Economist: Prepare for tighter margins as prices wane

Commodity prices likely will be lower in the next several years than they have been in the past several years. As a result, per-acre returns will decline, decreasing the ability to pay high cash rents from returns. This situation may require some farms to adjust, said Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois farm management specialist, at the Tri-State Agricultural Lend­ers Seminar held in Dubuque last week.

"We’re going to look at a period of lower prices, which really shouldn’t be unexpected," he said. "I do believe that the agricultural long run (outlook) is excellent, but this is a commodity-based business and you can’t expect...

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