How Do Farmers Decide Which Crops to Plant Each Spring?

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My husband, Travis, and I visit this topic several times during the year. We discuss this first in early winter and determine what our breakeven will be for each crop we’ll plant the following spring. We grow corn, soybeans and wheat.

We look at fixed and variable costs as well as current prices and the price outlook for the commodity. We then revisit the topic and update our breakeven point in late winter/early spring to make sure that it still will be profitable to plant the intended crop.

We started farming in 2010 and are first-generation farmers. Travis works for Wabash Valley Service Company as Jasper County manager, and I work for Cargill Ag Marketing Service as a grain marketing adviser. Our boys, Jace, 9, and Jaxe, 7, play sports year-round, and we are active in our local Farm Bureau Young Leader program. So, we are beyond busy.

This makes farming a challenge some days. Travis takes care of picking the crop varieties and getting the crop in the ground, while I take care of marketing crops and help move equipment.

Ashley Paddock serves as Illinois Farm Bureau Young Leader Committee Secretary. She and her husband farm near Olney in Richland County.

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