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Showing posts from 2014

RFS2 Set to Ramp up Biodiesel Usage

U.S. EPA has stalled the release of the annual usage mandates for bio fuels in the United States. These are due out each November, but neither the 2014 or 2015 figures have been released. EPA says it will put forth new numbers next spring. In the meantime, it might be important to consider just how using the default numbers would play out for the production of ethanol and biodiesel.



The United States congress set renewable fuels mandates a few years ago. It also gave U.S. EPA the power to adjust those mandates. EPA hasn’t done so for the 2014 calendar year, or for 2015. We’ll dispose of the political baggage and simply focus on the results of using the default statutes written into the law.

Ethanol Production Profits Dim as Gasoline Prices Plummet

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by Scott Irwin & Darrel Good

The magnitude of the decline in crude oil and gasoline prices has taken nearly everyone by surprise. NYMEX nearby crude oil futures this week touched $60 per barrel, almost $50 less than peak prices last summer. This is a major economic event with potentially far-reaching impacts for biofuels markets. We examined some of these impacts in two recent farmdoc daily articles (November 12, 2014; December 4, 2014). Our conclusion was that current high ethanol prices relative to gasoline prices, as illustrated in Figure 1, might slow the growth in domestic ethanol consumption, but would not likely result in consumption that is less than the 10 percent blend wall. In contrast, the high price ratio may represent a threat to

The Pace of Corn Consumption

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Darrel Good, Ag Economist – University of Illinois

Now that the nation’s corn harvest is complete, traders have turned their full attention to the rate at which the crop is being used. Todd Gleason has more on the pace of corn consumption.
There are three primary uses for corn…

Crude Oil Crash - Start Pricing Needs

Each Tuesday during the Closing Market Report we talk with an energy analyst. This week Growmark's Harry Cooney turned his attention to OPEC, the dramatic drop in the price of a barrel of crude oil, and what to do about pricing 2015 fuel needs. You may listen to the conversation here.

WILLAg Farm Assets Outlook Panel Discussions

Old Iron Plowing Fever

Farm Assets Conference Tickets Available Now

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FARM ASSETS CONFERENCE
10:15am - 5:00pm November 24, 2014Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
201 Broadway St, Normal, IL 61761 This is a new signature event for WILLAg.

The WILLAg Farm Assets Conference sponsored in part by the Farm Credit System hopes to provide farmers and landowners decision​making tools for their business assets. The $25 registration fee includes the noon meal. Those attending can expect to hear pricing information on agricultural commodities from WILLAg’s regular ON AIR experts, learn how the new farm bill might impact crop insurance decisions going forward, to effectively analyze and choose between the new federal ARC and PLC programs, and explore the value of farm land.

Corn & Soybean Commodity Distribution

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A G R I C U L T U R E University  of  Illinois
Todd E. Gleason, Farm Broadcaster
1301 W Gregory Dr, Rm75  MC710 College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences
Urbana, Illinois  61801

tgleason@illinois.edu
work (217) 333-9697





POPULATION NOTES

* 0001 - 200 million people on the planet

* 1800 - 1 billion people on the planet
   - 300 man hours to produce 100 bushels wheat from

Ag Census Mapping Tool Makes Data Visual

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Every five years the United States Department of Agriculture takes a census. USDA NASS collects all kinds of data about farm production in the U.S.A. The agency has developed a tool to map this data. It is a way to visualize agricultural production, income, wealth distribution, management type, and the demographics of farmers. These three maps show the primary growing regions for corn, soybean, and wheat. The darkest green areas represent acres where the cropland is at least 45 percent sown to the crop listed. The corn belt is easy to see, and not that much of a surprise. However, the primary soybean growing regions of the nation are bit more diverse than you might expect and seem to follow the Mississippi Valley watershed from New Orleans to St. Louis, along the Ohio River Valley and the mighty Missouri River.

How Many Corn Acres in 2015

If corn farmers want a break even price for their crop next year, they’ll need to plant fewer acres of it. Todd Gleason has more on how one ag economist has forward figured the number of corn acres needed in 2015 to push cash prices back above four dollars a bushels.

Store Corn for Higher Prices Later

The price of corn isn’t great if you are a farmer trying to sell it at a profit. However, the good news may be that prices later in this year and next are likely to get better.

Tuscola, Illinois - Small Town Big Impact

Today Tuscola, Illinois will announce it will be home to a new granular urea plant. It will be built by Cronus and employee nearly 200 on completion. The plant will provide farmers within a 150 mile radius a local source for nitrogen fertilizer.

The video included here was produced by the City of Tuscola to highlight its agricultural industrial complex.

USDA Finalizes Farm Program Rules

by Jonathan Coppess, Gary Schnitkey, Nick Paulson, and Carl Zulauf
University of Illinois College of ACES and The Ohio State University

Thursday, September 25, 2014, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the regulations for the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs created by the 2014 Farm Bill. Along with the regulation, Secretary Vilsack also announced the public release of the web-based decision tools that have been developed under cooperative agreements with the Farm Service Agency. This article provides more information on these items. Background The Agriculture Act of 2014 (the 2014 Farm Bill) revised the commodity support programs beginning with the 2014 crop year. Direct payments, counter-cyclical payments and the Average Crop Revenue Election payments were eliminated by this farm bill. In place of those support programs, three new programs were created for covered commodities or program crops. These programs are: Agriculture Risk…

USDA Updates Cash Rents by County

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In recent weeks, two sources released cash rent information for Illinois. The U.S. Department of Agriculture released county average cash rents for 2014. The Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers released 2014 and expected 2015 cash rents for professionally managed farmland. Expected 2015 rents point to decreasing cash rent levels on professionally managed farmland. Whether or not other cash rents follow professionally managed cash rents down is an open question.

Average Cash Rents in Illinois

The National Agricultural Statistical Service (NASS) - an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture - released 2014 average rents per county on September 5, 2014. A number of counties do not have cash rents reported, likely because statistically reliable rents could not be obtained with survey responses.

As can be seen in Figure 1, there is a considerable range in cash rents across Illinois. Four counties had average cash rents over $300 per acre: Logan ($308 per…

Setting Silage Chop for Best Digestion

Corn silage can make up to as much as thirty to forty percent of a dairy cow’s diet. So, it is really important to get it right. That starts in the field. See more on some University of Illinois work on harvesting silage.

ILLINOIS' Carl Bradley on SDS & White Mold in Soybean

Some farmers like to see a little SDS because it occurs more often in high yield years for soybeans.

…anecdotal


Conserving Soil & Protecting Water - it's kinda what we do...

Farm Program Decision & WILLAg Outlook Panels Scheduled

Book your WILLAg event today for this fall or winter. We'll be glad to work with you to set up a WILLAg Panel of analysts to discuss the commodity markets, arrange for University of Illinois campus based agricultural specialists in economics, crops, or livestock, or simply to come speak to your group or organization. Contact Todd Gleason for complete details.

Todd E. Gleason, Farm Broadcaster
College of ACES / Univesity of Illinois Extension
tgleason@illinois.edu or (217) 333-9697

Click on an event for complete details...

August Corn Estimates

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Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour results are plotted here against the United States Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistic Service corn yield projections and the Pro Farmer Newsletter estimates. USDA NASS estimates are as of August 1, 2014 and the Pro Farmer crop tour yields were taken the week beginning Monday August 18. The Pro Farmer estimates were made August 22, 2014. The final Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour estimates tallied corn and soybean yields across seven Midwestern states stretching through the primary corn growing counties in the United States. The tour is watched closely by those in the grain and oilseed trade. However, it should be noted USDA gathers much more objective and survey based information about the size of U.S. crops.  -- 2014 Midwest Pro Farmer Tour Results Corn        Soybean      State 182.11     1342.42       Ohio
185.03     1220.79       Indiana
196.96     1299.17       Illinois
178.75     1173.59       Iowa
163.77     1103.26       Nebraska

ARC-CO and PLC Payment Indicator Using August WASDE U.S. Yield and Price

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by Carl Zulauf, The Ohio State University & Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois The 2014 farm bill gives Farm Service Agency (FSA) farm owners the option to choose their crop program for the 2014 through 2018 crop years. A factor, perhaps key factor that will influence this decision is the payment by the program choices for the 2014 crop year. This article uses the just released U.S. yield and price estimates in the August 2014 World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) to calculate an indicator of potential payments by the Agriculture Revenue Coverage - county program (ARC-CO) and the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. The indicator estimates are for the 2014 crop year for barley, corn, oats, long grain rice, medium (and short) grain rice, sorghum, soybeans, and wheat.  These are indicator estimates because they use U.S. yield not county yield or farm payment yield, as ARC-CO and PLC use, respectively.  AR-CO payments, for example, will vary across counties, with …

Ag Economist Darrel Good Discusses August USDA Reports

Four Items of Interest for the Week of August 10, 2014

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U of I Agronomy Day Thursday A note for the weekend with four items from Todd Gleason ACES / Extension / WILLAg. Check out WILLAg's Commodity Week! I tried an experimental format and would like to know what you think. Panelist included Matt Bennett, Jacquie Voeks, & Mike Zuzolo. Shoot me an email with your thoughts - tgleason@illinois.edu.Watch your email for WILLAg's Crop Production & WASDE Newsletter special from Dave Dickey. The reports are due out from USDA at 11am central Tuesday.Thursday is Agronomy Day on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign. Todd will emcee the day on the south farms just east of the State Farm Center (the Assembly Hall) on St. Mary's road. See details a bit further down.Thursday night kicks off the fall WILLAg Outlook Panel schedule in Shelbyville. The details are slow coming in on that one, but check out this webpage Monday for the finalized event. Todd Gleason tgleason@illinois.edu (217) 333-9697 twitter @commodityweek
ht…

Would You Eat GMO Sweetcorn

USDA says ARC/PLC Sign Up Winter 2015

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Friday the United States Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency made a series of announcements related to the new farm programs' signup period. Farmers will make final irrevocable decisions between the ARC & PLC programs sometime after January 1, 2015.

Letters are in the mail this month notifying farm operators of current base acres and yields, along with 2009-2012 planting histories. The letter asks these numbers be confirmed or updated as the first part of the sign up process. 
Online tools are under development at the University of Illinois to aid producers throughout the nation. Those tools may be ready by the official end of summer (September 22, 2014), but have not yet been released.

The following note was posted the USDA FSA website August 1, 2014;

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2014 — U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia announced today that farmers should start receiving notices updating them on their current base ac…

It is True – 20% of the Farms Produce Most of the Value

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The 2012 Census of Agriculture hold many unique facts. Researchers at the University of Illinois have been digging through the numbers to find some plumbs. Todd Gleason reports it seems an old adage is borne out by the figures.

There were about 75 thousand farms in Illinois when the 2012 Census of Agriculture was taken by the United Stated Department of Agriculture. The census, by two different measures – acreage operated & value of production – suggests the majority of Illinois farms are small by either categorization. However, there are two interesting facts that flow with these categorizations. The smaller the farm the more likely it is to produce livestock of less total value, and the larger the farm the more likely it is to produce crops – mostly grains and oilseeds - of much greater value.

The Census of Agriculture defines a farm as any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the reference year…

Storing the 2014 Corn Crop

URBANA, IL. – The majority of annually produced crops such as corn obviously have to be stored. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, for corn producers, the question at harvest time will be who will store the portion of the crop which has not yet been sold.



“The portion of the crop that has not been sold can be sold at harvest for someone else to store, or the producer can store the crop on the farm or in commercial facilities,” said Darrel Good. “For the portion of the crop stored by the producer, the second question is whether the stored crop should be priced for later delivery or held unpriced. That decision is influenced by the magnitude of the carry in the corn market, the cost of storage, and expectations about the change in corn prices after harvest.”

Good explained that for corn that is stored and priced for later delivery, the price for later delivery needs to

Will Crop Insurance Make Payments in 2014?

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by Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois

In Illinois, crop insurance payments on corn likely will be lower in 2014 than in 2012 and 2013. Crop insurance payments in 2014 likely will not be large for soybeans. For both corn and soybeans, harvest prices will be lower than projected prices. However, above average yields likely will counter price decreases, leading to low crop insurance payments. Somewhat ironically, crop insurance payments likely will be lower in 2014 than in 2012 and 2013. At the same time, revenue and returns will be much lower in 2014 than in 2012 and 2013.

Product Choices of Farmers

In this article, focus is placed on revenue insurance products at high coverage levels, as most farmers purchase these products. The four revenue products available in

Fish Farm Challenge

The National 4-H Foundation and Monsanto have put together an educational series for kids at summer camp. Learn how the Fish Farm Challenge is helping boys and girls understand world hunger, world population, science, and engineering.

EPA Administrator McCarthy Speech to Agriculture

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SPEECH EXCERPTS from U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy's July 10, 2014 speech on the Clean Water Act proposal that United States agricultural interest fear will broaden the 'navigable waters' definition leading to greater governmental regulation of farm ditches, etc.
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Today, I’m here to talk about our Clean Water Act proposal, which was called for by the Supreme Court and by numerous state organizations, as well as numerous agriculture stakeholder groups. The aim of this proposal is clear: to clear up legal confusion and protect waters that are vital to our health, using sound science so that EPA can get its job done. It is crucial that we keep farmers and the ag industry as a whole doing what they do best: producing the food, fuel, and fiber that provide for our American way of life. The kinds of water bodies we’ll protect provide drinking water to 1 in 3 Americans.
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We agree that people have a right to healthy land and clean water, so we have to make sure peop…

What if this is an 173.6 bpa year?

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This week University of Illinois ag economist Scott Irwin and Darrel Good have posted an article to the farmdocdaily website. It poises the question of just how big a really big United States corn yield could become. The answer, based on past history, is 173.6 bushels to the acre. 
That's the average bpa deviation of the previous 6 largest deviations from trend yield since 1960. Those are shown in the included graph. The largest percentage deviation in the trend came in 1972 at 15.2 percent. 
While the crop conditions reported by USDA each Monday support the potential for such a record setting national average yield for corn, the two caution this year does not following the normal pattern of the other six. The normal pattern is for near or just above normal rainfall and lower than average temperatures in the three I states; Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. However, the number one corn producing state of those three (and the nation), Iowa, had nearly twice the June rain. 
"There i…

Risky Business Study with Cargill's Greg Page

A group of business people and political leaders have released a project called Risky Business. University of Illinois Extension's Todd Gleason has more on the study and how it might be used in the Midwest to assess and mitigate the financial risk associated with climate change with Cargill's Chairman of the Board Greg Page.

Click on the arrow below to listen to the interview. You may visit www.riskybusiness.org for more complete details of the study.

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Check out the corn and soybean field conditions in this little video from the Gleason Farms in Logan County, Illinois. The corn looks, well, GREAT - and the soybeans are flowering! 

June 30, 2014

USDA released the annual Acreage and quarterly Grain Stocks reports at 11am central time today.




ACREAGE

Corn Planted Acreage Down 4 Percent from 2013
Soybean Acreage Up 11 Percent
All Wheat Acreage Up Less Than 1 Percent
All Cotton Acreage Up 9 Percent

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2014 is estimated at 91.6 million
acres, down 4 percent from last year. This represents the lowest planted
acreage in the United States since 2010; however, this is the fifth largest
corn acreage in the United States since 1944.

Soybean planted area for 2014 is estimated at a record high 84.8 million
acres, up 11 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 84.1 million acres,
is up 11 percent from 2013 and will be a record high by more than 7.4 million
acres, if realized. Record high planted acreage…

Chris Hurt says Same Pounds of Pork & Same Corn Fed

Friday USDA released the Quarterly Hogs & Pigs report. During an interview late Friday afternoon Purdue Extension Ag Economist Chris Hurt said the figures show, as it relates to the amount of corn consumed by the nation's hog herd, the lower number of animals coming to market now because of PEDv is offset by heavier weights. Essentially, Hurt says feeding fewer pigs to heavier weights consumes about the same amount of corn (he thinks) and produces about the same amount of pork.



You may read Chris Hurt's thoughts on the livestock market once a month in The Weekly Outlook posted to the FarmDocDaily website during the noon hour on Mondays.

USDA June 2014 Grain Stocks & Acreage Reports

Grain StocksUSDA June EstimateAverageRangesJune 2013March 2014Corn3,7233,046-4,0502,7667,006Soybean382334-440435992Wheat597561-6337181,056
AcreageUSDA June EstimateAverageRangeMarch 20142013Corn91.70991.00-92.5091.69195.365Soybean82.21381.30-84.0081.49376.533All Wheat55.77754.80-56.5055.81556.156    Spring11.93711.30-12.2012.00911.596    Durum 1.795  1.69- 1.90  1.799  1.470

Wheat Head Scab in SRW Crop

The nation's wheat crop is suffering from too much rainfall. It is causing harvest delays in the hard red winter wheat growing regions of the southwestern United States, and the development of disease issues in the southern Illinois soft red winter wheat crop.

Agronomy Day August 14, 2014

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Visit the Agronomy Day Home Page now!

Art on the Roadside

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Photographers call the time before sunset the golden hour. The light bends and shimmers across the landscape from a very low angle. It is a beautiful time of day to take pictures. 



You might say the sun paints the planet with golden light.


These photos were taken during my evening walk Sunday June 15, 2014 near my childhood home outside Elkhart, Illinois. They were shot facing the southeast with the sun directly at my back.

Nature does the best job of painting the landscape, however an app called Waterlogue helped me create an interesting artistic view of the art on the roadside.

ILLINOIS' Darrel Good on June WASDE

USDA WASDE Report

Hog Prices Take Big Drop: What Next?

Traders in Chicago have a better handle on a disease in the nation’s hog herd. Lean hog futures have responded by moving lower. Purdue Ag Economist Chris Hurt has more on why the price of pork is on the decline.

Visit a Grain Elevator on a Sunday Afternoon

Some Sunday this summer you should make the drive to Atlanta, Illinois and tour the old grain elevator. It stopped taking in corn long ago and sat unused for years. Then the townsfolk decided, in the mid 1990’s, to refurbish the J. H. Hawes Grain elevator. Today it is a museum on the registry of historical places in the United States. You can learn more on the museum website.


The J. H. Hawes Grain Elevator and Musuem is open to visitors from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday afternoon in June, July, and August. Here are few facts and figures about the machinery in the elevator.

the old gas engine that operates the elevator runs at 400 r-p-m and puts out 10 horsepowerthe pulley system inside the building is driven by a single rope 280 feet longthe total capacity of the elevator is twenty-nine thousand bushels

All About PEDv

Skype Capable of Real Time Language Translation

Your browser does not support iframes.
Skype, now owned by Microsoft, may soon be able to translate speech in real time. The company demoed this new kind of magic on stage. It would allow people to converse in their native (but different) languages.

Skype is one of my favorite broadcast tools. I use it every day and cannot wait to see how it might handle a conversation translation about on farm conditions in China, Ukraine, Argentina, and Brazil.

The Last Post & Red Poppies

Flying Old Glory

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Memorial Day we honor and remember those that gave their lives for freedom. Please remember to fly the U.S. flag at half staff until noon. Thee United States Flag Code lays out in detail when and how the flag is to be displayed along with other information. What follows is a short excerpt from the code.


The Flag Code — History and Text

On June 22, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt approved House Joint Resolution 303 codifying the existing customs and rules governing the display and use of the flag of the United States by civilians. Amendents were approved on December 22nd of that year. The law included provisions of the code adopted by the National Flag Conference, held in Washington, D.C. on June 14, 1923, with certain amendments and additions. The Code was reenacted, with minor amendments, as part of the Bicentennial celebration. In the 105th Congress, the Flag Code was removed from title 36 of the United States Code and recodified as part of title 4.


Title 4 United States Code (e…

Accuracy of USDA Forecasts of Corn Ending Stocks

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Two University of Illinois ag economist have looked at the accuracy of USDA forecasts of corn ending stocks. You may read the full report on the accuracy of USDA ending stocks for corn on the Farm Doc Daily website. The post is written by Darrel Good and Scott Irwin.

In it the two summarize the accuracy of WASDE forecasts of marketing year ending stocks of U.S. corn from 1990 to last year’s harvest by marketing year. They also discuss the implications for the May 2014 WASDE ending stocks estimates that was just released by USDA.   Three main implications emerge.  First they report, WASDE ending stocks projections for U.S. corn across the forecasting cycle are basically unbiased, if having a slight tendency towards under-estimation of the final number. Second, the first WASDE estimate of ending stocks for U.S. corn, always released in May before harvest, has a large potential range of errors.  This is sensible since the ending stocks forecast at this early point in the forecasting cycl…

ILLINOIS' Darrel Good Not Convinced Corn Prices Should Go Lower

USDA’s latest projections raised corn exports by one-hundred-fifty million bushels. It means shippers will need to load-out a lot of corn over the next three months says University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good.

The ILLINOIS number cruncher wrote about corn consumption in his May 12, 2014 Weekly Outlook, "Although other factors may have contributed, corn prices declined following the release of the new WASDE ending stocks projections. Given the surprisingly large level of consumption of U.S corn that has unfolded this year and planting season weather that may pose a threat to both planted acreage and yield in some areas, the price weakness appears to be premature".

 Read more from Darrel Good's article on the FarmDocDaily website.

Political Support for Bio-Diesel

Support for biodiesel made from soybeans is coming to a head in Washington, D.C. Farmers, politicians, and biodiesel producers want continued support of the renewable fuel.

EPA's McCarthy Understands Corn Relies on the RFS

New RFS rules are likely to be released in June. Todd Gleason reports EPA believes it understands the importance of the rule to the nation's corn farmers.

Yield Loss & Delayed Planting

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University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger has penned an article on delayed planting and yield loss. You can read it online http://t.co/6coHa5jIBc

Glauber on the U.S. Grain & Oilseed Supply

USDA's Joseph Glauber talked with members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting earlier this week. The discussion considered ending stocks, rebounding corn and soybean supplies, exports, and the Lock Up.

Washington Watch

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This week I am working from the farm broadcaster's annual spring event in Washington, D.C.

Arrived Reagan National at 11:29 today. Was checked into the hotel and having lunch within 40 minutes thanks to a quick ride on the light rail line. The left of this photo shows the subway entrance near my hotel and the food trucks.

I overheard someone saying they followed the Gyro truck online and that it had been a week since it was at this station.

Delicious lunch choice for $7.00.



More Illinois Counties Confirmed Cry3Bb1 WCR Resistant

SOIL INSECTICIDE + Bt PYRAMID A BAD IDEA The resistance is getting stronger in Illinois. It's been just over a decade since the introduction of Bt hybrids capable of fending off the western corn rootworm. University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Mike Gray says six counties in the state are affected, with more to come.

Palmer Amaranth Untreatable 10 Days after Emergence

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University of Illinois Weed Scientist Aaron Hager is urging farmers to diligently control a new weed species in the state. Palmer amaranth plants reached a 4-inch height less than 10 days after emergence. Palmer is very hard to control after it is taller than four inches. You can read more from Aaron Hager on the weed in The Bulletin.



State of Overwintering Row Crop Insect Pests

Tough to Predict U.S. Growing Regions Weather

There are a handful of meteorologists on the planet that follow weather in all the places farmers grow commodity crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and rice. Each is likely to tell you the most difficult forecast to produce is for the Midwest.

Visit tStorm Weather's Website

Check out Farmers from around the Globe

Farmer Derek Klingenberg likes to make videos. He does a great job. #WeAreFaming

CME Grain & Oilseed Trading Limits to Change Regularly

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The CME Group Inc said today it will implement a new system for setting daily price limits for U.S. grain and oilseed futures starting next month. It will regularly change the limits to markets including corn, soybeans and wheat. These will reset twice a year with the change based on underlying price levels. CME will also remove price limits for all grain and oilseed options.

Both changes are set to take effect the first trading day of May which begins the evening of Wednesday April 30th. The semi annual adjustment of the limits will widen the trading range during periods of higher prices and narrow the limits when market prices are lower.

The reset dates will be the first trading day in May and the first day in November.

On May 1, the initial daily limit for corn will drop to 35 cents a bushel from 40 cents, rise to $1.00 from 70 cents for soybeans, and drop to 45 cents a bushel from 60 cents for CBOT soft red winter wheat.


10pm on Saturday Night

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It can be lonely on the farm. However, it sure looks like Twitter is letting guys striving for the same thing talk in realtime when they're busy. This 'screen shot' is a 10pm Saturday night conversation from a western Illinois farmer. He simply asked for a roll call of who was still in the field. The answers came back from across the Midwest.

No Signs of Weakening Soybean Exports

U.S. grown soybeans are being shipped out of the nation at an astounding pace and, as you'll hear from University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good, there doesn't appear to be any slowdown in the movement.

Corn Consumption Continues to Exceed Projections

Farmers are going to the field this spring feeling much better about the price of corn. Todd Gleason has more on the reasons why things have gone from dire to acceptable.

Forward Figuring Corn & Soybean Ending Stocks

The March reports released by the United States Department of Agriculture can be used to estimate how much corn and soybeans will be left in the nation for this fall and next. Todd Gleason has more on the calculations from the University of Illinois.

USDA April 9, 2014 World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates

Bt Resistance Rant

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April 3, 2014 Mike Gray posted a note into the University of Illinois IPM bulletin about the addition of three more counties to the Yieldgard resistant western corn rootworm saga. The Entomologist also reprimanded the industry for not taking academic recommendations on management of GMO products seriously a decade ago. You may read the FULL ARTICLE here, and an excerpt below.
"While the greater implementation of best management practices is a step in the right direction — let’s be clear, these practices should have been in place when Bt corn rootworm hybrids were first used over 10 years ago. Accelerated reliance upon the pyramided Bt rootworm products with reduced seed blend refuges will not solve this resistance management challenge. Increased use of soil insecticides, along with Bt rootworm hybrids, will likely only exacerbate resistance development. As I have done in the past, I urge producers to implement a long-term integrated pest management approach for corn rootworms. T…

EIA Press Release on Ethanol Price Spike

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APRIL 3, 2014
Rail congestion, cold weather raise ethanol spot prices
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration based on Oil Price Information Service (ethanol prices) and Thomson Reuters (RBOB prices).
Note: RBOB is reformulated blendstock for oxygenate blending gasoline, a motor gasoline blending component intended for blending oxygenates to produce finished reformulated gasoline. Ethanol spot prices have increased steadily since early February. By late March, New York Harbor (NYH) spot ethanol prices exceeded prices for RBOB (the petroleum component of gasoline) by more than $1 per gallon. Ethanol spot prices in Chicago and Gulf Coast markets also rose above NYH RBOB prices.

USDA Quarterly Hogs & Pigs Report - March 28, 2014

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USDA has released the March 2014 Quarterly Hogs & Pigs report. It, by most accounts, shows more inventory than the trade expected. However, the figures reported do show an impact from PED-V. This impact is, simply put, not as dramatic as the price rise has been in lean hog futures. The futures are still looking forward to what most expect to be a short market ready supply of hogs in April, May, June, and July. The following is excerpted from USDA's March 28, 2014 Quarterly Hogs & Pigs report.

Cost to Produce Corn and Soybeans in Illinois-2013

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In 2013, the total of all economic costs per acre for growing corn in Illinois averaged $1,033 in the northern section, $966 in the central section for farmland with "high" soil ratings, $951 in the central section for farmland with "low" soil ratings, and $872 in the southern section. Soybean costs per acre were $727, $715, $673 and $631, respectively (see Table 1). Costs were lower in southern Illinois primarily because of lower land costs. The total of all economic costs per bushel in the different sections of the state ranged from $4.90 to $5.20 for corn and from $12.32 to $12.88 for soybeans. Variations in this cost were related to weather, yields, and land quality.

Reports Continue to Support Corn & Soybean Prices

March is one of four months that contain an unusually large number of USDA reports. These, as you'll hear from University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good, reflect supply and demand conditions for corn and soybeans.

Grain Tube Training to Save Lives

Grain Entrapment - Those that work in and around flowing grain know just how dangerous it can be. That's why they train to be in the bins and how to extract someone that has been trapped in a bin. Todd Gleason has more from the Illinois AgriCenter in Bloomington.

Pig in a Bucket

How many of you have ever had a farm animal living in the house?

Here's a story written by a farm wife in Illinois. One of her latest blog posts is titled "The Bawling in the Basement".  It is a great little read and reminded me of a story from my childhood.

Pig in a Bucket

There was a pig in a bucket. Not its snout nuzzling in for corn or water as most pigs are prone to do when a bucket is carried into the lot, but the whole pig. A very little pig. A very little pink pig. A very little pink pig in a bucket.  A very little pink pig in a bucket in the closet. A very little pink pig in a bucket in the closet in the kitchen. Weird...

This little pink pig in a bucket was the runt of the litter. Dad had determined it would not suffer the terminal fate of most runts. So, there was a pig in a bucket in our kitchen. Mom was tasked with keeping this pig alive. It was in the closet in the kitchen because it was very warm in the closet. That's what little pigs need. Sometimes th…

Addressing Compaction

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Here's a beautifully told story about compaction.

Read it on Griggs Dakota now.

Yes, beautifully told. There is an art to good story telling and sometimes it has to do with the words, at others the visuals. Occasionally it is possible to bring a mundane story to life. If you don't believe me just check out this blog about farm life in Griggs Dakota.