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A Late Planting Season Lesson

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The late start to the growing season in the corn belt and the northern plains has farmers and traders worried. But, as a commodity marketing class at the University of Illinois found out there is much more to be learned from the data. This 400 level agricultural college class taught by Scott Irwin includes guest lectures by Illinois alum involved in price discovery. In this case, Mike Tannura from T-storm Weather in Chicago is teaching them about how the weather and the markets work together. Right now he tells them is a good example of a weather market. The cold, the snow storms, the damp air hasn’t allowed farmers from Ohio to North Dakota to really begin the planting season says Tannura, “In an ideal world, you would plant all your corn and all your soybeans in a very timely manner. It would all be wrapped up by sometime in the middle of May. Given where we are today, if it turns out to be wet in the first week or two of May, then everybody is going to fall behind”.The trick is to …

2018 Acreage Decisions: Steady as She Goes in Rough Waters

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read farmdocDaily article

The price of corn and soybeans has been swinging on trade threats and changing acreage mixes in the United States. However, those price movements have yet to change the relative profitability between corn and soybeans writes Gary Schnitkey on the farmdocDaily website this week.

Soybeans remain more profitable than corn in the University of Illinois agricultural economist’s crop budgets, but the difference between them has narrowed. Schnitkey says the risks of significant price declines have increased, particularly for soybeans and that hedging a large percentage of 2018 expected soybean production seems prudent.

Current prices are higher than earlier in the winter. The central Illinois fall delivery bids on April 6, 2018 were $3.80 for corn and $10.00 per bushel for soybeans. Budgets based on these fall delivery bids are shown in Table 1.



Panel A shows budget for high productivity farmland in central Illinois. The operator and land return for corn is $256 per…

No Good Way for Perdue to Protect Farmers

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President Trump has asked the Secretary of Agriculture to protect U.S. farmers from the trade dispute with China. However, there aren’t many options for Sonny Perdue.Last week Sonny Perdue was on the road for his second RV tour of farm country. His first tour was last summer. That’s when he told producers he would be their salesman to the world. Now he’s being asked to be their protector in the face of trade restrictions, some in place others proposed, as President Trump sets about rectifying what he sees as unfair trade with China. However, Perdue isn’t saying what he’ll do for farmers and there may be a good reason that’s the case says University of Illnois Ag Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess, “There are not a lot options for the Secretary when it comes to the covered commodities.”Typically USDA lawyers will explain there is flexibility in the original CCC charter act and the general powers to improve prices. Yet, because Congress has stepped in and directed spending for commoditi…

Will Soybean Ending Stocks Get Larger

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by Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
read farmdocdaily article

Recent rumblings of potential tariffs by China on U.S. soybeans created a stir last week. While the market reacts to the uncertainty associated with trade policy, the upcoming WASDE report, on April 10, will update soybean use projections for this marketing year. The USDA may revise the forecast of ending stocks for soybeans during the current marketing year due to weaker than projected soybean export pace and stronger crush numbers.

The current USDA projection for soybean ending stocks during the 2017–18 marketing year sits at 555 million bushels, an increase of 130 million bushels since the November projection. The steady increase in ending stock projections is due to decreasing export projections. Current USDA soybean export projections for this marketing year are 2.065 billion bushels. On April 5, the Census Bureau released export estimates for February. The updated export estimates for soybea…

Jonathan Coppess Breaks Down Trump Trade Issues

The first week of April has been tumultuous for American agriculture. Todd Gleason talks with Jonathan Coppess about how the Trump Administration has been handling trade with China, the NAFTA negotiations, and biofuels.

How to Properly Use Dicamba on Soybeans

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As the growing season approaches it is important for farmers to understand how to use dicamba on resistant soybean varieties. Todd Gleason has more with University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager.



The following is an excerpt from the March 23 farmdocdaily article posted by University of Illinois Weed Scientist Aaron Hager.

Steps for Successful Weed Management in Dicamba-Resistant Soybean

Step 1
plant dicamba soybean seed into a weed-free seedbedachieve a weed-free seedbed through the use of preplant tillage, an effective burndown herbicide(s), or a combination of tillage and burndown herbicides Step 2:
select and apply within 7 days of planting a soil-residual herbicide that targets your most problematic weed species; if desired (and labeled), add dicamba and an appropriate bufferfor waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, select a product containing the active ingredients from one of the following categories of control:ExcellentGoodAcceptablesulfentrazonepyroxasu…

A New Firmer Tone for Corn Prices

Last week’s USDA reports solidified the more positive outlook the trade has had for corn. Todd Gleason has more from the University of Illinois with commodity markets specialist Todd Hubbs.

Cash Rents and the 2019 Growing Season

Professional farm managers in the state of Illinois have completed a cash rent survey. Todd Gleason reports it is a fairly go indicator of where cash rents in the state can be expected to go. He talked with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey about the results.

Dry Cows | 10 Steps for a Successful Transition Period

Nutrition and management of the dry dairy cow has been an area of extensive research over the last 25 years. Although nutritional requirements during this phase are fairly simple, the sudden transition from non-lactating to lactating state – as well as the physiologic and metabolic processes associated with it – make the transition period a fascinating and important stage of the production cycle of the dairy cow.read more from the Dairy Focus Newsletter
read more from the Dairy Focus Newsletter

Export Outlook for Soybeans

read farmdocDaily articleRecent data on the soybean export pace indicates stronger weekly sales. This offers hope for meeting the USDA marketing year export projection. The size of the 2018 crop in South America and the competitiveness of U.S. export prices, says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs, remain essential to determining U.S. export possibilities for the remainder of the marketing year.
ILLINOIS Ag Economist Todd Hubbs discusses the potential for U.S. soybean exports to meet USDA’s stated marketing year goal with Todd Gleason.

Exceptional Corn and Soybean Yields in 2017

read farmdocDaily articleMany areas of the country had above trend yields in 2017. While still not the majority, county yields of over 200 bushels per acre are becoming common and may be expected in the center of the corn-belt. Similarly, counties with over 60 bushels per acre are occurring with some regularity. Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey.

Designing & Planting a Windbreak

Right now may be a very good time to consider creating a windbreak for your home or farm. Todd Gleason has more on how with Duane Friend from University of Illinois Extension.

Avoid Invasives, Plant Natives this Spring

Invasive plant species in our natural areas can wreak havoc for wildlife. These invasive plants can reduce nesting sites or add confusion for birds causing them to nest too early, reduce insect and pollinator food and habitat and drastically reduce native plant populations. Todd Gleason talks with Illinois Extension’s Kelly Allsup about native alternatives to some popular landscape plants.