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00000179-cdc6-d978-adfd-cfc6d7ca0000Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR in Kansas City, Missouri, Harvest covers agriculture-related topics through a network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest.Like Harvest Public Media on Facebook or follow them on Twitter @HarvestPM.

2017 Farm Forecast: Farmers Adjusting Strategies To Ride Out Slump

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Emily Bell
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flickr Creative Commons

With farmers coming off a third straight year of lower incomes, 2017 will require some more belt-tightening.

Persistently low prices for major commodity crops including corn and soybeans may inch up slightly in the new year. But Iowa State economist Chad Hart says farmer are adjusting their strategies to ride out the slump.

"There's much more of an emphasis on just getting by, making it to break-even, making sure that our business cash-flows. For a baseball analogy, we're trying to hit a bunch of singles now rather than swinging for the fences and the home runs," Hart says.

Hart says for some Corn Belt farmers, that may mean tipping to slightly more soybeans, for others, it could affect the choice of seed or fertilizer application decisions.