As the 2015 growing season comes to a close and we look forward to the 2016 season, we need to look at some of the issues facing today’s crop producers. For the record, the ethanol industry is alive and well with almost half of our corn production going to produce ethanol. To use an old saying, its demise so far has been greatly exaggerated and is responsible for nearly 4 of every 10 bushels of corn being used each year. Even with lower gas prices, which means more people are traveling to take advantage of the lowest prices since 2008, which translates to more gas consumption. Ethanol has maintained a narrow trading range and the inventory has gone from burdensome levels to manageable levels. Also, the US exported more ethanol this year than in the past with exports around 6% over last year. It should be noted that production of ethanol started the 2015 crop year strong and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change much as we start 2016.
The bottom line is that us in southwest Wisconsin, have to feel blessed because of our above average crop production. Even selling at lower commodity prices, it’s profitable because of the high yields we’ve attained. So in moving forward, we need to remember a key factor we can control (if the weather cooperates) is that we need a high level of production which also translates into maximizing the yield potential of each acre farmed, therefore making it profitable. We can’t cut back on crop inputs because we are taking such large yields off each acre, but we need to make the right input decisions to maximize profitability. With large yields comes nutrient depletion. Which is turn needs to be replenished to maximize future potential. We at WS Ag Center have the agronomy and precision team to help you maximize your crop production goals. Feel free to contact us for a successful and profitable 2016 production and marketing season. We also want to wish each of you a blessed and Merry Christmas and hope to see you at this years Annual Holiday Banquet on December 16th.