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Showing posts from 2019

Managing Prevented-Planting Fields | an interview with Emerson Nafziger

by Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist - University of Illinois
link to The Bulletin postWith a lot of acres of corn and soybeans still unplanted as we move into the second half of June, prevented planting (PP) is unfortunately going to be a major part of the story of the 2019 cropping season in Illinois. Here we’ll look at goals and options for managing acres on which the intended crop—corn or soybean—does not get planted.
Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois Extension Agronomist, on how to manage Prevented Planting acreage this summer.The main goals of managing PP acres will be: 1) providing a vegetative cover in order to keep the soil in place and to prevent “fallow syndrome”; 2) to prevent or manage weeds so they don’t reseed the field; and 3) to take up nitrogen, including that from any N-containing fertilizer (including DAP/MAP), and any N that will be released from soil organic matter during the growing season. We also need to find ways to keep costs down, given that the P…

Corn Acreage and Stocks | an interview with Todd Hubbs

by Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois
link to farmdocDaily postCorn futures prices rallied about $0.90 per bushel since the beginning of May. The rally reflects expectations that planted acreage will fall well short of March intentions and on yield concerns associated with wide-ranging late planting. Demand weakness continues to emerge in the export market, but supply issues look to overwhelm any decrease in demand. The release of USDA’s Grain Stocks and Acreage reports on June 28 looks to set the tone for summer corn prices.
The end of the month USDA Grain Stocks and Acreage reports are less than two weeks away. Todd Gleason talks with University of Illinois ag economist and commodity marketing specialist about the projected numbers and how farmers should set this self up for marketing this year’s corn and soybean crops.The reduction in corn planted acreage by three million acres and corn yield by 10 bushels per acre in the June WASDE appears to be a harbinger of things to come this ye…

Corn Yield Implications of Late Planting

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University of Illinois Extension Agronomist Emerson Nafziger discusses the impact of late corn planting and how farmers should set about nitrogen applications this spring. He was interviewed May 1, 2019 by Todd Gleason.The following summary is taken from a May 1, 2019 University of Illinois farmdocDaily article written by agricultural economists Scott Irwin and Todd Hubbs.“The impact of late planting on projections of the U.S. average corn yield is an important question right now due to the very wet conditions so far this spring through much of the Corn Belt. We estimate that the relationship of late planting with corn yield trend deviations is highly non-linear, with a largely flat segment up to 10 percent above average late planting and then a steeply sloped segment for late planting that is 10 percent or more above average. This nicely matches the curvature of planting date effects on corn yield estimated in agronomic field trials (e.g., farmdoc daily, May 20, 2015; Nafziger, 2017)…

Crop Insurance Loss Ratios in 2018

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Gary Schnitkey from the University of Illinois discusses crop insurance loss ratios for 2018, the current outlook for payments in 2019, and the strategic economic models he’ll be developing for soybeans.

by Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois
link to farmdocDaily article

Most 2018 payments on Federal crop insurance products have now been entered into the Risk Management Agency’s (RMA’s) record system and losses for 2018 can be stated accurately. Similar to 2016 and 2017, low losses again occurred in 2018. Losses were particularly low in Illinois and, more generally, the eastern Corn Belt.

Background on Loss Ratios

This article presents loss ratios, which equal payments on crop insurance policies divided by total premium paid on crop insurance policies. A loss ratio of 1.0 means that crop insurance payments are equal to total premium. Ratios above 1.0 indicate that payments exceed premium, which occurs with some regularity. On the other hand, loss ratios below 1.0 indicate that payme…

It Still Takes Two Weeks to Plant the American Corn Crop

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Most people take for granted that the farmers can plant their crops way faster today than ever before. While it is true today’s equipment can plant a single acre of corn much faster, it still takes about the same amount of time to plant the whole crop.



It’s an illusion and pretty simple math says University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Scott Irwin, "This is a situation where your eyes can deceive you. So, you drive out in the countryside and you have a friend that is a farmer. They have a big planter and can plant their individual farm, in these particular cases, clearly much faster than they used to (be able to plant them). I don’t disagree with that individual anecdotal observation. The problem is that this doesn’t necessarily add up to the whole."



Sure, the equipment can get over a single acre way faster but each piece of equipment is going over way more acres than used to be the case. Consequently, it takes about the same time to plant the whole U.S. corn crop toda…

Good Yields! Yes but a Warning | an interview with Gary Schnitkey

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by Gary Schnitkey, University of Illinois
read farmdocDaily article

On a national basis, corn and soybean yields were near record-breaking levels in 2018, with exceptional yields in central Illinois and the eastern United States contributing heavily to those near-record U.S. yields. Other areas had below-trend yields. The county yields for corn and soybeans presented in this article illustrate these facts. Much higher U.S. yields are possible if all areas have exceptional yields. However, all areas including Illinois should not expect above-trend yields in every year.

Corn Yields

The 2018 corn yield for the United States was 176.4 bushels per acre, just .2 bushels below the record yield of 176.6 bushels per acre set in 2017 (all yields in this article are from QuickStats, a website maintained by the National Agricultural Statistical Service). From a national standpoint, corn yields were excellent in 2018.

Contributing to these high yields were counties having average yields above 220 …

Apr 10 | CONAB Updates Corn S&D Table

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@Conab_Oficial reports Brazil's second-crop corn acreage is expected to be up 6.1% from last year. An early soybean harvest and good weather are the contributing factors. The 2nd crop corn harvest is expected to be 26.4% larger than last season's climate hampered crop.



Brazil's 2018/19 ending stocks are expected to rise to 15.3mt or approximately a 2-month supply with total yearly demand at 93.5mt. @Conab_Oficial notes new crop corn supply may yet grow as production conditions are "very positive". Exports are set at 31mt.



On price - @Conab_Oficial is concerned domestic usage will not increase because the 62.5mt already includes livestock feed usage that has levelled off and it is not known if domestic corn ethanol increases will materialize as new plants have yet to come online.

...a good part of the 1st crop corn writes @Conab_Oficial has not been marketed. When taken with a big second crop corn harvest it cautions a low price scenario.

Brazil's counterpart …

USDA Reports Provide Surprises for Corn

Friday’s USDA reports surprised the corn market. Todd Gleason has more on how more corn acreage than expected this year coupled with more corn leftover from last year than expected will influence prices.

by Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois
read farmdocdaily article
watch post-USDA report webinar with Todd Hubbs and Scott Irwin

The USDA’s quarterly Grain Stocks report and annual Prospective Planting report delivered surprises to the corn market. A greater than expected corn stocks number combined with higher than expected planted acreage of corn gave very bearish news to corn prices. Soybean stocks and acreage came in neutral to slightly positive for soybean prices.

March 1 corn stocks came in at 8.605 billion bushels compared to an average trade guess of 8.335 billion bushels. The stocks estimate suggested feed and residual use of corn during the first half of the 2018–19 marketing year came in eight percent lower than last marketing year. Lower feed and residual use materialized desp…

Managing Nitrogen for Corn in 2019

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by Emerson Nafziger, University of Illinois

The fall of 2018 and so far in 2019, there have been limited opportunities to apply nitrogen fertilizer. Average rainfall through the first 25 days of March ranged from a little less than normal in the northern half of Illinois to an inch or more above normal in south-central Illinois. But temperatures have averaged 3 to 4 degrees below normal, which slowed drying. There were several days in the first week of March when it was frozen on the surface and a considerable amount of P and K went on. This was followed by an inch or more of rain (which had been forecast) in many areas, and it’s likely that some of the nutrients—those in MAP/DAP and potash are soluble—moved from higher to lower parts of fields, or off of fields altogether. While it’s good to get P and K applied before spring work starts, we really should consider holding off the next time soils are frozen and substantial rainfall is forecast before a thaw.

N rate

Results from the on-…

Mar 29 | USDA Stocks & Acreage

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- Dale Durchholz, AgriVisor LLC
- Greg Ginder, FCStone
- Mike Zuzolo, GlobalAnalytics.net
- Lance Honig, USDA NASS












Pre-Season Tar Spot Checklist for Corn

Corn farmers in northern Illinois and across the corn belt have been dealing with a new disease. Todd Gleason has more on Tar Spot and what producers can do to mitigate its impact.

Tar spot is a relatively new disease of corn in the Midwest. It has been showing up on field corn in Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio, and Florida says University of Illinois Extension Plant Pathologist Nathan Kleczewski, "That's where it is found right now. But in terms of severity, where we have seen it the most and the pressure is the highest, if you would take the lower portion of Lake Michigan and draw a section around there, that is where we've had the greatest severity right now. That is where we've had the most pressure."

Kleczewski says this is because tar spot likes nighttime lows in the 70's and a lot of humidity. Here's a pre-season checklist for farmers in these areas concerned about the disease, "We do know that hybrids have different toler…

The Economic Advisability of Lowering 2019 N Rates on Corn

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by Gary Schnitkey, Agricultural Economist - University of Illinois
read farmdocDaily article

Spring field operations will soon begin, and nitrogen applications on corn will commence. More nitrogen will be applied this spring than is typical because wet weather limited fall applications. University-recommended nitrogen application rates in Illinois are between 140 and 180 pounds of actual nitrogen per acre for corn-following-soybeans. For farmers applying above those rates, application reductions seem prudent this year. If a farmer is uncomfortable lowering to the University-recommended rates, experimenting by leaving strips in fields seems prudent.

Why Consider Lowering Nitrogen Application Rates in 2019?

Two economic factors suggest urgency in lowering nitrogen rates this year. First, net incomes on Illinois farms could be extremely low in 2019. Projections indicate average income on grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM) could be -$55,000 per farm if p…

Farmers Unlikely to Make Big Acreage Switch to Corn

The scuttlebutt in the trade, even in the numbers released by USDA at its February Agricultural Outlook Forum, is that the economics will push farmers to plant a lot more corn acres this year.Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey has updated budgets for corn and soybeans across the state. He knows USDA increased its expectation for corn acres around the nation by about 3 million acres but says he does not expect a big shift to corn in Illinois, “What we find is that corn is projected to be more profitable than soybeans. This is the first year in a while that has happened. However, our budgets do not suggest shifting to more corn production. Particularly corn-after-corn is less profitable than soybeans. So, it is status quo for the central Illinois area with a 50/50 corn/soybean rotation being more profitable for 2019.”This holds for northern and central Illinois. Southern Illinois still has a regionalized economic bias to plant soybeans. Soybeans make more money there says Schnitkey, “However, …

Feb 23 | WILLAg Newsletter

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Changes are coming!

The agricultural sector is caught up in a storm of change. Political and economic forces have been squeezing trade on the global front and U.S. farmers have been leaning into the winds. We take up a few of these topics in this edition of the WILLAg Newsletter.
Trade with ChinaProfile of USTR LighthizerUSDA Ag Outlook ForumCorn Acreage in 2019Expected Corn vs Soybean Returns2018 Ethanol Plant Losses We’ll also explore these topics, marketing prospects, the price of farmland, and the weather during our March 5 All Day Ag Outlook. Hopefully, you can join us at the Beef House in Covington, Indiana. The cost is just $30 and includes Beef House coffee and rolls in the morning and Beef House lunch at the noon hour.

Tickets are available online or by calling 800–898–1065.

Hope to See You There!
Todd E. Gleason, Farm Broadcaster
University of Illinois Extension | WILLAg.org




Trade with China

Friday the Chinese trade delegation gathered in the Oval Office with President Trump. …