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What to Know This Week: Spring Weather Worries and Big USDA Data

Jeff Caldwell 03/26/2014 @ 11:57am Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

What do you need to know this week? As we head toward a busy spring, here's what to keep in mind this week.


It's spring on the calendar, but in a lot of spots, Old Man Winter's yet to release his grasp. That may be changing, though. Warmer temperatures will be a welcome change for farmers who say they're still fighting cold soil temperatures and other conditions that are making early fieldwork tough to knock out.

Thus far, most farmers are still expecting a late start to planting; an Agriculture.com poll this week shows more than half of farmers responding are in that late-start camp.

   

Another big story this week has yet to happen, but it's on its way: Next Monday's major USDA reports. The federal agency will release its annual Prospective Plantings report that could have some major market-moving implications. The grain trade will definitely be focused on the data that will be released at 11:00 a.m. CDT. The biggest shifts to watch for: Will soybean acres jump up 4.0 million acres vs. previous estimates? Will corn acres will drop as much as expected?

   

While the number of individual hog farmers is tiny compared to decades ago, the hog sector's huge to crop farmers. And that sector is going through some major pains with PEDv continuing to cause major herd losses and subsequent market changes. It's been a tough virus to keep out of farm buildings, and it can be devastating once that happens. But there's still some optimism in the industry despite the challenges the disease poses, and adjustments are happening to buffer the disease's impact.

   

 

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