The farmers who attended the Wyffels Corn Strategies 2011 event in Dixon, Illinois on Wednesday were challenged to “learn at least one new thing” to help improve their operations, but most probably got lots more than that out of the day.
Dr. Mike Boehlje, agricultural economist with Purdue’s Center for Food and Agricultural Business, shared his thoughts on “All Things Volatility” with the growers. “We are seeing volatility at an unprecedented level,” he said, both in terms of corn prices and the cost of inputs. “I mean, when you lose about a buck off the price of corn in two days – that used to be the price of corn, a buck, and we lost that in two days.”
Dr. Boehlje’s main advice for growers is to determine their cost of production per bushel, not per acre. “That’s what you sell,” he said. “Knowing your costs is a critical part of any successful business, whether it be manufacturing widgets, or automobiles, or corn.”
Listen to an interview with Dr. Boehlje here: Dr. Mike Boehlje
Another presenter at the event was Jim Bower, owner and president of Bower Trading, who talked about some of the factors growers should consider in making decisions out ahead.
“These next two to three weeks are going to be terribly important to price discovery,” he said. “They’re going to do themselves well to pay really close attention to the models of weather and how they impact the market on a daily basis.” Jim says he is particularly concerned right now about a potential weather pattern developing that would push the extremely hot and dry weather that has been sitting over Texas and Oklahoma up into the Midwest and Eastern Corn Belt, which could push yields down.
Jim talked about other important factors that are more long term than the weather, such as increasing global demand for protein.
Listen to or download my interview with Jim here: Jim Bower