Agricultural Economics Department


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Published in Cornhusker Economics, 9-10-08. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska – Lincoln.


There’s a quiet late-summer hush over Nebraska’s cropland these days. Except for swaths of earlier hail and extended flooding, crops are looking good just about everywhere. And if good weather holds through harvest and prices remain strong, a banner year for Nebraska’s crop producers could be in the making. While it is still too early to call it official, the income potential associated with our major crops may be nothing short of “bin-busting.”

Even so, the situation is almost bitter-sweet in this diverse state where livestock and crop production go hand-in-hand. Record-level prices for corn and soybeans convert to escalating feed costs for livestock producers, who for the most part, have not yet seen their revenues catch up with their rising production costs. For many, profit margins in recent months have been slim to non-existent. In fact, unless the livestock producers were feeding their own produced feed grains, per-head profit losses in recent months have been more the rule than the exception.