Pessimistic Agricultural Outlook Forum for Corn and Beans

The 95th Agricultural Outlook Forum had some predictions on the future of corn and soybeans.

The USDA Office of the Chief Economist released a report expecting planted corn acres to shift from 89 million to 92 million and planted soybean acres to go from 89 million to 85 million. The estimates also say soybean prices will rise 20 cents and corn looks to go up a nickel.

USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson is not optimistic in the outlook. He says since 1960 soybean production has increased 1000 percent, but prices have fallen by 50 percent. In that same time, corn production too has grown 400 percent but prices have fallen 60 percent.

Johansson says, "Over the next ten years, we still expect the general trend to continue of declines in agricultural price when you account for inflation.  The remarkable increases we’ve seen in global productivity have led to falling real prices for commodities over the past half-century."

More consumption of agriculture products could help, but Johansson says tariffs will not. He points to a trade disputes causing a 20 percent drop in soybean prices. Bean revenue estimates fell by $8 billion and exports to China alone plunged 90 percent.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says he does not expect another farm aid program in 2019.

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