Warmer, wetter-than-normal conditions forecast through February

Ned Birkey


A milder and wetter-than-normal December changed to more normal temperatures for the first week of January 2022. However, Aaron Wilson from Ohio State University is suggesting a 6- to 10-day return to normal temperatures and perhaps below-normal precipitation. A warmer-than-normal winter average temperature is not good for sweet corn as the corn flea beetle could overwinter and vector Stewart’s wilt disease for the new sweet corn crop this summer. OSU’s Jim Noel’s outlook through February is warmer and wetter than normal, with some short, intense cold snaps mixed in with the warmer temperatures. His indications now for next planting season are a colder and wetter start, but returning to normal by May.

Break-even grain prices

Gary Schnitkey from the University of Illinois is projecting break-even prices to cover total costs for 2022 at $4.73 per bushel for corn and $11.06 per bushel for soybeans. The costs will increase to record levels in 2022 due to high commodity prices, inflationary pressures and supply disruptions. The most significant increase will be the price of fertilizer, primarily nitrogen, potassium and sulfur. These prices are based upon high-productivity farmland in Central Illinois and data from the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management recordkeeping program (somewhat similar to Michigan State’s Telfarm/Microtel system). The projected yield trend for 2022 is 225 bushels per acre for corn and 71 bushels per acre for soybeans, which were used to calculate the break-even prices. The bottom line is a lower net income, perhaps even zero for next year for farmers.

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