Harvest is back and it’s time to make some marketing decisions. Should I sell now or store grain to sell later in the crop year? Maybe I should sell the carry in the market. Our alternatives are limited and, with prices at four-year lows, the choice will not be easy. Let’s look at the cards we’ve been dealt....More
There is no single recipe to determine the right cover crop mix for a particular field, much less an entire farm. You need to know each field, set goals and set a budget that makes sense. Are the primary concerns to retain and build nutrient levels for the coming crop, managing moisture, compaction or simply building soil health?...More
A big challenge in many areas of the Upper Midwest is continued cooler than normal temperatures, and lower-than-normal accumulation of growing degree units (GDUs). This raises concerns that some of the 2014 corn and soybean crop may not reach maturity prior to the first killing frost, especially in areas with very late planting dates this past spring....More
Five ag stories to read this week reminds growers to scout soybean fields for diseases, including sudden death syndrome and brown stem rot. Watch a video update on crop conditions in August across the Midwest, and read about yields and their impact on crop returns for 2014. Also watch a video with practical tips for using UAVs on your farm. And as harvest creeps up on us, check out one of our favorite photo galleries: A day in the life of corn harvest.
“Do we need to till or not?” Purdue University weed scientist Bryan Young often hears this question from Midwest soybean growers fighting herbicide-resistant marestail, waterhemp and Palmer amaranth....More
Brian Watkins farms near Toledo, Ohio. For a long time, he’s been working on a computer model to predict costs on his 7,000-acre corn and soybean farm. He came up with Cropzilla. Using a $3.50 corn price, the numbers have absolutely influenced the decisions he’s made on his Ohio farm, he says....More
Widespread, locally heavy rain boosted topsoil moisture and aided immature summer crops from the northern Plains into the Midwestern and MidAtlantic states. Weekly rainfall totaled at least 4 inches in several areas, including central Montana, parts of the Dakotas, and some northern locations in Illinois and Indiana.
Increasing corn plant population doesn’t necessarily mean bigger yields, says Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois crop scientist. Over 277 comparisons from the past three years show that the difference in yield between two populations (34,000 and 42,000) was only about a tenth of a bushel, and Nafziger says there was no indication that the response got larger as yield level increased....More
Sudden death syndrome (SDS) and white mold could cause economic losses in soybean fields this year. SDS comes from toxins already in the field and can be influenced by weather, and white mold incidence may be increased due to weather conditions, says Carl Bradley, associate professor, University of Illinois. He also notes that plants infected with SDS can look like plants infected with brown stem rot....More
The Crop Progress report released on Monday by the USDA showed the corn crop falling behind average development in the dent stage. Corn condition improved slightly over last week. The soybean crop is nearly done setting pods, but overall condition dropped slightly in the last seven days....More
This week's 5 Ag stories to read includes advice on scouting for Southern rust in corn, as well as an outlook on farmland prices. Also read an opinion about GMO and organic working together to feed a growing population. There are also tips and methods for seeding cover crops, and for a little fun, enjoy a gallery featuring a throwback to seed bags.
The Minnesota State Fair is the largest state fair in the U.S. And with that honor comes an incredible display of displays; the amount of things to see and take in is endless. One of the neat things I came across this year was a huge collection of old corn seed bags. So many different brands, names, colors. Which ones were used on your farm?
The August issue of Corn+Soybean Digest features many great stories, including cover crops, high-moisture harvesting, waterway reform, strip-till decisions, market tips and data decisions. Read these tips and ideas to help you with agronomic, marketing and data decisions on your farm.
White mold is caused by the fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and is favored by cool, damp conditions. From the edge of the field, the soybeans have a gray-green appearance. Here are some things to keep in mind when white mold has infested your soybean fields....More
The USDA Crop Report issued on August 12 estimated the 2014 total U.S. corn production to be just over 14.0 billion bushels, which would be new corn production record. This would be a slight increase from the 2013 production level of 13.9 billion bushels, and compares to 10.8 billion bushels in 2012....More
Midwest farmers are deploying many techniques for planting cover crops: broadcasting with fertilizer spreaders, flying on the cover crop and modifying high-clearance sprayers. Others are pairing cover crop seeding with another field operation, such as vertical tillage, manure application or even combining....More
This installment of 5 Ag stories to read offers best management practices for insecticide applications to help maintain water quality. There are also some crop insurance numbers, and an interactive map showing ag production for all states. Also hear what one family is doing for on-farm conservation. For a little fun, catch a fun "Frozen" parody from the infamous Farmer Derek.
“If you’re going to grow high-yielding corn, you’ve got to get your nitrogen management correct; we can’t fail,” says Jason Webster, director, Central Illinois Practical Farm Research. “Nitrogen is the one thing we can control.”...More
USDA released the August Crop Production and WASDE reports, predicting an increase in both corn and soybean production, and a decrease in prices. Ending stocks are increased for corn and are flat for soybeans....More
It appears that corn producers in Minnesota and Iowa who remained in the ACRE program for the 2013 crop year will have a good chance of receiving an ACRE payment in October of this year. Any potential 2013 ACRE payments to qualifying farm operators will be sent out by local Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices after Oct. 1, 2014....More
This installment of 5 Ag stories to read reminds growers to scout corn and soybean fields for stink bugs, and also talks about the impact cooler weather has on corn yield. Read about Russia's recent ban on food imports from Europe and the U.S., and how that's impacting markets. There's also a progress update on the implementation of new farm programs in the 2014 Farm Bill. Finally, enjoy a little trombone serenade by one farmer...to his cattle!
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced continued progress on implementing the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill), which President Obama signed into law nearly six months ago on Feb. 7, 2014. The 2014 Farm Bill reforms agricultural policy, reduces the deficit, and helps grow America’s economy.
“I’ve learned to put more time in producing, trusting my grain elevator to do much of the marketing,” says Steven Albracht, a Hart, Texas, grower who has a corn, cotton and triticale rotation, all under irrigation. Albracht knew the corn pipeline would eventually refill and put pressure on prices. That’s why he made sure his 2014 corn was being marketed while he was on the combine cutting his 2013 crop....More