The 5 ag stories to read this week brings you the latest on proposed regulations for drones. Learn about the value of lost organic matter due to erosion, and meet farmers who are using websites to get more business. Read about canceling land rent contracts, and a positive article from The New York Times featuring a no-till farmer.
Management, more than inputs, is still the key to higher soybean yields, according to the latest USB-funded university research. “You can’t buy higher yields; you still have to work for them,” says Seth Naeve, the University of Minnesota agronomist who led the intensive soybean yield research....More
Will we get a second chance to price corn and soybeans at the higher prices last seen 3 months ago? The bears have the floor but remain patient. I'm betting on the too-too season to deliver a second chance to price new- and old-crop corn and soybeans this spring....More
The dealine for 2015 crop insurance elections is just days away. As you finalize your choices, consider the following: what coverage is best for your farm, and look at all available options, particularly new ones from the 2014 Farm Bill....More
Most farm operators have been contemplating farm program choices for the new farm bill for the past 6-8 months; however, decision time has now arrived. Producers have until March 31, 2015, to complete their farm program choice at local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices....More
Ed Usset, University of Minnesota grain marketing economist, sees little incentive for making corn and soybean sales at price levels seen early this year. “I’m not recommending getting aggressive at these levels,” he says. “I’m going to be patient and hope something better shows up this spring. Give me a spring rally and I’ll perk my ears up.”...More
To make up for lower corn and soybean prices, you might be tempted to emphasize spending on inputs across the board for top corn and soybean yields. Instead, consider a plan that funnels your focus and money into management decisions that target top yield stressors....More
The 5 ag stories to read this week offer tips for prepping your planter this spring. Learn about a new test for SCN, and what Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack had to say to farmers at Commodity Classic. Get help with on-farm trials, and find out what regular words on the farm mean to non-farmers.
What's an effective herbicide alternative to combat weed resistance? That's a question Bryan Young, associate professor of weed science, Purdue University, gets asked often. Being effective has to do with making sure that the herbicide alternative you're using can control the weed species, he says....More
If you think your soil loss is tolerable because the revised universal soil loss equation (RUSLE) says so, you might want to think again. “We are learning that we must have perennial cover in places where water moves, even with no-till,” says Rick Cruse, agronomy professor, Iowa State University (ISU)....More
Grant Noland encourages farmers to always add a personal touch when communicating with their landlords. “What you are doing on the farm is information they want and need, but they also want a look inside how your family operates and what makes your family tick. A little trivia can generate a buzz and attract new opportunities.”...More
With the spotlight trained on their farming practices, M&J Farms has taken a proactive approach to stewardship and sustainability. The Starkey family, which has a long-term commitment to no-till, added cover crops in 2005....More
From a technical standpoint the market also looks as if it may be in jeopardy of building a more bearish formation. If political unrest is resolved in Brazil and the soybeans start moving more aggressively to the ports and if Chinese demand stays strong, old-crop prices could be subject to 50¢ or more of almost immediate downside pressure....More
A recent Reuters news article titled “Rent walkouts point to strains in U.S. farm economy,” claims that some farmers have abandoned farmland-rental commitments. "It might be better to let it go and cut your acres back, cause if you lose $100 per acre on a farm have to make up that loss from other farms,” says Kent Thiesse, vice president of MinnStar Bank, Lake Crystal, Minn....More
If you want to test products or management ideas on your farm but don’t have the time or expertise for your own comparisons, help could be as close as your seed corn dealer. They can likely do most of the heavy lifting in setting up the trials and analyzing the results of testing nitrogen rates, plant populations, herbicides, fungicides seed varieties and more....More
The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2014 estimated average county yields for corn, soybeans and other crops in late February. These yields will offer a pretty good estimate of where final Ag Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) farm program payments are likely to end up for the 2014 crop year....More
Trucks destined to haul Brazil’s soybean crop remained idle last week, as haulers continued to strike against high government diesel prices. The result was a double-digit rally in U.S. soybean futures prices and the potential for more foreign buyers of U.S. beans, notes Bob Burgdorfer, senior editor of Farm Futures....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get some considerations for seed treatments when trying to cut costs this spring. If you plant cover crops, be aware of residual herbicides, and there's still time to sign up for the Conservation Stewardship Program. Read 5 tillage myths, and watch a video thanking farmers, that also helps FFA.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack spoke to farmers this week at Commodity Classic. He thanked them for their hard work, extended the deadline for base acre and yield changes, asked for their help in passing the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade promotion and addressed GMOs....More
CSD Xpert and University of Minnesota professor Ed Usset says there's a 70% chance producers will see the post harvest price levels of November soybeans and December corn come this spring. "I would challenge producers to make sure you're ready to get something done," said Usset at Commodity Classic after his early riser session on the first day....More
Profit margins for crop production this year are the tightest that they have been for several years, which makes 2015 crop insurance decisions extremely important. Many farm operators are looking for ways to reduce their crop operating expenses for 2015; however, cutting back on crop insurance coverage may not be a wise decision....More
Although USDA projects that plantings will decline among the three commodities, recent reports actually suggest that many U.S. farmers may be preparing to switch more acres from corn into soybeans due to the lower costs of production. Such a scenario would lead to increases in soybean plantings for 2015....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get tips for monitoring stored corn and soybeans. Read the latest Farms and Land in Farms report from USDA, showing a decline in farms and farm acres. Take a look at options for crop insurance this year, and read about healthy soil improving yield. Finally, read a farmers point of view on what farmers know when it comes to growing food.