Another year of large corn and soybean supplies will limit price improvement and keep margins tight. Managing crop costs and making effective in-season input management decisions is critical to overall profitability.

"A farmer will likely need to focus the big three fixed costs: land, machinery and family living as most of the variable input costs remain ‘sticky,’" said Steve Johnson, farm management specialist, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.

To help make a profit in 2017, he suggests three steps:

•Determine your 2016 actual costs and cost of production

•Separate your fixed costs and variable costs.

•Develop a 2017 crop break-even...