Even though the number of avian flu cases has waned in recent weeks, the economic impacts of the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history are not likely to disappear any time soon. The first turkey producers in central Minnesota that broke with the virus in early March have started to re-populate their barns, slightly over 90 days after their flocks were depopulated....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, read about what's causing striping on corn leaves and get some tips for applying soil residual herbicides to emerged corn. Share your cover crop challenges and get our best crop scouting tips and ideas. Finally, enjoy some fun dairy facts for National Dairy Month.
Despite the challenges of collecting and interpreting soil nitrate samples, the practice remains a valuable tool to guide farmers when making the decision whether to apply or not apply additional sidedress nitrogen in fields that received the majority of nitrogen as pre-plant applications, say Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network® researchers....More
Farmers who spot giant ragweed in their corn or soybean fields should apply a post-emergent herbicide before the infestation becomes unmanageable, even if no other weeds have appeared, two Purdue University plant scientists advise....More
The full extent of damage from flooding and saturated soils cannot be seen until the corn plant has a chance to recover. Knowing what factors affect damage and survivability, and what signs to look for when assessing plant health will help you make the best decision for the long term success of your corn crop....More
Lower commodity prices are now projected for the foreseeable future. Those price levels coupled with high costs lead to projections of low or negative cash flows for the next several years. These low return levels will cause negative cash flows on many farms. Farmers then may choose to use working capital in meeting these cash shortfalls, leading to reductions in working capital....More
This family farm has grown modified corn, tobacco, rice and potatoes that produce medically valuable drugs and enzymes. The high-profit, highly regulated farm enterprise diversifies them from low-margin commodity crops. (They also grow commodity corn.) “So, three of us make a living from about 4,000 acres of corn,” Bill Horan says....More
What is the earliest possible way to detect stress or disease in your corn and soybean fields? Brian Sutton, a flying farmer from Lowell, Ind., takes their temperatures. The thermal cameras used in his AirScout service detects stress and disease in plants before they change color, when he still has time to take corrective action, he says....More
Corn planting is about done, and most of the corn crop has emerged while the crop condition holds steady for a third week. Soybean planting is nearing completion, but is falling just slightly behind average. The soybean crop is quickly emerging, and crop condition looks mostly good....More
The number one risk facing agriculture is international trade, because many facets of the agriculture industry are internationally interconnected. The slowdown of emerging economies is in full gear, and the results are being observed in the re-entrenchment of prices for commodities such as grains, oil, steel and copper. The slowdown is targeted toward the flyover states, i.e. the agricultural and rural regions in the U.S....More
The consistently high cash price levels for corn and soybeans from 2011-2013 made grain marketing decisions pretty easy for many producers. By contrast, grain marketing decisions in 2014 and 2015 have become much more difficult, with continued declining prices that are sometimes below breakeven levels. The current scenario for grain prices makes it more important than ever for farm operators to have a solid grain marketing plan in place, which is part of an overall farm risk management strategy....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get some considerations for replanting corn and get insight into taking control of weed resistance management. Learn some facts about the impact of trade on farms and ranches, and read some tips for sidedressing nitrogen. Finally, consider becoming a voice for agriculture by being a young leader.
Experts at the University of Illinois went back 100 years and examined corn prices, soybean prices and wheat prices, then divided them by the Consumer Price Index. In doing that, they found that real prices for 2014 corn and soybeans are $3.65 and $10.05, respectively. This compares to 1913 real prices of $15.76 for corn and $42.80 for soybeans. See the effect of history on these commodity prices....More
Stand uniformity is a much more important goal with corn than with many other crops. Better uniformity means higher yields so striving for improved uniformity will help improve productivity and profitability....More
Significant rain overspread the Great Lakes region, including Wisconsin and Michigan. Rain also extended eastward through northern New England, but was much lighter in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic states. In much of the Midwest, occasional showers slowed soybean and late-season corn planting efforts, but benefited pastures and already emerged crops.
April and May allowed for great planting progress, and warm temperatures in May helped crop development. Farmers were also able to get into fields and apply some post-emergent nitrogen to their corn. However, some heavy rains after that application have some farmers concerned about nitrogen....More
An alternative to leasing farmland is a Custom Farming Agreement. In a typical custom farming agreement, the custom operator agrees to perform all the machine operations on the owner’s land in exchange for a set fee or rate. The landowner pays for all seed, fertilizer, chemicals, crop insurance and other input costs; receives the all grain produced and all eligible farm program payments on the land; and is responsible to store and market the grain....More
The Crop Progress report released by the USDA on June 1 showed that the corn crop is nearly completely planted, and almost 85% emerged. The crop's condition remained steady from the previous week. Soybean planting is still slightly ahead of average, along with the emergence rate....More
Storm clouds are building as American agriculture, specifically the grain sector, is entering phase one of the post-commodity super cycle downturn. One of the first signs of a downturn is buildup of machinery and equipment inventory on dealership lots. Another: access to short-term operating credit will become an issue as some producers fail to meet existing loan covenants....More
Corn bulls are happy to see both old-crop and new-crop prices hold technical support just above our previous harvest lows. In fact some tech guru's are starting to talk about a possible double-bottom now forming on the charts and corn prices moving back to higher ground. I understand their logic, but I'm not 100% onboard, especially when you start to consider the overall trade environment....More
Farmers are increasingly scrutinized and being frowned upon by consumers for their use of GMO seed. It's sometimes hard to respond to those negative comments. Here are some resources, from Facebook pages and websites to informational stories we have written, to share with people who may not understand the science and technology behind GMOs, not to mention the benefits!
The list of insects and diseases that can attack your corn fields is long. Thanks to DuPont Pioneer, we have a great chart at which corn growth stages to scout for what. The roundup offers all the common bugs, worms and diseases and at which leaf and growth stage to scout. For example, look for seedcorn maggot and wireworms at VE to V3. Scout for Goss's wilt from V3 to V9....More
“Agriculture is the story of productivity: doing old things better,” says Mark Drabenstott, a global economist, Federal Reserve 25-year veteran. “The future belongs to those who innovate, doing better things. Commodity markets require even more risk management in an ever-riskier environment."...More
Farmers across the U.S. are nearly finished planting corn, and almost three-quarters of what's been planted has emerged. Soybean planting is more than half complete, and almost a third of the overall crop has emerged....More