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Pricing Corn Silage — Fall 2019

Pricing Corn Silage — Fall 2019
By John J. Hanchar
 
Summary
  • Analysis suggests corn silage price depends on corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price, the price received by farmers for milk, and corn grain price.
  • Analysis for NY suggests that estimated corn silage price is most sensitive to corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price and corn grain price.
  • Price estimates combined with understanding of relevant supply and demand factors from an individual farm business owner’s perspective can aid decision making regarding corn silage price. Given recently available alfalfa hay and corn grain prices (May through July, 2019, and August 27, 2019, respectively), price analysis for NY suggests an estimated corn silage price of about $45 per ton.  The Fall 2018 estimate was about $41 per ton.
Determining Corn Silage Price
 
A farm business owner can examine how much corn silage he/she would be willing to supply to a market at a given price.  Analysis of the farm business’ cost structure for corn silage production combined with consideration of other factors help to define the supply relationship.  A seller can develop a target based upon the above, but actual market conditions provide no guarantee that a buyer will purchase quantities desired at a price that achieves the producer’s target.
 
Some farm business owners might approach the problem of determining corn silage price from a value in production, or input demand perspective.  Amounts of corn grain and corn stover in a ton of corn silage, relevant prices, and corn silage’s place in the milk production process are key factors.  A buyer can develop a price target based upon the above, but actual market conditions provide no guarantee that a producer will sell the quantity desired at a price that matches the buyer’s willingness to pay target.
 
Although factors in price determination, the two approaches described above in isolation, don’t completely determine price and quantity.  Supply and demand relationships work simultaneously in markets to determine price and quantity.  Empirical price analysis brings supply and demand relationships together to determine price.
 
Corn Silage Price Analysis
 
Empirical price analysis suggests that corn silage price is a function of corn silage quantities, alfalfa hay price, the price received by farmers for milk sold, and corn grain price.  The ordinary least squares regression model here expresses corn silage price as a linear function of the above variables.  The statistical analysis used here is fairly basic.  However, readers of the original August 2012 Ag Focus article describing this work, and readers of annual update articles note that the analysis and estimates help farm business owners price corn silage.
 
Corn Silage Price Estimates – Fall 2019
 
The ordinary least squares regression model reported in August 2012, updated here to reflect additional data available to date and changes in other underlying factors, produced corn silage price estimates for NY.  Below, estimated corn silage price is a function of alfalfa hay price and corn grain price with other factors (corn silage production and milk price) fixed at expected levels.  Expected corn silage quantity is set at 8,365 tons, the average for the period 2007 through 2017.
  • estimated corn silage price ($/ton) = -3.1431 + (0.1845 x price of alfalfa hay ($/ton)) + (3.5138 x price of corn for grain ($/bushel))
 
Suppose
  • NY alfalfa hay price is $186 per ton, the three month average of the period May, June, July 2019. (USDA/NASS.  Agricultural Prices. Washington, DC:  National Agricultural Statistics Service.  July 31 and August 30, 2019 releases), and
  • corn grain price is $3.94 per bushel (Western NY Energy.  “Corn Bids.” August 27, 2019.  Approximate value based upon reported bids for fall 2019.)
Using the estimating equation and the above prices for alfalfa hay and corn grain as expected prices, estimated corn silage price is about $45 per ton.  Compare this to last fall’s estimate of about $41 per ton.  Suppose alfalfa hay price is $179 per ton, the annual average for the period 2007 through 2017, and expected corn grain price is 3.94 dollars per bushel, then estimated corn silage price would be about $44 per ton.  Buyers and sellers use an estimate as a base, typically, adjusting for quality and, or costs for harvest, hauling and storage based upon the situation, for example, when pricing standing corn for silage.
 
Corn silage price estimates combined with understanding of relevant supply and demand factors from the individual farm business owner’s perspective, including local conditions, for example, growing conditions, can aid decision making regarding corn silage price.
 
Source : cornell.edu