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Crop Guesses & Economic Messes: What to Know This Week

  • 01

    This week, there's been a major focus on crop yield potential and whether or not the crops will wind up breaking the records many see as within reach. Some say yields could be through the roof, while others are more skeptical. "Yields will be off at least 10%," one farmer said this week.

  • 02

    The latest round of crop outlook arguments started out last week with USDA releasing crop production and stocks data. One expert said this week there's still a critical variable out there that has yet to be accounted for. "While average yield will be the driver of the size of the 2014 U.S. corn and soybean crops, harvested acreage may be marginally less for both crops than currently forecast."

  • 03

    "We have rehedged all grains recently, selling soybeans again as the yield models were not declining. We are going to have record-large yields of grains in 2014," one market analyst added this week. "Corn and soybeans both will set record-large yields this year as weather has been nearly ideal to date, especially during pollination of corn and early bloom of soybeans."

  • 04

    Though the mercury rose to seasonal levels and beyond later in the week, below-normal temps earlier on raised some concerns about a potential slowdown in corn drydown times closer to harvest.

  • 05

    But, the volatile temperatures lately don't seem to be hampering crop potential too much; earlier this week, USDA reported just marginal movement in crop condition ratings since last week, with corn dipping slightly and soybeans rising a bit. It wasn't enough to cause much of a shift in the downward market trend.

  • 06

    With what many expect to be a 'monster' corn and soybean crop in the field right now, is it reason to worry about whether you'll have enough space to store all that grain this fall once the combines run?

  • 07

    With all this talk about huge crops, there's also a lot of speculation that more could've been done to raise a bigger crop. But, is bumping seed populations the answer? One agronomist said this week you could've seen a slight yield bump from raising pops, but would it be worth it?

  • 08

    With all the yield projections and conjecture out there right now, how can you really know what your fields will raise this fall? If you'd rather check your own soybean fields instead of rely on the latest crop tour, one expert offers these tips -- and a new web tool -- to get a feel for what your beans will make this fall.

  • 09

    Despite the months-long downturn in farm-gate prices, farm incomes generally have held steady, says the Kansas City Branch of the Federal Reserve. But, will it last? Other key indicators say no. What do you think?

  • 10

    Farmers in the U.S. aren't the only ones starting to have a tough time financially. Farmers in Argentina are starting to face issues financing their next crops with the nation's currency on shaky footing. See more from Luis Vieira,'s South America correspondent.

  • 11

    But hey, don't let all this get you too down! The folks in Corn Time are facing some late-summer doldrums of their own. Check out the latest installment of this popular farm cartoon from Bob Lang!

As crop estimates continue to trickle in, more news shows how much the farm economy's tilting lower. See what else you need to know this week.

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