Crop Conditions for the Atlanta, Illinois Area:

March 29th Update: Farm activities are focused upon planting preparations. Seed and crop protection chemicals are being delivered and equipment is being readied. However, soil conditions are quite cool and wet and that will need to change before field work begins. Although grain prices remain relatively high, the costs of all crop inputs have increased dramatically. Ammonia that cost just over $500/ton last summer, now costs around $700/ton. There are currently opportunities(?) to prepay the 2009 ammonia for about $760 /ton or more! Seed, chemical, and dry fertilizer prices are shooting up as well. As we all know, fuel is higher – my tanks were filled last week at a price 42% higher than the average I paid in 2007. That will add over $5,000 to my costs. All that said, I hope that grain prices remain strong. Corn is currently about $5.25/bu and soybeans are $12.00/bu. Those will no doubt change when the government releases their estimates of farmer’s intended acres of each crop on Monday.

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