West-central Wisconsin farmer Carl Oberholtzer has made no-till work. It's been a learning experience that has helped him maintain soil organic matter, with hopes of growing it as he incorporates cover crops....More
Many producers are having difficulty understanding why there is such a wide variation in the estimated 2015 ARC-CO payments from county to county, even though the counties may have had similar corn yields in 2015, based on yield estimates from the USDA....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, get some tips for prepping your sprayer and consider some points if planting Dicamba-tolerant soybeans. Read a cash-rent outlook and learn some questions to ask about biologicals. Finally, enjoy a pro-GMO resource list of pages and websites to share.
Illinois farmer Brian Parkinson thinks saturated buffers are a good fit for his farm. The conservation drainage practice diverts tile water before it reaches the outlet and reroutes it along the length of an existing grass buffer strip....More
Farmers from Iowa, Indiana and Ohio have written offer their advice and opinions on tillage, sustainability and soil health. Some agree with being progressive, and others are questioning it. What are your thoughts on being sustainable?...More
A mild winter was just right to create conditions for a higher incidence of the marestail weed on farm fields this year, says Travis Legleiter, a Purdue University weed specialist. Farmers need to do what they can to gain control of it early in the planting season, he said....More
With commodity prices falling and more negative margins, lenders are now asked to “stress test” your financial conditions as well as their agricultural portfolio. Let’s examine what is involved in “stress testing” and what may be yet to come....More
The 2016 custom farming rates for corn and soybean production declined about 5 percent compared to a year earlier. In addition to the decline in fuel costs compared to 2015 levels, repair and labor expenses increased slightly from the previous year....More
In the 5 ag stories to read this week, Read about the impact of a transitioning El Nino on 2016 yields and get seedbed prep tips. Learn about using solar on the farm and using variable-rate nitrogen prescriptions. Finally, enjoy some fun ag facts to close out National Ag Week.
Farmed potholes are consistently less profitable than upland parts of fields, and often lose money, according to a recent analysis by the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA). Tight margins and increased attention to water quality make this a good time to scrutinize pothole performance on your farm, Adam Kiel says....More
Farmers need to get serious and truly appreciate how much family living expenses can impact the profitability of a farm business. The numbers tell us that family living cost and taxes are two areas in which to capture significant savings....More
Nebraskans Angela and Kerry Knuth are streamlining their operation by: Using a new scenario-analysis tool to evaluate cropping options; saving costs with variable-rate prescriptions that reduce phosphorus on high-testing soils; testing a plan to rent out fields planted in cover crops for cattle grazing....More
Spring is about to start and that means planting season is not far behind. It’s a good time to run some fresh air through the marketing challenges that have been hanging in our closet all winter....More
I believe far too many producers right now are looking to bail themselves out by outperforming the markets. The best and most consistent marketers and investors always look to control risk first; return is simply a secondary byproduct....More
Recently, a Kansas producer of the Baby Boomer generation asked me, “Hey Doc! When will economics stabilize?” Well, it is certainly understandable for producers to seek some sense of economic normalcy in these days of economic reset. My response, however, may not deliver the comfort for which this producer was hoping, but it is definitely not all bad news. ...More
March 15 is the deadline to purchase crop insurance for the 2016 crop year for corn and soybeans. USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) recently announced the 2016 established YP, RP and RPE prices: $3.86 per bushel for corn and $8.85 per bushel for soybeans....More
Modern hybrids maintain per-plant yield in environments with low nitrogen, can bounce back from mid-season stress and have an improved ability to take up nitrogen after silking, even if they suffered from nitrogen deficiency during flowering....More
Commodity Classic is always one of my favorite events. There is so much information to take in; it's a bit overwhelming. We've pared down what we've learned so far while in New Orleans, and are sharing some of the best things we've learned, from weed resistance issues and agvocating to a money-back guarantee on prescription services.
Corn bears continue to talk about the importance of the MAY16 contract holding "psychological support" at or slightly above $3.50 per bushel. Many insiders continue to believe a technical breakdown below this level could trigger a sell-off to around $3.20....More
Higher food prices, a significant boost in greenhouse gas emissions due to land use change and major loss of forest and pasture land would be some results if genetically modified organisms in the United States were banned, according to a Purdue University study....More