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Showing posts from 2020

Fungicide Applications on Corn and Soybeans

Farmers will be urged to make fungicide applications on their crops this month. Todd Gleason discussed the issues related to both corn and soybean diseases with ILLINOIS Extension Plant Pathologist Nathan Kleczewski.Todd E. Gleason · Fungicide Applications on Corn and Soybeans

Illinois Grain Farm Incomes in 2020

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Todd E. Gleason · Illinois Grain Farm Incomes in 2020
by Gary Schnitkey, Ryan Batts, Krista Swanson, Nick Paulson, Jonathan Coppess - University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, The Ohio State University

link to farmdoc Daily article

We project net incomes for a typical Illinois grain farm in 2020. Before the onset of COVID–19, 2020 net incomes were expected to be low without a turnaround in exports, likely resulting in pressures to continue Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments. With COVID–19 at the forefront in 2020, the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) was implemented to provide relief to offset losses due to the virus and COVID–19 control measures. Even with CFAP payments and larger payments from commodity title programs, incomes are projected to be negative in 2020. More Federal aid could result in 2020 incomes being close to 2019 incomes. Looking ahead, the recent increases in Coronavirus outbreaks suggest this environment may not improve soon and could result in very …

Prevented Plant Impacts on 2019 Illinois Grain Farms Incomes

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link to farmdoc Daily article

In 2019, spring weather was very wet, and many farmers in Illinois had prevented plant (PP) acres. Compared to 2018 incomes, 2019 incomes declined more for those farms that had a larger proportion of their acres in PP. While some have suggested that PP payments may overcompensate farmers, the income results presented in a new paper from the University of Illinois do not support the contention. Todd Gleason has this discussion with ag economist Gary Schnitkey.


Todd E. Gleason · Prevented Plant Impacts on 2019 Illinois Grain Farms Incomes

Farms Included in Study

Table 1 shows 2018 and 2019 incomes on Illinois grain farms enrolled in Illinois Farm Business Farm Management (FBFM). To be included in Table 1, a farm had to meet the following criteria:
Receive the majority of their incomes from grain operations,Have over 500 acres, andHave records that were certified useable by Illinois FBFM staff in both 2018 and 2019. A total of 1,483 farms meet these criteria, …

USDA Surprises Drive Corn Prices Higher

original farmdoc Daily article

by Todd Hubbs, ILLINOIS Extension

The Acreage and Grain Stocks reports, released on June 30, produced some surprises for the corn market. The drop in acreage spurred a rally in corn prices and injected some optimism into the corn outlook moving into the 2020 marketing year. The market turns to weather forecasts and the upcoming WASDE report for price formation over the short term.


Todd E. Gleason · USDA Surprises Drive Corn Prices Higher

Corn producers reported they planted or intended to plant 92.01 million acres of corn this year, 2.31 million more than planted in 2019. Corn planted acres came in 3.2 million acres lower than the average trade guess and 4.98 million acres smaller than March planting intentions. Compared to March planting intentions in major producing states, the June survey revealed lower corn acres in all states. In particular, the western Corn Belt saw substantial acreage reductions with North Dakota (800,000 acres), South Dakota (600,…

ISAP | Conservation Practices, the Supply Chain, & Consumers

Margaret Henry, Director of Sustainable Agriculture - Pepsico
Ryan Sirolli, Global Row Crop Sustainability Director - Cargill

Companies along the food and fiber supply chain are thinking through how to incentivize clean water and conservation practices while providing for consumers’ wants and demands.

Todd E. Gleason · ISAP | Conservation Practices, the Supply Chain, & Consumers

Expected Harvest Prices for Corn & Soybeans in 2020

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farmdoc Daily Soybean article
farmdoc Daily Corn articleTodd E. Gleason · Expected Harvest Prices for Corn & Soybeans in 2020 The farmdoc team at the University of Illinois has created a model projecting the average fall price for corn and soybean futures in October. University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Gary Schnitkey says, at USDA’s current projected yields, it puts December corn futures at $3.10 and November Soybean futures at $8.36. Given current yield estimates, a statistical model suggests that the harvest price for crop insurance in Midwest states will be near $3.10 per bushel. Higher yields, above current estimates, would be expected to result in lower prices and vice versa. Thus, higher prices could happen if 2020 yields are lower than the trend. Conversely, an above trend yield would likely result in lower prices. A harvest price below $3.00 per bushel is a distinct possibility with above trend yields. Given current yield estimates, a statistical model suggests that …

Anticipating June 1 Corn Stocks

Next week (June 30th) USDA will release the quarterly grain stocks report for corn. These numbers have not been updated since March. It will reflect consumption patterns during the coronavirus pandemic.Todd E. Gleason · Anticipating June 1 Corn Stocks The third-quarter grain stocks number is important because it gives the trade an actual tally of how much corn is left from the total available supply in the United States. Early this month USDA projected about 5.7 billion bushels of corn would be used this marketing year in the feed and residual category. This is the one that has the most scrunch room in it. University of Illinois Extension Agricultural Economist Todd Hubbs says if the June stocks report shows 4.89 billion bushels left in the bin, then things are on track, “It will be on track and you make actually see feed and residual move up a little bit if it is in that range. We typically see a fourth quarter feed and residual higher than what that would imply for the third quarter …

Dicamba | Too Hot to Spray

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Farmers and retailers have been under pressure this season to get herbicides applied to soybeans and it has caused a lot of headaches. A Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling caused a five-day pause in the application of three of the four available dicamba products. In Illinois, unlike other states, that pause was upheld and then the state tried to remedy the situation by adding five days to the application window - which now closes June 25th. Mostly it is going to be too hot spray during that time frame. Another regulation prohibits application on days warmer than 85 degrees says University of Illinois Extension Weed Scientist Aaron Hager, “Looking at the long term forecast from the National Weather Service, it looks like the next five days will be a no-spray situation. We’ve high temperatures well in excess of 85 degrees for today, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and on into Monday. So, of the seven days we have left, it looks like on the extended forecast there may be only about two days…

Dicamba & the National Family Farm Coalition

Dicamba herbicide products designed for use with GMO cotton and soybean have been pulled from the marketplace, or at least are in the process of being pulled. This is the result of a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs including the National Family Farm Coalition. Todd Gleason talked with the president of NFFC about the reasons why the farmer organization felt compelled to go to court to keep Dicamba, in this latest form, off the market.

Trying to Reason with History and Policy in a Time of Crisis

Todd E. Gleason · Trying to Reason with History and Policy in a Time of Crisis On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed into law an act of Congress establishing “at the seat of Government of the United States a Department of Agriculture.” Two and one-half years later, in what was to be his last annual message to the Congress, Lincoln said: "The Agricultural Department, under the supervision of its present energetic and faithful head, is rapidly commending itself to the great and vital interest it was created to advance. It is precisely the people’s Department, in which they feel more directly concerned that in any other. I commend it to the continued attention and fostering care of Congress.Concluding Thoughts
by Jonathan Coppess, Univesity of Illinois farmdoc Daily ArticleThere are more than 40 million Americans who have lost their jobs and more than 100,000 Americans have died in just a few months. The brutal killing of George Floyd adds another tragedy to a list already too exte…

CFAP Calculations, Payment Rates, & Explanation

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Todd E. Gleason · Jonathan Coppess on the CFAP Calculations
University of Illinois ag policy specialist Jonathan Coppess and ILLINOIS Extension Farm Broadcaster Todd Gleason discuss the USDA CFAP coronavirus direct payment announcement.

CFAP payments for corn and soybeans max out at 1/2 of total production and are subject to other payment limitations. The calculation compares 1/2-of-total-production to 100% of total-unpriced-inventory on January 15th. The smaller of those two numbers is multiplied by the payment rate to attain the full CFAP payment. FSA will provide a spreadsheet for the calculation and other related paperwork starting May 26, 2020.

$0.33.5 for corn
$0.47.5 for soybeans

CFAP funds will be distributed in two checks. The first will be 80% of the full amount. The second will be up-to-the remaining 20% depending on available funding. It could be prorated to a smaller amount.


This payment rate schedule was developed by University of Illinois Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey. The …

Discovering How Cover Crop Termination Impacts Insect Populations

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Researchers at the University of Illinois were in the field this week counting insects in cereal rye used as a cover crop ahead of corn. It's all part of the work ILLINOIS Extension Entomologist Nick Seiter is doing with cover crops.


This University of Illinois cover crop research is funded in part by Illinois NREC. The Nutrient Research Education Council was created by state statute in 2012 and funded by a 75-cent per ton assessment on bulk fertilizer.

Corn, Soybeans, COVID-19, & the Farm Safety Net

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It sure looks like COVID–19 is going to do some serious damage to the nation’s corn and soybean farmers. A new study from the University of Illinois estimates the damage at about eight billion dollars. This was the case on May the 5th.



That eight billion is a decline of nine percent across the nation and ILLINOIS Extension Ag Economist Gary Schnitkey says it does not include losses that have already piled up for corn and soybeans still in the bin from last year, "If you look at the 2019 crop, obviously there are losses on the 2019 crop from the sales value, we were looking forward at the 2020 crop and getting a feel for the losses on the 2020 crop."

That loss Gary Schnitkey is talking about is the difference between what farmers were expecting to make pre-COVID–19 and what they are likely to make post-COVID–19 on the 2020 corn and soybean harvest, "So we took the futures prices on that date to reflect what harvest prices would look like, projected forward the market-ye…

WHIP+: Farm Aid for Losses Due to Natural Disasters

farmdoc Daily article

The signup period for a program called WHIP+ (whip-plus) is open for farmers suffering losses because of natural disasters during the last two years.



WHIP+ is the continuation of a federal disaster aid program. Most farmers in the corn belt will recall it as the program used last year to bump up prevent plant payments by 15%. Congress introduced WHIP+ last summer, then during the December appropriations process, it dropped in an additional $1.5 billion dollars in funding and expanded qualifying crop losses to include losses due to excessive moisture and D3 and D4 drought.

Producers who suffered either of these types of losses in 2018 or 2019 can apply for WHIP+ assistance through a local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office today says University of Illinois Research Specialist Krista Swanson, "So, the program provides payments for yield losses but there are still a lot of unknowns. The signup period started March 23rd. However, FSA offices across the state do n…

Farmers and the Paycheck Protection Program

Congress has moved to allocate additional money to the Paycheck Protection Program and farmers could benefit.



Bob Rhea of the Illinois Farm Business Farm Management Association says some farmers should be able to apply for the government-backed SBA loans, “We believe farmers are eligible to participate in the PPP, the Paycheck Protection Program, under the CARES Act. They don’t specifically identify agriculture as a participating entity but in the very broad scope of things they say any eligible business with less than 500 employees is eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.”

PPP is administered through local banks and is available through Farm Credit offices. Bob Rhea says it is a loan but one that can be easily forgiven. Here’s how self-employed farmers and others would make the paycheck calculation, “It does include a very unique forgiveness provision for a Small Business Administration loan. It is really based on eight weeks out of 52. Approximately 15% of thei…

US Corn, Soybeans, and Wheat in World Perspective: Importance of the US Cropped Acre Constraint

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By Carl Zulauf, Agricultural Economist - The Ohio State University & Krista Swanson, University of Illinois ACES
link to farmdoc Daily article

Wide-spread concern exists over the large decline in US share of world corn, soybean, and wheat exports (see Figure 1). Moreover, quantity of corn and wheat exports have never consistently exceeded their early 1980 levels (see Figure 2). Tariff wars have heightened the concern. Long term impact of the tariff wars is a concern, but this article argues that graphs such as Figures 1 and 2 exaggerate the decline in US agriculture’s international standing and mask key relationships that frame private and public decisions. Data cited in this article come from PSD (Production, Supply, and Demand website).







Reasons for Exaggeration Growth in domestic US use is ignored. US consumption of meat, livestock products, and especially biofuels has grown, displacing exports, everything else remaining the same. Zulauf estimates US corn exports are 1.4 billion …

Planting Corn and Soybeans in 2020

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by Emerson Nafziger, ILLINOIS Extension Agronomist

March rainfall in Illinois ranged from normal to a couple of inches above normal, but the last week of March and first week of April have been relatively dry, and field operations are getting underway. The April 6 NASS report indicates that there were 3.1 days suitable for fieldwork in Illinois during the week ending on April 5, but no planting was recorded. As is often the case in early April, soils are wet over most of the state.

The 4-inch soil temperatures at 10 AM have been close to 50 degrees in southern Illinois, and over the past week they have increased from the low 40s to the mid–40s in central and northern Illinois. The forecast is for a return to cooler weather later this week, and possibly to wetter conditions as well. Such “yo-yoing” is normal for April, and it often brings up questions about what to do when the weather forecast is for conditions to deteriorate as planting approaches. Do we plant or do we wait?

There is…

Crude Oil Makes New Low, Ethanol Tumbles & is Corn too High

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That new #crudeoil low is not good for #ethanol or #corn. I did two interviews on this at the end of last week. One with Eric Mosbey during Commodity Week and one with Geoff Cooper from @EthanolRFA @ScottIrwinUI & @jt_hubbs wrote an @farmdocDaily article, too.


The price of crude oil has reached a new contract low below $20 a barrel.


The ethanol industry is struggling under the weight of #COVID19 and the crude oil price war. I spoke with Geoff Cooper, President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association about the situation. With crude in the $20s, #corn is too high for ethanol.



The estimated reductions in #ethanol use are 143 million gallons in March, 391 mln in April, and 207 mln in May, for a total reduction of 741 million gallons or 256 mln bushels of read-reduction-estimate-with-caution #corn write @ScottIrwinUI & @jt_hubbs.

link to @farmdocDaily article

Lincolnland Agri-Energy’s Eric Mosbey explains how #COVID19 and the low price of #crudeoil is affecting #ethanol plants lik…

COVID-19 Guidelines Extended to April 30

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President Trump Sunday extended the 15 days social distancing #COVID19 guidelines until the end of April. He made the announcement during a Rose Garden Coronavirus Task Force press conference.

Mr. Trump went on later in the press conference to say he, at this point, would not consider relaxing the guidelines for different regions sometime in April. The President mentioned parts of the corn belt as an example during this exchange. 

Here is a link to the federal COVID-19 guidelines.


Coronavirus & Ag Webinar Friday

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The farmdoc team at the University of Illinois College of ACES is starting a webinar series called "farmdocDaily Live" to address agricultural issues related to coronavirus. The first webinar is this Friday.

University of Illinois agricultural economists will host a webinar on the impact of coronavirus Friday morning March 20, 2020, at 11 a.m. central. It will be the first in a series called farmdocDaily Live. Farmdoc team members including Scott Irwin, Todd Hubbs, Gary Schnitkey, Jonathan Coppess, and Nick Paulson will each spend a few minutes calling out specific issues of concern and, if possible, some solutions to consider. ILLINOIS Extension farm broadcaster Todd Gleason will moderate the series and facilitate the question and answer sessions.

The farmdocDaily Live webinars are planned to continue regularly each Tuesday and Friday at 11 a.m. The second program in the series, Tuesday, March 24, will feature University of Illinois infectious disease specialist Jim Lowe. H…

farmdocDaily Live | Coronvirus & Ag

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Friday morning at 11am central join farmdocDaily's Jonathan Coppess, Scott Irwin, Gary Schnitkey, and Nick Paulson for the first in our new farmdocDaily Live series. Todd Gleason will lead the 30-minute discussion of the coronavirus impact on ag, planting decisions, and policy
farmdocDaily Live | #Coronavirus & Ag register today http://go.illinois.edu/fddlive

Profitability & IL Corn/Soybean Acreage Shifts

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by Gary Schnitkey, ILLINOIS Extension
link to farmdocdaily article

At its recent Agricultural Outlook Forum, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released estimates of 2020 planted acres in the United States, with both corn and soybean acres increasing from 2019 levels (see Grain and Oilseed Outlook, February 21, 2020). When compared to 2018 plantings, USDA is projecting a 2020 shift to more corn acres and fewer soybean acres across the United States. Projecting this shift across the U.S. seems reasonable. However, most of those shifts likely will occur outside of the corn belt. Estimated 2020 profitability in Illinois suggests relatively even acres of corn and soybeans in Illinois.


A University of Illinois agricultural economist says corn is likely to be more profitable than soybeans this year across the state. However, as Todd Gleason reports, historical relationships do not suggest large acreage shifts in the state.

Projected Acreage Shifts in the U.S. For corn and soybeans, USD…