USDA’s first cost of production forecast for major field crops like corn, soybeans, wheat, cotton, rice, and others shows that input costs are expected to remain elevated into the next growing season. The costs will likely be at the third-highest level of all time and only slightly lower than the record high in 2022. While some input costs like fertilizer and chemicals are expected to decline from 2023 to 2024, other expenses like seed costs, labor, machinery and equipment, taxes, and insurance are expected to rise. Since 2020, the total costs paid by farmers to raise crops and care for livestock have increased by more than $100 billion, or 28 percent, to an all-time high of $460 billion this year. Based on USDA’s current input cost projections, trend yields, and commodity price trends, several major field crops may experience marketing year average prices below breakeven levels this year and possibly into 2024.
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