The November issue of Corn+Soybean Digest offered fresh ideas in merging art and science to farm for the big picture. There are also corn residue breakdown myths, including a photo gallery. Read challenges in rail transport, and weed control. Get an outlook about corn production in China, and see what's ahead in soil health tests. Finally, read about the weather future for the Corn Belt. And don't forget regular pieces from Editor Kurt Lawton, as well as new ideas from Xperts Ed Usset and Dan Frieberg.
Included in the five agriculture stories to read this week is a reminder to pay attention to pesticide labels, particularly if planting cover crops. There's new research regarding demand for genetically modified seed, and a recap of the choices to make regarding upcoming farm bill options. Hear from Xpert Ed Usset about market price triggers, and check out a great Buzzfeed list about the top 10 things farmers are tired of hearing.
This month in particular, let's all be #thankful4ag. In doing so, go to thankful4ag.com, a cool website set up by Bayer CropScience. There, you can create a virtual holiday meal, learn some neat agriculture facts, and, the best part, help donate meals to those in need....More
Low corn and soybean prices and an expected increase in interest rates may put an end to farmland value increases, says Michael Langemeier, associate director of the Center for Commercial Agriculture, Purdue University. He says, however, that any decline will be slight and spread over more than a year....More
The grain industry is taking a body blow punch as prices have moderated over the year. If the lower prices continue into 2015 and beyond, there will be a “punch in the mouth” which will disrupt many producers’ strategic planning in the middle and later parts of the decade. A certain set of producers will still be profitable in the economic moderation. Let’s examine some of their characteristics....More
Five agriculture stories to read this week offer advice for watching your bottom line during this time of lower commodity prices. There are tips for winterizing your sprayer, as well as tips for successful weed control. Also read about the impact of low gas prices on the ethanol market. Finally, for some fun, enjoy the latest Peterson Farm Bros. parody, I'm so Farmer. Those fellas are so clever.
Nearly 6,800 ag professionals, from farmers to scientists, were surveyed about their beliefs regarding climate change, as well as whether it's caused by human activity or nature itself, or a combination of both. Survey results showed that most scientists believed climate change was happening, while about two-thirds of farmers believed it was....More
Yield improvements will be the key to Chinese efforts to continue boosting corn production, according to Dr. Fred Gale, USDA Economic Research senior economist, but yield improvements will not be adequate to meet growing corn demand....More
Forecasting higher-than-normal rainfall several months in advance is still folly. But from a climatological standpoint, odds are that wet springs and summers are more likely in the years ahead than they have been in the not-so-distant past....More
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.
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
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
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.
Even with projected record U.S. production of both corn and soybeans in 2014, the market prices of both crops have risen during the month of October. While the recent improvement in grain prices is generally good news to crop producers, it could be costly to farm operators that will likely qualify for 2014 crop insurance indemnity payments....More
Recently, a farmer asked a panel I was a member of, “How often should farmers and lenders communicate during the year, particularly during the planning season?” The panel recommended having a meeting during planning season followed by a quarterly or semi-annual assessment, along with a year-end evaluation, which is imperative to determine financial success....More
It is time to work with the USDA and other key stakeholders on how we can align COOL to WTO standards, while keeping the integrity of the law and its purpose in place. It only makes economic sense to favor our own domestic products that are of a higher standard and support American farmers and ranchers....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.
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
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