While Still Largely Profitable…Crop Producers Putting Historic Amount of Capital at Risk in 2022

This morning I testified before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management at a hearing titled “A 2022 Review of the Farm Bill:  Economic Perspectives in Title I Commodities and Title XI Crop Insurance”.

At the Agricultural and Food Policy Center (AFPC) at Texas A&M University, our work with 675 commercial producers located across the United States has provided our group with a unique perspective on agricultural policy.  Currently, we maintain the information to describe and simulate 94 representative crop and livestock operations in 30 states.

In order to provide perspective on Titles I and XI, I wanted to briefly summarize a recent AFPC report that looks at farm profitability in 2022 relative to 2021 for our 64 representative crop farms in the face of higher input and output prices[1].  For this report, we asked our panel members to provide their costs per acre for 2022 versus 2021 for the major input categories.  The average for each category across all respondents is presented in Table 1.  Updated commodity prices for the 2021/22 and 2022/23 marketing years and policy variables were obtained from the FAPRI-MU Bulletin #01-22 entitled U.S. Agricultural Market Snapshot, April 2022 (Table 2).  While some producers were able to benefit by locking in input prices early in 2021 for this year’s crop, most indicated very little ability to lock in these prices even when using their normal tax management strategy of prepaying inputs.  Simply, the input suppliers would not lock in a price until the producers agreed to take delivery.  Almost every respondent stated they were going to do their best to reduce input usage in the face of the highest costs of production they had ever experienced. [READ MORE]