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Input cost anxiety mounting

Jeff Caldwell 10/03/2011 @ 1:32pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

As the grain markets struggle to climb out of the red after Friday's bearish USDA Grain Stocks report, input costs for next year's crops are taking on some new significance in a lot of farmers' minds.

With the recent slip in grain prices, their relationship with input costs has gone out of balance, farmers say, and that's putting more pressure than normal on them to get their inputs nailed down earlier than normal.

"We normally never buy until after harvest, but we too have basically spoken for seed. It seems to me all of the seed companies are trying to get a handle on supplies and all are waiting to hear other seed company pricing," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member happyfarming. "I'm thinking with the downturn in markets recently, a lot of them might be wishing they had gotten more 'on the ball.'"

Companies are still offering early-purchase discounts on things like seed, says Marketing Talk senior contributor Nebrfarmr, and he's already taken advantage of that to cut back on his seed costs.

"I just got my corn ordered; they give until October 15 to get the biggest discount but didn't have a firm quote on the prices, only that it 'went up a little,'" Nebrfarmr says. "The scary thing is lots of other people are ordering as well."

Though most seed company leaders say they're not close to running out of seed, some farmers say the current break in grain futures prices have them putting in orders now. And, for happyfarming, it's also leading him to choose different varieties than he ordinarily might.

"Seems like [seed companies] all want to push a new group of hybrids constantly, but we are a little more conservative and like to stick with some of the tried and true, and that is getting harder to do," he says.

   

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Do We Focus On The Obvious Until The Machinery Bre 10/06/2011 @ 1:20pm Input costs, ie. fertilizers and seed are the obvious but does equipment maintenance take a back seat? Using synthetic lubricants for every application instead of petroleum based oils keeps the harvest equipment humming instead of experiencing costly down time. It may cost a bit more that petroleum oils and greases but will pay off when you see a neighbor broken down due to a worn out part that could have been prevented by using synthetic.

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