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Showing posts from October, 2015

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…