Economic trends from the past five years have had an outsized positive influence on row-crop productivity, says Wells Fargo Ag Economist and Senior VP Michael Swanson. As they fade, “recognize that your economic future is in the hands of the new trends replacing them,” Swanson says.
Seasoned traders will tell you: When a corn market fails to rally (as it did on Nov. 10) on a bullish headline, it's a market that may be headed for more downhill price action. I tend to concur....More
Lower corn and soybean prices are causing some concern among farm operators, as they negotiate land rental rates for the 2015 crop year. Some 2015 land rental rates may be set at levels that do not offer much opportunity for profit potential from crop production in 2015, or could even result in a significant net loss to the farm operator....More
The great commodity super cycle has burned out. It lasted for a decade, two and one-half times longer than any previous super cycle boom time over the past century. The easy money has been made in the grain industry; however, top-flight managers can still earn a profit when they focus on production and operations, marketing, risk management, and, of course, carefully monitoring finances....More
Those anticipating today's USDA Crop Production Report were surprised when the corn forecast was lowered from the October report. Soybean production was increased. " If current production and consumption forecasts actually verify, the big story this year will be that extremely large corn and soybean crops resulted in less than burdensome year ending stocks," says Darrel Good, University of Illinois ag economist....More
Personally, unless something drastically changes, I think we trade between $3.40 and $3.90 from now through year-end. I feel we are slipping into a bit of vacuum, with very few headlines that have enough power to move the trade....More
Three years of tillage and residue field and laboratory trials at Ames, Iowa, found no differences in corn residue breakdown due to tillage or type of residue, says research leader Mahdi Al-Kaisi, ISU Extension soil scientist....More
Michael Slack is taking a more diversified approach to getting his corn and soybeans marketed. He’s leaning on two separate entities: one for its advice and the other for grain contracting programs. One segment pools grain with other bushels to demand a better price from big buyers, while the other offers the Kansas grower periodic sell-period notifications....More
Andy Thompson kept a photo journal of residue breakdown in his cornfield near Niota, in west-central Illinois. The field has been in continuous corn since 2012. This series of photos shows how, in a single season, microbes in healthy soil break down large amounts of corn residue left on the surface.
Farmers undertake various tasks to meet the challenge of flowing their crop efficiently from field to market. Though on a very different scale, railroads are confronted with a similar logistical challenge. In 2013, U.S. Class 1 railroads hauled 124.5 million tons of grain....More
Too often young people attend a university for the degree rather than the education, which can be a waste of money and time. As a professor, I am not disputing the value of an education; however, some of the most motivated lifelong learners are outside a degree program and they often make very successful entrepreneurs....More
Many farmers with final 2014 corn and soybean yields below actual production history (APH) crop yields who had a revenue protection (RP) crop insurance policy in place in 2014, will likely be able to collect a crop insurance indemnity payment on the crop losses incurred this year....More
The lowest corn and soybean prices in five years are creating bad conditions for grain producers. This might be a good time to simplify our corn and soybean marketing strategy to see if we can’t recapture a winning approach....More
Five agriculture stories to read this week offer considerations for potassium application, as well as yield losses due to harvest delays. Read prospects for cash rent and owned farmland returns, and get insight into using data, not averages, to help your farm operation. For a fun read, check out an old, but great, article about genetically modified farmers from The Onion.
How many farmers feel that nitrogen application rates are a guessing game, since you don’t know the season’s rainfall forecast? Cornstalk nitrate testing tells you whether you applied enough nitrogen this year, based on cornstalk samples’ nitrate levels at black layer stage....More
Corn futures have reversed a three-month downward swing to make about a 40¢ per bushel climb since the first of the month. And soybeans can take much of the credit for it, says Craig Turner, analyst for Daniels Trading....More
Included in "5 Ag stories to read" this week is advice for soybean cyst nematode sampling, and well as tips for applying anhydrous ammonia this fall. Access regional climate data from the USDA, and learn about grain storage and marketing plans from Midwest farmers. For a good laugh, check out a story about harvest-resistant corn. Yes, you read that right…HARVEST resistance.
All that harvest windshield time you are logging is also valuable think time — especially given how commodity price changes have impacted your business plan. In this issue, we provide some nuggets to ponder while those long harvest hours grind away, safely we all hope....More
How often have you wondered whether a new practice or piece of equipment will pay? Kenton, Ohio, farmer Brian Watkins built a computer farming simulation model to calculate the cost of such options. “It tells me how much time a piece of equipment will take to operate and repair, how much fuel will cost and how it will affect other things we do,” he says....More
Every growing season is different. Moisture and residue levels, subsequent crop and expected weather patterns all create confusion as to which type of tillage is best for each field. When thinking about which tillage tool to use for corn residue management this fall, consider these factors: Soil type, crop rotation, soil moisture and slope....More
In many of my speeches I emphasize that better is better before bigger is better; that is, get efficient before you embark on growth. What is a good financial measure of efficiency for farm businesses? One of my favorites is the operating expense to revenue ratio....More
The fall harvest season started a bit later than normal in 2014, but has been progressing at a fairly nice pace in recent weeks across the region. In the areas that did not receive a killing frost in September, most crops were allowed to reach full maturity, which will likely add some yield and the quality of the corn and soybeans. Areas affected by the early frost, have reported reduced soybean yields, as well as some quality issues with the corn....More