Soybean planting has been delayed in many areas of the Midwest. Since final planting dates for corn have passed, farmers who have purchased the COMBO insurance policy are eligible to take prevented planting payments for corn. Soon all final planting dates for soybeans will have passed and all Midwestern farmers will be eligible for soybean prevented planting payments....More
As the House of Representatives was rejecting a new farm bill on June 20, USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was speaking in Lubbock, Texas, explaining why a new farm bill is needed for all Americans, and not just in rural areas. The farm bill "has something for everyone and it’s important to say that in order to be able to encourage, urban and suburban legislators to understand that this is a bill that impacts their constituents just as much as it impacts somebody on a farm or ranch," says Vilsack....More
The House failed to pass a new farm bill today, rejecting H.R. 1947, the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act (FARRM), with a 195-234 vote. Agriculture and commodity groups are reacting to the failure, as well as Washington and other industries affected by the farming legislation....More
Three pioneers in the development of biotechnology-derived crops have been named as recipients of the 2013 World Food Prize. The winners of this year’s prize, created by the late Dr. Norman Borlaug to honor leaders in the fight to defeat world hunger, were announced at a ceremony at the U.S. State Department where Secretary of State John Kerry was the keynote speaker....More
Corn growers from the world’s three largest corn exporting nations will collaborate on a global initiative to resolve common problems that restrict trade under a unique pact signed by grower leaders in May at Argentina’s MAIZAR corn congress. The agreement – the first of its kind among corn grower groups – creates The International Maize Alliance (MAIZALL), which will work on biotechnology, food security, stewardship and trade issues....More
One of the major discussion points at ag lending and banking schools is the trend in family living costs and withdrawals from farm and ranch businesses. Some lenders say that their customers are living on $40,000/year, while others state that the living withdrawals have increased dramatically, particularly in the last five years with strong grain and commodity prices....More
The sprouting of an unapproved genetically engineered wheat strain in an Oregon field appears to have been an isolated incident, U.S. agricultural officials said on Friday, adding that they had validated a method for detecting the presence of the GE wheat. "As of today, USDA has neither found nor been informed of anything that would indicate that this incident amounts to more than a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm," said USDA Office of Communications Director Matt Paul. "All information collected so far shows no indication of the presence of GE wheat in commerce."...More
An accelerated farmland sell-off at the end of 2012 has led to continued low supplies of premium quality property, according to Farmers National Company, the largest farmland and ranchland real estate company in the country. Last year’s rush, prompted by economic uncertainty and tax law changes, continues to have an impact into 2013. High-quality land is still in demand, and buyers are competing for top acres that are currently in short supply.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack spoke to the National Press Club recently about helping farmers and ranchers deal with climate change. Vilsack said USDA will establish regional cubs to enable the USDA to carry out "regionally appropriate climate change risk and vulnerability assessments." USDA agencies will also give cover crop guidance based on local conditions and is also releasing a free online tool to manage and evaluate carbon to help producers calculate how much carbon their conservation actions can remove from the atmosphere....More
Most of the Midwest experienced several days without rain, allowing corn planting to near completion. In fact, parts of the central and eastern Corn Belt were dry all week, promoting a rapid pace of soybean planting. However, cool weather and pesky showers maintained a slow pace of fieldwork in parts of the Upper Midwest, where weekly temperatures generally averaged 5-10° F below normal.
During a recent ag lender training session in Charlotte, N.C., Ronnie Hucks, VP of AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, discussed an interesting observation. This is the first time in history that three generations have been in the workforce during the same time span. Let’s take this subject deeper and examine some of its implications....More
With a vote of 66 to 27, the United States Senate voted to pass the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013, better known as the 2013 Farm Bill. The focus now shifts to the House of Representatives, where work is reportedly scheduled to begin next week....More
Spring rains and flooded fields have delayed or prevented planting for many farmers in Minnesota. If farmers have multi-peril crop insurance and have not been able to plant by their crop's final planting date, they do have options....More
Early and accurate identification of Palmer amaranth plants, including waterhemp, coupled with implementation of an integrated management program are essential to reduce the potential for crop yield loss due to interference of Palmer amaranth. Proper management of Palmer amaranth populations can help reduce the potential for successful seed production that will augment the soil seedbank and perpetuate the population in future growing seasons.
For the fifth year in a row, policymakers in our nation’s capital are learning about the U.S. family farmers who produce corn, our nation’s top crop, as part of the Corn Farmers Coalition program. Once again, the program, which is sponsored by the National Corn Growers Association and its state affiliates, showcases how innovative and high-tech corn farmers have become by introducing a foundation of facts about farmers and farming....More
If a farm is profitable and the profits are allocated properly, all financial criteria on the farm and ranch business will improve. In recent years with the extensive appreciation of land values, some have ignored profitability, or it has become a secondary priority. This is particularly true with the “millionaires on paper” as a result of inflation that have never earned a dollar of profit....More
It’s hard to believe that a mere two to three months ago we were still talking about continued drought in much of the Upper Midwest. Now, in some areas of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa wet field conditions and delayed crop planting has become so severe that producers are considering not planting a portion of their crops in 2013....More
2013 is likely to be a very difficult year for agribusiness logistics in Brazil, according to a report from Rabobank. The report, “Road to Ruin? Brazil’s Agribusiness Logistics in 2013,” finds transportation costs in the country have risen significantly due to three factors: new legislation impacting the working hours of truck drivers, a sharp increase in diesel prices and rising export volumes for major commodities....More
Due to continuing wet weather, some farmers will not have planted all their corn by the final planting dates contained in their crop insurance policies. Once the final planting date has been reached, a farmer who has purchased the COMBO product (RP, RP with exclusion or YP) will have the option of taking a prevented planting payment. In many cases, taking the prevented planting payment will be an economically attractive alternative....More
Rain fell early in the week and again toward week’s end in much of the Midwest, curtailing fieldwork at times. However, somewhat drier conditions prevailed in Indiana and Ohio, allowing corn and soybean planting to advance. Locally heavy rain also extended southward into parts of Texas, further sharpening the gradient between wet conditions on the southeastern Plains and worsening drought across the southern High Plains and the Southwest.
The stock market recently bounced to a record high of 15,000. Central banks around the world are opening up the floodgates of stimulus. In my road warrior travels, I have noticed numerous people are concerned about how long the Federal Reserve will continue their “easy money” policy....More
A general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) sign-up is currently occurring at local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices throughout the United States. The general CRP sign-up period runs from May 20 through June 14. General CRP sign-ups were also held in 2012 when 3.6 million acres were accepted into CRP, in 2011 with 3.75 million acres were accepted into CRP and in 2010 when about 4.2 million acres were accepted into CRP....More