Moral of the story, don't overthink this market and do not get overly convicted to your preconceived ideas or thoughts. This is simply about reducing your risk and turning a profit. The easier you can accomplish this goal the better your going to be....More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun its celebration of the International Year of Soils to highlight the importance of healthy soils for food security, ecosystem functions and resilient farms and ranches....More
One of the key components for farm operators to understand as they evaluate the new farm program options is the concept of Market Year Average (MYA) price. The MYA price for a given crop year is used to calculate any potential payments for all three farm program options: Price Loss Coverage (PLC), Ag Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO), and Ag Risk Coverage-Individual (ARC-IC). The historical MYA prices are also used to determine the benchmark revenues for both the ARC-CO and ARC-IC program options....More
Soybean futures ended 2014 on a whimper, down close to 20¢ per bushel across the board. The market didn’t act much better the first the first day of 2015, with the January contract closing at $10.02. November slid below $10, closing at $9.93....More
The five agriculture stories to read this week include farm revenue outlook for 2015, as well as long-term agricultural projections. Read about a farmer who is building soil organic carbon to grow better crops, and a company that's got a robot to do your nitrogen sidedressing. Finally, for some entertainment, take a fresh breath of farm air with the Peterson Farm Bros.
We've posted a lot of great stories and photos on the web this year! These are our most-viewed pieces and cover a variety of topics from helpful aerial images to GMOs, making a profit with lower corn and soybean prices to no-till yield secrets, and more! Check out our best from the web for 2014, and stick around for more great stories and photos in 2015.
Corn and soybean prices are higher today than they were in early October. However, despite an impressive “dead cat” bounce, prices remain below production costs. Marketing plans are difficult to write when prices are below costs, but write one we must. Here are my pre-harvest marketing plans for 2015....More
As a producer, I continue to hold out for slightly higher corn prices before pulling the trigger on additional sales. From a spec perspective, I prefer being a longer-term buyer on a deeper break. And I am sticking with the thought that higher soybean prices might be in our near-term future....More
2015 is setting up to be another interesting year in the agriculture industry, following a fairly profitable year in 2014 for many livestock producers, but a far less profitable year for most crop producers in the upper Midwest. 2015 will bring farm program sign up, as well as continued uncertainty about renewable fuels. There are also crop production costs to consider, and the hope that land values continue to moderate....More
The five agriculture stories to read this week offer options for residual herbicides in soybeans, as well as tips for updating your crop yields with the Farm Service Agency under the new farm bill. Read a fertilizer outlook from Rabobank, and hear from Xpert Dan Frieberg about ag data ownership and knowledge. Finally, a happy holidays greeting from the CSD staff.
This is the second of a two-part article highlighting what happened agriculturally in 2014. Last week’s article provided a review of 2014 crop production and weather conditions. This week we will focus on some highlights regarding input costs, grain prices and the overall farm economy for 2014....More
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.