Posts

Showing posts from March, 2015

Darrel Good on the March 31 Reports

Image

USDA Extends Farm Bill Sign Up One Week

The United States Department of Agriculture has extended the farm bill sign up period, again. A month ago USDA opted to allow the two farm bill deadlines to be consolidated into one ending date. It was scheduled to close Tuesday March 31st.

The sign up period has been extended a full week says U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. The deadline is now April 7th.

The secretary reports 98 percent of farm land owners have updated information needed to calculate payments made under the new farm programs, but only 90 percent of the farms are enrolled.

Those farms not enrolled by the deadline will receive no 2014 crop year payments and the farm will default to the Price Loss Coverage enrollment option for the 2015 through 2018 crop years.
Sign up can be completed at local Farm Service Agency offices.

Winter Feeding & the Cow Calf Operation

Image
Winter nutrition for the cow calf operation is key. It may be the best opportunity to positively affect real income. This was the message heard during the annual Beef & Beyond conference. It was clear and concise. The winter feeding program at a cow calf operation separates profitable farms from less profitable operations. It depends a lot on stored feed says University of Illinois Beef Cattle Specialist Dan Shike.Quote Summary - How much stored feed are they having to purchase and what is their winter feeding program. We would like to graze as many days as we can, but if we can’t graze we have to feed them something. What’s the least cost approach.Least cost only works if the cows meet acceptable performance standards. These are to maintain appropriate body condition, to calve once a year, and to wean off as heavy a calf as possible, but there’s more.Quote Summary - We’ve not given much consideration in the past to the fetus. We’ve focused on the cow. We’ve focused on the calf th…

The Final Days of the USDA Report Data

Tuesday the Department of Agriculture will release one of its most anticipated reports of the year. It began collecting data from farmers at the beginning of this month. The crop acreage data is compiled, encrypted and transferred to Washington, D.C.USDA contacts more than 80,000 farmers across the United States in March. It asks them a series of questions. One in the series is about which crops and how many acres of each they expect to plant this season. The agency sends all those farmers a letter to do this. Those not responding get a phone call, and then if they still don’t respond receive a face-to-face visit. The collection was completed Wednesday March 18th. Last Friday the Illinois and Missouri National Agricultural Statistics Service staffs, if the schedule went as Mark Schleusener expected, should have been reviewing the information.Quote Summary - The last few days before publication there is an analysis period. Friday morning we are going to look at a balance sheet. We’ll a…

Soybean Stocks Overshadowed by Prospective Plantings

March 31st traders and farmers are likely to pay a great deal more attention to the number of soybean acres USDA expects will be planted this season than the number of soybean bushels left in the United States. However, the stocks figure may hold some surprises. Last December the United States Department of Agriculture reported a surprisingly low Grain Stocks number for soybeans. The agency counts up available bushels of most crops once a quarter; in December, March, June, and September. University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good says the December 1 soybean stocks number implied a record large residual use of soybeans during the first quarter (September-November) of the 2014–15 marketing year.Quote Summary - Some have explained this low figure by suggesting a larger number of bushels of soybean were in transport on December 1 than in previous years. This explanation was apparently favored by the market and caused March 2015 soybean futures to close 36 cents lower on the day of th…

The March 31 Grain Stocks Report

The reports USDA releases March 31 will set the tone of agricultural trade for three months in Chicago.



Once every quarter the National Agricultural Statistics Service takes a census of the available bushels of corn, soybeans, and wheat. It is called the Grain Stocks report. It is not exactly a survey, but rather more of an actual accounting, in his case of what’s stored in Illinois, says NASS State Statistician Mark Schleusener, “…to measure the whole supply of grains and oilseeds USDA NASS does on farm surveys. Those are done with producers to find out what they have in their grain storage bins. Off farm storage tallies bushels in the mills and the elevators using a census as of March 1. All commercial storage facilities are contacted”.

Nationwide more than 9000 commercial storage facilities are contacted for the census side of the Grain Stocks report. The survey side - that done with farmers - is sent to more than 80,000 producers with an 80 percent response rate. The goal is to ge…

How Much Would a Corn Acre in 2015 Make

Image
The ag economists at ILLINOIS have done an interesting exercise to see how much an acre of corn might gross in 2015. Or maybe it might be better explained as what would happen in 2015 if this year was like 1979.



Or what if it were like 2012, or 1983, or 1995, or just pick a year. The idea is to give farmers some hard data on how variable gross revenue from a corn acre is over time by moving that time into 2015. So that’s what U of I ag economists Gary Schnitkey did.

He wanted to look and see what gross revenues would be like for 2015 considering crop revenue, crop insurance, government payments, and price risk. The goal was to know under what conditions would a corn acre produce higher gross revenues this year?



The question then is, “In 2015 what would revenue be like this year if a year like 1972 happened?”.
"When we looked at it, 50% of the revenues were above and 50% of the revenues were below $825 per acre." Schnitkey put those all into a table on the Farm Doc Daily webs…

How USDA NASS Counts Acres

USDA has just wrapped up its survey of more than 80,000 U.S. farmers. The agency uses the information to develop the March 31st acreage forecast.In the spring USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service division contacts farmers in hopes of learning how much of each crop they expect to plant. The agency contacts farmers across the United States. Corn and soybean farmers are of particular interest. This year more than 4000 Kansas farmers were tapped, along with around 3700 in Nebraska and about 3000 in each of the Dakotas, Iowa, and Illinois. Another 2000 farmers each were contacted in Indiana and Ohio. Quote Summary - Our goal is to make sure we are measuring small, medium, and large farms. So, we use what’s called a stratified sample. That’s NASS Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusener. Quote Summary - That is a fancy way of saying for the biggest farms, we are going to talk to all of them; for the large, but not biggest we will talk with one out of three of those and for th…

Cold Weather Maintenance Diets for Dairy Calves

Feeding a heifer dairy calf properly during cold weather can mean up to 1500 extra pounds of milk during her first lactation period. Todd Gleason has more on the increased cold weather maintenance diet that results in such a gain. You can get more milk from a cow if you treat it right as a calf says University of Illinois Dairy Specialist Phil Cardoso. This is especially the case if those calves are fed a proper maintenance diet during periods of cooler (not necessarily cold) weather when they are very young.Quote Summary - The maintenance diet supplies all the energy needed for the development of the immune system, for growth, and for the calf to live. There is a thermal neutral zone in which the calves nutritional needs are flat, outside of this zone it needs more energy to generate more heat the winter or to cool down in the summer. During the winter the calf needs to generate energy to heat themselves. The temperature at which additional feed is needed to keep the calf operating a…

The Next Mile Post for Soybeans & the Crush

Farmers and the trade are very concerned the price of soybeans will fade over the next six months.There are a couple of mile posts indicators most will be watching as it relates to the production of soybeans. University of Illinois Ag Economist John Newton says the next one up is the Prospective Plantings report due March 31st from the United States of Department of Agriculture. Quote Summary - The Prospective Plantings report is a big one. It will give us an idea of how many acres of soybeans U.S. farmers expect to sow this spring. I’m also going to continue to watch the domestic soybean crush and U.S. soybean exports. The nation is on pace to export a record volume this year and USDA maintains this number will increase next year. This would be back to back record soybean export years and certainly worth monitoring. Can the world consume soybeans and the current level? If this is possible, then that should provide some price floor, even some positive price pressure from where we are …

Soybeans + Numbers

Image
Those listening to the markets every day know there is a big difference between the number of acres the trade thinks will be planted to soybeans and the number of acres USDA is so far projecting. These aren’t as far apart as you might think and there may even be some positive wiggle room in them.



The trade has long thought U.S. farmers will plant about 86 million acres of soybeans. USDA thinks they’ll plant 83 and half million. Because USDA is using

Pork's Boom & Bust Price Pattern

Markets can take your breath away and the hog market over the past year has left many breathless says one Purdue University ag economist.



A year-ago in March, the new PED virus was

Estimated 2014 ARC County Payments

Image
Farmers throughout the nation are deciding which of the new farm programs to take. Another piece of that puzzle was put into place when USDA released the county wide corn and soybean yields late last month. These can be used to estimate some of the 2014 farm program payments.



County wide yields as calculated by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service along with the estimated season's average cash price - the marketing year average - can be used to forward figure 2014 ARC County payments. It is possible therefore to know