Christopher Doering reported on the front page of the business section in today’s Des Moines Register that, “Commodity prices will not recover this year, the federal government said Thursday in a forecast that will be a blow to producers hoping for a rebound in the slumping farm economy. [Note: A summary of the government’s forecast is available here].
“Even so, the USDA declared that the financial health of the agriculture sector is strong because producers took advantage of record harvests and high prices in past seasons to strengthen their bottom line.”
Mr. Doering added that, “The prolonged downturn in commodity prices has curtailed cash flow for producers and left many struggling to cover input costs, which have not fallen at the same rate as corn, soybeans and other crops.
“More farmers say they are holding off on buying new tractors or combines, with many looking to cut back fertilizer use or buy cheaper seed.”
Today’s Register article indicated that, “The cautiousness felt by producers has been a blow to Deere & Co., DuPont Pioneer, Monsanto and other agribusiness companies that have announced job cuts and shrinking profits and warned of a challenging year.”