In the 5 ag stories to read this week, experts remind you to be on the lookout for soybean aphids, and offer the best options for sidedressing nitrogen this summer. Read and watch testimony from the latest GMO labeling hearing, and check out a calendar for when to scout different corn pests. Finally, enjoy a list of ways you know you grew up in the country.
Farm improvements grew out of a voluntary environmental self-assessment, which helped Nathan Collins and his brother Sean judge the effects of their farming practices on water and soil quality. The self-assessment, called Green Star Farms Initiative, is a free, Web-based tool that asks farmers to rate their stewardship practices for crops, livestock and farmstead management....More
Showers intensified across parts of the Corn Belt, although rainfall largely bypassed the Upper Midwest and the Ohio Valley. Weekly totals of 2 to 4 inches were common in a broad area centered on Illinois, resulting in pockets of lowland flooding. Some of the heavy rain extended into the Northeast.
Nearly all of the planted corn has emerged, and conditions are still holding steady. Soybean planting is moving along, but has fallen behind average pace, along with emergence rates. Crop condition fell just slightly in the last week....More
It is imperative in today’s world of trade risk to build up extra liquidity or working capital reserves. How much is enough depends on debt servicing requirements, and marketing and risk management plans including crop insurance....More
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