ST. ANSGAR, Iowa — Corn prices have been on the rise, but so have input costs.
Chris Edgington, president of National Corn Growers Association and a farmer from Iowa, shared his views on recent corn farming news during a podcast hosted by the organization.
Here are some of the takeaways:
Q: What’s going on with farm inputs?
A: Let’s talk about the good ones first. Let’s talk about the fact that seed costs are pretty stable and seed supply is pretty stable, which a year ago we had questions about that because of the derecho in Iowa, which wiped out a huge chunk of seed-producing areas for various companies.
There was concern would you have seed supply, a year ago at this time? And we did have enough corn. Guys did get the acres planted. And they had a pretty good production year on seed this year, and so prices are pretty stable on that area.
Fertilizer, different story. Fertilizer is up two or three times what it was a year ago. Supply is a concern. It depends on the product, whether you’re talking about potash, or phosphorus, or nitrogen.
They’ve all got various wrinkles going on. All three of them have had companies try to get countervailing duties or tariffs put on import products, of which, on phosphate, Mosaic and Company have been successful on that.
But you know, we’re fighting that in the courts and the judge is going to hear it. And we’re going to talk about that here more this summer.
Q: What about weed control products?
A: There is a very big concern there on supply, especially imported Roundup, or imported glyphosate. That product is definitely in short supply, but I know people that are changing their chemistry programs, left and right.
They’re looking for different products, different ways to go, so they don’t have to worry about, “Is it going to get here?” They’re going to a product that they can use, that’s available, priced more than they like, but right now, when it comes to controlling weeds and bugs, availability of product is more important than the price, unfortunately.
Q: What do you think is important about NCGA’s recent sustainability report?
A: Well, there’s several things when it comes to sustainability and that report is all about sustainability is a slow crawl. We make small steps every year on water, soil, air, nutrient management.
You don’t think you’re doing much, and then you look back over time and you say, “Hey, I’m 10%, 15%, 20% better than I was 10 years ago.”
Unfortunately, we’ve got some people that think you should you just be able to turn a switch and instantly things go easier. Our soils don’t react that way. They take time.
Learn more and listen to the complete podcast at tinyurl.com/2p8amp2z.