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Big in ag: From one extreme to another

  • 01

    The weather has been the major story in agriculture in the last year. And, although it's for the complete opposite reason -- excessive moisture, not drought -- that continues to be the case. See more on that and the other big stories in ag this week.

  • 02

    The last week's seen an almost 5% decline in the area of the U.S. covered by drought, according to Thursday's U.S. Drought Monitor. Though the moisture has been welcome to many parched farmers, it's coming at about the worst time of the year possible.

  • 03

    With the precipitation heavy and frequent the last few days, flooding popped up in parts of the Midwest late this week, representing a stark departure from the dominating weather story of the last year, the drought.

  • 04

    Planters have been parked in most of the country due to the weather. USDA's Crop Progress report released this week shows 2% of the nation's corn crop is planted. But in the Corn Belt, there are a lot of blank spots on USDA's report.

  • 05

    That slow planting is just one of many ag-specific variables touching the grain markets right now, but there's a lot going on around the world -- namely in China -- this week that's affected prices, too. See more in this week's 'Big Picture.'

  • 06

    If you are chomping at the bit to plant corn, it's no time to push it, one expert said this week. Instead of watching the calendar, keeping track of "thermal time," that which is dictated by growing degree days (GDDs) is the best measure.

  • 07

    The move from drought to excessive moisture isn't the only trend to see change in the last couple of weeks. A recent report shows Illinois farmland managers and appraisers see signs that land rents could be on their way back down.

  • 08

    Another market could be moving the opposite direction; if a few market dynamics move the right direction -- especially feed costs -- the hog sector could see profits later this year, though later on than earlier estimates, one expert said this week.

  • 09

    If you're still waiting out Mother Nature before you can hit the field, why not use that pent-up energy to make sure your planter's all ready to roll once you can start planting? Once the window opens, you're going to want to run fast with no breakdowns. Here are a few tips to get ready.

  • 10

    Some of this nation's farms rely heavily upon immigrant labor. That makes this week's work on Capitol Hill toward an immigration reform bill important to the ag sector, and farm state lawmakers are deeply involved in the process. Here's the latest.

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