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
NCGA and ASA are concerned that a pending announcement from the U.N. World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer will only lead to more confusion and concern about two widely-used herbicides that have been mainstays for farmers for decades. These two substances play an especially important role in corn and soybean farming as they allow us to manage weeds in a sustainable way....More
The Crop Progress report released by the USDA on June 1 showed that the corn crop is nearly completely planted, and almost 85% emerged. The crop's condition remained steady from the previous week. Soybean planting is still slightly ahead of average, along with the emergence rate....More
Storm clouds are building as American agriculture, specifically the grain sector, is entering phase one of the post-commodity super cycle downturn. One of the first signs of a downturn is buildup of machinery and equipment inventory on dealership lots. Another: access to short-term operating credit will become an issue as some producers fail to meet existing loan covenants....More
Corn bulls are happy to see both old-crop and new-crop prices hold technical support just above our previous harvest lows. In fact some tech guru's are starting to talk about a possible double-bottom now forming on the charts and corn prices moving back to higher ground. I understand their logic, but I'm not 100% onboard, especially when you start to consider the overall trade environment....More
Farmers are increasingly scrutinized and being frowned upon by consumers for their use of GMO seed. It's sometimes hard to respond to those negative comments. Here are some resources, from Facebook pages and websites to informational stories we have written, to share with people who may not understand the science and technology behind GMOs, not to mention the benefits!
The list of insects and diseases that can attack your corn fields is long. Thanks to DuPont Pioneer, we have a great chart at which corn growth stages to scout for what. The roundup offers all the common bugs, worms and diseases and at which leaf and growth stage to scout. For example, look for seedcorn maggot and wireworms at VE to V3. Scout for Goss's wilt from V3 to V9....More
“Agriculture is the story of productivity: doing old things better,” says Mark Drabenstott, a global economist, Federal Reserve 25-year veteran. “The future belongs to those who innovate, doing better things. Commodity markets require even more risk management in an ever-riskier environment."...More
Farmers across the U.S. are nearly finished planting corn, and almost three-quarters of what's been planted has emerged. Soybean planting is more than half complete, and almost a third of the overall crop has emerged....More
After an almost perfect planting season through late April and early May in most of the Upper Midwest, a few more crop challenges have occurred in the past couple of weeks. The biggest overall concern in the past couple of weeks has been the extended period of cool, cloudy weather, which has slowed plant growth, and caused some plant discoloration. The extended forecast appears to be more favorable from a temperature standpoint....More
Keith Grimm hates to let valuable water drain away. So the Hiawatha, Kan., farmer and his two brothers collect runoff in reservoirs at field edges, then pump it back onto crops through center pivots....More
If you look back five years, what would you have said then compared to where we are today? Let’s dial the time machine back to 2010 and examine some of the hits and misses in economic projections....More
The 5 ag stories to read this week reminds growers to scout for cutworms and slugs, and shows that healthier soil will capture and hold more water. Read about the most recent farm labor rates and wages and learn how weed stress will impact corn genetics as the growing season progresses. Finally, enjoy a meeting of the farm field and baseball field.
Cool, wet weather in the Upper Midwest contrasted with warm conditions in the Ohio Valley. In the eastern Corn Belt, planting proceeded between occasional showers. In the upper Midwest, cool, rainy weather provided much-needed moisture, following a period of rapid planting, but slowed corn and soybean emergence and development.
I gave a recent conference attendee an assignment to complete during his nearly two hour drive home that evening. His assignment was to come up with 10 perspectives from my speech and give them to mom to turn in when she returned the next morning. And he did. From moderation in family living cost to knowing your bottom line, that young college student picked up my tips for success....More
The USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report released on May 12 was regarded as mainly neutral for the corn market and bearish for the soybean market in the coming months. The May report showed slightly higher corn ending stocks for 2014-15, and slightly lower soybean ending stocks, as compared to the April Report. Corn stocks are expected to decline slightly by the end of the 2015-16 marketing year, while the ending stocks for soybeans are expected to increase by 43% during that time. The 2015-16 marketing year runs from September 1, 2015 to August 31, 2016....More
Heather Oden says today’s female generation can benefit from being part of what has been a predominantly male industry. “Today’s production agriculture creates opportunities for women that we did not have before. Sometimes I stand out in a meeting because I am a female. That gives me a platform to educate other farmers about my role on the farm."...More
Amid an ongoing worldwide slump in grain prices, Eighth District agricultural bankers reported a continued decline in farm income during the first quarter of 2015 compared with the previous year, according to latest Agricultural Finance Monitor. The average value of quality farmland also declined, with this trend expected to continue during the second quarter....More
Shifting weather patterns brought warm, mostly dry weather to the eastern Corn Belt, while showers boosted topsoil moisture in the upper Midwest. At week’s end, a significant, late-season storm was underway across the nation’s mid-section, halting fieldwork but providing beneficial moisture for winter grains and newly planted summer crops.
In late March, USDA announced some proposed revisions to the actively engaged rules that are designed to further clarify some of the definitions and rules surrounding the requirement for management in a farm operation. This could potentially restrict certain individuals that currently qualify for farm program payments from potentially having future farm program payment eligibility beginning with the 2016 crop year....More
Last week we talked about cash flow, sensitivity analyses and liquidity and how those matter when working with your ag lender. This week, lets go over the importance of a business plan, communications and productive assets....More
Farmer and ag ambassador Quint Pottinger explains the three legs of farming to consumers: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and social sustainability (i.e., public support). “If we can’t convey a positive image of agriculture and the value it brings every family, then we run the risk of negative legislation that constricts our freedom to operate," he says....More
Farmers across the U.S. were busy in the field this past week, jumping 20 points on the planting progress scale for corn, hitting a total of 75% planted overall. Those planting soybeans made huge progress, too, with nearly one-third of the overall crop in the ground by May 10....More
Sub-$4 per bushel corn futures continue to strain markets as a large old-crop carryover and lower feed demand hold down prices. December 2015 corn futures closed Friday at just over $3.78, meaning many farmers are seeing $3.50 or lower cash markets, depending on their local basis....More