Brian Watkins farms near Toledo, Ohio. For a long time, he’s been working on a computer model to predict costs on his 7,000-acre corn and soybean farm. He came up with Cropzilla. Using a $3.50 corn price, the numbers have absolutely influenced the decisions he’s made on his Ohio farm, he says....More
Widespread, locally heavy rain boosted topsoil moisture and aided immature summer crops from the northern Plains into the Midwestern and MidAtlantic states. Weekly rainfall totaled at least 4 inches in several areas, including central Montana, parts of the Dakotas, and some northern locations in Illinois and Indiana.
Increasing corn plant population doesn’t necessarily mean bigger yields, says Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois crop scientist. Over 277 comparisons from the past three years show that the difference in yield between two populations (34,000 and 42,000) was only about a tenth of a bushel, and Nafziger says there was no indication that the response got larger as yield level increased....More
In over 30 years analyzing and examining farm record data, I have noticed that profitability decline will usually precede cash flow and repayment ability issues by about two to three years. Could it happen this time?...More
The Crop Progress report released on Monday by the USDA showed the corn crop falling behind average development in the dent stage. Corn condition improved slightly over last week. The soybean crop is nearly done setting pods, but overall condition dropped slightly in the last seven days....More
This week's 5 Ag stories to read includes advice on scouting for Southern rust in corn, as well as an outlook on farmland prices. Also read an opinion about GMO and organic working together to feed a growing population. There are also tips and methods for seeding cover crops, and for a little fun, enjoy a gallery featuring a throwback to seed bags.
The Minnesota State Fair is the largest state fair in the U.S. And with that honor comes an incredible display of displays; the amount of things to see and take in is endless. One of the neat things I came across this year was a huge collection of old corn seed bags. So many different brands, names, colors. Which ones were used on your farm?
The August issue of Corn+Soybean Digest features many great stories, including cover crops, high-moisture harvesting, waterway reform, strip-till decisions, market tips and data decisions. Read these tips and ideas to help you with agronomic, marketing and data decisions on your farm.
The USDA Crop Report issued on August 12 estimated the 2014 total U.S. corn production to be just over 14.0 billion bushels, which would be new corn production record. This would be a slight increase from the 2013 production level of 13.9 billion bushels, and compares to 10.8 billion bushels in 2012....More
Currently, as of mid-August, geopolitical risk is the largest risk with a “code red.” The unrest in Ukraine and tension in the Middle East move markets daily. Unfortunately, agriculture is often the industry first affected by political and military unrest....More
Midwest farmers are deploying many techniques for planting cover crops: broadcasting with fertilizer spreaders, flying on the cover crop and modifying high-clearance sprayers. Others are pairing cover crop seeding with another field operation, such as vertical tillage, manure application or even combining....More
This installment of 5 Ag stories to read offers best management practices for insecticide applications to help maintain water quality. There are also some crop insurance numbers, and an interactive map showing ag production for all states. Also hear what one family is doing for on-farm conservation. For a little fun, catch a fun "Frozen" parody from the infamous Farmer Derek.
“If you’re going to grow high-yielding corn, you’ve got to get your nitrogen management correct; we can’t fail,” says Jason Webster, director, Central Illinois Practical Farm Research. “Nitrogen is the one thing we can control.”...More
While the recently passed Water Resources Reform and Development Act “moves the needle,” far more needs to be done, says Paul Rohde, Midwest area vice president for the Waterways Council, Inc. He warns that by the end of this decade, 78% of waterway locks will have surpassed the end of their design life....More
USDA released the August Crop Production and WASDE reports, predicting an increase in both corn and soybean production, and a decrease in prices. Ending stocks are increased for corn and are flat for soybeans....More
It appears that corn producers in Minnesota and Iowa who remained in the ACRE program for the 2013 crop year will have a good chance of receiving an ACRE payment in October of this year. Any potential 2013 ACRE payments to qualifying farm operators will be sent out by local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices after Oct. 1, 2014....More
This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to scout corn and soybean fields for stink bugs, and also talks about the impact cooler weather has on corn yield. Read about Russia's recent ban on food imports from Europe and the U.S., and how that's impacting markets. There's also a progress update on the implementation of new farm programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. Finally, enjoy a little trombone serenade by one farmer...to his cattle!
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced continued progress on implementing the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), which President Obama signed into law nearly six months ago on Feb. 7, 2014. The 2014 Farm Bill reforms agricultural policy, reduces the deficit, and helps grow America’s economy.
“I’ve learned to put more time in producing, trusting my grain elevator to do much of the marketing,” says Steven Albracht, a Hart, Texas, grower who has a corn, cotton and triticale rotation, all under irrigation. Albracht knew the corn pipeline would eventually refill and put pressure on prices. That’s why he made sure his 2014 corn was being marketed while he was on the combine cutting his 2013 crop....More
As companies line up to offer you solutions based on their proprietary algorithms that you adopt the same position as President Reagan did in negotiating arms treaties with the Former Soviet Union – “trust, but verify”. If a company tells you that their proprietary algorithm says you need 50 lbs. of additional N, use your technology to verify....More
Farmers using cover crops as a soil conservation method can remove much more corn stover per acre for biofuels or other uses and at the same time potentially increase their income, Purdue University research shows....More
Farm operators and land owners will have several one-time choices to make in the coming months regarding their farm program participation for the 2014-2018 crop years. Since the commodity farm program choices are for five years, land owner approval and signatures will be required on all cash and share rented farm land. Some of the choices include: reallocation of crop base acres, farm program payment yields and risk programs....More
A young agricultural lender recently asked, “With tighter margins anticipated in the future, where should producers focus their energy to maintain viability of their operations?” While there is no one strategy to fit all, the following is some advice that can be applied regardless of the business cycle or business enterprise....More
Good pollination, good weather and a projected average yield that will push 170 bushels per acre – or more – are putting extensive pressure on corn prices. But will they crash through $3 at your local elevator? It’s not out of the question, says Ed Usset, University of Minnesota grain marketing specialist....More
Corn prices, as measured by the national average corn price received by farmers, are sinking below the $4/bu. mark for the first time since summer, 2010. By harvest, cash corn prices could be $3.50/bu. or less. Old-crop soybean prices have stubbornly held their ground much better than corn, but new crop prices of $10/bu. or less are a real possibility by harvest. Like corn, we need to go back to 2010 to find sub-$10 soybeans....More