Surprise! Ag prices up again in USDA report

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This week’s Agricultural Prices report from USDA shows March prices up from February and up substantially from a year ago. Not surprisingly, prices paid for farm inputs also have increased.

The preliminary All Farm Products Index of Prices Received by Farmers in March increased by 2.4 percent from February. The Crop Index is up 0.5 percent and the Livestock Index increased 4.9 percent.

Compared with March 2010, the All Farm Products Index is up 23 percent, while the Food Commodities Index increased 4.2 percent from last month and 21 percent from March 2010.

Cattle, hog and dairy prices all are up significantly from one year ago, and in most cases saw month-to-month gains during March. Calf prices averaged $148 per hundredweight in March, up from $139 the previous month and up from $117 a year ago.

Steers and heifers, at $116 per hundredweight in March, were up five dollars from February and up from $95.70 during March 2010.

Barrows and gilts averaged $63.50 per hundredweight during March, up from $62.60 the prior month and $52.30 a year ago.

Milk prices averaged $20.40 per hundredweight for March, up from $19.10 in February and from $14.80 one year ago.

Corn prices, listed at $5.46 per bushel for March, actually declined a bit from $5.64 in February, but remain well above the average of $3.55 per bushel reported for March 2010.

The March Index of Prices Paid for Commodities and Services, Interest, Taxes, and Farm Wage Rates is 199 percent of the 1990-1992 average. The index is up 1 percent from February and is 11 percent above March 2010. Higher prices in March for diesel, complete feeds, gasoline, and feeder cattle more than offset lower prices for feed grains and crop chemicals.

Read the full Agricultural Prices report online.



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