Iowa’s corn and soybean growers can lock in profitable prices ahead of planting at one of the highest levels in years despite a slight increase in production costs, according to Alejandro Plastina, Iowa State University (ISU) ag economist. 

“Those costs are finally well below crop price levels, so there’s an opportunity to lock in profits in the current environment,” Plastina said last week in the third session of the Iowa Farm Bureau’s Economic Summit webinar series.

ISU projections show the average cost of production for growing corn or soybeans will rise between $12 and $20 per acre compared to a year ago, mostly due to higher input costs for seed, fertilizer and herbicide, he said.

“We are expecting crop protection costs, especially weed...