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Showing posts from February, 2015

Farm Bill Sign Up Extended

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USDA has extended the deadline to update base acres and yields under the new farm bill until March 31st. The original deadline for landowners to make initial decisions related to the new farm safety net was Friday February 27, 2015.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the announcement saying it is an important decision for producers, because the programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace.

The Secretary says USDA is working to ensure landowners and farmers have the time, the information, and opportunity to review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make solid informed farm bill decisions.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm’s current yield and base will be used. A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by that same date or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum

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Last week the United States Department of Agriculture presented its view of the commodity markets.



Thursday USDA Acting Chief Economist Robert Johansson made a presentation on the current agricultural landscape during the 2015 USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum. Interestingly, he set the tone by showing how commodity prices have been trending downward for more than 60 years.

Yield Exclusion and Crop Insurance

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When farmers go to their federal crop insurance agents in March they may have a new decision to make. The new Yield Exclusion option may allow some producers to increase their covered yields.




U.S. Soybean Production Prospects for 2015

There are lot of soybeans in the world. Last fall U.S. farmers harvested a record crop, and their counterparts in South America are doing the same right now.




Farm Program Sign Up Deadlines & Decision Aids

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Farm Program Sign Up Deadlines & Decision Aids
Jonathan Coppess, Ag Law & Policy Specialist - University of IllinoisTime is running out for landowners and farmers to decide what to do about the new farm programs. They have until the end of February to make the first two decisions, and must make a final choice by March 31st. Todd Gleason reports on the decision aids available on the University of Illinois Farm Doc Daily website. FarmDocDaily is hosted by the ag economists…
2:51 FarmDocDaily is hosted by the ag economist at a the U of I, including Ag Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess. The home page includes a link to something called the Farm Bill Toolbox. There you’ll find decision tools, and a brand new link under Resources named Farm Program Decision Guide. Coppess :18 …it is all right there. Quote Summary - It is just a PDF file available on the website. It is something to take home with you, to go to your landlord with, to sit down with your brothers and dad over family di…

Finer Ground Corn More Digestible

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Finer Ground Corn More Digestible
Hans Stein, Swine Nutritionist - University of Illinois

An animal nutritionist at the University of Illinois has quantified the importance of particle size in ground feed for hogs.




Grinding corn to finer particle sizes can increase its feed efficiency by up to five percent says Hans Stein.
They don’t gain any more, but they eat less to gain the same. Pigs adjust their energy intake. It means there is more available energy in corn when it is ground finer. The pigs eat less, the feed conversion is improved, and it takes fewer pounds of feed to produce a market weight hog. Stein is a swine nutritionist at the University of Illinois. He investigated the affect of different particle sizes of ground corn when fed to pigs. The corn was ground to 800, 600, 400, and 300 microns.
We discovered amino acid and phosphorous digestibility does not change with particle size. Pigs are very efficient in digesting those nutrients, but when it came to starch we found…

Crude Oil Jumps Off the Lows

Crude Oil Jumps Off the Lows
Harry Cooney, Growmark Energies Specialist - Bloomington, Illinois The price of crude oil has rallied off it’s lows. Todd Gleason has more on the reasons why. The cost of a barrel of crude oil has dropped… 1:51 The cost of a barrel of crude oil has dropped dramatically since last June. Back then the price was more the $100 per barrel. It dropped to nearly $44 a barrel earlier this year and has now begun to make a sharp turn higher. There are series of reasons for the rally says Bloomington based energies specialist for Growmark Harry Cooney. Quote Summary - There has been a steelworkers strike at some of the refineries. This has caused some concerned. The rig counts have also declined. This number indicates how many oil wells are operational and the trade, which focuses on future supply, thinks the supply may peak out and then start to decline. However, it is important to remember says Harry Cooney crude oil started its price decline at around $107.00 a ba…

Beef Expansion Is Underway

Beef Expansion Is Underway
Chris Hurt, Extension Ag Economist - Purdue University The nation’s cattle producers are expanding the herd and they’re doing it at a somewhat faster rate than had been anticipated. USDA, in the semi-annual update of cattle numbers, calculates the total number of cattle and calves has increased by a bit more than one percent. It is the first increase in the cattle inventory since 2007. The industry suffered high feed prices and poor pasture conditions in the Southern Plains over the intervening years. 2014 provided a series of reasons to change course says Purdue University Extension Ag Economist Chris Hurt. Quote Summary - There were multiple incentives to expand in 2014. These were led by record high cattle prices, with finished cattle averaging near $155 per live hundredweight and Oklahoma 500–550 pound steer calves averaging $250 per hundred. The other part of the incentive was more abundant feed due to a retreating drought in the Central and Southern Pl…

Using the APAS Sample Farm

Using the APAS Sample Farm
Jonathan Coppess, Ag Policy Specialist - University of Illinois Farmers and landowners wanting to learn more about the new farm programs and the sign up process can visit the Farm Bill Toolbox online. It was developed by the ag economists at the University of Illinois and Ohio State. Just search Google for Farm Bill Toolbox and you’ll find a seven step decision making process. There is also a link from the Farm Bill Toolbox to USDA’s APAS (ay-pass) website. APAS stands for Agricultural Policy Analysis System. Jonathan Coppess from the University of Illinois says the two systems are related to each other.Quote Summary - The way we look at it is that the APAS site gives you the chance to calculate expected payments and the Farm Bill Toolbox is the education outreach and analysis. So, you may use the two in an interrelated way. In fact we often make presentations using both, jumping back and forth from the APAS Tools to the Decision Steps.The seven Decision Ste…

Signing Up for the Farm Programs

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The time to sign up for the farm programs has arrived. Decisions will need to be made in February and January. Read on for a quick lesson in the process, and then please visit the Farm Bill Toolbox website created by the ag economists at the University of Illinois. Landowners and farmers should find the seven step decision process in the toolbox very valuable as an aid to making the new farm program choices. The deadline for making two of the three farm program choices is the end of February. University of Illinois Ag Economists Gary Schnitkey, Jonathan Coppess, & Nick Paulson along with The Ohio State’s Carl Zulauf penned an article about the acreage allocation and yield update decisions. It follows;Base Acre and Yield Updating Decisions: Push to the Finish
The deadline for completing base acre and yield updating decisions is February 27th (see steps 2 and 3 of “7 Steps” on Farm Bill Toolbox). Choosing between alternatives for each of these decisions is relatively straight forwar…

2015 ADAO Schedule

All-Day Ag Outlook Meeting Schedule
March 10, 2014 - Beef House
16501 Indiana 63
Covington, Indiana 47932Registration
8:45am eastern / 7:45am centralOpening Remarks
9:25am eastern / 8:25am centralCash Grain Panel
9:30am eastern / 8:30am central
Greg Johnson, The Andersons - Champaign, Illinois
Aaron Curtis, MIDCO - Bloomington, Illinois
Matt Bennett, Channel Seeds - Windsor, Illinois
Chuck Shelby, Risk Management Commodities - Lafayette, IndianaLand Values 2015
10:15am eastern / 9:15am central
Murray Wise, CEO Murray Wise Associates - Champaign, IllinoisBreak (20 min)Livestock 2015
11:05am eastern / 10:05am central
Chris Hurt, Purdue University - West Lafayette, IndianaFutures 2015
11:35am eastern / 10:35am central
Sue Martin, Ag and Investment Services - Webster City, IowaLunch and Trade Show
12:20pm eastern / 11:20am centralSoybean Commodity Panel
1:30pm eastern / 12:30pm central
Curt Kimmel, Bates Commodities - Normal, Illinois
Wayne Nelson, L&M Commodities - New Market, Indiana
Mike Z…

Reviewing the Pace of Corn & Soybean Exports

Following the January 12 USDA Crop Production and Grain Stocks reports it has becoming increasingly clear that the story in the corn and soybean markets for the foreseeable future will be the ongoing pace of consumption.



Consumption of corn produced in the United States can be tallied as corn for used for ethanol, fed to livestock, or exported. The soybean consumption numbers are derived from an item called the crush… that’s when a soybean facility crushes the bean to extract the oil and meal from it. There is also the feed and residual number, and again exports. University of Illinois Ag Economist John Newton has explored the export numbers.

He says, holding all else constant, a lower rate of corn and soybean exports relative to current USDA projections would increase carryover stocks, and could produce downward pressure on prices. USDA, as of the January reports, expects corn exports will be 1.75 billion or 1750 million bushels for the current marketing year. Newton also says right…