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Talking big crops & farmland jumps

  • 01

    The waiting's just about over (it already is for some) for corn and soybean farmers around the nation. The last week's seen a lot of potential crop size numbers, drought talk and crop input debates for the year ahead.

  • 02

    While farmers in the Midwest are waiting to get their planters rolling, that's already happening in the deep South. "Well folks, let the games and guessing begin," says one farmer of the start of planting season. See how it's going down south and join the discussion.

  • 03

    But, early planting strides may not be too long in the near term, anyway, says one analyst who says there could be a lot of planting delays on account of a weather rarity in the last couple of years: Too much precipitation.

  • 04

    Recent moisture in some key growing areas has led some optimism that maybe the drought's on its way out. But, how much moisture's still needed before we can say the drought is behind us? And, what's your drought 'gut feeling?'

  • 05

    Though outlooks are seemingly brightening for crop prospects this year, that didn't stop one large crop forecasting firm from trimming back earlier expectations for this year's corn crop size. And, more than half of farmers agree with the cutback.

  • 06

    Price will have a lot to do with how this spring's acreage balance shakes out, and there are some numbers ahead that will have some major influence on those prices. At the end of the month, USDA will release quarterly stocks and prospective plantings reports. One expert takes a stab at how they could shake out.

  • 07

    This year's crops could face more severe weed pressures than ever before, making it important to act quickly to nail down your chemical needs for the year, specialists say. Another compounding factor this year is growing weed pressures in areas where they haven't been a problem in the past.

  • 08

    Another key input that could be in tight supply in some areas this year is seed. Though general supplies aren't short, the specific hybrids catered to particular areas may be, company representatives say. That makes it important to check and make sure you can get what you need before making any last-minute planting decisions.

  • 09

    The cost for things like seed and chemical are just pieces of the overall equation that could add up to tighter crop margins this year, according to a report released this week. That will be especially true if the drought ends and yields return to more normal levels this year.

  • 10

    Land is still a hot commodity and regardless of the direction of crop profits in the coming year, don't rule out another double-digit climb in land values in the Corn Belt, land price experts said this week. In Illinois, that could add up to another 20% in value in the next 12 months.

As the starting gate nears for the 2013 crop season, there's a lot of looking ahead this week.

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