April 30, 2024

Ag Economy

2024 Grain and Oilseed Industry Outlook Summary

By: Farm Credit East Knowledge Exchange


2023 had surprising results after a seemingly poor growing season. U.S. farmers are currently facing increasing export competition in a declining price environment. What will this mean for producer margins in 2024?

Dr. Robert Maltsbarger of the Food and Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri, recently presented a 2024 Grain and Oilseed Industry Outlook. Read on for the key takeaways from FAPRI’s 2024 baseline, which provides an outlook for U.S. crops, livestock and farm income this year.


  • Domestic corn demand is expected to remain relatively stable, with ethanol use declining slightly in the long term.
  • Feed use is tied closely to livestock numbers, especially cattle.
  • Exports face headwinds from competition, especially from Brazil whose second corn crop planting was down due to El Niño expectations.
  • Production costs remain elevated, especially fertilizer, though down from 2022 peaks.
  • With trend yields and reduced acres, 2024 corn production is projected below 15 billion bushels.
  • Prices are easing from 2022/23 peaks but remain above pre-pandemic levels.


  • Renewable diesel policies are increasing soybean oil crush demand, supporting oil prices but pressuring meal prices as more meal is produced.
  • Brazil remains the top soybean exporter but U.S. exports could find support from crush demand.
  • With more planted acres and trend yields, 2024 production could set a new record over 4.5 billion bushels.
  • Like corn, soybean prices are easing from peaks but remaining profitable levels.
  • Net farm income is projected to decline in 2023 and 2024 from the 2022 record as expenses remain high while crop and livestock receipts contract.


Beef production is expected to decline for the first time since 2015 as drought conditions reduce cattle numbers. However, strong cattle prices should remain for a few years even as the cattle cycle hits its lowest point in 2025/26 before slowly rebuilding. Dairy faces better profitability in 2024 as feed costs ease.


Dr. Maltsbarger expects a new Farm Bill or extension to pass in 2023 to avoid reverting to "permanent" law. However, any increases to commodity program support will require offsets from other titles.

In summary, while easing from peak levels, crop prices should remain relatively profitable in 2024 amid high input costs. However, margins will tighten, requiring strategic marketing of crops. The cattle sector should remain relatively strong for a few years despite cyclical herd declines.

To dive deeper into the above topics, review the 60-minute webinar recording along with the presenters’ PowerPoint slides, or read Dr. Maltsbarger’s 2024 Grain and Oilseed Industry Outlook.


Watch the Webinar Recording

Read the 2024 Grain and Oilseed Industry Outlook Report


Tags: outlook, ag economy, cash field

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