If you look back five years, what would you have said then compared to where we are today? Let’s dial the time machine back to 2010 and examine some of the hits and misses in economic projections....More
The 5 ag stories to read this week reminds growers to scout for cutworms and slugs, and shows that healthier soil will capture and hold more water. Read about the most recent farm labor rates and wages and learn how weed stress will impact corn genetics as the growing season progresses. Finally, enjoy a meeting of the farm field and baseball field.
Cool, wet weather in the Upper Midwest contrasted with warm conditions in the Ohio Valley. In the eastern Corn Belt, planting proceeded between occasional showers. In the upper Midwest, cool, rainy weather provided much-needed moisture, following a period of rapid planting, but slowed corn and soybean emergence and development.
I gave a recent conference attendee an assignment to complete during his nearly two hour drive home that evening. His assignment was to come up with 10 perspectives from my speech and give them to mom to turn in when she returned the next morning. And he did. From moderation in family living cost to knowing your bottom line, that young college student picked up my tips for success....More
The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report released on May 12 was regarded as mainly neutral for the corn market and bearish for the soybean market in the coming months. The May report showed slightly higher corn ending stocks for 2014-15, and slightly lower soybean ending stocks, as compared to the April Report. Corn stocks are expected to decline slightly by the end of the 2015-16 marketing year, while the ending stocks for soybeans are expected to increase by 43% during that time. The 2015-16 marketing year runs from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016....More
Heather Oden says today’s female generation can benefit from being part of what has been a predominantly male industry. “Today’s production agriculture creates opportunities for women that we did not have before. Sometimes I stand out in a meeting because I am a female. That gives me a platform to educate other farmers about my role on the farm."...More
Amid an ongoing worldwide slump in grain prices, Eighth District agricultural bankers reported a continued decline in farm income during the first quarter of 2015 compared with the previous year, according to latest Agricultural Finance Monitor. The average value of quality farmland also declined, with this trend expected to continue during the second quarter....More
Shifting weather patterns brought warm, mostly dry weather to the eastern Corn Belt, while showers boosted topsoil moisture in the upper Midwest. At week’s end, a significant, late-season storm was underway across the nation’s mid-section, halting fieldwork but providing beneficial moisture for winter grains and newly planted summer crops.
In late March, USDA announced some proposed revisions to the actively engaged rules that are designed to further clarify some of the definitions and rules surrounding the requirement for management in a farm operation. This could potentially restrict certain individuals that currently qualify for farm program payments from potentially having future farm program payment eligibility beginning with the 2016 crop year....More
Last week we talked about cash flow, sensitivity analyses and liquidity and how those matter when working with your ag lender. This week, lets go over the importance of a business plan, communications and productive assets....More
Farmer and ag ambassador Quint Pottinger explains the three legs of farming to consumers: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability (i.e., public support). “If we can’t convey a positive image of agriculture and the value it brings every family, then we run the risk of negative legislation that constricts our freedom to operate," he says....More
Farmers across the U.S. were busy in the field this past week, jumping 20 points on the planting progress scale for corn, hitting a total of 75% planted overall. Those planting soybeans made huge progress, too, with nearly one-third of the overall crop in the ground by May 10....More
Sub-$4 per bushel corn futures continue to strain markets as a large old-crop carryover and lower feed demand hold down prices. December 2015 corn futures closed Friday at just over $3.78, meaning many farmers are seeing $3.50 or lower cash markets, depending on their local basis....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get some tips for managing late-planted corn and learn about a bollworm that could make its way to the U.S. Get ag secretary Vilsack's take on the latest G-20 commitment to food security and download a mobile app for identifying weeds. Finally, read commentary from a farmer who's sick of the bashing and finger-pointing.
Most, but not all, soil residual herbicides can be applied after corn has emerged. Labels usually indicate a maximum corn growth stage beyond which applications should not occur. These growth stages can range from as early as two leaf collars to as late as 40-inch tall corn, so be sure to consult the respective product labels....More
Control of European corn borer (ECB) with Bt traits has been a resounding success. While growers fight trait-tolerant corn rootworms and herbicide-tolerant weeds, control of European corn borer remains constant. Control has been so effective that John Tooker, associate professor, department of entomology, Pennsylvania State University, suggests European corn borer may not be the problem it once was....More
The corn crop in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa was planted in very rapid fashion during the last half of April, as nearly ideal soil conditions existed in most areas. Crop experts have estimated that with today’s larger farm equipment, as much as 15% of the corn grown in a given area can be planted in one day, when field and soil conditions are at optimal levels....More
During a recent panel, a participant asked CEOs from lending associations the following: Based on your experience, what are five points of wisdom that can increase our chances of working more effectively with our own lender and being successful? Here are their answers....More
The two-part program includes planning tools to develop field-by-field nitrogen management strategies that reduce the chance of over-fertilization. The tool also can be used to assess current soil nitrogen levels and risk status throughout the growing season....More
We will continue to strive, as an information provider, to present you with good examples that help you make the most of your 40 chances. As Howard wrote in his book, “You’ve learned from your mistakes, but I’d guess that none of you feel you can afford to take a single year left on your string for granted.” We wholeheartedly agree....More
In an environment of reduced prices and relatively high costs, the financials can quickly get out of hand if they are not analyzed and monitored. As producers look to diversify or shift enterprises, penciling out possible outcomes is critical upfront....More
Corn has been planted in all of the major corn-producing states. However, some cooler weather toward the end of April has some farmers wondering if they should wait to finish planting. It becomes a choice of getting corn planted "on time" or delaying it a week or so....More
The 5 ag stories to read this week reminds growers to check for corn seedling diseases, particularly on fields that were planted early. Read some questions and answers about anhydrous ammonia practices, and find out what the USDA is doing to help farmers deal with climate change. There are also tips to help you save money in the current low-price environment. Finally, learn about a new soybean-based invention: Soy Sniffs.
Many questions are crossing grower’s minds regarding nitrogen (N) application. However, with this season’s variability in precipitation, Fabian Fernandez, University of Illinois Extension specialist in soil fertility and plant nutrition, says those are difficult questions to answer generally....More