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Showing posts from 2015

DowDuPont Merger of Equals

Dow and DuPont today announced the two companies would combine in a merger of equals. DowDuPont, the merged business, will then be split into three independent publicly traded companies; agriculture, material science, and speciality products.

The company's leadership, Andrew Liveris from Dow and Ed Breen from DuPont, say the projected market value of the merger is $30 billion dollars, with about a billion dollars worth of growth synergies achieved by the merger itself. Market capitalization of the new DowDuPont is $130 billion dollars.

Most current shareholders will each own approximately 50 percent of the combined company.



Listen to the closing comments from Ed Breen and Andrew Liveris from the Friday December 10, 2015 Dow Dupont merger announcement.

Link to the full DowDuPont Merger Presentation

U of I Extension Food Safety Training for School Lunch Program

The Illinois State Board of Education has awarded four and half million dollars to University of Illinois Extension. The money will be used to help with the state’s school lunch program. The Board will use Extension to provide foodservice training and education to about 4000 school lunchrooms. Family & Consumer Sciences educators will create and deliver training on child nutrition standards and the cafeteria environment. The $4.5 million, three year effort starts in January with a monthly webinar series. A web training portal will follow in March. Schools interested in training can also contact Extension for onsite customized sessions and technical assistance says University of Illinois’ Jennifer McCaffrey.

CRP 30th Anniversary Sign-up in Progress

This is the 30th anniversary of the CRP. It’s a federal program that assists agricultural producers with the cost of restoring, enhancing and protecting certain grasses, shrubs and trees to improve water quality, prevent soil erosion and reduce loss of wildlife habitat.As of September 2015, 24.2 million acres were enrolled in CRP. CRP also is protecting more than 170,000 stream miles with riparian forest and grass buffers. That’s enough to go around the world 7 times.The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture calls CRP one of the most successful conservation programs in the nation’s history saying it has helped farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor enthusiasts to set aside lands that otherwise might be put into production agriculture.USDA, for its part, suggests when commodity prices are low, enrolling sensitive, low-quality and marginal lands in CRP can be especially attractive to farmers and ranchers, as it softens the economic hardship for landowners at t…

Ethanol Production & 2016 Corn Consumption Prospects

Commodity traders are generally thinking last week’s EPA RFS rule making will cause more bushels of corn to be turned into ethanol next year. Todd Gleason reports University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good is more doubtful.Let’s start by building a corn for ethanol baseline to see why. The EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Administration, says U.S. production of fuel ethanol in 2014 totaled 14 billion 313 million gallons. That was about a billion gallons more than in 2013, and nearly 400 million gallons more than the record setting year of 2011. So, 14.313 billion gallons of ethanol were produced in 2014. During the first nine months of this year, writes Darrel Good on the Farm Doc Daily website, EIA shows production 3.6 percent larger than during the same 9 months last year. It appears October and November were on that same track, and while December looks to be off a bit, it should leave the yearly consumption at a whooping and record setting 14.745 billion gallons says…

4 Step Weed Control Plan for Corn or Soybeans

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Since the 1960’s farmers have been using herbicides to control weeds. Frankly, herbicide formulations haven’t changed that much and the weeds have managed to find ways to adapt. Todd Gleason has this four step plan from the Univesity of Illinois to control them in corn or soybeans. Some weeds have become resistant to the herbicides farmers use to control them. Others have lengthened their germination period, emerging later in the season, avoiding early spring control methods. University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager has a four step plan farmers can use to maintain a competitive edge in corn or soybeans. It starts by planting into a weed free seedbed.Quote Summary - It is easy to achieve a weed free seedbed by either replant tillage, burndown herbicide or a combination of those two. Given the challenges of weather and of resistant populations it is advisable not to plant into existing weed populations or any green vegetation without adequate control ahead of time. St…

EPA's RFS Decision will push Biodiesel Usage

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The United States Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to comply with the letter of the law as it pertains to biofuels. Todd Gleason reports this could be a boon for biodiesel made from soybeans.EPA this week announced it would force oil companies to find more ways to use renewable fuels. This is something the oil industry has resisted saying it was too difficult to use much more than the ten percent ethanol blend already found in gasoline. This is called the blend wall and is actually less than the total number of gallons of renewable fuels congress mandated be used in 2016 when it originally wrote the law. Since not all cars can burn greater than 10 percent ethanol in gasoline, and the amount of gasoline used in the United States is less than the renewable fuels mandate required by law, there is a renewable fuels gap left…something like a billion and half gallons. EPA hasn’t moved to force oil companies, yet, to find a new ways to fill that whole gap, but it closed it up big…

An Early Jump on Computing ARC-CO Payments

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Farmers and their bankers can get a jump on just how much income to expect from the ARC County program next fall. Todd Gleason has more on how NASS county yields can be used to anticipate the payments.



Farm income is down dramatically. It means farmers will be going to bankers for production loans this winter. Those loans will be used to plant next season’s crops. The bankers will be looking for every clue they can to help them make solid lending decisions. One source of income they’ll want to calculate comes from the farm programs. However, the ARC County payments won’t be figured until the fall.

It is possible to estimate these payments by substituting NASS county yields for the FSA computed yields says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey, "So, there are likely to be 2015 ARC County payments, but this will depend upon county yield levels. FSA calculates those yields, but not until the autumn of 2016. However, we can use NASS yields to come up with a pre…

Scott Irwin US EPA Nov 30 RFS Reaction

Monday the United States Environmental Protection Agency put forward the rules mandating how much of each type of renewable energy can be used in the nation’s liquid fuel supply. Just a few minutes after the announcement Todd Gleason spoke with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin about the new numbers.Scott Irwin believes the U.S. EPA in this rule making is moving swiftly towards the congressional mandated volumes for ethanol and other renewable fuels.

Four Step Weed Control Plan for 2016

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Farmers battling herbicide resistant weeds are running out of control options. University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager has this four step recommendation. You may read detailed information of his four step weed control plan online.

Farmland Prices and Farm Solvency Then & Now

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There are some big differences between the farm crisis of the 1980’s and the current situation in middle America. Then, as now, commodity price had slumped after soaring for a few years. The price of farmland had skyrocketed, too, just like now. However, unlike today interest rates were high and farmers were deep in debt when the price of farmland finally bottomed 42 percent below its high. Gary Schnitkey wanted to know what would happen today in that kind of worst case scenario. So he ran the numbers.

World Health Organization Classifies Red Meat “Probably” Carcinogenic

Monday (October 26, 2015) the World Health Organization suggested it would be good to limit the amount of red and processed meat we consume. There has been quite a firestorm in the media declaring “red meat causes cancer”.

That’s not actually what the W-H-O said in its press release. It actually classified the consumption of red meat as “probably” carcinogenic to humans. Going on to point out that processed meats, things like ham & sausage or hotdogs & corned beef, if eaten every day does increase the chance of getting colorectal cancer by 18%.

Again - red meat, steaks, pork chops and the like, “probably carcinogenic” but the 800 studies reviewed were inconclusive as a whole; processed meat - “carcinogenic”, but you’d need to eat about two ounces of it every day to increase your chance of getting colorectal cancer by 18%.
So, what does W-H-O mean by “probably carcinogenic”? Fortunately the press release, which you can find online, has links to the classifications. Red meat…

The Regular Climate Pattern of Brazil

They say it is best to keep your friends close and your …let’s go with competitors in the soybean market… even closer. Todd Gleason has this story on how weather patterns in Brazil generally unfold year in and year out.

Don't Bet the Cash Rented Farm on a Loss

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It is very difficult to give up a farm, even one that is losing money because the cash rent is too high. Todd Gleason has a few simple guidelines one might follow to help them make that decision.

Africa and Soybean Trials

The nations of Africa have struggled to feed themselves for decades. There are some places, like South Africa, that have successfully adapted some of world’s primary crops. Corn is a good example. Soybeans are also grown in Africa, but they’re not particularly high yielding varieties. Todd Gleason reports soybean breeders from three African institutions have been visiting the United States in hopes of making some improvements.

The Corn Crop is Unlikely to be Overestimated

After the Crop Production report was released last week some of the trade began to discuss the possibility USDA had overestimated the size of the U.S. corn crop. This is not very likely.USDA’s October 9 Crop Production report forecast the 2015 corn crop at about 13.6 billion bushels. That was down 30 million bushels from September and 660 million bushels smaller than last year. Commentary following the release of the report suggests some believe the corn crop is even smaller. One of the factors cited as evidence the crop may be smaller than forecast is the strong basis levels in many markets. This seems the make some sense. The argument is that a crop as large as forecast, particularly in the face of a rapid pace of harvest and a large soybean crop, would not support such a strong basis due to the resulting strong demand for storage space. That argument, however, is not completely supported by the current estimates of crop supplies thinks University of Illinois Agricultural Economist …

Working Capital on the Farm

Low commodity prices are quickly eating into the reserves farmers built up over the last several years. Todd Gleason has more on agriculture’s ‘working capital’.

Joaquin Could be Powered by Midwest Storm

The hurricane bearing down on the east coast of the United States may find new strength from a system in the middle part of the country. Joaquin is a unique weather system as hurricane’s go. First, it has developed really fast. In less than three days its gone from nothing to really something says meteorologist Mike Tannura from t-Storm weather in Chicago, Illinois.Quote Summary - This hurricane, at this point, is expected to have sustainable of 140 miles per hour. It would need to get to 155 miles per hour to reach a category five status. Category five is the highest level possible. The key to it maintaining strength is the eye of the hurricane. If it stays in tact then Joaquin will be dangerous. Even if it doesn’t the system is going to move northward and interact with a different weather system already moving through the Midwest. If the two combine Tannura says a worst case scenario develops for the east coast.Quote Summary - Then we would end up with a storm system similar to hurr…

Limited Pork Expansion

The nation’s hog farmers have done a nice of job of not over reacting to last year’s record profits. They’ve limited their expansion plans and consequently should see a good bottomline again for this year, and maybe next.For all of 2015, pork supplies are expected to be seven percent higher than in 2014. That year the price of pork averaged $76 mostly because the PED virus wreaked havoc on the industry. This years supplies have been farm more stable and supplies for 2016 should only be about one percent higher than in 2015. Hog prices are expected to average about $51 on a live weight basis for this year. Current projections for 2016 are for a similar average price and it means hog farmers will make money says Purdue Extension Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt. After the record profits of 2014, there has been concern that the industry would over-expand. At this point that concern has not developed with supply and demand anticipated to be in balance for the coming 12 months. This also …

Decreasing 2016 Cash Rents on Professionally Managed Farmland

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Cash rents on professionally-managed farmland are set to decrease next year. That’s the conclusion of a survey in the state of Illinois. Original Survey
Schnitkey Article

How to Read the FSA Acreage Dump

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Wednesday (September 16, 2015) the Farm Service Agency released a new set of numbers. While these are preliminary figures of acreage and crops, they do offer a hint of things to come in future official USDA estimates. First, it is really important to understand these numbers are raw and come with no explanation. They are simply a monthly dump of the aggregated acreage figures reported to the FSA by those participating in federal farm programs. Participation requires them to report the number of planted, failed, and prevented plant acres of each program crop. These numbers are updated by FSA from August to January. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good explains how the raw numbers make their way into the official USDA reports.Quote Summary - NASS, the official estimator of major crops, basis their estimates on surveys of producers with the final estimated based on a very large agricultural survey in December, but they do use what they call administrative data, prima…

ARC/PLC Enrollment Closes September 30th

Landowners and farmers may still have one more piece of paper to fill out for the new farm bill. Even if they’ve signed up, they may still need to enroll in the program to receive payments.



The enrollment period for ARC and PLC coverage ends September 30th. This is different from the signup for the program held earlier. Without the final enrollment contract signed University of Illinois Agricultural Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess says payments won’t be made for last year’s harvest short falls.
Quote Summary - When you made the election decision back in the spring you still had to signup for the program in order to receive the payment. That signup period is closing September 30th. So, farmers if you have not signed up, then you need to get into the FSA (Farm Service Agency Office) right away to get that taken care of. Payments, if any, from last year’s ARC and PLC program will be cleared to go out starting October 1st, 2015. The payments, as outlined in the contract language, ar…

Darrel Good Sep 11 USDA Report Reaction

This morning (Friday) USDA updated crop production numbers for corn and soybeans. Todd Gleason discussed the report with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good.

$100,000,000 of Blender Pumps for 21 States

The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture held nothing back on the University of Illinois campus this morning (Thursday Sept 10) when he talked about bio fuels and blender pumps for 21 states.

2016 Cash Rents May Need to Drop $100

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Farm income this year is going to be dramatically lower than in the past. Next year doesn’t look any better even on highly productive central Illinois soils. Todd Gleason reports farmers must cut costs to survive, and that cash rents may need to come down by as much as one-hundred-dollars per acre.

Labor Day (First Monday in September)

I’m Todd Gleason for University of Illinois Extension with a history of Labor Day in the United States. It’s adapted from a story found on the United States Embassy to Sweden’s website.Eleven-year-old Peter McGuire sold papers on the street in New York City. He shined shoes and cleaned stores and later ran errands. It was 1863 and his father, a poor Irish immigrant, had just enlisted to fight in the Civil War. Peter had to help support his mother and six brothers and sisters.Many immigrants settled in New York City in the nineteenth century. They found that living conditions were not as wonderful as they had dreamed. Often there were six families crowded into a house made for one family. Thousands of children had to go to work. Working conditions were even worse. Immigrant men, women and children worked in factories for ten to twelve hours a day, stopping only for a short time to eat. They came to work even if they were tired or sick because if they didn’t, they might be fired. Thousa…

Lower Pork Costs Driven by Lower Meal Costs

The retail price of a pork chop is getting cheaper. The price of soybean meal is one of the reasons for the decline. Soybean meal is an important but an “economically” secondary feed ingredient in hog diets compared to corn. Purdue University Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt thinks soybean meal costs, as a feed ingredient, have been about 22 percent of the total costs of raising hogs over the past decade. This compares to 32 percent for corn. In recent years soybean meal has been high priced. For the calendar years of 2012, 2013 and 2014 USDA reports that Decatur, Illinois high-protein meal has had annual averages between $440 and $480 per ton. But with a record U.S. soybean crop in the fall of 2014 and with the second largest crop likely coming this fall, Decatur prices may drop to about $350 per ton and then, as fall turns to winter, even further to average near $325 per ton for calendar year 2016. He says it would be the lowest annual meal price since 2007.How much have lower soyb…

Free & Confidential Tile Line Water Test at Farm Progress Show

Nine states in the Mississippi River basin have developed strategies to control the amount of nitrogen and phosphorous making its way to the Gulf of Mexico. These plant nutrients contribute to the Hypoxia Zone. During the Farm Progress Show the Illinois Corn Growers Association is offering free tile line water sample testing to help make farmers aware of the plan and the problem. Let’s start with the problem. The fertilizers used on lawns, gardens, and farms doesn’t always stay put. It leaches into streams and rivers and is carried to the Gulf of Mexico where the plant nutrients cause great algae blooms. These deplete the water of oxygen and aquatic life. The plan is to voluntarily reduce the plant nutrient load. The first step says Illinois Corn Growers Director of Communications Tricia Braid is to make farmers aware of just how much nitrogen is being lost from their fields. That’s why the Corn Growers are offering free water sample testing at the Farm Progress Show. Quote Summary - …

Corn Prices Reflect Export Concerns

December corn futures have been on roller coaster ride up and down this year. First it appeared there would be way to much of the grain, and then - because of the rains - maybe too little, and now it feels like the too-little might become just enough. The just enough to meet the need has put pressure on the market to move lower. This weakness, writes Darrel Good in this week’s online Farm Doc Daily article, is coming from the supply side. There is a general agreement USDA’s corn production forecast will not increase. It, in August, put this fall’s corn harvest at 13.686 billion bushels. Instead, market commentary seems to suggest the trade is expecting the yield forecast to decline by as much as three to four bushels to the acre. So the crop is getting smaller, but so’s the price. It’s about demand says Good.Continuing weakness in corn prices reflects perceived demand weakness. Concerns about demand may stem from two sources. First is the concern that exports of U.S corn will fall sho…

Will the Corn Production Forecast Get Smaller

To this point in the season USDA seems satisfied there will be plenty of corn around for the coming year and it won’t be a worth a whole lot. However, possibilities remain that the crop could shrink in size, and that the price might consequently rally. The price of corn can rally for two reasons. The trade might think the size of this year’s harvest is getting smaller, or there could more demand for the crop - no matter its size. Darrel Good has decided to take up both of those issues. Today we’ll hear what he thinks about the possibilities that corn crop might be smaller than predicted in August. The University of Illinois agricultural economist says a smaller supply projection could result from some combination of a lower estimate of harvested acreage or a smaller yield forecast. The estimate of planted and harvested acreage should become more precise in October as the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has a chance to review acreage data reported to the Farm Ser…

Will the Corn Production Forecast Get Smaller

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Will the Corn Production Forecast Get Smaller
Darrel Good, Ag Economist - University of IllinoisTo this point in the season USDA seems satisfied there will be plenty of corn around for the coming year and it won’t be a worth a whole lot. Todd Gleason has more on the possibilities that the crop could shrink in size, and that the price might consequently rally. The price of corn can rally for two reasons…
3:49 radio
4:08 radio self contained The price of corn can rally for two reasons. The trade might think the size of this year’s harvest is getting smaller, or there could more demand for the crop - no matter its size. Darrel Good has decided to take up both of those issues. Today we’ll hear what he thinks about the possibilities that corn crop might be smaller than predicted in August. The University of Illinois agricultural economist says a smaller supply projection could result from some combination of a lower estimate of harvested acreage or a smaller yield forecast. Go…

Marketing this Fall's Corn & Soybean Crop

The numbers from the August USDA Crop Production report have farmers reeling. They did not expect them to show bigger number for corn or soybeans and neither did University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good.Quote Summary - My reaction is much like the market. USDA projected larger corn and soybean crops in its August Crop Production report than what we were looking for. That came from higher than expected yields for both corn and soybeans and probably from higher than expected harvested acres for soybeans. So, the net affect is that the balance sheet for the upcoming marketing year now looks plentiful. There doesn’t appear to be prospects for a shortage of either corn or soybeans and it will be difficult for prices to rebound from the low levels coming into the fall of 2015. USDA’s figures show a corn crop two bushels to the acre better than expected last month and 156 million bushels bigger. The soybean number was up nearly a bushel to the acre and is now projected to be…

USDA's Crop Yield Forecasting Method

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will release the first survey-based yield and production forecasts for the 2015 corn and soybean crops this Wednesday (tomorrow/today). Even though a description of the NASS crop production forecast methodology is widely available, there always seems to be some misconceptions about how NASS makes corn and soybean yield forecasts. University of Illinois agricultural economists Darrel Good and Scott Irwin put together a brief overview of that methodology and posted to the FarmDocDaily website. While they say their summary does not do full justice to the very comprehensive forecasting methodology, it is useful to place the upcoming yield forecasts in the proper perspective. NASS corn and soybean yield forecasts are made in August, September, October and November. The final yield estimate is released in January based on the comprehensive December Agricultural Survey of producers. Two types of surveys are used each month to collect the…

Corn Price Fade may be too Early

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The price of corn has dropped because the trade believes there will be plenty of it around. Farmers, generally, are not convinced that will be the case, at least east of the Mississippi River.



The price of corn in Chicago increased about $0.90 per bushel from mid-June to mid-July. The increase was driven by a combination of a smaller-than-expected USDA estimate of June 1 stocks and production concerns stemming from record June rainfall in much of the eastern Corn Belt. Over the past two weeks, corn futures prices have declined nearly $0.80 per bushel as production concerns have subsided. Today the trade thinks, based on price, the amount of corn available for the next year will be more than needed.

There are couple of ways this could change. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good says a tighter supply and demand balance sheet for the coming year could be generated by a tighter supply of old crop corn carried into that new marketing year.
Darrel Good - Based on the c…

Projected 2015 Net Incomes on Grain Farms

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by Gary Schnitkey, Extension Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Average 2015 net income for grain farms in Illinois is projected at around $15,000 per farm, down considerably from the 2014 average of slightly above $100,000 per farm (see Figure 1). Furthermore, the 2015 net income will be below incomes in 2010 through 2012 which were above $200,000 per farm. This decline in incomes raises questions.



What do incomes in Figure 1 represent?

Historical values in Figure 1 are average net farm incomes of grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM). These farms are located throughout Illinois and represent a variety of farm sizes, tenure relationships, and debt positions. Farms have increased in size over time. In 2014, average farm size was close to 1,500 acres, but the sample included many smaller farms and may larger farms. There were a relatively large number of farms of over 5,000 acres.

How was the 2015 net farm income projected?

Commodity prices,…

Soybean Supply & Demand Tug of War

FarmDocDaily Article by Darrel Good, University of IllinoisIt looks like this year’s U.S. soybean crop may be a bit smaller than expected, but at the same time it appears there is a corresponding drop in need. Although “need” might be a pretty strong term.U of I ag economist Darrel Good has put the price tug of war related to supply and demand into context as positives and negatives. Here’s a list of items supporting a higher price for soybeans.First, on the supply side, the smaller than expected June 1 USDA stocks estimate. It resulted in the agency lowering the projection of this year’s ending stocks (what’s going to be leftover when we get to the fall) to 255 million bushels. That’s 75 million bushels less than the month earlier and 220 million bushels less than what USDA thought might be left when the first projections started coming out last year. Second on the list is the June 30 USDA Acreage report. It predicts harvested acreage of soybeans this year will be about 700,000 acres…

Prevent Plant Soybean Acres in the United States

Rain from Missouri to Ohio has kept farmers from planting part of this year’s soybean crop, but nobody knows for sure - yet - just how many acres have been idled. USDA has a term for land farmers planned to, but failed to sow because of the weather. It is “prevent plant”. This year rain has prevented farmers throughout the Midwest from planting some acres of soybeans. USDA has one figure already, but it is surveying farmers in Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas to see if it needs to be updated. The figure is not for prevent plant, but rather for planted acreage. This year that is expected to be a record high 85.1 million acres. But there has been a lot of rain and the number will probably change. Gary Schnitkey wanted to know if history could act as a guide to how many acres might eventually not be planted to soybean.Quote Summary - Just to give you a feel, from 1996 through 2014 on average there were 759 thousand prevented plant acres for soybeans in the U.S. There were four years when t…

Wheat Consumption Tracks USA Eating Habits

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The following chart and commentary are posted to a USDA ERS website. Essentially it tracks how many pounds of wheat flour the average U.S. citizen has consumed per year since 1964. The ERS commentary on the reasons for the increase in consumption through the mid-1990's and sudden drop near the turn of the century reflect the eating habits of a couple generations of Americans. 
Wheat consumption stable among U.S. consumers in recent years.
Per capita wheat flour consumption has been relatively stable in recent years, and is estimated in 2014 at 135 pounds per person, unchanged from 2013 but down 3 pounds from the recent peak in 2007. The 2014 estimate is down 11 pounds from the 2000 level when flour use started dropping sharply, partially due to increased consumer interest in low-carbohydrate diets. From the turn of the 20th century until about 1970, U.S. per capita wheat use generally declined, as strenuous physical labor became less common and diets became more diversified. Howev…

Still Uncertainty About New Crop Corn

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The rain fall throughout the corn belt has built a great deal of uncertainty around the size of this year’s corn crop as predicted by the United States Department of Agriculture says University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good. He thinks the amount of this “uncertainty” is more than usually the case.

USDA released projections for the 2015–16 corn marketing year July 10th. The next update is due August 12th. The new crop corn marketing-year ending stocks of corn are currently expected to be 172 million bushels smaller, and the average farm price is expected to be $0.25 higher, than projected a month earlier. Those are the numbers in question. Both are related to the size of this year’s crop, and the ILLINOIS agricultural economist has some thoughts on the “unknowns” as it relates to risk and price.
Quote Summary - In years with substantial production uncertainty, prices tend to be above the subsequent marketing year average during the growing season, offering producers the opportun…

The Consequences of a Foot of Rain in June

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The rainfall in May and June has put the corn crop in a difficult position this growing season. Late in June the corn crop in eastern Illinois north of Interstate 74 was under water. It looked bad, really bad. Oh there was some of it that looked pretty good, but not much. Things across the border in Indiana aren’t much better, and neither, apparently, is a large part of Missouri and southern Illinois. The crop has just gotten way to much water says University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger. Quote Summary - This is one of those times when the consequences of having a foot of rain in June is not something we would want to ever have and this year it is going to have a serious affect on the crop.There are two primary concerns related to corn. The moisture is a great haven for the development of disease. The other concern, and this may be more important moving through July and August, is that the root system of the crop hasn’t had any need to develop…not just the roots o…

Higher Feed Costs Could Mean Pork Industry Losses

Weather damaged corn and soybean fields are also harmful to hog producers. Todd Gleason has more on the reason why.



Rising feed prices mean higher production costs for the pork industry. Recent higher corn and soybean meal prices have increased anticipated hog costs by about $10 per head says a Purdue University Extension ag economist. These higher feed costs shift the pork industry outlook from one of modest profits to losses says Chris Hurt of about $6 per head over the coming 12 months.

Rising feed costs is a new concern for producers. December 2015 corn futures, as an example, rose from about $3.80 on June 24 to about $4.30 on July 6. This increases the cost of hog production by around $2.25 per live hundredweight. In a similar time period, meal futures have risen about $40 PER ton, which increases cost by about $1.25 per live hundredweight. So, recent increases in corn and soybean meal prices have increased costs by about $3.50 per live hundredweight, or by nearly $10 per hog.

We…

Farmers Overwhelmingly Choose ARC County

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Original ArticleThe U.S. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (USDA, FSA) recently released enrollment data on commodity program choices made under the 2014 Farm Bill. This article summarizes how farmers split program acres between Agricultural Risk Coverage - County Option (ARC-CO), ARC - Individual Option (ARC-IC), and Price Loss Coverage (PLC). Overall, ARC-CO was the overwhelming choice. ARC-CO was elected on 76% of program acres. PLC was next with 23% of acres, followed by ARC-IC with less than 1% of acres. There were differences in program choices across crops, as discussed below.Program ChoicesFarmers choose ARC-CO for 97% of soybean base acres and 94% for corn base acres (see Figure 1). Analysis indicated that expected payment from ARC-CO were larger than from PLC for both corn and soybeans (see farmdoc daily January 27, 2015 for more detail), suggesting high use of ARC-CO. However, the fact that ARC-CO accounted for over 90% of program acres for both corn and soybea…