Focus On Agriculture

LDP ALERT
It seems only a few months ago that we were talking about $2.80/bu. corn and $9/bu. soybeans. Now at harvest time, growers are busy reviewing the procedures for loan deficiency payments (LDPs) and developing marketing strategies that may allow them to take advantage of the harvest-time LDPs. The large corn and soybean crop being projected by USDA has pressured the corn and soybean market, resulting in rapidly declining prices on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and at the local level.

Certainly, producers who have forward priced some of their 2004 corn or soybeans at much higher prices for harvest or later delivery will want to pay close attention to LDP levels in coming weeks in order to potentially take advantage of these favorable LDP levels.

LDPs ONLINE
USDA has announced that producers can now do LDP transactions electronically through the Internet at County Farm Service Agency (FSA) Offices. Producers must complete Form CCC-634-E and meet other FSA eligibility requirements before being able to use the electronic format for LDPs. Producers may also fax LDP transactions to County FSA Offices, provided they have completed necessary documentation. Producers are also reminded that they must complete FSA Form CCC-709, for “Field-Direct” LDPs, on any grain that is already sold for harvest delivery in order to be eligible to receive a LDP on that grain at harvest time. For more information on the use of the Internet or fax for LDP transactions, or for other details on LDPs, producers should contact their County FSA Office.

HARVEST-TIME SAFETY
As we get into the busy time for corn and soybean harvest, farmers and their families need to review safety procedures on the farm. More farm accidents occur now than at any other time of the year. A little bit of caution and prevention can go a long-ways in reducing the potential for farm accidents. Remember that farm accident rates are especially high for young children and senior citizens on the farm. Those of us who are non-farm residents also need to heighten our awareness and safety procedures as we travel on rural roads and highways during harvest season, realizing that there are many more slow moving farm vehicles on the road this time of year. Special caution needs to be taken when there are visibility problems, such as at sundown or in rainy or foggy weather. Slow down and allow extra time to safely reach destinations.

Editors note: Kent Thiesse is a former University of Minnesota Extension educator and now is Vice President of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, MN. You can contact him at 507-726-2137 or via e-mail at kent.thiesse@minnstarbank.com.