Analyst to farmers: ‘Keep cash on sidelines’ in case prices fall and costs do not
A farmer and market analyst has examined historical data on peaks in inflation relating to farm income. Tregg Cronin, who farms with his family in northcentral South Dakota, looked at 70s and 80s farm income weighed against inflation and input costs at that time.
“Net farm income, back in the 70s, peaked in 1973 and kind of had this cascade down until it finally bottomed in 1981, whereas grain prices didn’t peak for several years later,” Cronin told Brownfield Ag News, “and obviously, the inflationary pressures had costs rising throughout that timeframe.”
It’s a warning signal, said Cronin, that farmers should “have dry powder or cash on the sidelines” if grain prices fall and costs do not.
“Even if prices don’t collapse, the share that we take home keeps getting less and less,” said Cronin, who spoke on the subject at the recent South Dakota Soybean 2021 AgOutlook Conference. “That was kind of the lesson I took away from really digging into the data in the 70s and 80s anyway.”