DTN/The Progressive Farmer In-Depth


Ag's Great Affluenza

Ag's Great Affluenza From 2006-2012, American grain farmers enjoyed one of the best profit streaks in the last 100 years, spawning a major spree of billions of dollars in investments in processing, transport, fertilizer capacity, and grain handling. Profits are now dimming, but the long-term consequences of these investments will linger long after the memory of $8 corn fades.

Depending on what assets MF Global customers owned in their accounts, they are receiving about 60% to 75% of their equity now and perhaps more later.

Inside You'll Find...


U.S. Reaps Rewards From Windfall Years - Grain producers are calling 2006-2012 the "gravy years," an unmatched era of windfall profits and prosperity that for many transcended the 1970s. Billions of dollars in investments flowed into capital-starved U.S. agriculture as a result -- revitalizing U.S. processors, upgrading on-farm technology and expanding grain storage and infrastructure. The result is a U.S. agriculture more fit for the future than many of its global competitors.
(April 27, 2014)

Shuttles Revitalize Grain Markets - After 25 years of struggling with having more capacity than grain, companies looked at the source of future demand -- growing populations and the growing middle class in developing nations -- and put their money on infrastructure necessary to get crops there.
(April 29, 2014)

Will Competitors Fold First? - The world minted 147 million new harvested acres in the last eight years, almost the equivalent to all corn and soybean acres in the U.S. The consolation for North America is some of those competitors already are showing financial distress first.
(April 30, 2014)

Farmers Adopt a Country Elevator Mindset - Farmers have added more than 2 billion bushels of on-farm storage over the past decade. Many have expanded into country elevators' territory, watching the basis for market plays and filling just-in-time needs for ethanol plants and other buyers.
(May 1, 2014)

Kicking the Foreign Fertilizer Habit - Energy independence can shower North American farmers with abundant, home-grown nitrogen fertilizers. That not only affects corn's No. 1 production cost, but conveys just-in-time planting flexibility.
(May 2, 2014)

Iowa Erosion Problems Pre-Date Ethanol - Erosion has been an issue for as long as there have been farmers, and farmers continue to battle it, with better tilling practices and cover crops.
(May 5, 2014)

Nature of Land-Use Change Questioned - The commodity price boom has lured more acres into corn and soybean production and South Dakota is a case study of the consequences.
(May 6, 2014)

Livestock Rebounds After the Madness - Pork producers switched to margin marketing and drastically altered their financial habits after the era of high-priced corn. Now profits are in their court.
(May 6, 2014)