Higher corn and soybean prices impact dairy farmers

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 9:10 PM CDT
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ATHENS, Wis. (WSAW) - Prices for materials farmers need have skyrocketed in Wisconsin to their highest prices in close to 10 years.

Prices for corn are up to over $6 per bushel this month, while some minerals are quadrupled in price since April of 2020. Last year, the prices for corn and soybeans were at $3.10 per bushel in April. It’s having a large impact on farmers.

“We had a huge, huge crop last year. So we were expecting prices to drop, and it never did,” said Ted Schafer, the owner of General Farm Supply in Spencer. “Everything is just costing more. Equipment. All of that is just particularly expensive.”

Those in the industry attribute the increase to a slower supply chain due to the pandemic. Miltrim Farms in Athens has been forced to play a guessing game.

“Do we lock in corn for $5 now knowing that it’s a terrible price when it could be $7 if we don’t? Or do we hold out and hope that it drops,” owner David Trimmer said.

He says it’s a constant game of buying what they can when the prices look favorable.

“As soon as we see a small drop in the market, we’re taking advantage. Let’s take a load a few months out,” Trimmer said.

They’ve had to plan months ahead because of the slow deliveries. In some cases, they’ve adjusted what they normally buy based on price.

At General Farm Supply in Spencer, Schafer has worked with farmers to purchase less so they can fit in their budget. While he doesn’t know where the prices will go this summer, he says to be patient because the market eventually levels out.

“It’s just trying to read the market and get the yields in the books and see how this year progresses,” Schafer said.

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