words, you need to be able to identify, uh, and capture business opportunities that might result from a shock.

James Mintert: Brady, thinking about this a little bit, when you think about strategic risk, we’re first of all thinking about things that we can’t necessarily anticipate, uh, at least in specific context. But we can think about preparing our business to absorb these risks. That’s what resilience is all about. And then secondly, as Michael was just kind of indicating, one of the key things to think about is not all risk are bad, right? If something happens, are you in a position to take advantage of that? And that’s what we talk about with respect to agility for a farm or any kind of a business really.

Brady Brewer: Yeah, I think it’s really key to keep in mind that these strategic risks we’re talking about. So some of the ones that Michael mentioned, whether it be geopolitical conflict or disruptions to the trade, these are all encompassing events that are impacting a lot of farms. So if you can be prepared for it, yes, there’s risk and there’s downside, but there’s also upside to say, Hey, I can be more agile than my competitors and take advantage of the opportunities that come out of some of these events.

James Mintert: Let’s think about making this a little more concrete for listeners, because so far our discussion has been pretty abstract. Let’s think about making this a little more concrete. And let’s think about an example of an event that somebody might think about actually happening.

Brady Brewer: Yeah, so let’s start with one I do a lot of research in the credit market, so this is the first thing that came to my mind and probably something that a lot of farmers don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about.

Most farmers, uh, when I say most, uh, you know, a little over 40 percent of farmers, only do business with one lending institution. A strategic risk that you may think about is what if that source of capital or whoever your lending partner is not able to loan you money? There’s been some high profile bank failures in the news here recently. So maybe your lending partner doesn’t have money to lend you. Maybe they’re unwilling to lend to you because of changing circumstances due to risk nature, you know, whatever, whatever it may be. Let’s assume that whoever, wherever you get your source of capital currently can no longer be a viable source of capital.

This is a strategic risk. There’s not an insurance product for it. There’s not a hedging strategy we can do. It’s not a tactical risk. This is a strategic risk that we can think of ahead of time. What are our options if this were to happen? So potential solutions to this, right? So first off, there’s there’s a lot of different ways you could go about this.

The three that kind of rose to the top to me is first. Option one is just accumulating enough working capital on your balance sheet or cash where you don’t need a lending partner, right? You’re saying, I don’t need a lender to provide me sources of capital. I will get all of my own capital for my equity, right? That’s option one, but there’s, there’s a lot of costs to that. Option two, so it’s been shown that by doing business with multiple lending partners, you actually increase the probability you get credit, right? Those lending partners accumulate knowledge of your operation, which increases the probability that they’re going to do business with you. And you also have knowledge of additional lending partners. So if one all of a sudden can’t give you money, or can’t give you capital. You have one that you already have an existing relationship with that you can call up and say, Hey, here’s what’s happening. And they already have all of the documentation needed. Or maybe another option is be able to adjust your production operations that reduces the amount of capital you need to put a crop in the ground. Again, probably doesn’t seem ideal, but if it gets you moving to the next year and keeps you in business, it’s a viable option, right? So that’s an example of of a concrete example of what a strategic risk look like and how we may scenario plan to say, if this happens here, here’s the options on the table.

James Mintert: And we’re not saying that this particular strategic risk is likely. In fact, one of the things you want to do is assess the likelihood of these things happening. But you want to have some scenarios and say, Okay, this might not be a high probability event, but what would I do in the event that it did happen? Because that’s one of the key aspects of strategic risk. We’re talking about things that don’t necessarily have a high probability of occurring, but if they do occur, they could have a very large or significant impact on your business and your ability to continue.

Brady Brewer: Yeah. And so Jim, you mentioned the opportunities there. I think this, the credit market one is one where there could be a lot of opportunity in that particular strategic risk. If you think about if your hometown bank all of a sudden can’t loan money to farmers, you’re still going to need to buy ground, buy equipment and stuff like that. There could be an opportunity to grow your farm there because if other competing enterprises are all of a sudden don’t have access to capital to bid against you for some of that. That could open up opportunity to expand that you maybe otherwise wouldn’t have.

James Mintert: Yeah, the fact that you had anticipated this possible scenario, had a plan ready that you could trigger, could actually put you in a strong competitive position.

So, Michael, another thing this kind of brings up is this whole idea of access to capital. Agriculture is a very capital intensive industry. We’ve known that for decades. Uh, one of the questions that I think some of our listeners might be wondering about is, Well, what does that really mean for me? And particularly, how much working capital should I have? How much cash and available resources, you know, how much liquidity should I really have in my farm operation? What are some guidelines to think about there, and how does that fit into strategic risk?

Michael Langemeier: The answer, of course, is it depends. It depends on your situation. So let me, let me get fairly specific here. In the Ag Economy Barometer survey at least once a year, we ask producers about their plans to grow their operation. Their growth plans. And Jim, I think every year about 50 percent of the respondents to the Ag Economy Barometer survey indicate that their farm is going to grow. Let me relate that to the access of capital. You don’t know exactly when those growth opportunities are going to occur. Maybe there’s an older farmer in your area that’s thinking about retiring but it’s a pretty large operation. Do you have access to capital that you could buy him out or rent that person’s ground or buy that person’s ground? And so let’s make that example pretty, pretty concrete and talk about that related to, to farm growth. When you’re thinking about opportunities that might be coming a, a across your plate. Um, you need to have, you need to have more liquidity than our typical rule of thumb, which is two to one. Meaning you have, uh, twice as many current assets as you have current liabilities. Current assets are, are cash. They’re also grain in the bin, uh, market livestock on feed, uh, things like that. Current liabilities, current portion of, of your term debt, uh, current portion of your land loan, the amount due within the next year could also be operating debt. And so that two to one may not be large enough from a strategic risk standpoint, because you need some money, you need some cash, working capital available, or at least access to capital from one or more lenders. So that if an opportunity does come across your plate, you can move on that opportunity.

One of the things that, that route, why this topic is so important from a family business, a family run business, is one of the advantages of family operated businesses there’s only a few decision makers. And as long as those decision makers get along, notice I, I said as long as they get along that not all families get along, we all know that. But as long as they can get along, you can move very, very fast because you only have a few decision makers and it only takes a, maybe a family meeting and you say, we’re going to, we’re going to move on this. And we’re going to rent this ground from this neighbor. But let me get back to my story here. If you’re thinking about this from a strategic risk standpoint, a current ratio of two is probably not enough. You probably want something three, four, five. So you have a nest egg there. That’s that’s not only available to get you through the next year if we have low margins like where it looks like we’re gonna have in ’24. But also you have some money available to take advantage of opportunities.

And Brady, I’d be remiss if I said, you know, in addition to the working capital, it’s bigger than just having the liquidity on hand, it goes back to what Brady was talking about, how important it is to be able to borrow money on a short term basis in order to take advantage of an opportunity, and that’s related to a revolving loan. Do you have the ability to go in there and borrow the 100, 000 you might need to rent the ground or make a down payment on a piece of ground.

And the final thing I want to talk about here is something that Brady often refers to as burn rate. If you’ve got part of your liquidity that’s needed, uh, to take advantage of a, of an opportunity, you don’t want to spend that liquidity on something else. You want to make sure that that, that portion of liquidity is, is always maintained, and is, is, designated, uh, as something I’m going to need, uh, if, if one of these, uh, external shocks occurs.

James Mintert: So one of the things, Brady, I think I want to think about here is a lot of times when you talk about liquidity and maintaining a strong working capital position, people automatically start thinking about, Oh, I need to have this pile of cash that’s maybe not being used for any other source. But actually, it could be a little broader than that. And that’s why we call this initial discussion access to capital.

Brady Brewer: Yeah, it’s not just cash in the bank, right? Uh, or near cash assets such as grain, unsold grain or unsold crop. Uh, but it’s access to all capital. So this could be other equity investors. Maybe you have a retirement fund that you can easily pull from that can help in this regard.

Now, obviously I will never advise that, but it is capital that you have access to, but it could also be, as Michael mentioned, the revolving loan, right? Uh, or if you just have that discussion with your lender, it may not even need to be a revolving loan. It could just be other short term, uh, credit that you have access to that or it’s fairly certain you have access to. So it’s looking at all sources of capital that could come into your farm.

James Mintert: And I guess to maybe kind of wrap this discussion up a little bit. This is pretty common in the corporate world, right in the business in the larger business world. It’s something we typically don’t think about in agriculture. We have a little more narrow perspective, I think sometimes than perhaps a corporate treasurer might have. Is that?

Brady Brewer: Yeah. So, one of my internships in college was actually, I have, I have a dual major from, from undergrad in accounting. So I was in a cash accounting group for a large firm. And we built in redundancy to everything we did. If we had, did one thing with one bank, we did another thing with another bank. If we had a loan from one bank, we also made sure that if we needed capital, we also had it from another bank as well. Uh, and that was just to ensure that, uh, not only if our business partner had issues or if we had issues, that redundancy just Insured a steady flow and access to capital.

James Mintert: Yeah, good point.

So let’s talk about this, Michael, from a strategic flexibility standpoint, because we’ve talked about some some generalities here. We tried to use a couple of specific examples to make this a little more concrete. Let’s see if we can give some folks maybe a little bit of a laundry list of things to think about in terms of how they can improve their farm’s strategic flexibility. So let’s start off with, uh, step one.

Michael Langemeier: Yes, before we get to that, one of the key words here is flexibility. And that flexibility is a really good word when you’re thinking about strategic risk because you think about your business needs to be flexible. I don’t know what opportunities are going to come across, come across our plate. I don’t know if there’s gonna be another geopolitical conflict six months from now, and I’m gonna have to change the way I do things. And so that’s why that word flexibility is really important.

Anytime I’m looking at a long range plans or or are developing long run plans or thinking about changing long run plans, I think in terms of scenarios. And so having having a scenario available, what’s my best prediction of the way things might happen, and think about what I would do under that scenario. Uh, you know, how aggressive would I be in terms of buying land? How aggressive would I be in terms of renting ground? How much machinery capacity do I need under my best estimate of prices and so on.

Uh, but in addition to that strategy, that’s just developing a budget, developing a long run plan. In addition to that strategy, I think it’s really important to develop at least two more. Uh, the one of them, of course, that, that always comes to mind is kind of a worst case scenario. If one of these big shocks happens that’s that’s negative towards production agriculture. Uh, you know, maybe there’s a repeat of covid or something like that. That’s that’s at least initially negative towards production agriculture. Uh, well, how would I respond to that? Again going through the same laundry list? Does that change the inputs I purchased? Does that change the way I think about renting ground? Does that change the way I think about buying machinery or hiring labor? Uh, and so all, you know, think about that in terms of all the resources that you have on the farm.

Finally, I always encourage people to think about a, a good scenario. If prices, uh, right now prices don’t look like they’re going to be real strong for corn, maybe something will happen and, and the, and the price a corn will shoot up $1, or $1.50. What would you do in that situation? That’s different than what you would do under your best price prediction scenario and your worst case scenario. And so that’s the way I like to think about responding to strategic risk is in terms of scenarios.

James Mintert: So thinking about those risk. Again, I think it’s helpful to think about how these risks might play into your operation. So, you know, you mentioned some things with respect to a price downturn, uh, yield downturn, where, you know, most of us carry crop insurance these days. What happens if you’re really dependent on that crop insurance contract for your income? What does that do to your operation? Think about those kind of scenarios.

Brady, earlier today we were talking about, uh, some risk with respect to supplies chain disruptions and how that might play into what, what would happen in that kind of a scenario.

Brady Brewer: Yeah, so I think what Michael saying is step one is you really have to define those scenarios. And this is going to take some time because there’s a lot of scenarios. If you think about all the touch points that a farm has with external stakeholders, whether it be input supply, output supply, selling your product, so on and so forth. There’s a lot of risks that exist on the farm. So you know that first step of anticipating all the risk and strategic risk of farm takes. I don’t want to undersell the amount of time this may take for people to do, and it’s going to be a continual process, so don’t feel overwhelmed there. So Jim, as you say, after we define the scenarios, this is where you have to go and start formulating your response to each of those, uh, scenarios, right? And actually ask the question, what do we do if X happens?

So you mentioned the input supply, right? I think another good example of this is if you’re a farmer out there and let’s say you have a really good deal with a particular input supplier, whether that be a retailer or maybe a, uh, an input manufacturer, COVID showed us that there was a lot of supply chain issues and certain companies had trouble getting access to raw inputs to make the final product that made it to the farm. What happens if, if you’re not able to buy the, the products that you had set out to at the beginning? I would always advise farmers to say, you know, if you’re a farmer that, It predominately relies on one input supplier. It may be worthwhile to say this field over here, this one field, we’re going to do it entirely different from the rest of it. We’re going to do it entirely different products, from different brands, from a different retailer. Because that way if your main supplier has issues, you already have it in place. You already know that this, uh, secondary, uh, field script, if you will, works with your farming practices, and then you can just apply it to the rest of the farm.

So the second step, once you’ve identified those scenarios, is formulating responses. What do you do to combat this, right?

James Mintert: Kind of an if then, almost. If this happens, I’m going to do the following.

Brady Brewer: Yep. And, and there’s really two different ways you can think of these actions. There’s actions you need to take now, that can help in the event that this risk happens. And then we also realize there’s risk that you could say, okay, there’s no action I could take right now. It’s I have to wait for this risk to actually happen. But I have a plan in place for when it does. I don’t have to sit around and think about it. I know. Hey, here’s who I need to call if this happens. So it’s actions now, but also actions, contingent actions that air contingent upon the risk actually transpired.

James Mintert: So for clarity, let’s think about this for a second. When you say action is needed now, basically you’re saying, I’ve analyzed my operation. I realized the way I run my operation today is exposing me to a strategic risk.

And I’m going to make a change in my current operation, not because some external event has happened, just because I realized that I’ve structured my farm operation in a way that’s exposing me to a risk that I don’t necessarily need to be exposed to, right?

Brady Brewer: Precisely.

James Mintert: And then the second one is, okay, what am I going to do in the event that something happens, whether it’s a COVID, uh, whether it’s a trade disruption, uh, whether it’s a big weather event. I mean, it could be a wide variety of things, but I’ve got a plan in place that I’m going to trigger when that contingency actually occurs, right?

So, Michael, thinking about this a little bit more. We also talk about resilience, right? So one of the things we want to do is think about building resilience. It’s easier said than done. How do you, let’s walk us down that path a little bit.

Michael Langemeier: One of the things that, and we’ve already referred to it once already, but let’s, so let’s talk about it a little bit more and that’s having that strong balance sheet, you know, having a strong current ratio, they, they give you some flexibility and, and I always like to look at the upside.

So I’m going to continue on this farm growth angle you know, that you’d like to see your farm grow. Because maybe you want to bring some more family members in, into the business. If you’ve gotten together as a group and you’ve decided that we’d really like to bring, uh, one or two more family members into the business, uh, a couple things you can think about, again, this is on the upside, is to, is to have what they call slack resources in the business literature. That’s a, sounds like a complicated term, it’s really not. What that means is we know we’re gonna, we know we’re thinking about growing either through renting or purchasing ground. What do we need to do to grow rapidly? One of the things you can think about is maybe having more machinery then you really need today. Realizing that these, this growth opportunities come in chunks. Uh, so you don’t wanna have to buy all that machinery you might need to absorb a large chunk. Uh, and so you, you, you, you slowly but surely, uh, build up excess capacity, if you will, uh, in terms of your machinery. The same could be true in labor. You’re not keeping the labor down to the bare minimum you need, uh, if you’re thinking about growing. Maybe you should think about having a little excess labor, so that if we do have this opportunity, we have the people in place or we can get the people in place, uh, to take advantage of that opportunity. And so, and so I think all of those are examples of both resilience, but also this notion of agility, uh, responding rapidly to new opportunities.

James Mintert: So stated another way, a farm operation that’s resilient is positioned to be agile, right?

Michael Langemeier: Yes. They go hand in hand.

James Mintert: You can’t be agile without having good resilience.

Michael Langemeier: You need both. You need to be able to protect yourself from the downside. That’s what the absorption capacity, the strong balance sheet is doing. But at the same token, some of the same things you’re doing from a downside risk standpoint are also helping you take advantage of opportunities.

James Mintert: So Brady, we’re going to kind of move past building resilience down, thinking about, you know, I’m going back to running my farm. Um, what do I do?

Brady Brewer: Yeah, we’re talking about strategic risk, and I think maybe some people may be a little confused of what, how does this tie to the strategy of the farm? Right? Because we’re talking about responding to events. Responding to events is not a strategy. Strategy is saying, here’s how I want to manage my farm in a certain way that allows me to do X.

And really what, you know, Michael is saying is, is this resiliency, this slack, is going to allow us to take advantage of opportunities and also respond to some of these negative shocks as well. And we’re doing it in this manner. So the previous three things we’ve talked about anticipating these risk, formulating responses and all these scenarios, but then also building in this resiliency to these risks, as, as well that’s really formulating the strategy that we’re setting forth of, of the farm. Maybe it’s diversification, maybe it’s having that war chest of working capital there that we know that we can rely on as, as a good source of capital. So you gotta take those decisions and formulate ’em to create a strategy and then actually operate your farm according to the strategy you’ve set forth. If it’s diversification, every decision you do, every decision that your farm makes needs to be asking yourself, we’ve set this strategy. Does it align with it? Right?

James Mintert: And that strikes me as the key. I think sometimes people forget that. So it’s it’s really thinking about from that strategy standpoint, what is this firm’s long term strategy?

And then when you make significant decisions you have to ask yourself that question, does that fit into this strategy? And the one place that I see people make this mistake pretty commonly is they’ll tell me that their long term strategy is they want to prepare their farm for the next generation to join the operation, but they don’t ask themselves as they make intermediate decisions if the decisions they’re making are consistent with that long term strategy of bringing that next generation in. And then all of a sudden it’s time for that next generation to join and they’re not ready because over a period of years they didn’t make decisions that were consistent with their stated strategy.

Brady Brewer: Yeah. Here at Purdue, we provide crop budgets that people can look at. What am I going to grow this year? What is my farm going to produce on a, on a year to year basis? You may look at it as a maximizing profits in this given year, but if you’re wanting to bring someone on the farm, maybe there’s an enterprise out there because now you have excess labor. You can now do a livestock enterprise that maybe wasn’t feasible. Well, you got to plan for that, right? And manage accordingly. So sometimes it’s really, we get really susceptible to fall into this, let’s budget for this upcoming year, but we’ve got to think beyond the year when we’re thinking about some of these strategic choices.

James Mintert: Yeah, that’s exactly right. So, operate the farm according to your strategy. And then the last point is, the environment changes, right? And you’ve got to pay attention to that.

Brady Brewer: Yeah, this is a continual feedback loop, right? So the environment that we operate in here in agriculture is a dynamic environment. Stuff change, new risks come up, risks that are pertinent today will not be relevant here in four or five years. So you’ve got to constantly be scanning that external environment. And then it goes back to step one, anticipating the risk, right? So it’s just a continual loop of identifying the risk. Scenario planning, formulate it, resource planning to determine the resiliency you want to build in, executing the strategy to build in that, and then it’s going back to the beginning.

James Mintert: So, Michael, I’m going to wrap up with one comment, which is I think some of our listeners, particularly those that have heard you speak, uh, either on this podcast or at some of the other programs we’ve done over the years are maybe detecting a little bit of tension here. And that is you talked a lot about resilience and building in some excess capacity in various ways. And I detect some tension between that and the other thing that you like to talk a lot about, which is being a low cost producer. We’re going to address that in more detail in a future podcast, but maybe you want to just bring that up just briefly here at the end.

Michael Langemeier: Yeah, that’s an extremely important point. And we’re and we are going to, we are going to talk more about this on our next podcast related to strategic risk. But but quite often, it’s not just myself, but there’s other people, other other people that that focus on financial performance, like the profit margin, I love to talk about the profit margin. And I talk about what is your 10 year average profit margin, assuming you’ve, you’ve, uh, you’ve got, uh, financial statements, financial analysis for the last 10 years. What is your, what is your average profit margin? It’s not quite that simple. I’m not saying that’s not important, but we also have to think about this resilience and this risk in there, too.

Because if, if, just because our profit margin is good today does not mean it’s going to be good five years from now. Uh, if things change rapidly, so what we’re talking about here is changing, changing our strategy to a new environment or changing environment so we can stay in that top quartile, if you will. Maybe not being the best because we’ve got some slack resources and some other things in there, but but in order to stay in that top quartile, we’re going to have to do some things differently, and that’s where the slack resource discussion, uh, and resilience, uh, discussion comes in.

James Mintert: So that wraps up our discussion for today. This is a multi part series. We introduced the whole idea of strategic risk in a previous podcast. We’ve taken it a step further in today’s podcast, and we’re going to talk a little bit more in a future podcast about that relationship between managing for strategic risk, being more resilient, retaining, retaining agility and also being a low cost producer. And there is some tension there. I’m going to give some guidelines with respect to how you might manage your way through that.

So that wraps up our podcast for today. As always, you can listen to the podcast through any of the major podcast providers, as well as our Purdue Commercial Agriculture website, which is available at So on behalf of my colleagues, Dr. Michael Langemeier and Dr. Brady Brewer, I want to thank you for joining us. I’m Jim Mintert.




Conventional & Organic Enterprise Net Returns, FINBIN data from 2019 to 2023

July 12, 2024

This article summarizes net returns for conventional and organic crop enterprises using FINBIN data from 2019 to 2023. Organic corn and soybean enterprises had lower crop yields, higher crop prices and gross revenue, and higher net returns. However, there was a much wider difference in enterprise net returns among organic corn and soybean enterprises than there was among conventional corn and soybean enterprises.


Corn & Soybean Basis Strengthen Through June & July

July 12, 2024

Depending on where you are located, Indiana corn and soybean basis have seen large swings in the last six weeks. For example, SE Indiana corn basis was -$0.13/bu. in the first week of June but was $0.03/bu. on July 10th. Unlike history suggests, the movement has generally been a strengthening in basis for both corn and soybeans.


Corn Was King: The Transition to Soy in U.S. Production Agriculture

July 11, 2024

Margaret Lippsmeyer presented during agri benchmark’s 2024 annual conference in mid June, which was hosted by the Spanish Ministry of Agriculture in Valladolid, Spain. An increase in soybean acreage may come from either (a) shifting away from continuous corn rotations to corn-soy and (b) shifting corn-soy rotations toward corn-soy-soy. Based on agri benchmark data, Margaret showed that option (a) would require an increase in soybean prices of 6% and option (b) of 8% to make these rotations preferable over existing ones.



We are taking a short break, but please plan to join us at one of our future programs that is a little farther in the future.

2024 Crop Cost and Return Guide

November 22, 2023

The Purdue Crop Cost and Return Guide offers farmers a resource to project financials for the coming cropping year. These are the March 2024 crop budget estimations for 2024.


(Part 2) Indiana Farmland Cash Rental Rates 2023 Update

August 7, 2023

Purdue ag economists Todd Kuethe, James Mintert and Michael Langemeier discuss cash rental rates for Indiana farmland in this, the second of two AgCast episodes discussing the 2023 Purdue Farmland Values and Cash Rents Survey results.


(Part 1) Indiana Farmland Values 2023 Update

August 6, 2023

Purdue ag economists Todd Kuethe, James Mintert and Michael Langemeier discuss Indiana farmland values on this, the first of two AgCast episodes discussing the 2023 Purdue Farmland Values and Cash Rents Survey results. Each June, the department of agricultural economics surveys knowledgeable professionals regarding Indiana’s farmland and cash rental market.