Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Western Corn Rootworm Research Trials

Image
When farmers want to know how well an insecticide works they turn to their Land Grant University for unbiased information. Todd Gleason has more from the western corn rootworm trials on the Urbana-Champaign campus. This little four-row planter is outfitted with some pretty high tech stuff. All of which must be calibrated before it goes to the field where it will be used to plant a western corn rootworm trial. A trial that will assess how well twelve different current in-furrow liquid and granular insecticides work. Well, at least some of them are current products, others are experimentals says University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter, “We like to evaluate all the different options that are out there. There is always potential that we could lose control tactics that we are using currently.” So, researchers at Illinois want to make sure to evaluate everything available just in case something becomes ineffective. This we there are good answers on what to try next. It is …

How to Play Trump's China Deal for Soybeans

The President has been tweeting about agriculture. He says the potential deal with China will result in “massive” export increases for farm commodities. Most have taken this to mean, at a minimum, that the flow of soybeans will be increased. University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs has been pondering the implications and the deal. Todd Hubbs specializes is row crop commodity marketing at the University of Illinois. You may read his thoughts on marketing soybeans in today’s (this week’s) post to the farmdocDaily website.

May 21 | WILLAg Newsletter

Image
May 20, 2018
University of Illinois Extension | WILLAg.org
Projected Cutting Dates for Black Cutworm in CornChina, NAFTA, and Trade DealsCommodity WeekUSDA Weekly Crop ProgressMarket Outlook for Corn and SoybeansU.S. House Fails to Pass 2018 Farm Bill
Projected Cutting Dates for Black Cutworm in Corn



Farmers should be on the lookout for black cutworm in their corn fields.

The earliest projected cutting dates were late last week in Montgomery County. University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter says fields, especially at risk to having plants cut by the black cutworm, include those with later planted corn and those sown into grassy weeds or a late terminated cover crop. Seiter explains, “What you are going to want to do is to scout your field. Look for plants lying on the ground that appears to have been cut with scissors. This is different looking than damage from a bird digging up the plant looking for the seed. These corn plants will be cut off. When you start finding tha…

U.S. House Fails to Pass 2018 Farm Bill

Friday, May 18, 2018, the United States House of Representatives voted on and failed to pass legislation to create the 2018 version of the Farm Bill. Fourteen members of the Republican Party’s Freedom Caucus, 16 moderate Republicans, and the Democrats cast no votes. It sets up a complex path forward for the bill.</

Projected Cutting Dates for Black Cutworm in Corn

Image
Farmers should be on the lookout for black cutworm in their corn fields.

The earliest projected cutting dates were late last week in Montgomery County. University of Illinois Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter says fields especially at risk to having plants cut by the black cut worm include those with later planted corn and those sown into grassy weeds or a late terminated cover crop. Seiter explains, “What you are going to want to do is to scout your field. Look for plants lying on the ground that appear to have been cut with scissors. This is different looking than damage from a bird digging up the plant looking for the seed. These corn plants will be cut off. When you start finding that, scrape around in the residue looking for the larvae. The black cut worm larva is dark colored, with a greasy appearance. It is not slimy, but it looks like it has been coated with Crisco. If you find the worms and about three percent of the plants have been cut throughout the field it is the time …

Market Outlook for Corn and Soybeans

Image
Farmers, as we enter the last half of May, are nearing the end of the spring planting season and they are turning their attention again to the marketplace. Todd Gleason has more on how one agricultural economist sees prices playing out for the year.

We’ll start with the last numbers USDA publishes in the Supply and Demand tables for each commodity, the season’s average price. For corn, that number - at the midpoint - is $3.80. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs is a bit more optimistic. He has it at $4.05. His soybean price, however, is less than USDA’s. The agency has it at $10.00 a bushel. Hubbs puts it at $9.45. The difference in viewpoint says Hubbs lands squarely on soybean exports, “When we look forward to 18/19 the 2.29 billion bushel USDA projection seems a bit high especially when you consider the size of the Brazilian soybean crop and China’s aspiration to increase domestic soybean production while cutting back on imports for the first time in over a de…

May 10 | USDA WASDE ReAct with Todd Hubbs

Image
The monthly WASDE report for May 2018 introduced the first look at the new crop corn and soybean supply & demand tables. Todd Gleason has more with University of Illinois commodity markets specialist Todd Hubbs.







Soybean Crush Continues Strength

Image
by Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
read farmdocDaily article

Soybean crush levels picked up substantially over the last few months due to strong crush margins. Driven by production issues in Argentina, the increase in crush margin recently is attributed to rapid growth in soybean meal prices. For the 2017–08 marketing year, the USDA currently projects the domestic crush at 1.97 billion bushels, up 3.6 percent from last marketing year. Soybean meal use needs to build on recent progress to meet or exceed the current crush projection.



Soybean crush during the first half of the marketing year from September 2017 through February 2018 equaled 1010.6 million bushels, 3.5 percent greater than the total of the previous year. The USDA’s current projection indicates a 3.6 percent increase for the year and implies that the crush during the last half of the year will be 3.7 percent larger than the crush during the previous marketing year. The Census Bureau estimated th…

Soil-borne Plant Disease Trials @ Illinois

Image
Over the next few years, companies will release new and updated ways to use seed treatments to control soil-borne diseases in corn and soybeans. Researchers at the University of Illinois are looking to assess how well each of these might work. One of the first steps in the scientific process is to lay out the trials. In this case that means intentionally inoculating the area with a disease says University of Illinois Extension Plant Pathologist Nathan Kleczewski, “We are putting in some different soybean and corn trials today looking at different seed treatments for controlling seed-borne diseases. So, we have some pythium trials, some SDS trials, and some rhizoctonia trials. We’re getting those in the ground.”Kleczewski is testing how well both old and new seed-treatment products work. He’s wants to see how efficacious they are at controlling corn and soybean plant diseases, “We are also trying some existing products utilizing different mechanisms of application to see if they might …

Accident at Argentine Grain Terminal Sends Soybean Prices Higher

Image
The price of soybeans and bean meal jumped Friday as news continues to filter in from the April 24 grain terminal port accident in Argentina. The Chinese flagged Ocean Treasure, a bulk agricultural commodities carrier, struck and heavily damaged a pier at Puerto General San Martín north of Rosario on the Paraná River.



Ocean Treasure was preparing to load up to 24,000 tons of corn and a total of 27,000 tons of soymeal, according to shipping agency data.

The incident occurred at the north dock of Terminal 6. It is grain and liquid bulk facility on the Paraná River. Video of the incident shows the collapse of a fixed conveyor belt and loading equipment after impact. Guillermo Wade, the manager of Argentina’s Chamber of Port and Maritime Activity, told Reuters that one worker suffered minor injuries. He reported that T6’s north dock sustained serious damage, but the south dock remains operational.


Bunge Grain Terminal Puerto General San Martín
Terminal 6 S.A., a joint venture of AGD and B…

President Trump Talks Farmers in Michigan

Image
President Donald Trump made a speech Saturday in Washington, Michigan. Thirty-seven minutes into the speech he talked about farmers, trade with China & Japan, the guest worker immigration program, cattle, wheat, and NAFTA. You may watch the whole speech here. It is set to start at the 37-minute mark with the trade and farm issues.

A Corn Price Conversation with Todd Hubbs

Image
The lateness of the planting season coupled with smaller acreage has put a fundamental lift into the corn market. Todd Gleason talks with the University of Illinois commodity markets specialist about what it might mean for prices.

A Corn Price Conversation with Todd Hubbs

The lateness of the planting season coupled with smaller acreage has put a fundamental lift into the corn market. Todd Gleason talks with the University of Illinois commodity markets specialist about what it might mean for prices.

Yield Implications of Delayed Corn Planting

Image
read farmdocDaily articleThe late spring has many worried. Others are confident farmers can plant a corn crop in 5 working days. University of Illinois agricultural economists have gone through the USDA data to see if this is true and what impact a late planting season might have on corn yields. The grand prairie of Illinois is still lying dormant. Its soils are just beginning to reach that magical 50-degree mark. That’s when the corn planters begin to roll. It’s a late start to the season this year, and despite the increased size of the machinery University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin says it’ll still take about as much time to plant the corn crop this season as it did nearly 30 years ago, “If we are operating at our maximum capacity, it takes about fourteen days and when we say days we mean field days not calendar days, to get the job done”.The reason is simple. There are fewer farmers using bigger machines. So, it is pretty likely it will take a while to get the …

A Late Planting Season Lesson

Image
The late start to the growing season in the corn belt and the northern plains has farmers and traders worried. But, as a commodity marketing class at the University of Illinois found out there is much more to be learned from the data. This 400 level agricultural college class taught by Scott Irwin includes guest lectures by Illinois alum involved in price discovery. In this case, Mike Tannura from T-storm Weather in Chicago is teaching them about how the weather and the markets work together. Right now he tells them is a good example of a weather market. The cold, the snow storms, the damp air hasn’t allowed farmers from Ohio to North Dakota to really begin the planting season says Tannura, “In an ideal world, you would plant all your corn and all your soybeans in a very timely manner. It would all be wrapped up by sometime in the middle of May. Given where we are today, if it turns out to be wet in the first week or two of May, then everybody is going to fall behind”.The trick is to …

2018 Acreage Decisions: Steady as She Goes in Rough Waters

Image
read farmdocDaily article

The price of corn and soybeans has been swinging on trade threats and changing acreage mixes in the United States. However, those price movements have yet to change the relative profitability between corn and soybeans writes Gary Schnitkey on the farmdocDaily website this week.

Soybeans remain more profitable than corn in the University of Illinois agricultural economist’s crop budgets, but the difference between them has narrowed. Schnitkey says the risks of significant price declines have increased, particularly for soybeans and that hedging a large percentage of 2018 expected soybean production seems prudent.

Current prices are higher than earlier in the winter. The central Illinois fall delivery bids on April 6, 2018 were $3.80 for corn and $10.00 per bushel for soybeans. Budgets based on these fall delivery bids are shown in Table 1.



Panel A shows budget for high productivity farmland in central Illinois. The operator and land return for corn is $256 per…

No Good Way for Perdue to Protect Farmers

Image
President Trump has asked the Secretary of Agriculture to protect U.S. farmers from the trade dispute with China. However, there aren’t many options for Sonny Perdue.Last week Sonny Perdue was on the road for his second RV tour of farm country. His first tour was last summer. That’s when he told producers he would be their salesman to the world. Now he’s being asked to be their protector in the face of trade restrictions, some in place others proposed, as President Trump sets about rectifying what he sees as unfair trade with China. However, Perdue isn’t saying what he’ll do for farmers and there may be a good reason that’s the case says University of Illnois Ag Policy Specialist Jonathan Coppess, “There are not a lot options for the Secretary when it comes to the covered commodities.”Typically USDA lawyers will explain there is flexibility in the original CCC charter act and the general powers to improve prices. Yet, because Congress has stepped in and directed spending for commoditi…

Will Soybean Ending Stocks Get Larger

Image
by Todd Hubbs, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
read farmdocdaily article

Recent rumblings of potential tariffs by China on U.S. soybeans created a stir last week. While the market reacts to the uncertainty associated with trade policy, the upcoming WASDE report, on April 10, will update soybean use projections for this marketing year. The USDA may revise the forecast of ending stocks for soybeans during the current marketing year due to weaker than projected soybean export pace and stronger crush numbers.

The current USDA projection for soybean ending stocks during the 2017–18 marketing year sits at 555 million bushels, an increase of 130 million bushels since the November projection. The steady increase in ending stock projections is due to decreasing export projections. Current USDA soybean export projections for this marketing year are 2.065 billion bushels. On April 5, the Census Bureau released export estimates for February. The updated export estimates for soybea…

Jonathan Coppess Breaks Down Trump Trade Issues

The first week of April has been tumultuous for American agriculture. Todd Gleason talks with Jonathan Coppess about how the Trump Administration has been handling trade with China, the NAFTA negotiations, and biofuels.

How to Properly Use Dicamba on Soybeans

read farmdocdaily article

As the growing season approaches it is important for farmers to understand how to use dicamba on resistant soybean varieties. Todd Gleason has more with University of Illinois weed scientist Aaron Hager.



The following is an excerpt from the March 23 farmdocdaily article posted by University of Illinois Weed Scientist Aaron Hager.

Steps for Successful Weed Management in Dicamba-Resistant Soybean

Step 1
plant dicamba soybean seed into a weed-free seedbedachieve a weed-free seedbed through the use of preplant tillage, an effective burndown herbicide(s), or a combination of tillage and burndown herbicides Step 2:
select and apply within 7 days of planting a soil-residual herbicide that targets your most problematic weed species; if desired (and labeled), add dicamba and an appropriate bufferfor waterhemp or Palmer amaranth, select a product containing the active ingredients from one of the following categories of control:ExcellentGoodAcceptablesulfentrazonepyroxasu…

A New Firmer Tone for Corn Prices

Last week’s USDA reports solidified the more positive outlook the trade has had for corn. Todd Gleason has more from the University of Illinois with commodity markets specialist Todd Hubbs.

Cash Rents and the 2019 Growing Season

Professional farm managers in the state of Illinois have completed a cash rent survey. Todd Gleason reports it is a fairly go indicator of where cash rents in the state can be expected to go. He talked with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey about the results.

Dry Cows | 10 Steps for a Successful Transition Period

Nutrition and management of the dry dairy cow has been an area of extensive research over the last 25 years. Although nutritional requirements during this phase are fairly simple, the sudden transition from non-lactating to lactating state – as well as the physiologic and metabolic processes associated with it – make the transition period a fascinating and important stage of the production cycle of the dairy cow.read more from the Dairy Focus Newsletter
read more from the Dairy Focus Newsletter

Export Outlook for Soybeans

read farmdocDaily articleRecent data on the soybean export pace indicates stronger weekly sales. This offers hope for meeting the USDA marketing year export projection. The size of the 2018 crop in South America and the competitiveness of U.S. export prices, says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs, remain essential to determining U.S. export possibilities for the remainder of the marketing year.
ILLINOIS Ag Economist Todd Hubbs discusses the potential for U.S. soybean exports to meet USDA’s stated marketing year goal with Todd Gleason.

Exceptional Corn and Soybean Yields in 2017

read farmdocDaily articleMany areas of the country had above trend yields in 2017. While still not the majority, county yields of over 200 bushels per acre are becoming common and may be expected in the center of the corn-belt. Similarly, counties with over 60 bushels per acre are occurring with some regularity. Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey.

Designing & Planting a Windbreak

Right now may be a very good time to consider creating a windbreak for your home or farm. Todd Gleason has more on how with Duane Friend from University of Illinois Extension.

Avoid Invasives, Plant Natives this Spring

Invasive plant species in our natural areas can wreak havoc for wildlife. These invasive plants can reduce nesting sites or add confusion for birds causing them to nest too early, reduce insect and pollinator food and habitat and drastically reduce native plant populations. Todd Gleason talks with Illinois Extension’s Kelly Allsup about native alternatives to some popular landscape plants.

Export Outlook for Soybeans | an interview with Todd Hubbs

read farmdocDaily article

Recent data on the soybean export pace indicates stronger weekly sales. This offers hope for meeting the USDA marketing year export projection. The size of the 2018 crop in South America and the competitiveness of U.S. export prices, says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs, remain essential to determining U.S. export possibilities for the remainder of the marketing year.
ILLINOIS Ag Economist Todd Hubbs discusses the potential for U.S. soybean exports to meet USDA's stated marketing year goal with Todd Gleason.

Secretary Perdue Comments on Trade Disputes

. @SecretarySonny hopes agricultural commodities don't become the "tip of the retaliation spear" in a tit for tat trade dispute. He says countries should negotiate exemptions case by case with the Trump Administration.

audio/video/photo courtesy @USDApic.twitter.com/c9rChbVFj9 — Todd E. Gleason (@commodityweek) March 20, 2018

Trends in Farm Balance Sheets Over Time

read farmdocDaily articleTrends in the financial position of Illinois farms are presented in this article.
University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey explored Illinois Farm Business Farm Management balance sheets to see how they have changed over time. He discusses those changes with University of Illinois Extension Farm Broadcaster Todd Gleason.Overall, farms gained financial strength from 2006 to 2012. Since 2012, working capital has declined. The net worth and debt-to-asset position of most farms remain strong, but per acre net worth has decreased and the debt-to-asset ratios have increased in recent years. Those are worrisome trends. Future financial performance depends on returns. Likely financial performance given differing commodity prices are presented at the end of this article.

The Early Birds | a Master Naturalist Journal Entry

by Rose Moore, Illinois Extension Certified Master NaturalistJust about this time every winter, subtle changes begin to occur in the natural world. There still may be snow on the ground and in the air but that doesn’t seem to affect the invisible clocks of the creatures around us.Every morning as winter gradually lessons it’s grip, these changes become more noticeable to me. On this late February day, I immediately heard the noisy chatter of blackbirds as I stepped outside. This is a distinctive change from previously quiet mornings. Sure enough down near the creek a large flock of blackbirds could be seen in the honey locusts. I spotted a few red-winged blackbirds a distance away. Their cackles are the harbinger of spring to me as much as the robin. This chatter is a comfort to me and reminds me of childhood days spent outside in the spring.Hundreds of European Starlings are also evident in the countryside now. They fly in organized shapes across the fields, swirling and spinning lik…

WILLAg Newsletter | February 18, 2018

Image
February 18, 2018

The CME Group commodity markets are closed Monday in observance of President’s Day.

Last week I ignored the markets, mostly. My wife and I took some time to visit Savannah, Georgia. However, we still managed to find a way to incorporate corn & soybeans into our lives. I can remember taking a vacation in the late 1970’s with mom and dad to Estes Park in the Rocky Mountains. We went the long way through Iowa that summer so dad could get a look at the corn crop.

Naturally, there isn’t a corn crop to look at the United States right now so Claranne and I did the next best thing. We stopped in Kentucky where bourbon is made from corn, and then spent about an hour looking for a sign commemorating the place where the soybean was first introduced into North America. That is outside of Savannah. Both are chronicled here.

Don’t forget to buy your ticket for the All Day Ag Outlook. It is Tuesday, March 6, 2018. The markets are getting more interesting, and so are the agricul…

WILLAg Newsletter | February 11, 2018

Image
February 11, 2018

Last Thursday USDA released the monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report. It increased U.S. corn exports for this fiscal year by 125 million bushels. It is a very large change. A rough rule of thumb is that every 100 million bushel change is worth about a dime in the market when prices are at mid-point (say $4.50 for corn). The 10 cent move is relative to the old mid-point at the lower plateau and we really haven’t been in the new era long enough to know if this amount has expanded to say to 15, 18, or 20 cents or if it is still 10 cents per 100 million. None-the-less 100 million bushels is a big move.

However, the further you are from the mid-point the less the bushel change is worth. Consequently the 125 million bushel change on Thursday was only worth a couple of cents to the upside.
Soybeans are a more interesting story. USDA added 60 million bushels to U.S. ending stocks taking them from 470 million bushels to 530 million. Do you remember wh…