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Commodity Markets Present Challenges For Farmers In 2016

By Paul Gross

Commodity price outlook for 2016 continues to turn 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. Fed cattle prices have declined sharply since early September. Land rental rates remain high along with the costs for most farm inputs.

Historically, farm input costs adjust to the changes in commodity prices, but this tends to occur over a longer period of time. 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. 8, 2015 and meet quarterly on March 8, 2016, June 14, 2016 and Sept. 13, 2016. 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 are more volatile than ever. 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 held 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.

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