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2021 farm season opening--Johnston offers advice

BOISE--As Idaho farmers get ready for the '21 farm year, they face very different economic conditions than last year. Despite a good water year, fuel and fertilizer costs are skyrocketing, and many are struggling with planting decisions.

Clark Johnston of JC Management helps answer difficult planting decisions for Idaho Farm Bureau members.

"Every area has crops and commodities that they raise with good quality and yield. So I think farmers need to stay with those crops, like soft white wheat in Southeast Idaho. It yields well, the input costs aren't as great, it's just a great crop. Having said that, You have to have a few swing acres." said Johnston.

Swing acres, have to be moneymakers. Planting crops like canola up north, corn in the Treasure, and Magic Valley, but this year's high input costs make it a tough decision.

"And corn is king in the US, It's starting to be the king in Idaho too! Producers are always looking at high input costs. They get the best bang for their buck with corn. Corn yields and produces a lot of dollars per acre, but input costs are great, also, and producers right now are looking at those input costs but with diesel fuel prices going up and they're just stuck," said Johnston.

And Johnston says Feedstock crops look like money makers this year.

"And hay right now, It looks like hay will stay good for another year. Supreme hay right now is trading now for $190 and just good and fair hay $150. So the dairies look like they're going hand-to-mouth pretty much getting into first crop hay and that first cutting in Idaho. Having said that I think there will be good prices in the upcoming year," said Johnston.

Farm Bureau members get Clark Johnston’s marketing advice for free, And Johnston’s weekly market report on the Farm Bureau Website helps farmer decisions.