Secretary Vilsack has identified strengthening local and regional food systems as one of the four pillars of USDA’s commitment to rural economic development. Part of this focus in on the middle of the supply chain. Todd Gleason reports USDA is helping to make investments in this space.
The United States Department of Agriculture has been moving to support local food production throughout the nation. The agency is focusing on bringing new farmers and businesses into rural and urban areas. To that end, it has developed an online toolkit entrepreneurs can use to help pitch their ideas to lenders and local governments.
Amber Kohlhass, Communications Manager - Hagie Manufacturing
John Deere News Release
MOLINE, ILLINOIS (March 29, 2016) - Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) has entered a joint venture with Hagie Manufacturing, the U.S. market leader in high-clearance sprayers. In the agreement, Deere acquires majority ownership of Hagie Manufacturing, which will continue producing sprayers in its current Clarion, Iowa location.
Equipment made by the joint venture will continue to carry the Hagie brand while sales and service for Hagie equipment will be integrated into Deere’s global distribution channel over the next 15 months.
“Hagie Manufacturing is known for innovation and its strong customer understanding in high-clearance spraying equipment,” said John May, president, Agricultural Solutions and Chief Information Officer at Deere. “High-clearance spraying equipment is a new market for Deere. The expertise at Hagie allows John Deere to immediately serve customers who need precision solutions that extend their window for applying nutrients.”
Alan Hagie, chief executive officer at Hagie Manufacturing, said, “We have great products at Hagie that help producers be more profitable but we need a business model that helps us reach more customers. This partnership with Deere allows our solutions to reach customers on a global scale and ensure they are supported with the world-class Deere dealer organization.”
May said the joint venture investment allows John Deere to provide a broader range of sprayer options and integrate Deere’s precision technology into the Hagie equipment to help customers reduce costs and improve yields.
Deere & Company (www.JohnDeere.com) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of customers whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world’s dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure.
Hagie Manufacturing (www.hagie.com) provides innovative crop protection solutions that are purposeful tools to drive economic benefits, while also performing responsible stewardship and best agricultural practices. Hagie was advised by NCP, Inc. as its exclusive financial advisor on the transaction.
The last Hogs and Pigs report is good news for pork producers. Todd Gleason reports it showed fewer hogs are being raised in the United States and that, in turn, should boost prices.
Pork producers say they’ll reduce the size of their breeding herds. Or at least that’s what the latest Hogs and Pigs report showed. Purdue Extension Agricultural Economist Chris Hurt says farrowing should begin slow this spring and summer. However, right now, the breeding herd is as big as it was at this same time last year. Still, it’s a pattern of change and reduction says Hurt.
Quote Summary - The herd had been in an expansion phase from the last half of 2014 through 2015. That expansion was largely because of record high profits due to baby pig losses from PED. That expansion phase seemingly has now ended.
This ‘ending’ is a bit uneven geographically. For the 16 states USDA surveys for the March report, the breeding herd is up nine percent in Oklahoma and 10 percent in Texas. Some of the primary Midwestern states reported a decrease in their breeding herds over the past year; Iowa down five percent, Missouri down four percent, and Minnesota down two percent. In Indiana, where corn yields were reduced by summer flooding, the breeding herd was down seven percent. Those are all the current breeding herd numbers. It’s the forward looking projections that provide hope for higher pork prices.
Pork supplies in the first quarter of 2017 will come from the three percent smaller summer farrowings. However, with more pigs per litter and heavier weights, pork production is expected to be only about one percent smaller.
Chris Hurt’s price forecast for market hogs then is in a range of $49 to $54 for all of 2016, about $1 higher than last year. He expects prices to rise to the $55 to $58 range for averages in the second and third quarters, normally the grill-out seasonal highs, and then to finish the year in the mid-to-higher $40s.
Up next… U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has a discussion about policy making news in Washington, D.C. including the TPP, the just announced Local Foods Toolkit, and GMO labeling laws.
The United States Department of Agriculture has been moving to support local food production throughout the nation. Todd Gleason has more on how and why the agency is focusing on bringing new farmers and businesses into rural and urban areas.
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of this week the University of Illinois Chicago Forum will host the Good Food Festival & Conference. It is all about raising, marketing, and eating locally grown fruits, vegetables, and meats. Todd Gleason has more with Zach Grant from University of Illinois Extension.
Next week (Thursday March 31) USDA will release the quarterly Grain Stocks report. Typically it is overshadowed by the Prospective Plantings report released on the same date. However, as Todd Gleason reports, it occasionally provides a surprise to the trade.
For soybeans, the stocks estimate is often very near the level expected by the market says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good. This is because we generally know how many soybeans are used at any point during year based off the magnitude of the domestic crush and the exports, both of which are tallied either by the government, the industry, or the two combined. The stocks estimate, says Good, really does indicated the magnitude of seed, feed, and residual use of soybeans in the previous quarter. Unlike corn, for which feed and residual use is a large portion of disappearance, seed, feed, and residual use of soybeans is a relatively small portion of disappearance during the winter months. However, he cautions, occasionally the March 1 stocks estimate provides a surprise.
Based on the average trade guess reported by news services, the March 1 stocks estimate has deviated from market expectations by more than 30 million bushels nine times and by more than 60 million bushels four times in the past 25 years.
The expected level of soybean stocks on March 1 this year can be calculated. The USDA’s Oilseed Crushings, Production, Consumption and Stocks report provides information for December of 2015 and January of 2016. The estimate for February will be released April 1. The National Oilseed Processors Association (NOPA) estimate of the magnitude of the February soybean crush by its members can be used to estimate the total February crush. For the nine months that USDA has provided soybean crush estimates (May 2015-January 2016), the USDA crush estimates have exceeded the NOPA crush estimates by 6.4 percent. Applying that ratio to the NOPA February crush estimate, suggests to Darrel Good that 483.1 million bushels of soybeans were crushed in the second quarter of the current marketing year. It’s possible to calculate the number of soybeans exported in the last quarter, too.
Based on a combination of USDA and Census Bureau export estimates, second quarter exports totaled just over 677 million bushels.
This leaves the seed, feed, and residual usage factor. That’s tougher to figure, but a much smaller number. If this year follows the average consumption pattern Good says it would be about 12 million bushels in the second quarter. So, 483 crushed plus 677 exported plus 12 fed equals roughly 1.173 billion bushels consumed in the second quarter. Subtract that from the first quarter stocks, plus the imports and you get 1.55 billion bushels of soybeans on hand March 1st in the United States. The Grain Stocks report March 31 shouldn’t vary much from this number, but it could says Darrel Good.
If the March 1 stocks estimate is surprisingly large or small, the accuracy of USDA’s 2015 production estimate may be called into question. The USDA has revised the previous year’s production estimate by varying amounts in 20 of the past 25 years based on the stocks estimate at the end of the marketing year (September 1). However, it would be pre-mature to question the accuracy of the production estimate based on the March 1 stocks estimate due to the large variation in the quarterly pattern of seed, feed, and residual use of soybeans.
The eight largest revisions in the production estimates following the USDA’s September 1 stocks estimate ranged from 1.1 to 3.5 percent. Only three of those eight large revisions followed a surprise in the March 1 stocks estimate that exceeded 30 million bushels. Conversely, of the nine years in which the magnitude of the surprise in March 1 stocks estimate exceeded 30 million bushels, only three were followed by revisions in the production estimate that exceeded one percent.
Low commodity prices have farmers around the nation considering a different crop rotation. Some have been wondering if it might be more profitable to plant soybeans after soybeans this year. University of Illinois Extension Economist Gary Schnitkey addressed the issue on the FarmDocDaily website and told Todd Gleason farmers in northern and southern Illinois might consider the option.
Allendale, Inc. estimates US grain and oilseed producers will increase corn and wheat acres, while lowering the number of acres sown to soybean. All three survey totals are higher than USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum estimates.
The results are based on the firm’s 27th annual Producer Acreage Survey. Submissions were made directly by producers in 25 states by phone and online from February 26, 2016 to March 11, 2016.
USDA will officially kick off the new year for the spring planted crops when it releases two reports on the last day of the month.
The Grain Stocks and Prospective Plantings reports will be released March 31st. Darrel Good says both will help set the tone of the trade for corn and soybeans going forward.
Quote Summary - The Stocks report will be modestly important as it always is for corn. It will give us a reading on how fast we are feeding last year’s crop, but the real information will be in the Prospective Plantings report. It can be a mixed bag. This is because we all know actual plantings deviate from intentions. Certainly, though, when we see the March survey and what farmers are planning this year, it will provide a lot of information about the potential size of the upcoming crops.
The Prospective Plantings report is set up to be very interesting. More than a few acres around the United States need a new home on the spreadsheets. For instance, last fall farmers seeded about 2.8 million fewer acres of winter wheat than they did the previous year. When you couple those acres with what most expect to be fewer Prevent Plant acres, it creates an interesting combination says the University of Illinois agricultural economist.
Quote Summary - On the surface this says, “We’ll have more acres available than we had last year”. What the intentions report will give us a hint at is whether producers are thinking about leaving some acreage idle in 2016 because of the generally low commodity prices. For example, will the winter wheat acres that didn’t get planted go to fallow, or to annual pasture, or will they go to sorghum or an oilseed. Will we see some of the so called fringe areas leave some acreage idled as the numbers would suggest we’ve seen in the past when prices are low. So, that big picture question will be most important in the March plantings report.
Again, the reports will be released March 31st. Last year there were 6.7 million acres of Prevent Plant. That’s on the high side because of the heavy 2015 rainfall. Darrel Good expects this year to be something closer to 3 million acres. And, when you round up to 3 million fewer acres of winter wheat, you get about 6 million float acres that need a home this year either idled, or planted.
This morning, March 11th, DTN Progressive Farmer meteorologist Bryce Anderson told farmers at the Illinois Soybean Summit weather would cap this year’s potential yields. Todd Gleason is emceeing the event, and asked Anderson if he means it is unlikely for yields to be better than USDA’s trendline.
The Senior Grains Analyst for Farm Futures Magazine was also at the summit. Bryce Knorr told the group to reward market rallies.
The Illinois Soybean Summit took place Friday March 11, 2016 in Rockford.
USDA’s March World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report didn’t really change much, still that seems a shade friendlier than before to University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good.