Wednesday morning’s monthly supply/demand update from USDA is expected to show a drop of nearly 200 million bushels in the projected U.S. corn carryout for 2013-2014 due to reduced production prospects....More
The corn market appears to be having difficulty anticipating the likely size of the 2013 U.S. corn crop. Over the past three weeks, December 2013 corn price futures have traded from a low of $5.12 to a high of $5.735 as production expectations continue to unfold, according to Darrel Good, a University of Illinois agricultural economist....More
If a farm is profitable and the profits are allocated properly, all financial criteria on the farm and ranch business will improve. In recent years with the extensive appreciation of land values, some have ignored profitability, or it has become a secondary priority. This is particularly true with the “millionaires on paper” as a result of inflation that have never earned a dollar of profit....More
The stock market recently bounced to a record high of 15,000. Central banks around the world are opening up the floodgates of stimulus. In my road warrior travels, I have noticed numerous people are concerned about how long the Federal Reserve will continue their “easy money” policy....More
Some define success as the long-term succession of your kids at the farm. Albert Schweitzer defined success as loving what you do. How you treat others, from family to strangers, is Barbara Bush's definition of success....More
One of the major financial shock tests that a lender must perform concerns concentration of credit. Regulators and oversight specialists are very concerned about this component as agriculture consolidates with fewer producers generating more of the revenue and carrying a larger proportion of the debt....More
Corn production for 2013-2014 is projected at 14.1 billion bushels, up 3.4 billion from 2012-2013. Soybean production is projected at a record 3.390 billion bushels, up 375 million from the drought-reduced 2012 crop on slightly higher harvested area and higher yields. Corn prices and soybean prices are both projected down from highs last season....More
The other day a young producer was concerned because he had difficulty obtaining his operating loan for yearly operations. He stated that the lender performed financial shock tests that raised concerns about his financial status. Let’s examine some of the financial shock tests that are top of mind with your lender, and particularly the regulators that provide oversight on agricultural loans....More
With Friday morning’s monthly USDA supply/demand update expected to show only minor adjustments in 2012-2013 estimates, the corn and soybean trade will focus on the agency’s first monthly estimates for 2013-2014....More
The final reason I am optimistic about agriculture is not one specific reason. It is a combination of reasons based upon my travels, interaction with people and general observations from my past experience and vision into the future....More
For over four decades, an annual event called Earth Day has been held in late April across the United States, which has been a time for all U.S. citizens to reflect on our country’s environmental resources, and what we can do individually and as communities to help enhance our environment for the next generation. In recent years, it has become fashionable to point the finger of blame at agriculture and farmers for many environmental issues....More
In an effort to break stereotypes, the book describes farmers who don’t wear overalls but who do use technology in producing food and preserving the environment, dairy farmers who work on “cow comfort,” and how hard farmers work on sustainability. On the other side, the book reminds farmers that only a tiny percentage of the population lives on a farm and urges farmers to tell their stories through social media and every day conversation to correct mistaken beliefs about food production perpetuated by traditional media....More
America’s D+ infrastructure rating by the American Society of Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card is no surprise.
Weak links to export channels lower farm profits and U.S. soy’s competitive advantage. One vital bridge or lock collapse during peak soybean export season would result in bottlenecks, as roads and bridges receive more traffic....More
As Earth Day 2013 draws near, conservation is perhaps more in the forefront of everyone’s mind. However, we in agriculture know that farmers do their best to conserve EVERY day, not just on April 22 every year....More
The current period of farm prosperity is not the same as the 1970 period of farm prosperity, even though similarities exist. The behavior of farm debt is a clear and distinct difference, especially in regard to non-real estate debt.
An alternative to leasing farmland is a custom farming agreement. In a typical custom farming agreement, the custom operator agrees to perform all the machine operations on the owner’s land in exchange for a set fee or rate. The landowner pays for all seed, fertilizer, chemicals, crop insurance and other input costs; receives the all grain produced and all eligible farm program payments on the land; and is responsible to store and market the grain....More
Despite all the bickering and inaction of our leaders in Washington, D.C., the U.S. economy is like green shoots of grass emerging from the winter doldrums. What are some of the metrics indicating a comeback in the economy?...More
The April 2013 WASDE report from USDA showed an increase in corn stocks and overall world soybean production with corn prices decreasing at the midpoint and soybean prices unchanged from March 2013....More
Ouch! Corn prices dropped 70¢/bu. within a two-day period following the release of USDA’s March crop report. Welcome to the wild world of global economics! Are commodity prices being affected by weather and adjustments being made in planting, or are there other concerns on the economic horizon?...More
Light precipitation fell in many parts of the country, but significant weekly totals (2 in. or more) were mostly confined to the Southeast and the Pacific Northwest. Early in the week, heavy rain reached as far north as the southern Corn Belt, including the lower Ohio and middle Mississippi valleys.
Corn stocks in all positions on March 1, 2013 totaled 5.40 billion bushels, down 10% from March 1, 2012. Soybeans stored in all positions on March 1, 2013 totaled 999 million bushels, down 27% from March 1, 2012....More