Brian Haugen is preparing his farm for lean times. Leveraging his management experience, discipline, standard operating procedures (SOPs), a diversified revenue base, shared human resources for productivity and collaboration with more than 35 landlords, his corn and soybean operation will do its best to weather the storm over the next few years....More
The "5 Ag stories to read" this week offers tips to manage late-maturing corn, from harvesting to drying to storing. There's also insight into the impact of nitrogen prices on planting decisions. Read about a milestone for biotech crops: harvesting 4 billion acres! Get tips for managing data on your farm to help you work smarter, and check out a new use for soy.
A late-week cold snap ended the growing season, roughly on schedule, across much of the Upper Midwest. Although the freeze was not unusually early, some crops were developmentally delayed due to late planting and a relatively cool summer. As a result, producers in freeze-affected areas monitored immature corn and soybeans for signs of injury.
As corn and soybean prices drop below breakeven levels, we asked farmers: What are your grain storage and marketing plans? From using on-farm storage and carry to selling to ethanol plants and little forward selling, read what farmers in Missouri, Ohio and Minnesota are planning for their corn and soybeans after harvest this fall.
Corn maturity and soybean leaf drop this fall are close to average rates. Corn harvest and soybean harvest, however, are significantly behind the average. Despite that, crop conditions continue to hold steady for both corn and soybeans....More
As corn and soybean harvest progresses across the Corn Belt, be cautious when driving on wet fields, as ruts can cause compaction. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers 10 tips to avoid soil compaction during corn and soybean harvest....More
Average rental rates for 2014 were as high as, or even higher than, 2013 land rental rates in most situations across the region. Farm operators and landlords are now beginning the process of negotiating land rental contracts for the 2015 crop year, and are trying to arrive at equitable rental rates....More
Five agriculture stories this week offer tips for manure management and sulfur application. Read about propane supplies this fall, and get insight and tips for financial success on the farm during lean times. Also, watch the farm documentary Farmland on Hulu.
What is your data worth? Indiana farmer and software engineer Aaron Ault notes that data exchanged in commercial agriculture can be compared to Google or Amazon—and as data sharing increases, the cost of services will decrease. "If they couldn't use our data, those services would be way out of line,” he says....More
Weather conditions this summer provided for excellent growing conditions for corn across much of the Corn Belt. However, a wetter, cooler September is slowing dry down in many areas. This will likely lead to more corn being dried after corn harvest, says Klein Ileleji, Purdue University....More
I could not be more excited to get the news that the Farmland movie is on Hulu and Hulu Plus! I saw a pre-screen of the film in February at Commodity Classic, and the film was released to a limited screening in theaters in April and May. If you didn't have the chance to see it then, watch it now. Like right now. Stop what you're doing, and watch this incredible film....More
Rising diesel prices have made tackling fuel economy more important than ever. Given how much you spend on fuel each year, even a small change in fuel usage can mean boost your profit. For example, using using a low-viscosity oil can boost fuel economy, but that's the just one of several management tactics you can use to boost profits in spring and fall....More
A lot of corn and soybeans in southern Minnesota have turned color, and appear to be mature; however, much of this visual appearance was the result of damage following the early frost on Sept. 13 and 14, and not from the natural maturing process of the crop. A limited amount of soybean harvesting has begun in some areas, mainly on some earlier soybean varieties that were planted on a timely basis last spring....More
How often do we see, particularly in family business transition, a situation in which the younger generation returns to a business that has been a profitable high performer for the previous generation, but it continuously fails to “finish the race” or underperforms compared to peers when the younger generation steps into the driver’s seat?...More
USDA released their September quarterly stocks report and the markets are lower across the board. No real surprises in my opinion! Some of you however might be surprised when you see the soybean market lower on sub-100 million ending stocks numbers....More
Corn stocks up are up significantly from 2013, and bushels in on-farm storage are up 68% from last year, according to the Sept. 30 Grain Stocks Report from USDA. Soybean stocks, on the other hand, are down about a third from last year, and on-farm stored beans are down nearly 50% from 2013....More
The 5 Ag stories to read this week talk about the possibility of skipping Bt-traited corn in 2015 to help save costs, and offer examples of low returns for 2015. There is also help for making decisions regarding the new risk programs in the 2014 farm bill. Read what farmers learned in 2014, and remember to practice safety this harvest season as National Farm Safety and Health Week comes to a close.
Harry McCune, Walnut, Ill., farms just over 3,000 acres, and grows mostly corn with a few soybean acres. He recently spoke to CSD Managing Editor Susan Winsor about how he is managing his corn crop as corn prices continue to dip. "I think we have to get back to some more basic things," he says. From agronomics, including nitrogen management, to increasing yield, McCune is doing what he can to grow the best corn crop for his land....More
The September issue of Corn+Soybean Digest offers a lot for readers. From data management to tips for financial success in turbulent times, what farmers learned in 2014 to strip-till tips. Check out these feature stories for insight on Ukraine corn exports, as well as marketing advice for low prices, using tillage for weed control and cover crop seed mixes.
In the long run, the key to success in a commodity business is being a low-cost producer. That advice comes from Purdue Distinguished Ag Economics Professor Michael Boehlje. “When you wake up each day, tell yourself, ‘My job today is to lower my costs,’ he says. “The only trouble is that Ukraine woke up seven hours earlier and got a head start on it.”...More
The continued low CBOT corn and soybean prices increases the likelihood of significant 2014 crop insurance indemnity payments for many Minnesota farm operators that have 80% and 85% RP insurance policies in place. Crop insurance payments may not be as widespread in states such as Iowa and Illinois, which are likely to have much higher 2014 corn and soybean yield levels than will exist in much of Minnesota....More
As you think about retirement, keep in mind how inflation can impact your investment strategies. At a 4% historical long-term inflation rate, $50,000 becomes $25,000 in buying power by the year 2032 (72 / 4 = 18 years). As a goal, one should aspire to generate a return on your investments including dividends and appreciation that meets or exceeds the rate of inflation to maintain buying power....More
The National Center for Public Policy Research is urging General Mills investors to vote down a shareholder proposal that would direct the company to remove completely safe and nutritious genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from its products....More