With prices received projected to drop more than costs of production, farmers in 2014 will have to be on top of all facets of management. Not only will they have to keep a lid on production costs, but also enhance production to achieve the highest economic yield.

Commodity prices for 2014 new crop prices while on a recent rise are on the whole less than 2013. Certainty there are some exceptions as cash prices during harvest of 2013 may have been lower than current forward price offerings.

For farm financial planning purposes with producers constructing either whole farm plans or examining partial budgets for cropping decisions, I have been using $11 - $11.50 for soybeans, $4 - $4.50 bushel corn, $6 - $6.50 bushel wheat, and $0.78 - $0.80 pound cotton (lint, seed & hauling from gin). With the exception of cotton, these prices are less than prices received for the 2013 crop and less than what prices can be booked for right now.

There have been times, after reading some market analysts projections for 2014, that I thought these prices may be optimistic for 2014.  There are so many different factors that go into prices that it is impossible to accurately predict on a consistent basis where prices will end up.

We know that as it stands now, prices received in 2014 will most likely be less than 2013. Corn seems to take the biggest hit with it potentially down 15 percent-20 percent, followed by soybeans with a 7 percent-15 percent reduction, wheat reduced 5 percent-14 percent and cotton down 7 percent-12 percent. Weather as well as geopolitical issues could change these projections, but that is how it is trending.