John Motter, Jenera, Ohio, pays himself $100 per hour from the premiums he earns for growing high-oleic soybeans. Not bad, says the four-year veteran of growing Pioneer Plenish and Asgrow Vistive Gold soybeans. Motter asked to be a high-oleic soybean grower when food trans-fat labeling first appeared, converting all of his soybean acres to high-oleic varieties after two years....More
Five agriculture stories to read this week offer 2015 crop budgets and insight into falling gas prices. Read about lower land values, and see what's on Xpert Ed Usset's corn and soybean marketing wish list this Christmas. For some fun, check out amazing RC tractors at work.
Can soybean seeding rates be used as part of an integrated herbicide resistance management program? That's the question in a study published in Weed Science. Researchers conducted studies in 2012 and 2013 to determine the most effective seeding rates when used with or without pre-emergence herbicides....More
2014 will be remembered as the second crop year in a row with weather extremes and highly variable crop conditions in many areas of Minnesota and Iowa. A mid-September frost across a wide area of south-central Minnesota and north-central Iowa resulted in an early end to a growing season, which already featured later than normal maturing crops. The end result was some very disappointing corn and soybean yields in many areas of Minnesota and northern Iowa....More
The reality has set in that grain prices, cash flow and profit margins will be modest at best. Whether this part of the cycle correction will be one, two, or even five years or more in duration, farmers and their lenders will have to manage through these economic white waters....More
Santa has been very generous over the past few years. Last year I looked under the tree and found $13 soybeans and $4 corn; not quite as big as the gifts in 2012 (or 2011, or 2010), but they fit well and I was grateful. Rumor has it that Santa will not be as generous this year. Here is my corn and soybean marketing wish list for 2015....More
In this second installment of our best stories from 2014, farmers showcase drainage systems that also irrigate, along with high-yield corn production tips. Read how tillage increases compaction, and plan for a micronutrient strategy. There are conservation ideas to help farmers be competitive, as well as thoughts on soil lime. All of these stories offered farmers an approach to help them Think Different about their farm operations.
If your working capital burn rate is less than one year, it would be considered high risk. Above 3.5 years is indicative of a strong second line of defense and of course, between one and 3.5 years would be considered acceptable, but not stellar. To say the least, this winter and next year will be a balancing act as farmers juggle quickly converting liquid assets to cash to keep their businesses in operation....More
The combination of lower projected corn prices and soybean prices in 2015, together with nearly steady input costs for seed, fertilizer, and chemicals, will limit estimated potential returns over direct expenses and land costs, at average crop yields. Another major variable in breakeven levels in crop production are loan payments on capital investments such as farm machinery, facilities and land purchases....More
Farmers, from an agronomic perspective, are doing great keeping phosphorus loss as low as 1% to 2%. The challenge, according to University of Arkansas phosphorus expert Andrew Sharpley, “isn’t so much the magnitude of the losses, or even the tile system itself; it’s the extent to which tile drainage has been implemented by farmers.”...More
University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate research assistants apply small-plot research results from different management practices to large field-scale settings in order to maximize soybean yields. The basics of their high-yield program include high-yield genetics, early planting, narrow rows, optimal soil fertility and more....More
Good foreign demand for U.S. soybeans is helping bean markets stay above $10 per bushel, with the January 2015 contract closing up about 25¢ at $10.36 Friday. March ended the week at $10.42, up 24¢. And anticipation of possible reduction in soybean ending stocks could add further support to bean prices, says Bryce Knorr, senior editor at Farm Futures....More
The five agriculture stories to read this week includes a new tool for farmers to use when making nitrogen application decisions, and it's used on the computer. There's also research showing soybean yield when double cropping vs. relay intercropping soybeans and wheat. Read about the possible impact crop insurance may have on ag land values, and how one farming family has success with marketing goals. Finally, enjoy a nice piece in The New York Times about agriculture and data.
Soybeans enjoyed another week of better-than-expected export sales. In its wake the trade continues to believe the USDA will soon be forced to raise their current export estimates by 25 to 50 million. Hopefully we see this take place next Wednesday in the upcoming December USDA report....More
Chad Hart, Iowa State University Extension economist, expects to see corn prices in the $4 range, and soybeans in the single digits for 2015. Good demand but larger supplies will hold prices down over the next couple of years, he says....More
As we look back on 2014, we remember some of our best stories, tips and ideas from farmers. Included in this first Best Of installment are ideas about data management and using and sharing that data to farm smarter, better. There are conservation ideas and soil health tips. Read about biotic fertilizers, and tips for telling your farm story. All of these stories offer farmers the chance to Think Different about their operations.
Northern Illinois is not the first place you’d expect to see 100-bushel soybeans. But Peru, Ill., farmer Dan Arkels yielded 104 bushels per acre on his 30-acre Illinois Soybean Association Yield Challenge plot in LaSalle County, a 15-bushel increase above the previous Illinois record....More
Rabobank published a global outlook for ag commodities, including corn and soybeans, in 2015, focusing on demand, supply and prices. Lower prices levels should encourage consumption growth, say market researchers. According to the report, key variables to watch include: U.S. dollar strength, uncertain Chinese demand growth, slowing biofuel demand and oil price weakness....More
An analysis of some of the more common custom rates in the 2014 Iowa Custom Rate Survey showed that the listed “average” custom rates for some farming practices may be a bit low, given the higher ownership costs of larger farm machinery, higher fuel expenses that have existed in 2014, and the difficult field conditions that existed in some areas....More
Jon Everett didn’t dodge opportunities to get about 70% of his 2014 crops marketed last winter and spring, when corn prices were still pushing $5 per bushel or better and soybean prices were near $11.80 per bushel. And he and his farming partners wasted no time in making sales on about 40% of their expected 2015 corn and soybean production....More
When storing corn and soybeans in on-farm bins this winter, be sure grain is stored at appropriate temperatures and moisture percentages. Also be sure the aeration fan is timed properly. Read these and more grain storage tips from Ohio State University.
Sign-up for the new farm program, which part of the new farm bill, is now underway at local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices. The new farm program will be in place for the 2014 to 2018 crop years for all eligible crops under the Commodity Title of the 2014 Farm Bill, including corn, soybeans, wheat and other crops....More
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.