In the 5 ag stories to read this week, learn how farmers are becoming more compliant when planting a refuge for Bt corn, and make your farm bill choices in seven steps. Read new research that says climate change is impeding soybean yields, and see what's new for herbicides this year. Finally, enjoy a smile from some cows.
Anybody can market $8 corn but it takes a great marketing plan to market $4 corn. Know your strengths and weaknesses; consistency is key to your corn and soybean marketing plan. Make a strong commitment to executing your marketing plan....More
Dean Glenney set out to replicate the undisturbed fencerow soils he recalled plowing up in his youth. Along the way, he began producing record-breaking yields under low inputs, giving him returns considerably greater than neighboring conventional systems....More
With smaller net farm incomes, farmers have less money to spend to grow their corn and soybeans. To get through it, experts suggest a strategy: short-term investments, crop insurance, accurate records, cost of production and more....More
Many producers, including larger operations, quickly get themselves into a serious financial condition if they are complacent and fail to monitor financial records. A good CEO producer will generally have a good idea where they stand financially at any point in time....More
It appears we are definitely likely to see much tighter profit margins in corn and soybean production in 2015 and beyond, as compared to profit levels in recent years. These tighter margins can be manageable for farm operators that pay attention to farm operating expenses, land costs, overhead costs, etc., and have a good handle on what their breakeven market price levels are....More
Once again, every quote on the CME Group soybean board was below $10; not a good sign for farmers eager to catch some sort of rally to make some early-season sales. March futures hit $10.60 in early January, but closed down about $1 below that at $9.61 on Friday....More
In the five ag stories to read this week, you'll find tips for managing corn rootworm this summer, and get an insight into farmland values. Read about production costs for 2015, and whether or not more acreage reduces those per-acre costs. Finally, enjoy a #farmernice video, sharing all the great things farmers do for us, and the products we get from agriculture.
New weed control options, which include both veteran and new active ingredients, cleared major milestones on the road to commercialization in 2014. Dow AgroSciences, Monsanto and Syngenta have new herbicides available (or soon to be available) to growers to help combat resistant weeds in 2015....More
Brent Friest and his father Denny compared 15- and 30-inch rows on their farm near Radcliffe, Iowa, one of seven replicated 2014 strip trials led by the Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network. The Friests’ 15-inch rows yielded 49.8 bushels, compared to 40.5 bushels for his 30-inch rows....More
At a recent event, David Kohl offered advice to teenagers who want to farm or be in the agriculture business. Focusing on different types of education and classes, he encouraged students to take a variety of classes, focus on the good professors and to complete internships outside of their region and country....More
Those currently involved in doing cash flow planning may wonder what amount, if any, can be included in a cash flow projection for estimated farm program payments from the 2014 corn and soybean crop, and possibly for the 2015 crop year. There are many variables that factor in to the calculation of potential farm program payments; however, by knowing a few of the basics, a person can make a reasonable estimate of potential payments for 2014, as well as possibly for 2015....More
Following the Jan.12 USDA Crop Production and Grain Stocks reports, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the story in corn and soybean markets for the foreseeable future will be the ongoing pace of consumption....More
In the five agriculture stories to read this week, read how higher-protein soybeans could fetch a premium and use an online simulator to calculate crop insurance premiums. Check out some FAQs on base acre reallocation in the farm bill and see where land values are estimated to be in 2015. Finally, watch Bill Gates talk about his position on GMOs. It may enlighten you.
Some of the most successful grain marketers I meet are producers with no on-farm storage. I want producers to be proactive in their marketing decisions, always looking ahead for opportunities to price this year’s (or next year’s) crop. Producers with no storage must be proactive....More
How do your production costs look for the year ahead? Iowa State University just released its 2015 crop-production estimates, and I hope your figures look better than these guidelines. That won’t be easy, I’m afraid, but then actual costs can vary greatly....More
The spread of multi-resistant waterhemp has led to increasing use of Group 14 herbicides, the protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors that include Cobra, Flexstar, Ultra Blazer and others. Repeated use is exerting intense pressure on this diverse group of chemicals, weed experts warn....More
As expected, the USDA Crop Production Report released on Jan. 12 indicates that both the total U.S. corn production and soybean production for 2014 were at record levels. The final 2014 national average yields per acre for both corn and soybeans were also at record levels. Following are some highlights of the recent USDA Crop Production Report, as well as the latest USDA Supply and Demand (WADSE) Report....More
Let’s examine five-steps for returning to positive margins in your agriculture business, in no particular order. Some of these steps can be used to build efficiency in profitable businesses as well....More
In this week's 5 ag stories to read, you'll find tips for managing soybean aphid in 2015. There is also a breakdown of the ARC farm bill program when choosing the individual or county option. Read about the biodiesel market, and hear about genetic engineering benefits. Finally, enjoy a list of signs that you grew up on a farm.
Recent value adjustments in the land market still leave land values at historically high levels in the longer term view. Price softening is happening, but at different rates depending on the region, prices for major commodities in that region, and quality of the land. Profitability from record crop incomes supported by insurance coverage, has kept farm operations in the black and producers interested in adding land.
Short-dated new crop options (SDNC), available since mid-2012 from the CME Group, Chicago, Ill., provide a short-term alternative for trading new-crop corn and soybeans as well as hard red winter wheat and soft red winter wheat. CME reports that more than 2.5 million SDNC contracts have been used....More
Soybean prices broke significantly lower on the heels of less than bullish USDA data. We saw a slight bounce Tuesday. Keep in mind however, we've still yet to break outside the $1.00 trading range of between $9.80 and $10.80....More
The reality is setting in that some producers, particularly those in the grain sector, will experience negative margins in 2015, which is something not experienced in many years. How can a producer troubleshoot their business and work with their lender when margins are tight, or even negative?...More