Posted August 31, 2015
The record world supply of wheat may drive crop prices lower, but increased competitiveness in local markets is providing Kansas farmers with opportunities to capitalize on basis. At the 2015 Risk and Profit Conference on August 20 and 21, Dan O’Brien, Kansas State University agricultural economist, presented results of his research examining the changes in the structure of the Kansas grain industry from 2008 to 2014.
O’Brien focused on shifts in grain elevators and railroads. To conduct his research, he examined grain elevator statistics, including location, storage capacity, access to rail, competing elevators and proximity to ethanol plants and wheat mills.
For the rail sector, O’Brien said railroads have de-emphasized or abandoned short lines in favor of shuttle train facilities. These shuttle-lading facilities provide yet another competitive option for delivering grain.
“There is a lot of competition in the local economy,” he said. “In hand-over-fist competition, the number of non-affiliate competitors would positively affect price.”
Find a full version of O’Brien’s presentation at http://agmanager.info/events/risk_profit/2015/Papers/14_OBrien_GrainIndustry_2.pdf.
This year marked the 20th Risk & Profit Conference, organized by the K-State Department of Agricultural Economics. The conference is intended to update key agricultural decision makers on contemporary agricultural issues. For more resources from the conference, visit http://agmanager.info/events/risk_profit/2015/Papers.asp.
By Julia Debes