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Showing posts from 2017

Corn Use for Ethanol Update

University of Illinois Commodity Markets Specialist Todd Hubbs discusses prospects for the ethanol exports to Brazil and China with Extension Farm Broadcaster Todd Gleason.by Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois
farmdocDaily articleThe recent strength in ethanol production has led to speculation about changes to USDA’s estimate of corn used for ethanol in the pending WASDE report. Ethanol production for the week ending December 1 set a new ethanol production record with an average of 1.108 million barrels per day, continuing eight consecutive weeks of more than a million barrels a day of production. Currently, the WASDE forecast for corn consumption for ethanol production is 5.475 billion bushels, up 36 million bushels from 2016–17 marketing year estimates. The ability to surpass this projection is possible, but foreign demand for ethanol will be crucial as we move into 2018. Domestic ethanol consumption is influenced by domestic gasoline consumption, due to the ethanol blending requirem…

Weekly Outlook | Soybean Export Prospects for 2017-18

Up Next… U.S. soybean exports need to continue to build on the strength seen in the 2016–17 marketing year. The ability to exceed the current USDA export projections in 2017–18 is a possibility, but it is heavily dependent on South American production and the continued growth in demand from importers. Todd Gleason has more from the University of Illinois…

Fun Turkey Facts

Ben Franklin, in a letter to his daughter, proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.In 2012, the average American ate 16 pounds of turkey.The heaviest turkey ever raised was 86 pounds, about the size of a large dog.A 15 pound turkey usually has about 70 percent white meat and 30 percent dark meat.The male turkey is called a tom.The female turkey is called a hen.The turkey was domesticated in Mexico and brought to Europe in the 16th century.Wild turkeys can fly for short distances up to 55 miles per hour.Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour.Turkeys’ heads change colors when they become excited.Most of the turkeys raised for commercial production are White Hollands.It takes 75–80 pounds of feed to raise a 30 pound tom turkey.A domesticated male turkey can reach a weight of 30 pounds within 18 weeks after hatching.Forty-five million turkeys are eaten each Thanksgiving.Twenty-two million turkeys are eaten each Christmas.Nineteen million turkeys are eaten each Easter.Male t…

Nitrogen Fertilizer Prices and Costs Lower for 2018 | Interview

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Nitrogen fertilizer prices are averaging lower now than in any time since September 2008. These lower prices could translate into roughly a $10 per acre saving in nitrogen fertilizer for the coming 2018 production year. Further savings may be possible for those farms who are applying above recommended nitrogen rates and are willing to cut fertilizer application rates. University recommendations suggest nitrogen application rates well below 200 pounds in northern and central Illinois.

Todd Gleason talked with University of Illinois agricultural economist Gary Schnitkey about his farmdocDaily article.

Average anhydrous ammonia prices in Illinois are reported approximately twice a month in the Illinois Production Cost Report, a publication of the Agricultural Marketing Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the November 10th report, the anhydrous ammonia price was reported at an average of $405 per ton, with an offer range from $343 per ton up to $440 per ton. Anhydr…
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YORKVILLE (Nov. 5, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner today declared a statewide harvest emergency to assist farmers and grain handlers who are grappling with the fallout of rain-related delays.

“Illinois is home to 72,000 farms on 26.7 million acres. We are among the top three corn producers in the nation,” Rauner said while visiting Stewart Farms in Yorkville Sunday afternoon. “Moving corn and other crops in a timely and efficient manner affects the bottom line of hard-working farmers. This declaration is an appropriate response to an urgent need.”

Under a new law Rauner signed Aug. 11, the declaration permits drivers of trucks carrying agricultural commodities over state highways to obtain a free permit to exceed gross vehicle weight limits by 10 percent. Further, local authorities may waive the permit requirement at their discretion. The emergency declaration is in effect for 45 days beginning today, Nov. 5.

The Illinois Department of Transportation already is mobilizing the permitting pr…

More Money Raising Soybeans

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For four years in a row farmers in Illinois, other parts of the nation too, have made more money on soybeans than corn.



The numbers are pretty clear and University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey lays them out in an online farmdocDaily article. He says, on average, soybeans have been more profitable than corn since 2013, “One of the things we’ve seen is that soybean prices, when compared to corn, have been relatively strong since 2013. The ration of soybean to corn prices has been 2.74 since 2013, and it was 2.42 before that. So, we’ve seen soybean prices increase relative to corn prices.”

Farmers have responded to the higher soybean price.

When you look at historic price ratio changes, it is relatively easy to see when demand has pushed one crop over the other. The corn-based ethanol build up, for instance, from 2006 to 2013 has a soybean-to-corn price ratio of 2.42… that means the price of soybeans is 2.42 times greater than the price of corn.



Ethanol plants were b…

How Many U.S. Soybean Acres Needed in 2018

Listen to Todd Gleason’s full interview with U of I’s Todd Hubbsread farmdocDaily postFarmers in the United States have been planting more and more acres to soybeans. There is a simple reason behind this increase. Soybeans have been more profitable than other crops over the last several years. The question now is how many acres will they plant next year. University of Illinois Commodity Markets Specialist Todd Hubbs has been thinking about that one and he decided to determine how many acres are needed if the stocks-to-use ratio was to stay at about 7%. Hubbs says that number should provide a $9.50 season’s average cash price, “If we assume seven-percent stocks-to-use in 2018/2019 would give us $9.50, which would cover the cost of production in Illinois based on current projections, how many acres of soybeans national under those assumptions would we need given a trend yield? Based on a trend yield of about 46.8 bushels to the acre, and it may be higher than that in 2018, we would need…

Farmers Desires for Enterprise Units Use Across County Lines

In a survey conducted by the Illinois Corn Growers Association, farmers with land in different counties indicated a willingness to combine insurance units across counties. Todd Gleason has more on the results with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey.

Soybean Acreage in 2018 | an interview with Todd Hubbs

The market is currently sending a signal of maintaining the record high soybean acreage of 2017, but the necessity for that level of soybean acreage in 2018 could deteriorate quickly under evolving market conditions. Todd Gleason has more with University of Illinois Commodity Markets Specialist Todd Hubbs.

Calculating N-Rates for Corn | with Emerson Nafziger

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University of Illinois Agronomist Emerson Nafziger says deep prairie soils can provide up to one-hundred-pounds of N annually. This makes nitrogen fertilizer applications less limiting than once thought. Todd Gleason talks with Nafziger about how farmers should calculate anhydrous ammonia rates this fall.



Timing Fall Nitrogen
by Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist - University of Illinois
original blog post

The substantial rain that fell over central and northern Illinois between October 5 and 15 mostly soaked into the soil that was dried out by crop water use, and harvest has moved back to full speed in most areas. With harvest, thoughts turn to application of fall ammonia in central and northern Illinois. Almost everyone is on board with waiting until soil temperatures are at or below 50 degrees before applying ammonia. Cool soil (along with use of nitrification inhibitor) lowers the rate of nitrification, so helps preserve N in the ammonium form. Nitrogen present in the soil as am…

Comparison of 2016 ARC-CO and PLC Payments

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link to full farmdocDaily article

The United States Department of Agriculture will issue farm safety net payments this month. Todd Gleason has more on the payments for this year, and projections for next year with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey. You may listen to that conversation.



Schnitkey, his University of Illinois colleagues Nick Paulson & Jonathan Coppess, and Ohio State’s Carl Zulauf also explored how the 2016 ARC County payments would compare to those from its counterpart USDA safety net program, PLC. This exploration is a head to head look at how each program performed.

Check the farmdocDaily website for full details at www.farmdocdaily.illinois.edu.

The four academics compared PLC and ARC-CO payment levels per base acre in 2016. They looked at corn and wheat and then did a simple calculation for each to illustrate which USDA farm safety net program made the largest payments for 2016. They calculated by county, for the whole of the United Sta…

President Trump's Pennsylvania Tax Reform Speech

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Last night President Donald Trump made a speech about his administration’s tax reform plan. He addressed truckers in Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump told the truckers his tax reforms will create American jobs by lowering taxes in several ways.
So, to summarize, our plan goes from eight tax brackets down to four, expands the zero tax bracket greatly, expands the child tax credit, repeals the estate tax and special interest tax breaks, cuts the corporate tax rate from much more and equal to 35% tax and brings it all the way down to 20%, and cuts tax breaks for small businesses to the lowest level in more than eight years. The President also says it will be possible for most Americans to do their taxes on a single sheet of paper.

The particulars of the reform would double the standard deduction so that $12,000 of income for individuals and $24,000 for married couples would be tax-free. It would consolidate the eight existing tax brackets for income to four brackets: zero, 12 percent, 25 percen…

Exploring Corn & Soybean Stocks

Last week’s Grain Stocks report should reduce the ending stocks for both corn and soybeans this month.USDA’s quarterly grain stocks estimate suggests there are fewer bushels of corn and soybeans leftover from last year than have been reported so far. University of Illinois Commodity Grain Markets Specialist Todd Hubbs says corn is off by 56 million bushels and soybeans are down 44 million, “I’d say one thing out of the stocks report is the idea that corn and soybean consumption is starting to get stronger as we move through the year. This is especially the case in some areas we didn’t see before like feed. For the soybean ending stocks, USDA adjusted 2016 production. This isn’t a shocker, but it did change the balance sheet.” I’d say one thing out of the stocks report is the idea that corn and soybean consumption is starting to get stronger as we move through the year. This is especially the case in some areas we didn’t see before like feed. Having said that, Hubbs admits the 2016/17 …

Friday’s USDA Grain Stocks Unlikely to Change Corn Market

Friday the United States Department of Agriculture will close out last fall’s harvest and marketing year with the release of the fourth quarter Grain Stocks report. Todd Gleason reports it is not expected to impact the price of corn.

Big Income Years Impact Medicare Premiums 2 years Out

Farmers, business owners, and others on Medicare might find a bigger bill in the mail than expected. Todd Gleason has more on how big income years produce big Medicare premiums two years later.

Margin Protection Insurance | an interview with Gary Schnitkey

Gary Schnitkey assesses the value of Margin Protection Insurance against ARP and RP plans.

Growmark Introduces Simulator to Train Drivers

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We often hear about pilots using simulators to train before they actually fly. As of this year Growmark FS is using a simulator to train its sprayer operators. This month the company invited reporters to its training center in Bloomington, Illinois and after a brief introduction invited them to take a spin in their brand new RoGator. Not a real one, but a simulator that seems pretty darned real even, says Growmark Equipment Manager Erik Wilcox, to those that drive the sprayer for a living. Wilcox - I’ve had a lot of doubting Thomases come in and say, “this is just a video game and not anything worthwhile” and with each and every one of them I challenge them to just get on and give me the feedback. Every one of them, and I mean every one of them and that’s been about a dozen that have gotten on with me as an expert, have come off and said, “yeah, we are headed in the right direction.” The simulator currently features road and field courses. It was created as a training module for FS Sy…

Corn and Soybean Production Outlook in 2017-18

Given the price reaction, the market remains uncertain about the USDA’s September forecast of 2017 corn and soybean production. Todd Gleason has more with the commodity markets specialist from the University of Illinois.

USDA NASS Soybean Objective Yield Pod Weight

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Tuesday’s USDA Crop Production report included a very heavy soybean pod weight. Todd Gleason talks with USDA NASS Chief of the Crops Branch about the weight, how it is calculated, and how it might change over time.







DICAMBA | U of Arkansas Takes a Stand

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Statement from Dr. Mark Cochran, Vice President-Agriculture for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, on Monsanto’s petition to the Arkansas State Plant Board

First, and most importantly, we stand by the integrity of our scientists and their science, including Dr. Jason Norsworthy, our internationally recognized researcher and his work, and all our weed scientists, as well as other public weed scientists on record in other states.

We are confident in the science that we’ve used to advise the regulatory process in Arkansas.
Even Monsanto recognizes his reputation. Just 48 hours before the petition was filed, the company invited Dr. Norsworthy to present a summary of national drift and volatility research at an academic summit on dicamba that the company is hosting in St. Louis this month. He has declined this invitation.

We will examine every point in this petition and its appearing and disappearing group of supporting exhibits, and over time will respond factually…

Storing Corn and Soybeans in 2017

The current price structure of corn and soybean futures markets indicate positive carry in both markets and raises the question of whether producers should make decisions about grain sales. The decision by producers to store corn or soybeans should be determined by the returns to storage.There will be a lot of corn around this fall. USDA projects about sixteen-and-half billion bushels when you add what’s leftover from last year to this year’s harvest. It is projecting about four-point-eight billion bushels of soybeans. That’s a lot of both crops, but University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs isn’t worried about running out of space to store it. In fact, the market is urging farmers to go ahead and store both crops at the moment by pricing futures contracts for later in the year a bit higher than the nearby months. The difference is called the carry says Hubbs. Having said that, he says the carry probably doesn’t pay out for commercial storage like you would see for on-f…

Sep 4 | WILLAg Newsletter

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September 4, 2017

Evidence Favors the South & East Tempering Poorer Corn Belt Yields
  This map shows the August 2017 USDA Crop Production Report state by state corn yields. Rollover each state to reveal the yield. Darker green colors represent higher yields. The table gives more complete detail and breaks down the nation by region. Note the twelve corn belt states in the Midwest are expected to yield 8.4 bushels to the acre less this year than last. The southern states, while representing only about 1.5 billion bushels of the total expected 2017 production of 14.2 billion, show a year over year increase of nearly 14 bushels to the acre.

  USDA will update the Crop Production and WASDE figures Tuesday September 12, 2017. This will be followed at the end of the month by the 4th quarter Grain Stocks report Friday September 29th. Naturally, you can see these numbers shortly after their release on our website at willag.org or by following Todd's twitter account.

Marketing Panels t…

State by State & Regional Corn Yields

This map shows the August 2017 USDA Crop Production Report state by state corn yields. Rollover each state to reveal the yield. Darker green colors represent higher yields. The table gives more complete detail and breaks down the nation by region. Note the twelve corn belt states in the Midwest are expected to yield 8.4 bushels to the acre less this year than last. The southern states, while representing only about 1.5 billion bushels of the total expected 2017 production of 14.2 billion show a year over year increase of nearly 14 bushels to the acre.

Interviews from the Farm Progress Show

How Harvey Will Impact Fuel Supply Infrastructure
Dave Chatterton, Powerline Group - Champaign, IllinoisMonday Todd Gleason spoke with Dave Chatterton at the Powerline Group about how Hurricane Harvey is impacting the nation’s fuel supply infrastructure.Southern States Crop Tour Review
Jeremy Wilson, Crop IMS - Effingham, Illinois The corn crop in the south is good. Very good in fact. Todd Gleason talks with Jeremy Wilson from Crop IMS.Discussing Dicamba Damage with Robb Fraley
Robb Fraley, Monsanto Company - St. Louis, Missouri Doug Maxwell, Crops Researcher - University of IllinoisMonsanto’s Robb Fraley dropped by the University of Illinois tent at the Farm Progress Show to talk about dicamba and soybeans. Todd Gleason has more…Recruiting Higher Ed Ag Students to Illinois UniversitiesRecruiters from Illinois State, Southern Illinois, Western Illinois, and the University of Illinois are planning to work together to keep more agricultural students in state. Todd Gleason discussed the …

Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour

Owned & Share Cropped Land Making up Cash Rent Losses

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The high price of cash rent for corn ground in Illinois has been a loser over the last three seasons. It looks like that may continue for two more years. Todd Gleason has more on how owned ground, and share cropped acres have been making up the difference.





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Gary Schnitkey, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois

Assessing the Prospects for 2017 Corn Production

The August Crop Production report surprised many market observers by forecasting 2017 corn production at 14.153 billion bushels. In particular, the corn yield forecast of 169.5 bushels per acre came under scrutiny due to higher than expected yield forecasts in major producing states. The question is whether the corn production forecast will change enough to result in higher prices than those currently reflected the market.



read blog post

CME Group Provides Scholarships for Agriculture

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Agricultural companies are always on the hunt for good employees, but those with college educations can be hard to find. Todd Gleason reports from the Illinois State Fair that the world’s largest options and futures exchange is hoping to inspire a few more kids to further their education.

NAFTA Negotiations Start Wednesday

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Trade negotiators from Mexico and Canada will gather in Washington, D.C. this week to update NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement. Todd Gleason has more…

Google & 4-H Working Together on STEM

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Google & 4-H Working Together on STEM
Rob Biederman, Head of External Affairs Midwest - Google
Jennifer Sirangelo, President & CEO National 4-H CouncilGoogle made a big splash on the Illinois State Fairgrounds this past week when it and the National 4-H Council announced a computer science collaboration. Todd Gleason has more on the $1.5 million gift and how it will be used to create STEM programming for kids.

Google Makes $1.5 Million Gift to 4-H

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Google, through its philanthropic arm, has made a $1.5 million gift to 4-H across the nation. The company is providing both funding support and virtual reality equipment to 4-H youth computer science programs. It made the announcement at the Illinois State Fair Friday, August 11, 2017.

Todd Hubbs Review August Crop Reports

Excerpt from August USDA Crop Production report.Corn production is forecast at 14.2 billion bushels, down 7 percent from last year. Based on conditions as of August 1, yields are expected to average 169.5 bushels per acre, down 5.1 bushels from 2016. If realized, this will be the third highest yield and production on record for the United States. Area harvested for grain is forecast at 83.5 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast but down 4 percent from 2016.Soybean production is forecast at 4.38 billion bushels, up 2 percent from last year. Based on August 1 conditions, yields are expected to average 49.4 bushels per acre, down 2.7 bushels from last year. Area for harvest in the United States is forecast at a record high 88.7 million acres, unchanged from the June forecast but up 7 percent from 2016. Planted area for the Nation is estimated at a record high 89.5 million acres, also unchanged from June.All wheat production, at 1.74 billion bushels, is down 1 percent from the J…

How USDA Collects Yield Data

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How USDA NASS Gathers Crop Production Report Data

USDA NASS will release the first corn and soybean Crop Production Report of the season Thursday August 10th, 2017 at 11am central. Todd Gleason talks with USDA NASS State Statistician Mark Schleusener (shloy-seh-ner) about how the information is collected and calculated.



USDA Crop Production Reports | a primer with Scott Irwin

A year ago University of Illinois agricultural economist Scott Irwin and Darrel Good wrote an article about how USDA predicts corn yields for the farmdocDaily website. Todd reviews this article with Scott Irwin as a primer to the August Crop Production report.

read blog post



Opening Up the Black Box

We have written extensively about U.S. corn yield forecasts issued by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) of the USDA (Irwin and Good, 2006; Irwin and Good, 2011; Irwin, Sanders and Good, 2014; farmdoc daily, August 28, 2013; August 29, 2014; August 18, 2016). As indicated in these previous publications, …