This installment of 5 ag stories to read offers tips on assessing early-planted corn hail damage. Consider global fertilizer outlook and Chinese purchase of soybeans, as well as pesticide use in U.S. agriculture for the past five decades. And, have a little fun with a new soybean meme!...More
Choosing spring or fall strip-till “depends on so many factors; only you can decide,” says Brad Meister, Bourbon, Ind. “Soil type, coulter machine or shank machine, whether you have any erodible land, the amount of time you have in the fall to do it; how long it takes for your ground to mellow out in the spring, and whether you put down phosphorus or potassium with it.”...More
“We’ve seen a trend toward more on-farm storage in recent years because producers understand they can put more money in their own pockets," says Adam Dryer, Blue Reef Agri-Marketing Inc. He explains that the economics of on-farm storage can work to farmers’ benefit in two ways....More
Newly released figures from farm-management sage Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois, amount to a 6% increase for 2013 non-land costs above 2012. That’s $615 non-land costs to produce an acre of 2013 central-Illinois corn versus $581 per acre in 2012....More
After trading to almost $5.15 per bushel (just 17 trading sessions back, on May 6th to be exact) the new-crop DEC14 contract has dropped some $0.60 cents per bushel. I'm not calling this a bottom or looking for a complete turnaround, but I do think...More
Spring 2014 has been a battle for most Upper Midwest crop producers, as they have tried to get corn and soybeans planted on a timely basis. Some favorable weather in late May allowed significant planting progress in many areas of southern and western Minnesota, and adjoining areas of Iowa and South Dakota....More
Most of the overall corn crop has been planted, and emergence is on pace with the five-year average of 80%. In this first week of corn condition ratings, 76% of the overall crop is in good-excellent condition. Well ahead of the good-excellent condition rating of 63% at this time last year. The soybean crop is ahead of average planting pace for the second week in a row, and emergence rates are ahead of average, as well....More
Corn growers should start scouting for common stalk borer, say experts at Iowa State University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Scouting for migrating larvae in corn should begin now to make timely treatment decisions, says Erin Hodgson, Iowa State University associate professor of entomology....More
Rick Juchems, Plainfield, Iowa, is surprised that cereal-rye cover crops did not reduce his corn or soybean yields. He and 11 other Iowa farmers participated in a five-year trial to determine whether rye causes yield hits in the cash crops that follow it. It doesn’t....More
The number of farms in the United States in 2013 was estimated at 2.10 million, down 7 thousand farms from 2012. Total land in farms, at 914 million acres, decreased 360 thousand acres from 2012. The average farm size in 2013 was 435 acres, up 2 acres from the previous year.
From what I am hearing most end-users are about 65-75% covered through July but have next to nothing done for August. Obviously everybody is hoping imports will help resolve the situation, but no one is clearly certain about how this game will end.
Soybean traders are digesting the fact the US planting pace is now AHEAD of our traditional average. The USDA released data yesterday showing that 59% of the crop is now planted vs. 41% last year and 56% on average. In addition 25% of the crop is now "emerged" vs....More
Farmers across the Corn Belt made strong progress in the fields in the past week, returning to normal corn planting pace and shifting ahead of the five-year average planting pace for soybeans. Warm weather helped corn and soybean crops emerge and push to near-average emergence pace....More
Although the concept of a custom farming agreement is simple, close communication between the custom operator and the landowner is essential. A written contract for the custom farming agreement should definitely be prepared that specifies the amount of payment by the landowner to the custom operator, and all other pertinent details....More
The U.S. economy is showing mixed signals. The lead economic index (LEI) which foretells the future of the economy has been increasing in recent months, most recently up 0.4%, which is bullish for the economy. Sixty percent of the factors that make up the LEI are exhibiting positive signs....More
Bears continue to feel the pain and side-effects of Injuries sustained by the sudden and unexpected jerking of the markets higher. I continue to monitor both the NOV14 and NOV15 soybean contracts in hopes of making another round of sales and further reducing downside risk and exposure....More
Corn prices have dropped about 40¢ since the USDA May 9 WASDE report. University of Illinois agriculture economist Darrel Good says that “the recent price decline appears to reflect a combination of declining wheat prices and prospects for a build-up in corn stocks during the 2014-15 marketing year.”...More
Due to late planting, and then wet, cool weather last week, some farmers were unable to apply a pre-emergence herbicide to corn. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has some tips for applying a residual herbicide after corn emergence, including reminding growers to not apply herbicide with nitrogen, There is also a chart with corn stages, weed growth and the appropriate herbicides to apply....More
Most of the eastern half of the nation received at least an inch of rain, with 2-4-inch totals common from eastern Texas into the central and eastern Corn Belt and in the Atlantic Coast States. The rain curtailed fieldwork across much of the Midwest, South, and East, following a warm, dry period that had favored a rapid planting pace.
Do you have an iPad? Do you have rootworms in your field? If your answer was yes (or even just yes to an iPad), you should check out a new app from Monsanto that helps farmers assess rootworm risk....More
The May 18 Crop Progress report from the USDA showed a slower planting pace over the past week, with corn planting progress dropping back behind the five-year average and soybeans lagging further behind. The good news is that both corn and soybeans are emerging in most states....More
The hour and a half flight to Roanoke seemed like ten minutes as the discussion flowed from investment strategies, to the state of the U.S. and global economy, to federal debt. To my delight, I discovered the head coach actually teaches political science at Whitewater and was interested in my thoughts not only on economics, but also geopolitical trends, with his students actually listening. In discussions with key players, they indicated that the coach not only taught them basketball, but much about life as well....More
Agronomists are advising growers to stick with planting full-season corn hybrids for about another week, probably until around May 25, before moving to earlier corn hybrids, or switching major acreage to soybeans....More