Looking at the potential feed cost side of the equation, moderate growth in demand for corn is projected over the next decade. Lower corn prices and increasing meat production underlie projected gains in feed and residual corn use. Also supporting gains in feed use of corn is a slowdown in the growth of ethanol production and resulting distillers grains. U.S. corn exports increase during the projection period, in response to strong global demand for feed grains to support growth in meat production.
Based on USDA projections, at least, the range of farm prices for corn will find a low of $3.30/bushel in 2015/16 and a high of $4.20/bushel in 2023.
U.S. soybean plantings remain near 78 million acres over most of the projection period, but growth in both domestic use and export demand lead to increases in prices. As increases in meat production resume and growth in distillers grains and canola meal slow, domestic demand for soybean meal is projected to grow in the coming decade.
Based on USDA projections, the range of farm prices for soybeans will find a low of $8.85/bushel in 2015/16 and a high of $10.15/bushel in 2023.
Market responses to high crop prices in recent years, both in the United States and in other countries, are projected to lower prices over the next couple of years. Nonetheless, U.S. prices for corn and soybeans are projected to remain historically high, above pre-2007 levels. The continuing influence of several long-term factors—including global growth in population and per capita income, a low-valued U.S. dollar, increasing costs for crude petroleum, and rising biofuel production—underlies these price projections.
Looking at the big picture, projected reductions in prices for most major crops over the next several years result in declines in export values and farm cash receipts through 2016. Export values and cash receipts then grow over the rest of the projection period as steady domestic and international economic growth, a weak U.S. dollar, and continuing production of biofuels support longer term demand for U.S. agricultural products.
Farm production expenses remain relatively flat in the near term, as declining feed expenses offset gains in most other expenses. Expenses rise after 2015-2023, but less rapidly than the overall rate of inflation once effects of lower grain and oilseed prices on feed costs are completed.
While interest expenses and manufactured input costs rise faster than the general inflation rate during these years, expenses for farm-origin inputs are up less than the general inflation rate.
Production expenses for fuel and oil also rise faster than the general inflation rate after 2016, largely reflecting increases in crude oil prices.
Click here to find the full report