ARTICLES BY JEFF CALDWELL
USDA Trims Soybean Crop, Stocks; Wheat Crop Seen Improving By: 06/10/2015 @ 11:11am

A smaller soybean crop, a slightly corn crop and a larger wheat crop. That's what USDA officials expect out of the fields this year, if Wednesday's USDA-NASS monthly World Agricultural Supply and…

Corn Planting Hits 95% Completion -- USDA By: 06/01/2015 @ 4:04pm

For all intents and purposes, corn planting is wrapped up for this year. As of Sunday, only 5% of the crop remains unplanted, slightly more than normal and just 3% above last week. Of the crop planted, 84% has…

Some Weekend 'Fieldwork Chances' as Corn Belt Rain Continues By: 05/29/2015 @ 12:39pm

After a week featuring off-and-on rainfall -- in many spots in the Midwest enough to keep planters and sprayers parked at the field's edge -- it looks like the moisture's going to continue through…

RFS Adjustments Justified According to Key Indicator -- Economist By: 05/29/2015 @ 11:52am

Friday's announcement of the paring-down of the ethanol mandate and increase in biodiesel usage through 2016 and 2017, respectively, is rooted in the market demand for both fuels in the broader context of…

USDA Rolls Out $100 Million For Ethanol Blender Pumps By: 05/29/2015 @ 11:02am

On the same day leaders of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced they're trimming the RFS ethanol mandate for the next 3 years but increasing biodiesel's share of the mandate, USDA…

RFS Trimmed for Ethanol, Raised for Biodiesel; Industry Reaction Split By: 05/29/2015 @ 10:10am

In a move federal officials say will help better match up renewable fuel use with production, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) leaders announced a new set of usage mandates for ethanol and biodiesel…

Despite Lower Incomes, Farmers 'Well Positioned' -- Ag Bank By: 05/28/2015 @ 9:01am

Net income was down almost 8% for the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2014, but farmers generally remain on relatively solid financial footing in the eastern Corn Belt and mid-South…

Hot Topic: El Niño's Back Stronger Than Earlier Thought -- Forecasters By: 05/27/2015 @ 11:08am

The talk around much of the Corn Belt and Plains the last couple of weeks has been Mother Nature's latest tantrum: She let a lot of planting happen earlier this spring, but now she's got the planting…

Corn Planting at 92%, Soybeans at 61% as Midwest Weather Sours By: 05/26/2015 @ 3:25pm

There's roughly 6 or 7 million acres yet to plant around the U.S. remaining as of the beginning of this week, though those acres may not get knocked out anytime too soon. Monday's weekly USDA-NASS…

Is 'The Unofficial Start of Prevented Plant Season' Here? By: 05/26/2015 @ 3:00pm

Sure, May isn't over yet, and there's still plenty of time to get all of this year's corn and soybean crop in the ground. But, Mother Nature's not helping, and some farmers now face some…

Wheat Rust Invasion is On; Should You Spray? By: 05/26/2015 @ 8:09am

Leaf and stripe rust has been confirmed in spots around the Plains as the region's winter wheat crop rounds into the homestretch toward harvest. And, as it continues to spread, yield potential is taking…

Planting Date, Yield Implications & What the Trade Thinks By: 05/22/2015 @ 2:22pm

Most of this year's corn crop is planted. But, the remaining acres may not be the easiest to get sown, if they do at all. So, what are the implications of the current planting pace and what could that…

Weekend Market Volatility, Planting Nerves: [A] List for the Long Weekend By: 05/22/2015 @ 1:13pm

Long Weekend Can Mean Market VolatilityAfter several corn and soybean contracts mad new lows this week, traders fear the upcoming holiday weekend could provide a volatile return to the electronic markets…

Late Planting Nerves Flaring Up Around the Corn Belt By: 05/21/2015 @ 11:30am

This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. But, the way Mother Nature's acting, she's not quite ready for "swimsuit season." Temperatures are expected to stay below normal and rainfall's…

How Much Should Your Cash Land Rent Go Down? By: 05/20/2015 @ 1:08pm

A huge factor in the picture of crop profit potential in the coming year or so -- one that's not looking too bright right now -- is land costs, be it for ownership or leasing. For the latter, prices will…

Growing Degree Days Keeping Up Despite Cool, Damp Weather -- USDA By: 05/19/2015 @ 3:43pm

Though Monday's USDA Crop Progress report showed another big week of planting progress, it certainly wasn't a dry week, with anywhere from .5 inch to 2 inches of rain falling through the Corn Belt…

Early Soybean Diseases Flaring Up -- Agronomists By: 05/19/2015 @ 3:03pm

So your soybean fields survived this week's cool snap? Unfortunately, you're far from out of the woods yet.The spring conditions in a lot of areas have been generally cool and damp since most of the…

Get Frosty? Don't Rush to Judgment Yet, Especially for Soybeans By: 05/19/2015 @ 11:40am

The early verdict on the overnight cooldown in the northern Plains and Corn Belt: Some crops may need to be replanted, but on the whole, damage could have been much worse. Expectations heading into the chilly…

Did Your Corn Get Nipped by Frost? Here's What to Look For By: 05/18/2015 @ 3:45pm

Tuesday morning may be a chilly one for a lot of farmers in the northern Plains and Midwest. Spotty snowshowers early on Monday are expected to unfurl into widespread temperatures in North Dakota down into the…

USDA: Corn Crop 85% Planted; Progress Data Mostly Neutral to Prices By: 05/18/2015 @ 3:28pm

Eighty-five percent of the nation's corn crop is planted and just over half of that in the ground has emerged, according to Monday's latest USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. That number falls in line…

Rural Economy Feeling More of Ag's Pain as Crop Revenues Flounder -- Fed By: 05/18/2015 @ 3:07pm

It's a pretty common refrain these days; farm incomes are lower as grain prices flounder, expenses remain tight and price outlooks remain on the low side even in the face of potential production…

Palmer Amaranth Hitting Your Fields? Act Quick, Specialist Advises By: 05/18/2015 @ 1:30pm

If you're still planting corn but have worries about Palmer amaranth -- a potentially ravenous weed pest that has already been confirmed this spring in spots around the Corn Belt -- you may want to change…

Corn Planting Running Late? Don't Rush to Plant Shallow -- Specialist By: 05/18/2015 @ 8:12am

Though corn planting is in the homestretch and conditions -- at least in the Corn Belt -- look to be improving for getting the rest of the crop in the ground soon, there are areas where there's a lot of…

Weather Starter: Rain Continues, Frost Rattles Nerves in the Plains By: 05/18/2015 @ 7:35am

A weekend of active weather in the Plains and Midwest has ushered in what is likely to be a week of continued rainfall in the Plains. Tonight, temperatures may dip into the 20s in the northern Plains. While…

All The Latest Planting Pics From Around the Country! By: 05/15/2015 @ 10:54am

How's your planting going? Do you have a helper in the cab with you? How about breakdowns? Check out these photos from farmers around the country on these angles and more. Stay safe out there! …

Want to Save Some $$$ on Your Farm? Check Out These Ideas By: 05/15/2015 @ 9:52am

Remember "Lisa?" "It's been many years since I've dated LISA. I've chased other women, and now there are bills for that. It's time to open the little black book and find Lisa's…

Seaboard, Triumph Plan Northwest Iowa Pork Processing Plant By: 05/14/2015 @ 11:26am

Northwest Iowa has become the epicenter of the bird flu story that's developed over the last few weeks, with continued culls ordered as more birds -- now more than 20 million -- become exposed to the…

Grains Look to Start Thursday Higher By: 05/14/2015 @ 7:26am

After a day of marginal recovery following Tuesday's bearish USDA WASDE report, there's more room for higher prices heading into Thursday's trade, with corn, soybeans, and wheat all trading…

Corn, Soybean Profit Picture Bleak for Cash-Rented Land Through This Year By: 05/13/2015 @ 3:34pm

Can you come up with another $67 an acre? That's about how much the average cash rent will have to decline in the state of Illinois in order for the typical grain farmer to see returns exceed land costs…

Heat Hits Winter Wheat Harder Than Frost -- Study By: 05/13/2015 @ 10:44am

Temperatures dipped into freezing territory in spots around the Plains earlier this week, adding another reason for nerves to rattle for a wheat crop that's got just a few weeks to go before the combines…

WASDE Wrap: What's Ahead for the U.S. Grains Now That USDA Has Spoken? By: 05/12/2015 @ 3:10pm

The USDA has spoken. Tuesday's WASDE report ultimately sent soybean futures sharply lower based on lower old-crop ending stocks and massive new-crop ones. Corn and wheat futures found themselves making…

Market Wrap: Soybeans Tank on Projected Mammoth New-Crop Stocks By: 05/12/2015 @ 2:09pm

After an up-and-down day punctuated by USDA data showing there will likely be a lot of grain on hand in the U.S. this year and next, corn, soybean, and wheat futures finished the day mostly lower, with all but…

Corn, Wheat Surge, Soybeans Slide After Latest WASDE Data By: 05/12/2015 @ 12:01pm

There's going to be a lot of corn and wheat on hand in the U.S., but even though world events -- like protests in South America and economic malaise in FSU nations -- are sending mixed signals right now…

Ending Stocks Numbers Surge Beyond Trade Estimates -- USDA By: 05/12/2015 @ 11:13am

Both old- and new-crop ending stocks are seen higher than what the trade expected, but not all pits reacted immediately negative after pre-report shortcovering sent prices higher than Monday's close after…

Grain Prices Flip, Head Higher Ahead of USDA Reports By: 05/12/2015 @ 9:56am

Grain prices have surged higher after light-volume, lower trading in the overnight session in what traders say is shortcovering ahead of this morning's USDA WASDE and Crop Production reports due out at…

Grains Slightly Lower Heading Into Tuesday; Watch Production Data, Trader Says By: 05/12/2015 @ 8:41am

Grain prices continue to float just south of unchanged in late overnight-session trading and appear to be headed into Tuesday's open outcry session slightly lower as the trade awaits USDA's monthly…

Grains Stuck Lower In Prereport Trading Tuesday By: 05/12/2015 @ 7:12am

Wheat futures showed some life in the overnight trade, but the sizzle fizzled and wheat joins corn and soybeans in slightly lower territory in late overnight-session trading ahead of Tuesday's open outcry…

Corn Planting Is in the Homestretch -- USDA By: 05/11/2015 @ 3:23pm

Three quarters of the U.S. corn crop is in the ground. This comes in at the high end of the previous trade estimate range and marks another week that saw farmers get at least 20% of the crop in the ground as…

Grains Close Lower as Trade Looks Forward to Tuesday WASDE Report By: 05/11/2015 @ 1:57pm

Corn, soybean, and wheat futures all closed slightly lower Monday ahead of USDA's release of its latest supply/demand and crop production data on Tuesday morning.The July corn futures contract wound up 2…

Keep Your Eyes Peeled For These Early-season Pests, Diseases By: 05/11/2015 @ 11:12am

It's still really early in the growing season, but the weed, insect and disease pressures are already popping up in young and emerging corn and soybean fields around the Midwest, agronomists…

Grains Chop Around in Mixed Monday A.M. Trading By: 05/11/2015 @ 10:29am

There are conflicting factors underpinning choppy, mixed grain prices as Monday's session gets underway, with corn and wheat futures dipping into the red, while soybean futures have moved slightly into…

Syngenta Spurns Monsanto Merger Bid -- Company Officials By: 05/11/2015 @ 9:50am

Monsanto officials confirmed late last week they'd made a bid to buy fellow agribusiness giant Syngenta, whose company officials said Friday they'd "unanimously determined to reject" the…

Grains Starting the Week Mixed as Trade Looks Ahead to WASDE Data By: 05/11/2015 @ 7:39am

Soybean futures remain higher while corn and wheat have dipped into the red late in the overnight trading session as the trade sharpens its focus on a trio of market factors to start the week, namely…

Rain Is on the Way; Resist Urge to Mud It In -- Expert By: 05/08/2015 @ 11:41am

This weekend rolls around with a lot of planters parked and a few nerves starting to rattle as the tail end of the optimal corn planting window nears. The Corn Belt has a lot of acres yet to sow after a week…

Rain-Makes-Grain Mentality Weighing on Grain Prices Friday By: 05/08/2015 @ 8:49am

Reports of rainfall throughout the last week and new forecasts for additional rain in parts of the Corn Belt this weekend will likely keep a lid on any potential gains heading toward the week's last open…

Grains End Thursday Mixed On Neutral Exports, Weather & Wheat Yield Tallies By: 05/07/2015 @ 3:28pm

Though cash prices generally remain mostly higher right now, the grain futures market can't sustain much upside a day after the wheat market showed life to close higher and take corn with it…

Will Fertilizer, Natural Gas Costs Follow Crude Oil Lower? By: 05/07/2015 @ 1:50pm

Crude oil prices have been steadily climbing since about mid-March, now toiling around the $60-per-barrel mark, one that some analysts say is a critical price point that could signal more upside momentum to…

Grain Markets Sink Toward Midday By: 05/07/2015 @ 11:01am

Wheat futures are still hanging on to slight gains after a sharply higher day Wednesday, while corn and soybeans are moving lower as midday approaches Thursday: Outside factors and expected improvements in…

Price Uncertainty Underscores Cattle Business Risk Through This Year By: 05/06/2015 @ 2:08pm

Year-over-year prices for finished steers remain high, but it looks like in general, cattle futures have peaked for the season, and that's likely to trim gains heading into summer. The cattle business has…

Corn, Wheat Start Wednesday Higher, Soybeans Lower By: 05/06/2015 @ 9:03am

After a Turnaround Tuesday saw corn futures end the day higher, that trend looks to be intact heading into Wednesday's open outcry trading session, taking wheat futures with it while soybeans look to open…

Agriculture.com at 20: Farmers Remain On Bleeding Edge of Web Technology By: 05/05/2015 @ 2:00pm

Though the existence of the Internet precedes its widespread consumer use by several decades, the medium as a way to communicate, find information, entertain, shop, network, and more has only been around for a…

Corn Planting Blows By Halfway Point -- USDA By: 05/04/2015 @ 3:29pm

Most trade analysts expected corn planting to have reached just shy of the halfway point by Sunday, but USDA's Crop Progress report released Monday shows that point came and went quickly in the last week…

Where Will it Rain Most This Week? By: 05/04/2015 @ 7:10am

A few weekend showers were the prelude for the coming week, one that will likely keep a lot of planters parked for most of the next five days.Rainfall was common -- with a few more severe thunderstorms in…

Looking Ahead: Planting Progress, Grain Price Bounce Big This Weekend By: 05/01/2015 @ 1:24pm

This week's been one of major corn planting progress and major tumult for farmers in South America, not to mention the growing problem of the bird flu in parts of the U.S. What's it all mean to the…

Tesla Enters Home Energy Sector With Powerwall; Does It Have Farm Utility? By: 05/01/2015 @ 11:11am

Powering your home and possibly your farm using renewable sources and thereby loosening your tie to the utility grid took a huge step forward this week with one company's introduction of what is…

Soil Temps Below 50 Degrees? Don't Put Off Corn Planting Too Long By: 05/01/2015 @ 7:25am

While corn planting is rolling hard in much of the Corn Belt this week, a look at the soil temperature map shows there's still a lot of dirt out there not quite at that 50-degree mark of optimal growing…

Argentina Soybean Plant Fire Underscores Growing Frustrations By: 04/30/2015 @ 11:05am

In an act reflecting the frustration bubbling under the surface in South America, a soybean processing facility was set alight Tuesday night, another incident in a week that's seen transportation…

Soybeans, Wheat Fall Double-Digits By: 04/30/2015 @ 9:23am

DES MOINES, Iowa (Agriculture.com)--After ticking higher to start, the CME Group's soybean and wheat markets closed lower Thursday.At the close, the July corn futures settled 1 1/2 cents lower at $3.66…

Argentina Port Strike 'Very Serious'; Could Boost U.S. Grain Prices By: 04/30/2015 @ 7:02am

After a truckers' strike in Brazil crippled the road transportation system in that nation off and on for the last few months, now the infrastructure woes have a new component in South America. An…

Faces of Agriculture #3 By: 04/29/2015 @ 3:23pm

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Faces of Agriculture #2 By: 04/29/2015 @ 3:22pm

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Faces of Agriculture #1 By: 04/29/2015 @ 3:17pm

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Faces of Agriculture: How You And Your Farm Helped Shape the Web By: 04/29/2015 @ 3:11pm

Agriculture.com was launched in May 1995 when the Web was young. It was the Wild West of digital media development when there was no precedent for something like a website. But just like in the real Wild West…

Digital Native vs. Digital Immigrant By: 04/29/2015 @ 3:06pm

In May of 1995, Jim Meade was working on getting back into farming, having bought his family's farm in eastern Iowa to work the land after three decades of military service.That same month, Jared Calvert…

Is A Low Near for Corn Prices? Here's One Technical Trend to Watch By: 04/29/2015 @ 9:19am

Next week's near-perfect weather outlook has farmers running hard to get a corn crop in the ground. Some analysts say the end of this week could see the crop completely sown. These circumstances are…

Corn Planting Catching Up As Weather Window Opens Further -- USDA By: 04/27/2015 @ 3:27pm

Another week of spring planting's come and gone, and the last 7 days saw farmers make a much bigger stride with corn planting than the previous 2 weeks, and that speedy pace is expected to last through at…

Black Cutworm Moths Showing Up In Big Numbers By: 04/27/2015 @ 10:01am

You may not have a single seed in the ground yet this spring, and already there's a pest you may need to watch for -  as soon your corn crop pops out of the ground.Black cutworm moths have been…

Wheat Farmers: Scout Now for Stripe Rust By: 04/27/2015 @ 7:28am

Crop consultants have found "a heavy infestation" of stripe rust, a disease that can rob almost half of existing yield potential, in wheat fields in southeastern Kansas. Plant pathologists say it's going…

Planting Weather Window Flying Open After Soggy, Cool Weekend By: 04/24/2015 @ 12:42pm

The weekend looks to be a wet, cool one in much of the Corn Belt, but by the beginning of next week, it will likely be go-time for corn farmers looking to get their crop planted, forecasters say."By Sunday…

Tech Company Offers 'Diary For Future Generations' On The Farm By: 04/23/2015 @ 2:27pm

Have you ever searched for a home on the Internet? The collection of data on vacant real estate, including historical values, photos, and neighborhood information helps paint a picture of the property before…

Get Frosty At Your Farm? Check Planted Seed For Damage Now By: 04/23/2015 @ 11:44am

Frosty temperatures were common in much of the Corn Belt overnight, and all signs point to a cooler-than-normal midrange forecast for the region, one that doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in much early…

Are You Actually Helping Herbicide-Resistant Weeds? By: 04/22/2015 @ 3:36pm

Herbicide resistance has been a big issue for corn and soybean farmers for the last few years, and those concerns have grown more recently with the increasing discoveries of glyphosate-resistant waterhemp…

Midwest Corn Gross Revenue Down $200 an Acre From Two Years Ago By: 04/22/2015 @ 1:35pm

Take the average corn farm in Illinois. From 2010 to 2013, about $1,000 was a reasonable expectation for gross revenue per acre. Since then, the grain markets have tanked, taking with them a good chunk of that…

More Farmers Locking in Interest Rates as Loan Volume Climbs -- Fed By: 04/22/2015 @ 11:05am

The continued erosion of grain prices has farm loans on the rise again in the nation's midsection, according to a report released Wednesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Despite that fact…

Water Is Big Business in the Drought-Ravaged Golden State By: 04/21/2015 @ 3:25pm

Water is big business. It has been since farmers started using man-made structures and mechanisms to collect it for crop cultivation centuries ago.As California limps through what appears to be a fourth…

Hot Topic: The Pros & Cons of Buying Land Today By: 04/21/2015 @ 7:13am

The prospect of $3.00- or $3.50-per-bushel corn and $7.00- or $8.00-per-bushel soybeans for the foreseeable future doesn't exactly inspire the greatest confidence when looking at making a big-ticket buy…

Corn Planting Still Behind Schedule; More Delays Loom -- USDA By: 04/20/2015 @ 3:37pm

Just shy of 10% of the nation's corn crop is planted. Though that's a fairly sizable step up from last week, it's still behind the normal pace as Corn Belt farmers begin a week that will likely…

Not Planting Corn Yet? Is Your Planter Ready? Make Sure With These Tips By: 04/20/2015 @ 1:22pm

Weekend rainfall's likely derailed any plans a lot of farmers in the Plains and Midwest may have had to get much fieldwork done this week. If that's true on your farm, instead of pacing a trough in…

El Niño Pattern Building; Cooler Midwest Summer Ahead? By: 04/20/2015 @ 12:23pm

After a couple years of floundering around in a seeming purgatory between La Niña and El Niño, the outlook has finally tilted toward the latter, a report that could foreshadow a break in crop-stressing…

Impressive Rains Fall in the Plains; More Crop Stress Ahead By: 04/20/2015 @ 7:24am

Rainfall amounts in excess of 4 inches fell in parts of the central Plains over the weekend, and while it was welcomed on those farms, other parts of the region saw much less moisture, and crop-stressing…

Economic Observations & Wheat Woes: Top Talk for Friday, April 17 By: 04/17/2015 @ 7:24am

What's on your mind this week? Spring planting is getting underway, kicking off the busy season for farmers around the country. Meanwhile, the markets are fighting for life as analysts question any…

About Corn Planting 'Go-time' for the Midwest By: 04/16/2015 @ 2:55pm

It's officially go-time -- or awfully close to it -- for planters in the Corn Belt. Farmers report getting the wheels turning throughout the region, and a warm, mostly dry weather forecast for much of the…

California Drought: The Human, Natural Elements Up to Today By: 04/15/2015 @ 3:40pm

The Dirty '30s was a combination of human and natural conditions that came together to all but destroy the natural ecosystem of much of the Great Plains in the central U.S. Now, some say the same…

Crop Weather Watcher: April 14 By: 04/14/2015 @ 3:23pm

The weather has been downright painful for farmers in the Plains who are watching their winter wheat crop shrivel under dangerously low precipitation levels. It's a different story for farmers in the Corn…

Farmland Metadata and Precision Ag Influencing Land Prices? By: 04/14/2015 @ 2:38pm

The farmland market isn't exactly following the grain markets lower. In a lot of situations, circumstances like proximity to bidders' existing acres, CSR (corn suitability rating), and other…

Corn Planting Inches Out of the Starting Gate -- USDA By: 04/14/2015 @ 10:37am

Corn planting is off to a sluggish start, USDA officials confirmed Monday. This comes as no surprise to farmers in major corn-growing states.As of Sunday, 2% of the nation's corn crop is in the ground;…

When Will the Plains Recover from Drought? By: 04/13/2015 @ 10:50am

Wheat futures told the story best early Monday morning: An 11-cent drop in the nearby futures contract in overnight trading was a surefire sign that it rained in the Plains . . . or that the trade thinks it…

Waiting to Plant Corn? Get Ready Here! By: 04/10/2015 @ 11:41am

The early bird gets the worm. That old adage may be challenged as this year's U.S. corn planting season approaches its optimal April dates. In fact, this weekend may mark the time that the annual…

Time For Hog Expansion to Stop -- Economist By: 04/09/2015 @ 10:01am

It's no surprise that hog profits are off from where they were last year, when the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PED) swept through the U.S. hog industry and left a cull-shortened herd and record…

Corn Belt Planting Window Closing for 10 More Days -- Forecasters By: 04/07/2015 @ 1:46pm

If farmers in the Corn Belt can get through the next 10 days or so, it should be time to plant corn like crazy.That's if the latest forecast for the region holds: It shows lingering moisture that will…

Wheat Wrap: Farmers 'Just Hanging On' As Crop Potential Spirals By: 04/07/2015 @ 7:23am

Monday's USDA Crop Progress report showed more than 40% of the nation's winter wheat crop in good or excellent condition. Yet many wheat farmers say their wheat acres are in trouble as the drought…

Plains Wheat Pain Mounts as Southern Farmers Fight Delays By: 04/06/2015 @ 3:31pm

The winter wheat crop in parts of the Plains is falling in quality while farmers are seeing delays in the mid-South as corn-planting fights to move north into the Midwest, where another set of weather…

Timing, Testing Key to Getting the Most Bang for Your Fertilizer Buck By: 04/06/2015 @ 12:45pm

Last week, the developing crop weather story in the Midwest was one of dry soils and their potential for impeding early spring fieldwork and planting. As this week begins, it looks like Mother Nature will…

An Agriculture.com Love Connection By: 04/06/2015 @ 8:33am

Editor's Note: Ed Winkle passed away peacefully on April 3, 2015. The interviews for this story were conducted in February 2015. LuAnn Winkle was working in a Soil and Water Conservation District office…

California Farmers Preparing for Devastating Drought . . . Again By: 04/03/2015 @ 2:14pm

California has been in bad shape, moisturewise, for several years now, with drought slashing the amount of water available to that state's farmers and the crops they grow. Now, 2015 is shaping up to be…

Q&A: The Man Behind the Next Green Revolution? By: 04/01/2015 @ 11:04am

A huge portion of the world's human population derives much of its nutrition from beans. The simple legume is a staple in some of the most geopolitically and naturally unstable parts of the planet. And…

Grain Stocks, Acreage Reports Send Corn Lower, Soybeans Higher By: 03/31/2015 @ 11:06am

Farmers in the U.S. will plant 89.2 million acres of corn this spring, down 2% from last year, while at the same time planting 84.6 million acres of soybeans, up 1% from a year ago. Soybean acreage will be…

USDA Extends ARC, PLC Selection Deadline By: 03/27/2015 @ 12:00pm

If you're stressing to meet next week's deadline for selecting the federal crop insurance program that's right for your farm, you have another week to breathe.Secretary of Agriculture Tom…

Check Out The Latest 'Successful Land Sales' Around The U.S.! By: 03/27/2015 @ 10:52am

With crop prices continuing to stay at or below profitable levels, a lot of farmers are talking about the related markets and why prices for things like farmland haven't fallen in lockstep with the…

Applying N? You May Be Wasting Your Time and Money By: 03/25/2015 @ 11:04am

There is an old saying: The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. Today, current and ongoing research seeks to better identify the right balance between…

USDA Moves to Keep Nonfarmers From Program Payments By: 03/24/2015 @ 12:32pm

The federal government is taking steps to make sure a larger share of the overall amount of money devoted to farm payments actually winds up in farmers' hands. On Tuesday, USDA officials announced…

Is Glyphosate Going to Kill Us All? Farmers Doubt Report Saying So By: 03/24/2015 @ 11:00am

A chemical weed-killer that's become synonymous with row crop farming in the last few decades now has been found to "probably" cause cancer, according to a world health group a report released late last…

Things NOT to Do This Spring By: 03/19/2015 @ 11:03am

Before you start kicking up dust this spring as planting gets rolling, make sure you're not only doing everything right but also avoiding the things you shouldn't be doing, whether it be small-scale…

Shooting Down Wheat Viruses with Genetics By: 03/16/2015 @ 3:18pm

Just like when you catch the flu, when a wheat plant gets hit by a virus like wheat streak mosaic, there’s not a whole lot to do but ride it out and hope there isn’t too much pain or damage.Now, a team of…

Watch DDGS Ratio for Ethanol Market Direction By: 03/16/2015 @ 1:42pm

Ethanol is under enough price pressure right now. Tight margins are teetering on the break-even point for the fuel for which prices and demand continue to be weighed down by a crude oil market that seems…

Massive Canal Project Seeks to Streamline Global Trade By: 03/04/2015 @ 2:49pm

It's been referred to as the largest construction project in the history of mankind, and it has a lot to do with the grain that passes through your augers on its way to destinations around the world.A…

A Smartphone Without a Smartphone By: 03/03/2015 @ 3:09pm

Fishing around in your coat or pants pocket for your smartphone to check the weather or markets, take a call, or send a text may soon be a thing of the past if things go as planned for the folks at Cicret. The…

Weather Ramping Up to Slow, Cool Start to Spring Planting By: 03/03/2015 @ 1:41pm

A slow start . . . but not too slow. Right now, that's the outlook for corn and soybean planting the next few weeks in the U.S., as winter slowly loosens its grip over the central portion of the country…

All Around #Classic15: Commodity Classic Hits the Arizona Desert By: 02/27/2015 @ 2:42pm

Temperatures are about 50 to 70 degrees warmer in Phoenix, Arizona, than they are in much of corn and soybean country this week, but it's not just the warm desert air that's brought farmers to that…

From #Classic15: Comodity Group, USDA Leaders Chat GMO Labeling By: 02/27/2015 @ 2:24pm

Labeling is a hot topic on the consumer-facing side of the food and feed production industry. Now, the side closer to the producer is putting more of an emphasis on it, if talks at this week's Commodity…

FCC Approves Net Neutrality; Will Rural Broadband Benefit? By: 02/26/2015 @ 1:22pm

Most of rural America doesn't have the broadband Internet access their city neighbors have. Now, that might change. On Thursday, officials with the Federal Communication Commission voted to approve net…

Are Farmland Cash Rents Going to Fall or Not? By: 02/25/2015 @ 11:49am

Last week's USDA Ag Outlook Forum painted a picture of a corn market that could remain in the $3.50- to $4-per-bushel range for a while. Years, even. That sort of price range doesn't bode…

Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill By: 02/24/2015 @ 3:55pm

The Keystone XL cross-country oil pipeline is headed back to the drawing board.On Tuesday, President Barack Obama notified Congressional leaders his intention to veto the bill that would usher the pipeline…

More Corn? What Do You Think? Check in With USDA's Ag Outlook Forum By: 02/20/2015 @ 8:37am

Are farmers now going to plant more corn and fewer soybeans this year? Or will continued profit-robbing corn prices compel more folks to plant soybeans, wheat, or other crops? Officials with USDA hosted the…

Farmland Property Taxes Would Skyrocket Under Proposed Kansas Law By: 02/19/2015 @ 11:30am

When you see that something is going to change by an amount in excess of 600%, it's something of an eye-opener. When a lawmaker from an urban part of Kansas proposed a bill that would ratchet up that…

Can Soybeans Move Beyond $10 With a Big Crop Coming? By: 02/17/2015 @ 8:56am

The big USDA Prospective Plantings report is still a little over a month away, but with soybean futures flirting with $10 a bushel, 2015 may be a big year for the crop. Despite taking a backseat to corn in…

Farmers Holding on to More Acres -- Fed By: 02/13/2015 @ 1:49pm

The latest local farmland auction was the hottest ticket in many Midwest towns until the downturn in grain prices started cooling the market that saw values in some areas just about double in the last decade…

Big This Week: How Big Will These Crops Be & What Will It Cost to Raise Them? By: 02/12/2015 @ 11:52am

It's that time of year . . . the weather's cold and winter has likely worn out its welcome just about everywhere as farmers start to get the itch to get out into the field and start working toward…

Lower Crop, Livestock Receipts but Higher Farm Incomes? By: 02/11/2015 @ 3:09pm

Farm incomes are, not surprisingly, projected to fall through this year after a year of decline in 2014, a new USDA-ERS report shows. The key culprits -- lower grain prices causing widespread input value…

5 Key Points for Top-notch Soil Health By: 02/11/2015 @ 2:12pm

Keep your farmland in as good of condition as you can these days to sustain its value in the broader context of falling grain prices and values across the general grain production sector. It's a fairly…

WASDE Reactions: Bulls Shrug Off Ethanol, Soybean Export Demand Bumps By: 02/10/2015 @ 11:29am

The numbers were fundamentally friendly, at least on paper. The markets didn't see them that way, though. Soybean ending stocks are well off from the average trade estimate, but they fell within the full…

Self-Aware Iron: Someday Your Tractor Will Drive Itself By: 02/06/2015 @ 3:47pm

The old adage, “A tool is only as smart as its operator,” may be going bye-bye in the near future. That’s because the digital technology world is starting to move from automation to full-on…

A Week of Volatile Price Action for Grains, Crude Oil, & More By: 02/05/2015 @ 9:15am

Winter has settled back in over much of the nation's center after a milder-than-normal January. Meanwhile, the grain trade continues to bounce around like a pinball on mostly light trading volume and…

Ethanol's Dead, Right? Not So Fast, New Analysis Shows By: 02/04/2015 @ 9:11am

With crude oil prices at less than half of where they were a year ago, corn prices struggling for any bit of bullish traction they can get, and a lot of anxiety in the ag sector in general, there's been…

Computer 'Super Intelligence' Has Huge Potential, Good & Bad -- Gates By: 02/02/2015 @ 4:06pm

Sure, technology is great. Things like smartphones have (though some argue the opposite) freed up our time, and things like precision agriculture have dramatically improved our production capacity and…

Cattle Herd Expansion Steams Ahead By: 02/02/2015 @ 3:36pm

Cattle herd expansion is on in a big way.Friday's USDA Cattle Inventory Report showed the beef breeding herd's getting bigger, most notably in the number of heifers held back to calve this year; the…

Are You Buying or Selling Farmland? By: 02/02/2015 @ 2:59pm

Farmland is just too long-term of an investment to be dragged down by the latest downturn in grain prices. Do you believe this statement? That's become a more common refrain in the farm real estate market…

Farm Operating Loans on the Rise -- Fed By: 01/28/2015 @ 2:50pm

The switch has been flipped.A couple of years ago, farm lending for big-ticket purchases -- fueled by high grain prices and farm incomes -- was strong while operating loans were scraping the floor. Corn and…

Trump: 'Never Give Up' on Farmland Value Rally By: 01/27/2015 @ 10:52am

He's made a lot of money. He's running for president (probably). He's got a TV show...and a head of hair that sometimes gets more headlines than he does. And now, he's talking...farmland?…

Worst Investment Out There? Farmland, Investor Says By: 01/23/2015 @ 2:16pm

The U.S. dollar is heading higher, crude oil and grain markets are staying low, and the worst investment out there is .  . . farmland?Dennis Gartman, longtime capital market analyst and publisher of The…

Huge Challenges, Opportunites Exist in African Agriculture By: 01/23/2015 @ 1:05pm

If you think China's a big market right now, look out.Sub-Saharan Africa is poised to take over as the world's biggest marketplace for ag products, but at the same time, the region's ag…

Shifting El Niño Trend Foreshadows Early Spring -- Forecasters By: 01/21/2015 @ 3:35pm

The weather world's been talking for months about the prospect of the southern oscillation index tilting from La Niña to El Niño, a shift that normally signals more crop-friendly, mild and…

Obama Calls For Trade Growth, Infrastructure Improvements in SOTU By: 01/20/2015 @ 9:18pm

The expansion of the sales of U.S.-produced goods overseas comprised the primary ag-related theme in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night.A big hurdle standing in the way of a…

U.S. Oil Production to Near Record-High Despite Price Slide -- Fed By: 01/14/2015 @ 3:41pm

Despite the continued fall in crude oil prices -- which have now slid below $50 per barrel, the level at which many analysts thought the downturn would stop -- U.S. oil producers are expected to continue to…

Take a Stroll Around the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show By: 01/14/2015 @ 2:27pm

It's the largest consumer electronics show in the U.S., and it brings together innovators from around the globe to showcase the latest and greatest wares making their way to the consumer. And, the Las…

Corn Trade Shrugs Off Ethanol Production Data By: 01/14/2015 @ 11:57am

The grain market bears didn't even flinch at data released Wednesday showing ethanol production increased last week from the previous week.Ethanol production rose by 29,000 barrels per day over the…

Will You be Driving an Electric Pickup in the Next Decade? By: 01/14/2015 @ 10:14am

This week's Detroit Auto Show has been abuzz with the announcement that Chevrolet will roll out its all-electric "Bolt" sedan in two years. Its price point will be lower, and industry analysts say the…

Today's Land Market & How Tech is Changing It By: 01/13/2015 @ 2:44pm

As the grain markets have slumped, so have the prices for related inputs . . . some more than others. Land is one major farm expense in the Midwest that's declined in the last year, but not nearly as much…

Keep an Eye on Corn, Fed Cattle Prices for Feeder Cattle Direction By: 01/13/2015 @ 12:19pm

If you think the corn market has been a wild ride lately, look at what's going on in the cattle market, specifically for feeder cattle. Daily trading limits for feeder cattle have been bumped higher after…

Crude Oil Pushes Grains Lower Despite Largely Neutral USDA Data By: 01/12/2015 @ 11:19am

A sinking crude oil market is just too much for the grain bulls to handle right now. Corn and soybean prices moved lower Monday morning after USDA released quarterly grain stocks, monthly world agricultural…

Attention All Inventors on the Farm! By: 01/12/2015 @ 8:53am

Because of the myriad situations and circumstances in which they may find themselves every day on the farm, farmers are some of the best inventors in the world. Whether it's a small add-on to an…

Digging Into the Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit By: 01/09/2015 @ 12:36pm

In a decision that could lead to a precedent in an area of ag law in which there is none like it today, the board of trustees for Des Moines Water Works, the water utility for the largest city in Iowa, voted…

The High-Tech Highway Heading to the Farm By: 01/08/2015 @ 10:06am

This week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has the world's highest technology on display, from gadgets for fun to hardware and software that could shape how you integrate the "Internet of…

Iowa Water Facility Plans Suit Over Ag Nitrate Runoff By: 01/07/2015 @ 9:14am

On Thursday afternoon, the board of trustees of the Des Moines Water Works will convene to determine whether or not to file a lawsuit against three crop- and livestock-heavy counties in northwest Iowa stemming…

Someday Your Tractor Will Drive Itself...And Know What It's Doing! By: 01/06/2015 @ 11:14am

Las Vegas is, for this week, the center of the technology world. It's where the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) kicked off Monday, with companies both large and small vying for a piece of the consumer…

Hog Herd Building; Profits Seen Sustaining Through 2015 -- Economist By: 01/06/2015 @ 9:15am

The consumer public has put out the call, and the hog industry is responding in a big way at the start of what's likely to be a year of major growth for the U.S. hog herd. New data show the breeding herd…

Tech Company Bringing 'Unique Data Science' to the Farm By: 01/05/2015 @ 5:50pm

The annual Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) rolls into Sin City this week, an event at which companies large and small roll out tools, gadgets and toys in hopes that they'll be the next big…

Year-end Iron Buying? Go to the Sale Prepared! By: 12/23/2014 @ 6:57am

The end of the calendar year is a time when things like tax incentives encourage farmers to buy machinery, equipment and other big-ticket items for the farm. So, what's hot and what's not on the…

3 Things to Watch This Morning, Thursday, December 18 By: 12/18/2014 @ 6:15am

Grains surging on Cuba news. For more than five decades, the U.S. has had a trade embargo against Cuba, but that's going to end soon after an announcement by the Obama administration Wednesday that trade…

Senate OKs Section 179 Deduction; Act Quickly To Claim By Year's End By: 12/17/2014 @ 9:45am

With just shy of 2 weeks left until the end of the year, Congress has finally made it official: The IRS Section 179 tax deduction limits that were scheduled for a major haircut this year have been restored to…

Gear Up Your 2015 Grain Marketing By: 12/17/2014 @ 7:21am

When the corn market traded in the $7.00 and even $8.00/bushel range in 2012, farmers found grain marketing less stressful and easier to produce profits. The same for the soybean market at $13 and $14.00 per…

Russia Blocks Wheat Exports As Recession Likelihood Grows By: 12/16/2014 @ 5:14pm

While crude oil's nosedive has gotten most all of the attention in the last few weeks in terms of global factors influencing the U.S. grain markets, there's another sector that could move to the…

China Greenlights Syngenta's Viptera -- Reports By: 12/16/2014 @ 12:38pm

In a move that could open up that nation to more potential corn exports from the U.S., Chinese officials announced Tuesday they've approved the MIR 162 trait -- better known as Syngenta's Agrisure…

Oil Prices Reverse Briefly, Fuel Speculation A Reversal Is Nigh By: 12/16/2014 @ 11:31am

Crude oil futures have rebounded in morning trading, moving almost $4 higher before settling just shy of $56/barrel after hitting a morning high of just short of $57/barrel.Overnight trading saw nearby crude…

With $40 Oil Coming, Should You Buy All Your 2015 Fuel Now? By: 12/15/2014 @ 10:08am

A couple of weeks ago, $50/barrel was seen as a potential bottom for the crude oil market that was hovering closer to $70. That's changed quickly, and it's having some major implications for…

Get More For Your Machinery Dollar By: 12/12/2014 @ 10:03am

Dealer asking prices for some machinery continue to increase despite a general downturn in the ag markets, from grain to land to iron. So, what's behind these increases? The Machinery Insider…

Big on the Farm: Looking back to 2014 & ahead to 2015 By: 12/11/2014 @ 2:44pm

The grain markets have lost a huge chunk of their value from a year ago, and that slide's expected to continue through 2015, though the decline may not be as sharp as in the last 12 months. But…

Grains Shrug Off Bullish USDA Data to Close Lower By: 12/10/2014 @ 2:52pm

Despite USDA numbers that show U.S. soybeans are as popular as they've been in years on the export market, that bullish news wasn't enough to overcome a couple of other big factors in play for the…

When Will Crude Oil Prices Turn Around? By: 12/10/2014 @ 2:25pm

As crude oil prices continue their race to the bottom of the market, new data released this week shows oil supplies around the world -- especially in North America -- are way in front of demand, which is at…

Grain Prices Dip Despite Tighter Corn, Soybean Stocks Data By: 12/10/2014 @ 11:10am

There's less corn and fewer soybeans on hand in the U.S. right now than the trade expected heading into Wednesday's monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates and Crop Production…

5 Tips for 'More Aggressive' Grain Marketing In 2015 By: 12/10/2014 @ 9:12am

A quick look at the performance of corn, soybean, and wheat futures in 2014 clearly reveals what one analyst says is justification for a "more aggressive approach to marketing" in the next year.Prices are…

Sliding Oil Prices Good For Grain Rail Transportation In 2015 By: 12/09/2014 @ 3:21pm

The development of the Bakken Formation in North Dakota, an area now home to much of the oil growth in the U.S., has been a years-long undertaking that's now starting to raise domestic crude oil…

China Could Help Grains Rebound In 2015 -- Analysts By: 12/09/2014 @ 2:22pm

Though the outlook's not the brightest for grain prices in 2015, there are signs in the last month of calendar year 2014 that show there may be some reason for optimism after all. China's appetite…

Exports Driving Potential Grain Sales Opportunities in 2015 By: 12/09/2014 @ 11:19am

The last year's been one that most grain farmers wouldn't mind forgetting altogether; corn and soybean prices spent most of the year trending lower and have farm income expectations dredging in the…

Q&A: Claiming a Section 179 Deduction By: 12/09/2014 @ 7:27am

The IRS Section 179 tax deduction for farm machinery, equipment and software has been restored for this year. So, if any of your big-ticket purchases in the last year -- or those between now and the December…

New Wearable Technology: 'Extra Muscles For Better Performance' By: 12/05/2014 @ 1:37pm

Wearable computers comprise a category of devices that, when working together with another device like a smartphone, help augment life somehow, usually by layering data of some kind on top of reality in…

'Game of Chicken' Will Drive Oil Prices; Slide Expected For At Least 6 Months By: 12/05/2014 @ 7:19am

Crude oil is cheap right now, and there's not a lot going on -- at home or abroad -- to change the downward direction of the market.There are 2 sides to current action in the crude oil market for farmers;…

Barge Fuel Fee Moves A Step Closer To Lock And Dam Repairs By: 12/04/2014 @ 5:03pm

For years, the aged infrastructure for barge transportation -- including those that carry grain from upriver delivery points to terminals in the port at New Orleans, Louisiana, from where U.S. grain makes its…

Need a New Grain Dryer? Now Might Be the Time to Buy By: 12/03/2014 @ 2:58pm

Propane is cheap right now and will probably get cheaper before it turns around higher. And now, the prices for a few specific tools and pieces of propane infrastructure for your farm have come down, too…

Your Take: Pros & Cons of Sliding Oil Prices for Farmers By: 12/03/2014 @ 2:07pm

A couple of years ago, analysts in the fuels sector were talking a lot about the likely new reality of $100-per-barrel crude oil and the high chances that double-digit oil was likely a relic of the past and…

Grain Farm Capital Purchases May Need to Fall by 300% -- Economist By: 12/03/2014 @ 10:24am

When it comes to grain farm incomes and how farmers spend that money, there's good news and bad news.The bad news first: It's nothing new or surprising that the grain markets will keep a lid on farm…

Farmers Weigh In on Cross-Country Pipeline Pros and Cons By: 12/01/2014 @ 2:08pm

Though it was largely overshadowed in the national debate leading up to the midterm elections in November by the Keystone XL pipeline story, a Dallas, Texas-based company has proposed a crude oil pipeline that…

A Farmer In Space? By: 12/01/2014 @ 12:15pm

In the classic science-fiction film Star Wars, the character Han Solo turns to Luke Skywalker during a heated space travel scene and says, "Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops…

What About a One-Year Fixed Cash Land Lease? By: 11/25/2014 @ 12:08pm

Don't want to lock into a multiyear fixed cash land lease, but don't want to commit to several years of flexible lease rates based on volatile grain and crop input markets? A new land lease type in…

Get Ready For Your Next Iron Auction By: 11/25/2014 @ 9:19am

Heading to a machinery auction soon? Don't go in unprepared! Used equipment prices have changed in the last year, and those changes are expected to continue into the next year. Auction prices, for the…

Despite Moderation, Hog Profit Outlook's Cheery For 2015 By: 11/25/2014 @ 7:22am

The hog market has been a good place to be in the last year. Live hog prices in the last few months have trended almost $20 a head higher than the same period in 2013. So, what's the outlook heading into…

Corn, Soybean Harvest In The Books As Winter Rushes On -- USDA By: 11/24/2014 @ 3:22pm

With the exception of just a handful of acres relative to the entire nation, the 2014 corn and soybean crop is essentially in the books.Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 94% of the…

Save Some $ On Your Farm! By: 11/24/2014 @ 2:52pm

Untitled Document With recent news that it's a good year to start your year-end tax planning a little earlier than normal, it brings to bear the notion that grain farm incomes aren't…

Don't Put Off Your Farm's Year-End Tax Planning -- Specialist By: 11/24/2014 @ 12:47pm

With what's happened to incomes over the last year on U.S. grain farms, year-end tax planning and preparation this year probably have an altogether different look and feel compared with the last few…

President Obama Lays Out Immigration Reform Plans By: 11/20/2014 @ 8:25pm

In his address to the nation focusing on steps moving forward on federal immigration policy, President Barack Obama outlined his plan -- enacted via executive order -- to allow to-date undocumented immigrants…

Immigration and Farm Labor Changes Ahead? By: 11/20/2014 @ 12:26pm

Whether your farm or ranch depends directly on immigrant labor or not, chances are high that workers who have emigrated to the U.S. -- legally or illegally -- are part of the process of getting what you…

Rural Economy Woes Drag On; Will Farmland Keep Falling? By: 11/19/2014 @ 12:32pm

Though grain prices have fallen a lot more than 5% in the last year, new analysis shows that's about how far ag lenders in the nation's center expect farmland values to fall in the next year while…

Shooting Down Wheat Viruses With Genetics By: 11/19/2014 @ 9:39am

Just like when you catch the flu, when a wheat plant gets hit by a virus like wheat streak mosaic, there's not a whole lot you can do but ride it out and hope it doesn't inflict too much pain or…

Corn, Soybean Harvest Nearing Its End -- USDA By: 11/17/2014 @ 3:21pm

The finish line is just around the corner.Corn and soybean harvest officially entered the homestretch in the last few days -- for many, not quite as soon as they'd prefer on account of the blast winter…

Cutting Soil Testing to Save $? Don't Do It, Experts Say By: 11/17/2014 @ 11:40am

Cost containment is all the rage this fall heading into a winter when grain prices aren't likely to light the world on fire.Farm expenses like land, fertilizer, fuel, chemical, and seed are all likely…

Family Living Expenses Surge When Farm Incomes Dip -- Economists By: 11/17/2014 @ 8:11am

On the average Corn Belt grain farm, family living expenses have increased over the last decade up until the grain market downturn of the last year or so. That should be no surprise considering it tracks both…

Incomes Down For Grain Farms, Up For Livestock -- Fed By: 11/14/2014 @ 2:32pm

The grain markets have fallen, and new data show just how much it's hitting farmers' pocketbooks, at least in terms of farm loan volume.The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City on Thursday released…

With Oil Prices Falling, Can Ethanol Stay Competitive? By: 11/14/2014 @ 2:01pm

Recent reports show fuel prices are falling, and though this represents just a piece of the crop input picture, an extended downturn in fuel costs could eventually lead to enough overall savings to make up for…

Is The Investment Community Getting Back Into Farmland? By: 11/14/2014 @ 6:45am

Wall Street is still pretty high on farmland. Though some of the luster started to wear off when prices were sky-high in the last few years, the market is still seen as a solid place for investment money. Now…

Selling Land? Here Are 5 Ways to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck By: 11/13/2014 @ 8:30pm

Getting more bang for your buck is a high priority with just about everything on the farm these days. That applies to the land you farm, too. Making sure any land you might look to put on the market in the…

Winter Dryness in Brazil Could Fuel U.S. Soybean Bulls By: 11/12/2014 @ 6:54am

Monday's USDA Crop Production caught the market's attention for a short time, but since then, the focus has turned to the weather in key soybean-growing areas of South America. Though rainfall is…

Will Falling Fuel Costs Offset Lower Grain Prices? By: 11/11/2014 @ 2:37pm

Amidst a fairly gloomy crop profit potential picture for 2015, there is one bright spot: Fuel prices are falling, and they're expected to stay on the low side through the next year. What will that mean to…

Can You Restructure Your Farm Debt to Survive Lower Grain Prices? By: 11/11/2014 @ 1:05pm

For grain farmers, cash and operating capital are critical right now and will continue to be for some time, as grain prices fight for any bit of bullishness they can muster amidst continued speculation that…

USDA Report Follow-up: Corn, Soybean Profitabilty Returning in 2015? By: 11/11/2014 @ 11:56am

The corn and soybean crops in the U.S. are massive. Monday's USDA Crop Production report shows the soybean crop continuing to skyrocket in size, but the corn crop is slightly smaller than earlier…

Polar Vortex Fuels Wheat Winterkill Fears By: 11/11/2014 @ 11:01am

In parts of the Plains, the winter wheat crop is off to a fairly good start. But in some spots, the crop has veered off that course with the arrival of the latest blast of polar vortex-induced freezing…

Crop Insurance Guarantees Fall Hard; Cash Key In 2015 By: 11/11/2014 @ 9:00am

How much will you get from your crop insurance in the next year? As grain prices have fallen, so too have crop insurance guarantee level expectations. Those expectations are clarifying now as the 2014 corn and…

Corn Harvest Catches Up to Normal Pace as Winter Weather Hits By: 11/11/2014 @ 7:48am

Now that the end is in sight for most farmers -- and fortunately so on account of the Arctic blast of freezing temperatures and snow that have moved into the nation's center this week -- corn and soybean…

Wheat Farmers: Don't Plant Saved Seed By: 11/07/2014 @ 8:22am

Planting wheat seed saved from previous years' production has been a common practice in years past. Continuing to do so these days, however, could cost you more than it's worth – unless you treat…

Weekly Market Wrap: Sliding Futures and Cash Chances By: 11/07/2014 @ 7:56am

The grain markets ended October riding a month-long bullish wave. The first week of November has seen that trend end as corn and soybean harvest advances, with some speculating that a mostly full grain…

El Niño, Mild Winter Chances Slip Again -- NOAA By: 11/07/2014 @ 7:14am

Mother Nature has been flirting with El Niño for months now, with forecasters cautiously calling for the system's return that would foreshadow a milder winter in the Midwest.But, the likelihood of the…

Are You Prepared for Retirement? By: 11/06/2014 @ 2:30pm

It was one of the flashpoint issues of the political campaign season leading up to November 4 elections. Can you retire? Or, will you be able to retire someday?It's a growing issue in American society…

The Election Is Over! Any Implications for the Farm Market? By: 11/05/2014 @ 10:08am

The election is over. And the Republican party has moved back into the majority in much of the country, including state ag leadership positions. After a campaign that featured record spending by candidates in…

Cash Grain Basis Challenges, Opportunities This Fall and Winter By: 11/05/2014 @ 6:32am

Moving into this fall, most expectations were for big corn and soybean crops and potential grain storage issues, resulting in corn piled up outside wherever it could be before delivery to the marketplace. Yet…

Cash Farmland Rents Net Per-Acre Losses in 2014 By: 11/04/2014 @ 1:41pm

If you own farmland and rent it out on a cash rent basis, you've likely made out fairly well in the last few years. This year, however, declining grain prices have share-rent arrangements pulling ahead of…

Corn, Soybean Harvest Catching Up to Average Pace -- USDA By: 11/03/2014 @ 3:16pm

About two thirds of the nation's corn crop is out of the field, while farmers have caught up with the average pace with soybean harvest, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. It also…

An 'Art and a Science': Scout SCN Now to Prevent Yield Lag Later By: 11/03/2014 @ 1:42pm

It's a growing pest in a lot of soybean fields in the Corn Belt. Yet, its damage to crop potential doesn't show up until you run the combine in the field. That makes soybean cyst nematode (SCN)…

Wheat Leaf, Stripe Rust Dangers High This Fall -- Experts By: 11/03/2014 @ 6:12am

Leaf and strip rust can devastate a wheat crop, but the diseases aren't the most common ones in the world for winter wheat because of normally cool fall and early winter temperatures.But, this year's…

'HMO' labels in the future? By: 10/30/2014 @ 12:52pm

Growing crops will not always take place in open fields. There's a growing number of companies investing in infrastructure and tools that will allow food to be grown in controlled vertical systems, mostly…

The Farmer's Holiday Gift-Buying Guide for 2014 By: 10/30/2014 @ 9:54am

The holiday season is on its way. Why wait until the last minute to get your gift shopping done? If you've got a farmer on your list, or you want to drop a hint or two for what you want in your stocking…

Cattle Cycle, Record Prices Stretching Through Early Spring -- Economist By: 10/27/2014 @ 2:48pm

Remember the "Cattle Cycle?" It essentially dictates where cattle prices are and where they should be going, as it's done for around 150 years.So, will the arrival of this latest impending reversal in the…

New Variety May Be Just the Beginning of New Wheat Research Era By: 10/27/2014 @ 2:19pm

A new wheat variety is resistant to a couple of major disease pressures and performs under fairly harsh conditions, moisture-wise, making it a good fit for farmers in some key wheat-growing regions in the U.S…

Got the Next Big Ag Tech Idea? Take It to the 'Yield Lab' By: 10/22/2014 @ 2:36pm

Do you have the next big ag technology idea? Are you looking for a way to get it started toward the marketplace? Here's the program for you.The Yield Lab is an ag tech accelerator that's accepting…

U.S. Labeling Law Distorts Global Livestock Trade, WTO Panel Finds By: 10/20/2014 @ 2:57pm

Long-disputed country-of-origin labeling, or COOL, gives U.S.-produced livestock a competitive advantage over its imported equivalent, according to a ruling handed down Monday at the World Trade Organization…

5 Tips For Successful Fall Herbicide Applications By: 10/20/2014 @ 1:42pm

This week's likely to see a lot of corn and soybean harvest progress around the nation's midsection. So, if your harvest pace catches up and you end up with a little more time than the last couple of…

Weather Starter: 70-degree Temps Seen Propelling Harvest Ahead This Week By: 10/20/2014 @ 6:19am

It's not exactly the bone-dry outlook that was forecast for this week weather-watchers saw last week, but rainfall is light and limited in the Midwest over the next few days, and that ought to propel corn…

New Platform Puts Grain Sales Control In Farmers' Hands By: 10/17/2014 @ 2:35pm

Now likely more so than at any point in the last 5 or 6 years, getting every last penny you can when marketing your grain is of utmost importance. Doing so can be tough sometimes when the most optimal terminal…

EPA Report: Neonicotinoids Provide Minimal Soybean Yield Help By: 10/17/2014 @ 11:10am

The class of soybean pesticide seed treatments about which speculation has swirled on its impact on the decline of critical pollinator populations in the U.S. has now been deemed "of little or no benefit" to…

Fuel Prices Falling Sharply As Global Economy Slows By: 10/17/2014 @ 9:02am

A year ago, $100/barrel crude oil was considered the low end of "the new normal" for petroleum prices, an ever-growing piece of the overall crop input cost pie.On Thursday, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude…

Ebola Wreaking Havoc on West African Agriculture By: 10/16/2014 @ 11:06am

Since now a suspected third case of Ebola has been discovered in the U.S., fears that the disease could spread further at home are growing. Some are legitimate and others largely unfounded. But, one thing…

What's The Best Way to Keep Our Water Nutrient-Free? By: 10/15/2014 @ 11:16am

There are a lot of nitrates flowing into the Des Moines Waterworks plant. The fact of the matter is agriculture is part -- just one of many parts -- of the problem. That problem is fairly clear. Its solution…

3D Printing Parts, Tools a Decade Away From Your Farm -- Specialists By: 10/15/2014 @ 6:41am

Three-dimensional printing may be closer to reality on your farm than you might think.Local Motors, an Arizona-based company drawing upon the work and ideas of scores of engineers, has released its Strati, a…

Keeping Small Towns Alive in Tight Farm Times By: 10/14/2014 @ 3:14pm

Farm incomes are down. That means farmers and their families may have less money to spend when they buy gas, groceries, parts, or anything else on Main Street or elsewhere around their small towns. It's…

Ebola Risk For U.S. Hog Herd 'Extremely Low' -- Vet By: 10/10/2014 @ 9:57am

Just hearing or seeing the word "Ebola" these days can send shockwaves of fear through the population, regardless of how rational or irrational that fear may be. The disease has dominated the evening news and…

Fertilizer Prices Sliding; Will Soybeans Still Lead Profits In 2015? By: 10/09/2014 @ 2:31pm

Corn and soybeans are cheap right now, and barring any drastic change in supply or weather in the next few months, it looks like that may still be the case once spring rolls around. Recent data showed soybeans…

5 Big Misconceptions About Farmland Leasing By: 10/08/2014 @ 7:18am

Whether you're renting out your farmland or you're leasing the land to farm yourself, today's lower grain markets put a premium on reaching a fair agreement in which both sides of the deal will…

Ebola, ISIS Taking Front Stage at World Food Prize By: 10/07/2014 @ 2:55pm

Ebola and ISIS -- the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria -- may seem worlds away from the corn and soybean fields of the Midwestern U.S. While the miles separating them are many, that's not to say those…

Remember The Brazilian WTO Cotton Case? It's Finally Over By: 10/07/2014 @ 12:58pm

About a decade ago, the phrase "Brazilian WTO cotton case" was an earthquake shaking under a lot of global ag trade talks. The long-running dispute about U.S. cotton subsidies and Brazilian officials'…

Eliminating Aflatoxin Goal Of Kenya Program By: 10/06/2014 @ 9:34am

Aflatoxin is a problem in some corn fields in the U.S., where infection of the fungus typically means either additional storage costs or occasional refusal of loads of the grain at the local elevator.In Kenya…

Drying a Big Crop This Fall? Get Your Propane Now, Experts Say By: 10/02/2014 @ 1:45pm

A big corn crop plus a fall harvest season that, in much of the Midwest, is starting out on a slow, damp note could equal a big demand for propane to dry grain as fall advances, which opens the door to…

Expansion Will Trim Hog Profits in 2015 By: 10/02/2014 @ 1:09pm

The 2014 edition of the Pork Powerhouses report shows U.S. and Canadian hog producers are riding high on record profits due in large part to herd cuts stemming from the devastating porcine epidemic diarrhea…

Soybean Stocks Fall Way Below Trade Estimates -- USDA By: 09/30/2014 @ 11:09am

There are far fewer soybeans stored around the U.S. right now than the trade expected, if USDA's data Tuesday is any indication.In the agency's quarterly Grain Stocks report, USDA pegged old-crop…

Marestail Worries? How About A Fall Herbicide Application? By: 09/29/2014 @ 2:45pm

As if fall wasn't busy enough...Putting down a herbicide application this fall could help you keep weeds knocked down better next spring in a lot of circumstances in no-till production systems, 2 Purdue…

Check Grain Bin Exterior, Grounds Too By: 09/26/2014 @ 8:57am

Making sure the inside of your grain bins is clean, dry and well-aerated is critical to keeping your corn and soybeans in good shape when you put it away for the winter. But, don't overlook the outside…

Updated Crop Budgets May Call For More Soybeans In 2015 By: 09/25/2014 @ 2:32pm

As corn and soybean prices continue to slide lower, it's causing more change in the outlook for ways to help get through the downturn, reaching as far as planting decisions for 2015.The outlook for crop…

USDA Finalizes ARC, PLC; Base Acre Allocation Starts Monday By: 09/25/2014 @ 12:53pm

The federal government officially rolled out new programs that are intended to provide financial support for farmers in lieu of direct payments as mandated by the 2014 farm bill.Secretary of Agriculture made…

Remember SLAM to Keep Stored Grain in Good Shape By: 09/23/2014 @ 12:59pm

With a big crop expected this fall, one many experts say will be best left stored on the farm, there's a premium this year on the practices critical to keeping that grain in the best possible condition…

This Fall a Good One to Store Grain on the Farm? By: 09/23/2014 @ 12:00pm

This may be the year to keep as much of your newly harvested corn close to home. Declining corn market prices make paying for commercial storage or selling straight out of the field far from ideal scenarios…

Machinery Depreciation Most Likely Leader of Lower Input Costs -- Economist By: 09/23/2014 @ 11:27am

During the farm crisis of the 1980s, nonland input costs ultimately followed the massive slide in general farm income. Now, as grain prices and incomes continue to fall -- though not yet to the extent of the…

Can Technology Offset Declining Farmer Numbers? By: 09/23/2014 @ 8:45am

The number of farms in the U.S. continued to trend lower, as does the number of farmers. While this hints at some of the growth and consolidation of farms in parts of the nation, some young farmers believe it…

Don't Neglect Safety This Harvest Season By: 09/10/2014 @ 8:57am

Harvest is here (or close, depending on your location). It's about the craziest time of the year on most farms in the Corn Belt, making it tough to be patient and take the time required for safety on the…

Storing Grain Outside This Fall? Keep It Dry & Cool By: 09/10/2014 @ 6:51am

If crop output projections reach fruition this fall, there could be a lot of corn and soybeans stored in places where it normally isn't. There are a lot of temporary and alternative storage options, but…

Don't Count on Lower Land Rents Despite Downturn By: 09/10/2014 @ 6:18am

While overall cash farmland rents went up slightly in the last year, the average paid declined. That dip is expected to sharpen in the coming year, according to a new report by an Illinois economist. How…

Apple Rolls Out Watch, iPhone, Web Payment System By: 09/09/2014 @ 2:02pm

Apple has finally entered the wearable computer race.Company leaders announced Tuesday the release of the company's Apple Watch, a device around which there's been a lot of speculation since…

Keeping Up With The 'Nickels & Dimes' During Tight Farm Times By: 09/05/2014 @ 1:48pm

Grain prices are in the tank. So, a hot topic lately has been how to trim your farm's bills and expenses. And, why exert the effort on steps that just make small, incremental changes? Cut back on…

Cattle Optimism: Is The New 'Animal Era' Just Beginning? By: 09/05/2014 @ 10:43am

The news continues to be laced with doom and gloom for U.S. crop farmers. But, there's a silver lining to the cloud over the currently bearish corn and soybean markets, and it's emanating over the…

Preharvest Downtime Tasks, Part II: Yield Monitor Prep By: 09/03/2014 @ 11:52am

Though last-minute corn scouting is still critical at this late point in the growing season, don't spend all of your time before harvest in the field and farm shop. Make sure you spend some quality time…

Preharvest Downtime Tasks to Check Off Your List: Part I By: 09/03/2014 @ 11:15am

It's that time of year . . . the calm before the storm, the preparation for the mad dash, the time when you may try to pace a trough in the floor waiting to get into the field and start picking corn and…

Enrolled in CSP? A Big Deadline Is Approaching By: 09/03/2014 @ 8:40am

If you're enrolled in the USDA-NRCS Conservation Security Program (CSP), an important date is coming up.You've got until September 12 to reenroll in the program for the next five years if your…

Tightening Your Farm's Belt? Check Out These Tips By: 09/02/2014 @ 1:44pm

Exactly two years ago at this time, farmers were more concerned with how they were going to invest, spend, and take care of the money they'd make from a decent crop while grain market prices were high. A…

Drought Continues to Hammer California; Little Relief in Sight By: 08/28/2014 @ 10:27am

John Steinbeck and Sonora Babb painted vivid pictures of the Dust Bowl in their novels The Grapes of Wrath and Whose Names Are Unknown. The stories showed the migration of impoverished farmers west from the…

Another Rough Winter? Farmers' Almanac Says So By: 08/27/2014 @ 7:30am

Not again! A year ago, the Farmers' Almanac, which has been around for almost two centuries, accurately forecast the record-breaking cold and snowy conditions in the nation's center. Now, amidst the…

Easing Farmland Values No 'Doom-and-Gloom' Situation -- Survey By: 08/26/2014 @ 2:23pm

Just because the land market has leveled off from its meteoric rise of the last few years doesn't mean it will join forces with lower grain prices to drive grain farm profits completely into the ground…

Sudden Death Syndrome Popping Up in Midwest Soybeans By: 08/26/2014 @ 7:11am

The ample moisture in the last week or so in parts of the Corn Belt has been a boon for corn and soybean crops rounding the final turn and going into the homestretch toward fall harvest.For soybeans, it’s…

Grain Farm Incomes Won't Dictate Farmland Price Direction By: 08/25/2014 @ 3:07pm

Grain prices may have fallen -- and continue to do so -- but that doesn't necessarily mean the farmland market will follow suit, a team of economists and land experts say.The land market's one that…

Farmers Still Buying Tractors; Buying Expected to Slow in Coming Months By: 08/22/2014 @ 12:31pm

If farm machinery sales over the last few months -- and projections for the near future -- are any indication, the farm profitability downturn has yet to exert too much financial pressure on farmers after…

Rural Economic Erosion Continues -- Goss By: 08/20/2014 @ 12:35pm

The full extent of the sharp downturn in grain prices over the last few months likely won't be felt until next year, though the trend toward rural economic contraction is well underway, according to new…

New Tool Lets You Conduct Your Own Soybean Crop Tour By: 08/20/2014 @ 11:42am

Crop tours and yield estimates are all the rage this time of year, with the corn and soybean crops rounding the corner toward harvest, one many say could yield record crop output.But, no yield projection this…

Worried About Having Enough Grain Storage This Fall? By: 08/18/2014 @ 2:13pm

As hard as it may be to believe already, corn harvest will soon be underway in the southernmost points of Missouri. And, with what many see as a near-ideal growing season up to this point, some are now…

Didn't Plant a Monster Seed Population? Don't Worry By: 08/18/2014 @ 9:00am

Hindsight may be 20/20, but that doesn't mean decisions based on hindsight are the best. That's especially true with corn plant populations, one expert says this week.There's been some…

Weather Starter: Heat Ratchets Up in the Corn Belt By: 08/18/2014 @ 8:17am

Temperatures surging into the 90s -- after a few weeks of below-normal temperatures -- are expected in much of the Corn Belt as the week starts, putting a premium on expected rainfall in parts of the region as…

Ag Credit Conditions Stable Despite Farm Income Shake-up By: 08/15/2014 @ 1:27pm

Farm incomes are down. What does that mean for overall farm credit conditions? They've generally held steady, according to a report released this week by the Kansas City Branch of the Federal Reserve. In…

Add Some Grit to Your Weed Control By: 08/15/2014 @ 9:40am

If you're battling weeds in your fields, recent reports show that spraying them at this point in the growing season may not knock them down. So, what if you could knock them down . . …

Can You Break Even on Cash Rent in 2015? By: 08/13/2014 @ 8:03am

What should you be paying for cash rent this year? Crop revenues will be well off the last few years' screaming pace, but what exactly should that mean to what you pay for your land?Corn Belt cash rent…

Fertilizer a Key Variable in Corn, Soybean Crop Cost Containment By: 08/11/2014 @ 3:08pm

Corn and soybeans are cheap and getting cheaper. Profits may be out the window for this year on a lot of row-crop farms. Yet the downturn was well foreshadowed. Now that it's arrived, there's a new…

Check Your Tech & More: Inside Successful Farming, August 2014 By: 08/11/2014 @ 12:56pm

What's hot in this month's issue of Successful Farming? This month's massive issue includes many features for the farm shop and machinery lineup on your farm, from the latest on Tier 4 engines…

Lower, Higher, Lower || Rain Returns to the Corn Belt By: 08/07/2014 @ 9:08am

It's been another up-and-down week for the grain markets, as factors like rainfall running through the Corn Belt and possible export interruptions abroad helped the bears on Wednesday after several days…

OSHA Clarifies Small Farm Regulation; Does It Apply to Your Farm? By: 08/06/2014 @ 9:28am

Workplace safety is of utmost importance wherever you are, including the farm. Recent action by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) against a few small farms and subsequent backlash…

Weekly Market Wrap-Up: Weather Bears Rule By: 08/01/2014 @ 1:16pm

It's been a rough week for the grain markets. Things started out on a high note earlier in the week with news of fairly solid export demand. But that didn't stick around long. Mother Nature's…

Crop Revenue Help from the Fed...With a Catch By: 07/31/2014 @ 9:18am

It's been about 4 years since corn and soybeans were as low as they are right now, and it's got crop income expectations well into the red for this year barring some kind of crop weather catastrophe…

Risk Management, Farm Policy Critical During Farm Economy Slump By: 07/29/2014 @ 2:01pm

The business of raising corn, soybeans, and wheat isn't what it was a couple of years ago. Now that the well-foreshadowed profit downturn for grain farmers has arrived, attention has turned to ways to…

Weather Starter: Corn Belt Dryness Continues By: 07/28/2014 @ 9:53am

The week's starting out a dry one -- and likely will end on that note, too -- though while some areas may see mounting concerns on this account, lower-than-normal temperatures will likely prevent the…

U.S. Soybean Crop Will Hit Record 46 bu/ac Say Forecasters By: 07/25/2014 @ 2:10pm

August is always the make-or-break month for the U.S. soybean crop. As the final days of July 2014 tick off the calendar, it's becoming clear that statement may never have been truer.Right now, conditions…

Drought's Assault Continues in California By: 07/24/2014 @ 9:06am

Though it hasn't rained in parts of corn and soybean country in a few weeks, the drought has largely receded in much of the Corn Belt, and incremental improvements in crop moisture conditions are underway…

Malaysian Airliner Crash in Ukraine Sends Wheat Market Skyward By: 07/17/2014 @ 2:34pm

Wheat futures took off Thursday afternoon to close double-digits higher after news that officials suspect rebels shot down a Malaysian airliner over Ukrainian airspace, killing 295 people. The movement of that…

No Major Shake-ups in USDA Corn, Soybean Stocks Data By: 07/11/2014 @ 11:14am

Friday's USDA grain stocks and production data didn't hold many surprises for the trade, with carryout numbers falling fairly close to previous estimates, ones that the trade has largely digested…

Polar Vortex in July? Jacket Weather Headed to the Corn Belt By: 07/11/2014 @ 8:25am

No need to drag out the Carhartts just yet, but be ready for a cooldown in parts of the nation's midsection in the next few days, forecasters say. Remember the polar vortex that swung down into the…

Corn, Soybean Conditions Stabilize on Good Crop Weather -- USDA By: 07/07/2014 @ 3:53pm

Corn conditions were mostly unchanged -- with a slight improvement in one category -- while soybeans were identical in their ratings from a week ago in Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. With those…

Weather Starter: Mild Temperatures to Continue in Midwest, Plains By: 07/07/2014 @ 9:34am

After a weekend that saw mostly limited rainfall and cooler-than-normal temperatures for the most part, the trend of mild temps looks to continue over the next week or so, forecasters say.Heat index readings…

Soybean Acreage, Corn Stocks Numbers Sharply Bearish -- USDA By: 06/30/2014 @ 11:05am

U.S. farmers have planted a whale of a soybean crop this year, and if that crop reaches fruition, it'll keep the bears fed for some time, analysts and traders say after soaking up Monday's USDA…

Weather Starter: Week Starts Stormy, Ends Dry By: 06/30/2014 @ 7:50am

Another weekend of heavy rainfall and storms around the central U.S. and Canada has rivers swollen and cropland laden with excess water, which some farmers say is doing serious damage to crops in the ground…

Grain Market Attention Turns to June 30 USDA Reports By: 06/26/2014 @ 9:23am

The grain marketplace is starting to sharpen its focus on next Monday's big USDA Acreage and Grain Stocks reports as analysts' estimates start to pour in on the big numbers that could set the tone…

Keep Costs Down by Getting the Most Out of Your Iron By: 06/25/2014 @ 2:56pm

With farm incomes slipping off multiyear highs this year -- something that's forecast to continue for a while -- a lot of farmers are looking at ways to maintain their bottom line. If you're taking…

Corn Price Range Opens Wide Potential Income Window -- Expert By: 06/25/2014 @ 8:36am

About 4 bucks. That's the key figure to watch moving forward in pegging your farm income in the next few years, one expert says. A corn price around $4.20 a bushel combined with "above-average yields"…

Corn Ratings Slip on Isolated Heavy Rain, Flooding -- USDA By: 06/24/2014 @ 8:06am

Largely because of persisting heavy rainfall and its effects on early crop development, corn conditions slipped in the last week, and that's expected to continue through the next week, analysts say. The…

Soggy Conditions Prevail in Plains, Corn Belt By: 06/23/2014 @ 9:38am

It's been a wet last few days in much of the nation's central third. Even though the rain is badly needed in much of the Plains, it could start to have detrimental effects on that region's…

Storms Fuel Major Drought Reductions in Parts of Plains, Midwest By: 06/19/2014 @ 8:36am

The heavy rain that's fallen in parts of the Midwest over the last week has caused unprecedented change in the drought conditions that, until recently, prevailed over much of the region. In the meantime…

Downsizing Iron and Getting More Efficient With Technology By: 06/18/2014 @ 9:42am

Bigger's always better, right? When it comes to your farm's planter, that may not be the case with a new suite of technology tools on the horizon. Some of those tools were examined during this…

Fed Greenlights PEDv Vaccine By: 06/17/2014 @ 9:32am

There may now be light at the end of the porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDv) tunnel that's rocked the U.S. hog industry in the last year. On Monday, officials with the USDA Animal and Plant Health…

A Trip Around the Crop Weather World By: 06/16/2014 @ 10:37am

Continued rainfall in the east-central Plains and northwestern Corn Belt in the U.S. is just one of several moisture extremes making weather headlines as the week begins.The rain is falling in spots where…

Getting Better Crop Data and Making It Pay By: 06/12/2014 @ 3:24pm

It's a recurring question in today's high-tech farming world: I've got all this data from my fields, now what do I do with it? Starting to reach farms are a few new tools that take…

Corn, Soybean Stocks Numbers Surge Past Trade Estimates -- WASDE By: 06/11/2014 @ 11:21am

U.S. corn ending stocks came in slightly higher in Wednesday's USDA World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, while soybean ending stocks are seen slightly lower from last…

Expected Moderating Temps, Rain Welcome Relief for Central U.S. Farmers By: 06/11/2014 @ 7:18am

Parts of the nation's center that have seen the most severe dryness and heat in the last two years look to see a break from those painful conditions in the coming weeks, according to new forecasts.The…

Soybean Planting Dragging On? Try These Tips By: 06/10/2014 @ 9:02am

The weather has taken a major turn for the better since the slow, cool, wet start to the planting and growing season earlier this spring. Yet there are still pockets – like parts of Indiana – where the…

Employing Your Kids on Your Farm This Summer? Pay Them the Right Way By: 06/10/2014 @ 8:33am

School's out for summer. That means a lot of farm kids are making the switch from the classroom to the family farm for the season. If you've got teenagers working on your family's farm, you can…

Corn Planting Wraps, Conditions Drift Slightly Lower -- USDA By: 06/09/2014 @ 3:36pm

There's a chart noticeably absent from Monday's USDA-NASS weekly Crop Progress report: corn planting. It's a sign that planting is in the books for this year as attention for that crop turns to…

Hog Market Staying Afloat Despite Lower PEDv Losses -- Economist By: 06/03/2014 @ 12:33pm

As the hog industry's epicenter shifts to Des Moines, Iowa, with the convening of the 2014 World Pork Expo, new information shows earlier estimates of death loss -- and corresponding herd cuts -- stemming…

Corn, Soybean Crops Hit the Gas Pedal -- USDA By: 06/03/2014 @ 12:02pm

The 2014 corn crop is out of the blocks in great shape, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.This week's report marks the first of the year showing the overall condition of the crop…

Why a 1980s-style Farmland Bust Isn't in the Cards -- Economists By: 06/03/2014 @ 11:01am

Though it's been far from the gutting of land values that came along with the farm crisis in the 1980s, land values have tapered off and are sliding lower in much of farm country. But, despite the…

Farmers Zoom To Near-Average Corn, Soybean Planting, Emergence Pace By: 05/27/2014 @ 3:25pm

The last week saw farmers take another big step toward wrapping up corn planting, which if repeated in the next seven days, will be in the books for 2014, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress…

Better Crop Weather En Route ... With Exceptions By: 05/21/2014 @ 2:04pm

Growing expectations that El Niño will be swinging back around and exerting its influence on North American weather are starting to materialize as a longer-term forecast for the summer. That forecast shows…

Farmland Lower, Ranchland Higher - KC Fed By: 05/21/2014 @ 9:26am

A combination of high input costs, lower crop prices, and expectations for a sharply drought-shortened winter wheat crop this summer has crop farm incomes - and expectations for them moving through the…

Corn Planting, Emergence Slows -- USDA By: 05/19/2014 @ 3:44pm

A week ago, farmers had just wrapped up a week of immense corn-planting progress. That's not necessarily the case seven days later.Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 73% of the…

Weather Starter: Plains Cooking as Corn Belt Dust Flies By: 05/19/2014 @ 9:36am

The week is starting out with more seasonable temperatures, just a few shots of showers in the Corn Belt, and the likelihood of scorching heat with spotty light rain in the parched central and southern Plains…

Is Another Dust Bowl on the Horizon? By: 05/16/2014 @ 7:40am

It's dry in the Great Plains. Parts of the central and southern Plains haven't seen "normal" rainfall amounts in years, and the increasing dryness is taking a mounting toll on the…

Will Another Dust Bowl Hit the U.S. Great Plains? By: 05/14/2014 @ 1:37pm

Some dust storms during the 1930s left parts of the Plains -- and everything on them -- under 6 feet of dust . . . dust from soil that nurtured the lifeblood of this region."My great uncle would talk about one…

Smithfield Profits Skyrocket Despite PEDv By: 05/14/2014 @ 8:48am

When the largest pork producer in the U.S. -- Smithfield Foods -- was acquired by WH Group Limited, a Chinese company with large footprints in the Asian and European protein markets, it was big news…

Think You Need to Replant Corn? Consider These Factors By: 05/13/2014 @ 8:52am

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report showed farmers spent last week getting after it, bringing corn and soybean planting up to schedule. Farmers in parts of the Corn Belt have all their corn in the…

Corn, Soybean Planting Catches Up, Poised for a Stall -- USDA By: 05/12/2014 @ 4:05pm

Spring 2014 is shaping up to be one of the wildest corn-planting roller-coaster rides in recent years.After a rain-soaked week in much of the Corn Belt that saw few planting strides the previous week, farmers…

Weather Starter: Severe Storms Slam Planting Window Shut By: 05/12/2014 @ 10:29am

It's going to be the middle of the week at the earliest for a lot of Corn Belt farmers whose land was the target of widespread rainfall, including some severe, damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes. But…

Grains Mix Up Despite Low USDA Ending Stocks Number By: 05/09/2014 @ 11:08am

Corn use in the U.S. has slipped lower in recent months, and that's got USDA opening up a slightly lower price range looking further into the 2013-2014 marketing year. That's according to…

Watch for Falling Ethanol Profits By: 05/09/2014 @ 8:23am

Ethanol prices have fallen in the last couple of weeks, but that hasn't stopped the industry from seeing off-the-chart profitability in recent weeks and months. Is it sustainable? One expert says…

Don't Overgraze During the Drought By: 05/07/2014 @ 1:47pm

If you've got cattle craving some green grass this spring, you might want to take pause before you let them out into your pastures, even if they do look green and healthy. What you're seeing may not…

Ready For More Beef Herd Expansion? By: 05/07/2014 @ 9:02am

If you're not ready for a higher cattle market for a while, you better settle in and get ready for it, because it's going to continue for "multiple years" into the future, one expert says.Record beef…

Corn Planting Falls Below Trade Estimates -- USDA By: 05/05/2014 @ 3:54pm

Farmers got 10% of the nation's corn crop planted in the last week. That's not bad considering the cool, damp conditions up to this week, but it's still well off the normal pace, according to…

Weather Starter: Corn Planting Window Flying Open By: 05/05/2014 @ 8:54am

After a week of what in spots felt more like March, the first full week of May will likely see a lot of planting and other fieldwork throughout the nation's center, allowing farmers a lot of catch-up time…

Rains Ease Midwest Drought; Plains Dust Bowl Fears Grow By: 05/01/2014 @ 8:58am

The haves have had it this week, while the have-nots continue to struggle to get it: rainfall in corn, wheat, and soybean country in the nation's center third.The top-level number on the U.S. Drought…

The Shrinking Odds of an On-Time Corn Crop By: 04/30/2014 @ 4:24pm

May 20. That's the average date for the slamming of the optimal planting window for corn in the Midwest. Using that date, recent planting progress data, and historical spring weather information, you…

Farm Income Drop Pushes Operating Loans Higher -- Fed By: 04/30/2014 @ 1:06pm

Here's proof the farm economy is softening, just as many experts have been saying it would for the last few months: Operating loans for farms in the nation's center increased by almost one third in…

Will You Plant Corn Late? Here Are 5 Tips to Net Optimal Yields By: 04/23/2014 @ 11:59am

There's mounting evidence to support the idea that this spring might be a repeat of last year's cool, wet season that had some farmers planting corn and soybeans well into June. The last few days…

Corn Planting Slumps Forward -- USDA By: 04/22/2014 @ 8:13am

Corn planting remains behind the normal pace, though a weather window may be opening this week to allow farmers to play a little much needed catch-up.As of Sunday, 6% of the nation's crop was planted vs…

Drought Cuts Southern California Water Access by 95% By: 04/21/2014 @ 2:53pm

The drought is bad in the nation's center. Crops are hurting, and there's a lot of anxiety heading into summer. It's nothing, though, compared to the dire circumstances facing farmers and…

Cultivation Corridor Is Iowa's Ag, Bioscience Silicon Valley By: 04/21/2014 @ 11:32am

California has Silicon Valley. Now, Iowa has the Cultivation Corridor.Referring to the ag- and bioscience-rich area of central Iowa stretching from Des Moines to Ames, home of Iowa State University (ISU)…

Weather Starter: Plains Wheat Misses Rain, Midwest Corn Planters Roll By: 04/21/2014 @ 8:29am

Some rain fell in the parched Plains over the weekend, but it fell short of earlier expectations, while planters finally started rolling in earnest in the Midwest. However, more rain in that region this week…

Dry Getting Drier, Wet Getting Wetter -- Drought Monitor By: 04/17/2014 @ 8:37am

Rain and snow last weekend and early this week was enough to put a dent in the general drought conditions in some key crop areas, while others saw just limited precipitation, leaving things shrouded by…

Soybeans blast off on strong processing data By: 04/15/2014 @ 3:27pm

Soybean futures topped out Tuesday above $15/bushel for the first time in quite a while on news that there's a lot of demand for both the oilseed and its oil. The National Oilseed Processors Association…

Farm Debt-to-Asset Ratios Lowest in 20 Years -- ERS By: 04/15/2014 @ 2:27pm

Farm debt has increased a lot over the last two decades. Bad news, right? At the same time, general farm income has grown by even more, resulting in lower average debt-to-asset ratios and fewer farmers…

Corn Planting Sags; Wheat Worries Mount By: 04/15/2014 @ 9:21am

Corn planting is underway in the U.S. That's the good news. The bad news is as of mid-April, the pace remains painfully slow in most of the country, a veritable rerun of the start to planting season in…

Weather Starter: Rain, Snow Gut Fieldwork Potential By: 04/14/2014 @ 8:39am

Widespread weekend rainfall transitioned into snow late Sunday and early Monday, leaving a blanket of white in parts of the country where farmers are itching to get into the field to get the 2014 crop year…

Time to Plant Corn! Get Your Iron Geared Up! By: 04/10/2014 @ 11:51am

It's spring planting season! Is your iron up to snuff? If you need to conduct some last-minute maintenance, or need a new planter altogether, here are some of the latest planter features from the…

Demand-Heavy WASDE Report Provides Initial Market Spike By: 04/09/2014 @ 11:17am

Corn export demand has risen in the last month, and that's likely to push futures prices to a range of about 5 to 15 cents higher than a month ago, according to Wednesday's USDA-NASS World…

Corn Planting Progress Crawls Slowly Northward By: 04/08/2014 @ 3:45pm

Corn planting is marching its way north, but once you head north of the Mason-Dixon Line, the progress quickly slows to a crawl.State ag statistics service reports from this week -- issued despite a lack of…

El Niño on its way by summer, new data show By: 04/08/2014 @ 8:46am

New data suggest an El Niño weather pattern -- one that could bring wetter, cooler conditions this summer -- is likely to unfold as the crop season advances. But, that same pattern could spell even more…

Custom Farming Rates Holding Firm By: 04/02/2014 @ 9:24am

While grain prices have trended lower lately, the lag in corresponding cuts in the costs to raise those crops -- things like seed and chemical -- has been widely documented. The same is true with custom…

Plant the Right Corn Seed Population By: 04/01/2014 @ 4:07pm

What corn populations work best on your farm? Are you planting the right numbers? Knowing that answer can mean the difference between a so-so yield and a great one. So, where's the bull's seye for…

Farmland Value Slide Continues By: 04/01/2014 @ 2:53pm

The farmland value slide is on.The latest data from the Iowa Chapter of Realtors Land Institute, an industry group comprising farm real estate brokers, developers and managers, shows land in that state's…

What to Know This Week: Spring Weather Worries and Big USDA Data By: 03/26/2014 @ 11:57am

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…

Early or Late Corn Planting in Store? By: 03/26/2014 @ 9:59am

Early expectations were for a likely repeat of last year's cool, wet spring in much of the Corn Belt. Rightfully so, considering temperatures have been running as much as 20°F. below normal for this time…

Commemorating an Ag Legend By: 03/25/2014 @ 10:17am

In a fitting celebration for National Agriculture Day, lawmakers, ag and food leaders gathered at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to unveil a new statue of…

Don't Rush Into Chilly, Damp Planting By: 03/21/2014 @ 1:13pm

Spring is not exactly kicking off with a bang. Some parts of the country, in fact, will probably see temperatures that may remind them more of the long winter we just concluded.Don't let it get you down…

The latest on Ukraine tumult and your farm By: 03/06/2014 @ 1:44pm

Untitled Document Half a world away from the farm fields of the U.S., a conflict between eastern European nations has had some major effects on U.S. agriculture. The threat of military action…

Ukraine fight and its farm effects By: 03/03/2014 @ 3:29pm

The saber-rattling between Russia and Ukraine didn't take long to work its way into the ag market sector. Corn and wheat futures surged Monday as shipping companies announced they could see major…

Is Old Man Winter losing his grip? By: 03/03/2014 @ 2:08pm

It's been the coldest start to March since as long as weather data's been tracked in some parts of the Midwest. But, the subzero and single-digit temperatures may be on their way toward moderating to…

Bulls all around: Good news for cattle producers By: 02/28/2014 @ 12:05pm

Is the cattle cycle swinging back around to the high side? Recent record-high cattle prices will likely start making that happen soon, says one longtime livestock economist.It's been a while since cattle…

Check in with 2014 Commodity Classic By: 02/28/2014 @ 10:18am

The corn, soybean, wheat and sorghum world is based deep in the heart of Texas this week with the convening of 2014 Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Technology, agronomy, policy and more are taking center…

Chill lingering through spring, says forecaster By: 02/25/2014 @ 11:36am

The calendar may have you pacing the floor and looking ahead to getting some work done in the field, but don't put away the long johns just yet. And definitely don't get in too big a hurry with…

The latest wheat winterkill prognosis By: 02/24/2014 @ 1:23pm

Tired of winter yet? If you're a wheat farmer, your crop probably is, too.The last few weeks have seen hard red winter wheat conditions slumping in the heart of the nation’s Wheat Belt. Many areas have…

Monsanto, Climate Corporation add soil analysis business By: 02/20/2014 @ 4:16pm

Facebook's acquisition of the texting application WhatsApp got a lot of headlines earlier this week for one big reason: The deal's $19 billion price tag. But it wasn't the only Silicon Valley…

New variety pushes Clearfield wheat yield potential By: 02/19/2014 @ 11:43am

The Clearfield wheat production system took herbicide tolerance to the wheat-growing masses. Now, there's a new tool in the works that will offer more control of pests and disease within the system.Kansas…

3 ways to tighten your farm's machinery belt By: 02/19/2014 @ 10:07am

The last few years have been a heck of a run for a lot of farmers, and in few places has that been demonstrated as in the farm machinery market. A lot of farmers have spent money on new paint in the last few…

Pickup changes on their way to your farm By: 02/19/2014 @ 9:19am

Ford caused quite a stir earlier this year when company officials announced they're making some major changes to the company's flagship pickup, the F-150. Moving from steel to aluminum for the body…

Wall Street's $10 billion bet on farmland By: 02/18/2014 @ 1:26pm

Farmland values are amidst a widely documented slump. The grain markets aren't exactly lighting the world on fire either. The latter factor will likely keep more farmers on the sidelines at land auctions…

Take a new approach with crop insurance By: 02/17/2014 @ 1:41pm

When you sign up for federal crop insurance or revenue protection this year, think long-term.The 2014 safety net for crop revenue created by the just-passed farm bill has some nuances that should change how…

Farmland value dip seen lasting through 2014 -- Fed By: 02/14/2014 @ 11:47am

Another quarter's passed, and so has materialized a sign that the farmland market's reached a plateau and, in fact, is nearing a tipping point at which a downward price trajectory is reality.In the…

Buying a drone? Know your needs By: 02/13/2014 @ 12:52pm

Drones, or unmanned aerial systems, are hot in agriculture right now. And, this rapidly growing market is offering farmers a ton of choices. Knowing which one to buy can be tough, making reaching a clear idea…

New planter helps hit shrinking planting windows By: 02/12/2014 @ 7:47am

The spring planting season of 2013 seemed to drag on and on for a lot of farmers. Some fields weren't planted, and for those that were, it was tough for a lot of Midwest corn farmers to hit the optimal…

Tomorrow's Planters Today! By: 02/11/2014 @ 5:31pm

The corn and soybean planter world's focus is on Louisville, Kentucky, this week with a major announcement coming from John Deere. Company officials are planning an announcement Wednesday, February 12, at…

Corn stocks tighten, soybeans unchanged -- USDA By: 02/10/2014 @ 11:05am

USDA left the U.S. ending stocks number for soybeans unchanged in its monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, deflating hopes of what some market-watchers said could be a bullish…

Winter relief en route; drought worries confirmed By: 02/05/2014 @ 7:53am

It's dry enough in parts of the Plains that crop consultants can take soil samples with a standard probe. That's not the best sign for farmers like Agriculture.com Marketing Talk veteran adviser…

How'd your group react to the farm bill's passage? By: 02/04/2014 @ 4:58pm

How'd your lawmaker, group you support or association react to Tuesday's passage of the farm bill? Here's a roundup of a few reactions from around the industry, from lawmakers to conservation…

Pork margins growing despite PEDv nerves By: 01/31/2014 @ 3:00pm

Though hog farmers are starting to see decent profits, the continued presence of a major disease continues to keep a lid on profits and herd expansion, a report released this week shows.In a quarterly pork…

Christensen expands with MN acquisition By: 01/31/2014 @ 1:03pm

Pork Powerhouse Christensen Farms and Feedlots, Inc., took a step toward solidifying its role among the nation's hog giants this week with the acquisition of Exetare Parternship, LLP, a Minnesota-based…

Energy fueling a rural bounceback -- Pickens By: 01/31/2014 @ 11:08am

The economies of some major ag states in the nation's center are thriving right now, and for a reason other than a healthy farm sector.Oil and natural gas production capacity in the U.S. has increased…

Bullish but volatile grain trend ahead -- analyst By: 01/30/2014 @ 6:29am

There's been a lot more land thrown into crop production in the last few years in the U.S. And, there have been a lot of yield advancements, leading to some major crop sizes when Mother Nature…

New outlook favors good crop conditions in Argentina By: 01/28/2014 @ 8:43am

The outlook's flipped, and now one forecaster's calling for a drier Brazil and wetter Argentina moving forward moving through the remainder of South America's safrinha growing season. In a…

Stroll Europe's biggest farm show By: 01/28/2014 @ 6:49am

Agritechnica is the world's largest tradeshow for agricultural machinery and technology. The 2013 show hosted more than 2,700 exhibitors from 50 different countries in a record 17 pavilions. …

Farmers spending less on iron -- Fed By: 01/27/2014 @ 3:53pm

Grain prices have fallen. Farm incomes are seen sagging this year after a few fairly bountiful years. And now, the numbers reflect the trend that farm economy watchers have been predicting for a few…

Propane logjam reaching crisis stage on some farms By: 01/27/2014 @ 10:16am

The propane situation is getting serious in farm country. Supply shortages, spiking prices, and extreme winter weather are combining to create a situation that's now seen threatening some livestock's…

Climate expert takes on global warming By: 01/24/2014 @ 11:04am

There are multiple schools of thought when it comes to climate change, global warming, and how it's influenced by humans' increasing carbon footprints. But just like Goldilocks and the Three Bears…

Trimble rolls out crop-scouting drone By: 01/22/2014 @ 10:04am

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, have taken a big step toward more widespread adoption and use in agriculture with the recent announcement that a major player in the precision ag business is adding…

Trimble rolls out crop-scouting drone By: 01/22/2014 @ 10:04am

Unmanned aerial systems (UAS), or drones, have taken a big step toward more widespread adoption and use in agriculture with the recent announcement that a major player in the precision ag business is adding…

Keep it cloddy to dodge winter wind erosion By: 01/21/2014 @ 6:57am

Soil conditions that are typically seen as negative during the crop season could help keep things in better shape this winter, especially when high winds make soils susceptible to erosion, which is most common…

Grading USDA crop production reports By: 01/20/2014 @ 1:53pm

Though there's no real evidence of tampering or bias in USDA crop data, there are things government officials can do to improve both the data gathered and the way it's presented in a time when the…

Beef prices seen strong through 2014 -- USDA By: 01/17/2014 @ 12:30pm

A combination of long-term feed price movement and recent stormy winter weather have combined to ignite record-high cattle and beef prices, and between those factors, a lag in cow slaughter and a strong export…

Keep an eye on stored corn this winter By: 01/17/2014 @ 10:00am

If you've got corn that went into the bin last fall a little on the damp side, now's a good time to check it and make sure it's in good shape before you haul it to town.Just shy of 3/4 of…

Drones 101: Making them work on your farm By: 01/16/2014 @ 11:15am

Drones, or unmanned aerial systems (UAS), are rapidly making their way to the farm. But, not without a few issues through which to work before they're as common as a tractor or planter. And, it's an…

U.S. hog herd bounceback is on -- economist By: 01/08/2014 @ 3:44pm

For the last year, there's been some guarded optimism that the U.S. hog herd could be on its way to expansion. But the sustained growth forecast that industry-watchers saw coming in 2013 never…

Preparedness, awareness critical to extreme winter survival By: 01/06/2014 @ 10:22am

Wind chill readings south of -20 or -30 degrees Fahrenheit can make the easiest job outside on the farm a slow, painful slog. And a potentially deadly one at that. Staying safe in extreme cold like that…

A silver lining to potential RFS cuts By: 01/06/2014 @ 8:23am

The potential slashing of the federal ethanol mandate isn't all bad news for the corn market, one economist says. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency late last year proposed paring back the federal…

Stay warm in the shop with these ideas! By: 12/31/2013 @ 9:01am

It's winter. It's cold. Not much to do outside. But it's probably warmer in your farm shop! So keep warm and dig into some machinery and equipment projects! Whether it's a small…

What's in store for your farm this year? By: 12/26/2013 @ 2:34pm

The new year's arrived. 2013 was a year of major volatility for most farmers and ranchers, and that's expected to continue through at least this early stretch of 2014. Take a little time to look…

Deere, Dow partner for better precision data utilization By: 12/17/2013 @ 8:30am

The volume of data farmers are gleaning in their fields via today's precision ag tools is growing. Now, a new venture seeks to do the same with what that data can represent, value-wise, in a farmer's…

Big in ag 2013: Wild crop weather and falling farmland By: 12/16/2013 @ 2:54pm

What stands out to you as the biggest story of 2013? The tough crop year? Or was it the downturn in farmland values? What about the issues facing the livestock sector? Reflect and look back on these and other…

Is your farm downturn-ready? By: 12/16/2013 @ 8:58am

You're likely not going to make as much money next year as you have the last couple of years. That's what all the experts are saying. But, amidst all that talk, have you prepared your farm for the…

Chinese nationals charged with stealing corn technology By: 12/13/2013 @ 12:04pm

A Chinese national has been accused with "theft of trade secrets" after a two-year investigation into his work in the U.S. uncovered his plans to take seed and seed-trait technology from DuPont Pioneer and…

2014 a good year to max out crop insurance -- economist By: 12/12/2013 @ 3:26pm

A critical piece of the farm income puzzle for 2014 -- one that isn't exactly inciting optimism among farmers as they look ahead this winter -- will be crop-insurance guarantee levels for the 2014 crop…

Iowa land values up but plateauing -- survey By: 12/12/2013 @ 7:35am

Iowa farmland values have reached an average record high price, though many signs point to the latest figures adding up to a plateau that will likely usher in an income-driven slide in the coming months and…

What it takes to send cash land rents lower By: 12/04/2013 @ 4:12pm

When will cash land rental rates hit their tipping point and follow a plateauing and dipping land market lower? For that answer, you might not have to look any further than the mirror.How long farmers are…

Global stars aligning for stronger 2014 ag exports By: 12/04/2013 @ 3:36pm

Total ag exports in 2014 are expected to fall this year, but an outlook released this week shows higher expectations than four months ago.Fiscal 2014 exports are seen adding up to $137 billion; that's…

Would a crop failure ease 2014 income worries? By: 12/04/2013 @ 2:26pm

The farm income picture isn't as pretty heading into 2014 as it has been in the last few years. Though experts say things like maintaining consistent working capital can help buffer the pain from the…

As RFS debate rages, study shows ethanol's jobs impacts By: 12/04/2013 @ 10:57am

Lawmakers in farm country are rallying behind the current Renewable Fuel Standard after Environmental Protection Agency officials said recently they'll likely look at paring back the biofuels mandate in…

Working capital key to weathering farm income slide By: 12/03/2013 @ 10:12am

As 2014 nears, concerns continue to abound about a looming decline in farm profit potential fueled by lower grain markets. Though no revenue loss is a welcome one, recent data show how much of a hit farmers…

How much can the RFS be cut? By: 12/03/2013 @ 8:35am

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials' recent announcement of intentions to pare back the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has been met by massive opposition in the crops and biofuels sector…

Wearables and your time, efficiency on the farm By: 12/02/2013 @ 4:12pm

Google Glass isn't even available to U.S. consumers, and farmers are already developing ways they'll be able to use the device and other wearable computers like it.The initial reaction from farmers…

Wearables and your time, efficiency on the farm By: 12/02/2013 @ 4:12pm

Google Glass isn't even available to U.S. consumers, and farmers are already developing ways they'll be able to use the device and other wearable computers like it.The initial reaction from farmers…

What's a windbreak worth to your crop? By: 12/02/2013 @ 1:28pm

They've been around for decades. They perform some vital functions on a lot of farms – many during times when conditions are harshest – but are often undervalued in the context of crop production…

Dipping land values, rising ag loan competition ahead -- survey By: 12/02/2013 @ 11:08am

Three specific factors point to a softening ag financing sector, according to ag lenders in the nation's center.The biannual audit of ag lending conditions comprising the K-State Agricultural Lender…

3 tips for renting land from family By: 12/02/2013 @ 8:18am

You can pick your friends, but not your family. But, when it comes to getting hold of farmland, sometimes the only reasonable choice for a tenant or landowner is a family member, stirring both family and…

4 quick tips to get your cattle winter-ready By: 11/26/2013 @ 7:55pm

It's cold out there these days. Probably the last place you want to spend time is out in your pastures and pens. But doing so right now could pay major dividends down the road when it comes to the…

Land rents sliding toward the center -- economist By: 11/26/2013 @ 4:21pm

While prices at the high and low ends of the land rent spectrum will likely see some adjustment toward the center, the general trend for land rents and the values driving them are seen flattening in another…

Farm incomes highest in 40 years -- USDA By: 11/26/2013 @ 3:21pm

It's been 40 years since farm incomes were as strong as they'll likely wind up in 2013, according to data released by the USDA Economic Research Service (ERS) this week. Net farm income is likely to…

Keep your eye on 'non-decreasing' interest rates By: 11/26/2013 @ 2:12pm

Interest rates are just about as low as they can go. And, even though they aren't exactly expected to skyrocket in the near future, even a pause in the decline in rates that's been underway now for…

Are your irrigation systems ready for winter? By: 11/26/2013 @ 9:27am

The 2013 growing season's all but in the books. Winter's arrived quickly and abruptly to a lot of corn and soybean country, putting a rush on any postseason preparations for the long winter. If…

Get shootin' with Farmers for the Future By: 11/25/2013 @ 7:46pm

A photo, the old saying goes, is worth 1,000 words. And there are an awful lot of circumstances on the farm that are worthy of some of the best photos out there. That's just what we've got here in…

Things to watch for young farmers this winter By: 11/25/2013 @ 6:49pm

With just a few acres of this year's corn crop left to harvest, the year's just about in the books for most farmers.That certainly doesn't mean planning for next year isn't already…

Land sales buck recent market speculation By: 11/25/2013 @ 1:47pm

All the news about the farmland market has lately been focused on one trend: The leveling off of the years-long rocketing of the market and its implications for related markets to farmers.However, recent…

Manure spill prompts lawsuit By: 11/25/2013 @ 11:26am

A manure spill on an Iowa farm operated by Carlyle, Illinois-based The Maschhoffs, has the company facing legal action.A manure spill at a sow facility in southeastern Iowa earlier this month saw manure make…

Pork, poultry giants merge to meet growing demand By: 11/25/2013 @ 9:52am

In a move to continue to meet a growing protein demand in the U.S. and abroad, a couple of giants in different sectors of the livestock industry are joining forces.Pork giant The Maschhoffs, LLC, is acquiring…

Fuel your farm shop fixup ideas By: 11/22/2013 @ 10:18am

Machinery Director Dave Mowitz visits a lot of farm shops and chats with a lot of farmers when he's out shooting "Top Shops" segments for the Successful Farming Machinery Show. "While shooting . . . we…

Can feeding hogs feed $7 corn? By: 11/20/2013 @ 9:56am

There's a lot of bearish news for corn lately.But, there's hope for the bulls in the hog business. No, it's not going to get any easier for you to add value to your grain by feeding a few hogs…

Machining 101: Get after that overhaul By: 11/18/2013 @ 10:33am

Is overhauling an engine on your winter farm shop to-do list? Don't get started without consulting the Engine Answerman! Ray Bohacz has engine grease and field dirt under his fingernails from a…

Fed survey confirms farmland plateau By: 11/14/2013 @ 3:39pm

Though the numbers show a year-over-year double-digit gain in farmland values as of October in the bulk of the Corn Belt, that trend effectively ended at the start of the third quarter, adding evidence to…

Do crop breakevens matter to you? By: 11/14/2013 @ 9:21am

While it's recently reported that corn break-even levels are closer to current price ranges, there's a little more breathing room between the break-even prices for soybeans and where the market…

Get started by leasing cows By: 11/12/2013 @ 9:11am

Because of its capital requirements, ranching isn't always the easiest business for younger men and women looking to run their own cattle. However, you can lease farmland, machinery, and other big-ticket…

Age not an extra drag on farms By: 11/12/2013 @ 7:20am

We're all getting older. But, new analysis by a respected Midwest ag economist shows the drag of age isn't heavier in the ag sector than it is in the general labor force, bucking common assumptions…

Christmas on its way to the farm; get ready here! By: 11/05/2013 @ 8:06pm

Christmas will be here before you know it! Don't let it catch you off-guard! Get ready for the season now by marking the farmer or farmers in your life off your gift-buying list with this year's…

Crop insurance harvest prices nailed down By: 11/01/2013 @ 11:19am

If you're filing a crop indemnity claim for federal crop insurance, Friday morning's arrival brings you some important information.The Fed has nailed down the final harvest prices for corn and…

Crop insurance price guarantees coming By: 10/30/2013 @ 10:01am

Remember LDPs? Cashing in on an LDP depended on hitting the lowest possible cash price and making up the difference with the LDP. Higher grain prices over the last few years have made LDPs something of an…

Managing crop margins and inputs By: 10/30/2013 @ 9:41am

Renegotiating land lease deals will be one way farmers can continue to stay ahead of input costs as grain prices continue to slide lower. What else can you do to stay ahead of the curve? Iowa State University…

The varying strain of high land rent By: 10/29/2013 @ 3:52pm

It's fairly widely accepted in the Corn Belt that grain prices are going to keep a tighter lid on farm incomes in the next few years compared to the last few years. And that's got experts calling for…

Harvest delays on the way By: 10/28/2013 @ 9:25am

If you've got crop left to harvest, the next day or so will be a time to really fire up and get rolling, with rainfall around the Corn Belt expected to push back most harvest progress around mid-week…

Will farmland bust? Here are 3 key variables By: 10/24/2013 @ 11:51am

Is the farmland market -- one many experts say is starting to level off from the boom in values over much of the last decade -- just taking a breather from its rocket ride higher, or is the expected leveling…

Is agriculture aging too quickly? By: 10/23/2013 @ 2:15pm

It's fall. Harvest is underway, and the weather is changing. Both are sure to add a little ache to the knees and creak to the gait when you awake to chilly mornings and find yourself running around more…

Feeding the world via policy into action By: 10/17/2013 @ 11:19am

In much of the developing world, it takes a lot more than just land, seed and inputs, water, and labor to raise a crop. In many parts of the world where hunger and food scarcity are most common, it sometimes…

WFP: Consumer connections needed By: 10/16/2013 @ 5:48pm

The biotechnology side of agriculture hasn't done a good enough job communicating to the consumer public the sector's safety and importance to the larger goal of feeding a growing and increasingly…

World food leaders gather for prize By: 10/15/2013 @ 1:50pm

The epicenter of the global community surrounding the production, distribution and management of food around the world is over central Iowa this week with the gathering of more than 1,000 stakeholders from…

Fine-tune your cover crop plans By: 10/08/2013 @ 12:18pm

Cover crops are pretty hot right now. And with the recent recommendation that mechanical tillage may not be the best idea this fall because of dry conditions in much of the Corn Belt, planting cover crops has…

Ag 'building gaps' post-shutdown By: 10/08/2013 @ 10:19am

Though cattle are still being fed, crops are still being harvested, and commodities are still being bought and sold on the global market, a continued lapse in USDA reporting could begin to eat away at data…

Diesel prices on verge of a slide? By: 10/08/2013 @ 7:47am

Farm diesel fuel prices have gained $1 per gallon, or more, in the last three and a half years, depending on your location. But what's more notable in that price trend, at least in one location recently…

Crop data: Free today, paid tomorrow? By: 10/04/2013 @ 10:57am

A general lack of USDA data has many short-term implications: Markets don't have weekly export sales reports, crop progress reports, or monthly data on grain supplies at home and abroad -- all numbers…

Plan for lower farm incomes now -- economist By: 10/02/2013 @ 10:21am

Now is a good time to start adjusting to lower returns on farmland in the coming year, one economist suggests. Grain prices, for the last few months, have been forecast to fall through the fall, winter, and…

USDA plans for Fed shutdown By: 09/30/2013 @ 3:54pm

What will happen when the clock strikes midnight on Monday night if Congress can't halt the government from shutting down? Some say not much will happen, especially when it comes to the grassroots level…

Sprayers with lasers save chemical costs By: 09/30/2013 @ 10:09am

Want to trim away about three-fourths of your pesticide costs? That's the likely outcome from putting to work a new sprayer system now under development.Researchers with USDA-ARS and the Ohio State…

Keeping the Ogallala alive By: 09/27/2013 @ 12:37pm

The Ogallala Aquifer supports millions of acres of crop and grazing land in the nation's Plains, making the underground reservoir arguably the most important natural resource to that region's farmers…

A new age of wearable technology By: 09/26/2013 @ 9:10am

Farming is one of the -- if not the most -- hands-on professions in the world. Sometimes your hands are literally full, so it's tough to stop, dial a phone number or search for information on your…

Easing cattle's Ogallala squeeze By: 09/25/2013 @ 3:28pm

The dangers of a dwindling Ogallala Aquifer don't end in the crops sector. Much of the nation's beef cattle industry lies atop the underground water supply, and without taking steps to preserve the…

Ride along: Ultimate UTV Test By: 09/25/2013 @ 8:16am

The Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine Machinery team is at the Little Goose Ranch near Sheridan, Wyoming, this week for this year's Ultimate UTV Test. The team's joined by a cadre of…

Pop the hood on the Smithfield deal By: 09/24/2013 @ 10:59am

It's the largest buy of a U.S. agribusiness company in history. So, what does the Smithfield Foods Inc. acquisition mean to U.S. hog farmers? The news Tuesday that the shareholders of Smithfield Foods…

Tips to handle today's farmland market By: 09/23/2013 @ 12:19pm

Looking for proof the farmland market is starting to plateau? Look no further than the fields of Iowa, where the often-foreshadowed plateau in land values seems to be reaching fruition, at least in parts of…

Iowa land values hit plateau -- survey By: 09/20/2013 @ 2:35pm

Farmland in three of Iowa's nine crop reporting districts saw a downturn in value in the last six months, according to the latest Iowa Realtors Land Institute (RLI) survey of land values, the results of…

Cutting back to stretch the Ogallala By: 09/17/2013 @ 2:14pm

Reducing the amount of water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer, though initially cutting corn output by around 15%, could extend the functional lifespan of the vital underground water stockpile by as much as…

Adding up farmland value factors By: 09/17/2013 @ 9:27am

Death and taxes. The old saying is those are the only two certainties in this world. And right now, that's especially true for the farmland market.There's not as much land going onto the market for…

6 tips for binning lower quality corn By: 09/11/2013 @ 8:37am

It's a drought-shortened mess in a lot of cornfields out there. That's not stopping farmers from getting into the field in a lot of areas around the country, some ahead of when they thought they…

More proof that farmland is leveling off? By: 09/11/2013 @ 7:25am

The momentum behind the idea that farmland values will slow in their climb in the nation's midsection is growing, with a land expert in another state in the region calling for values "nearing a peak."An…

Got old tires? Handle them right By: 09/02/2013 @ 10:47am

They're all over your farm. They're critical to a lot of everyday jobs, but once they're past their prime, they can become a major nuisance.Tires. How many of them are on your farm? What do you…

Potential rootworm resistance found in IL corn By: 08/29/2013 @ 10:56am

As if Mother Nature's not done enough damage the last few weeks, Illinois crop specialists are finding "severe" levels of corn rootworm damage in fields of first-year Bt corn with rootworm protection.The…

Illinois land climb seen leveling off By: 08/29/2013 @ 9:27am

There's been a lot of chatter lately about the leveling-off of farmland values in the coming months. New information released this week shows how far farm managers and other specialists think land prices…

Mother Nature crushing crop potential By: 08/29/2013 @ 7:53am

It's been a rough week -- many say the roughest week -- of the crop year, with rocketing temperatures and a lack of rainfall stressing corn and soybeans and, some say, pushing yield potential sharply…

Fueling market volatility: Bigger players or longer hours? By: 08/28/2013 @ 1:46pm

Historically, the CME Group's doors have been closed when USDA has released key data on crop size and grain stocks. That all changed last year, when USDA bumped its report release times and CME Group…

Heat melting away hog expansion plans By: 08/27/2013 @ 12:41pm

About three months ago, hog farmers and pork industry leaders had reason to be cautiously optimistic about profitability returning to their business . . . with one catch. Now, that catch has turned into a…

Less feed = healthier cows and calves? By: 08/27/2013 @ 10:38am

Keeping a cow-calf herd both fed and productive in the last year has been a bit of a tall order, especially in the face of drought-shortened feed stocks and high prices for available feed and forage.But has…

Soybean diseases kicking up By: 08/27/2013 @ 8:49am

Now, 100-degree temperatures don't make scouting soybeans the most enjoyable task in the world. But, like salt on an open wound, the heat and dryness right now in much of the Corn Belt is being…

Farming long-distance: Does it work? By: 08/21/2013 @ 4:00pm

Twenty-five years ago, just 6% of Iowa's farmland was owned by someone living outside the state's borders. That's changed over the years; now, 1 in every 5 acres of working land in the state has…

Get your shop & iron in gear By: 08/21/2013 @ 10:55am

Necessity is the mother of invention. And, because of the myriad situations and circumstances in which they may find themselves every day on the farm, farmers are some of the best inventors in the…

Mercury & cattle heat stress rising By: 08/20/2013 @ 1:39pm

Though this summer's not been exactly sweltering everywhere, forecasters say the heat is likely to stay cranked up in much of the nation's center for the next couple of weeks. Though that's…

Trend suggests normal frost date By: 08/20/2013 @ 1:09pm

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report showed some troubling numbers that indicate the corn and soybean crops are well behind the normal pace in their development. Combined with conditions that are…

Corn still way behind -- USDA By: 08/19/2013 @ 4:03pm

Corn denting is way behind normal, and that's got some analysts starting to see more potential for lower yields once the combines start to roll this fall.Monday's weekly USDA-NASS Crop Progress…

Have farmland values seen their top? By: 08/16/2013 @ 2:21pm

Corn and soybeans aren't worth as much as they were a year ago. That's got some farmers staring down the barrel of a breakeven price for corn and soybeans that may not be attainable based on current…

Roundup: Crop weather worries mount By: 08/15/2013 @ 11:33am

It's August, typically a critical month for the U.S. soybean crop. That's still true this year, though the tardy development pace for that crop and its rotational brother, corn, has many farmers…

Headed for an early frost? By: 08/13/2013 @ 7:14am

Crop development is behind schedule, making the prospect of a frost even at the normal time a frightening one for corn and soybean farmers. Will it happen earlier than normal?Right now, signs point to no…

Swine disease hits the bacon counter By: 08/12/2013 @ 9:18am

If you're a fan of bacon, you may want to stock up soon to save a few bucks.The relatively new disease porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) has ravaged the U.S. hog herd this summer, and as veterinary…

Heifer retention driving herd growth By: 08/08/2013 @ 11:08am

Last month, he projected a turnaround -- albeit a slow one -- in the downturn in U.S. beef herd numbers because of last year's drought. Now, Purdue University Extension ag economist Chris Hurt outlines…

Farmland ownership trends shifting By: 08/06/2013 @ 9:15am

As farmland values have climbed over the last few years, it's caused a slowing in a couple of key trends in who owns that land, shifts that could ultimately affect land accessibility for young and…

Blue jeans By: 08/06/2013 @ 6:02am

I had to buy a new pair of blue jeans last week.It shouldn’t have been that hard, but it was, and it was a little traumatic besides.Let’s face it – while there are lots of things I don’t know much…

Time to scout corn rootworm By: 08/05/2013 @ 12:50pm

This year's late start for the corn crop means common pests are tardy in their arrival and potential damage. That's no more true than with corn rootworm, which could be starting to cause damage in…

Corn pollination problems pop up By: 08/02/2013 @ 9:15am

How's our corn pollinating? Answering that question right now may be tough without a close inspection with the way things are shaping up in parts of Illinois, one expert says. And, farmers say…

Farmland rent roundup By: 08/01/2013 @ 1:07pm

If you're renting farmland, a critical time of year is beginning -- the time when lease terms are nailed down for the next crop year. This year, the crystal ball is a little foggier than normal, though…

Soybean aphids popping up By: 07/31/2013 @ 4:08pm

Is it going to be a big year for soybean aphids?The bugs are out there, Corn Belt crop experts say. But, thus far, numbers are far from economic thresholds, leading many to suggest a wait-and-see attitude when…

Crop budgets may signal lower land rents By: 07/31/2013 @ 3:32pm

Though he admits that "many events will occur between now and the 2014 harvest," one economist is calling for lower crop incomes based on continued strong input costs -- both land and nonland -- and an…

Farm loans getting cheaper -- Fed By: 07/30/2013 @ 8:20am

Riding continued strong profit margins through the the midpoint of 2013, more farmers took on more debt, causing tighter competition among ag lenders that found larger banks coming out with a larger share of…

Cool temps stoke frost concerns By: 07/29/2013 @ 10:53am

Though growing degree days (GDDs) are still ahead of the normal pace in some areas of corn and soybean country, they're still running on the short side in other areas where the corn crop is already behind…

2013 a good corn fungicide year? By: 07/26/2013 @ 2:30pm

The greater likelihood that foliar diseases could knock down your corn yield potential through the rest of this summer means it's as good a year as any to consider applying fungicide, says one plant…

Combine tweaks By: 07/26/2013 @ 11:54am

Harvest is one of those few times of the year on the farm when speed is of the essence. And, when you're behind the wheel of your combine, there are a lot of ways to boost that speed, whether it's…

Resistant BRD blowing up in Plains cattle By: 07/26/2013 @ 9:29am

Efforts are underway in the cattle industry to find the source of and treatment for bacteria that cause a major cattle disease and are showing signs of resistance to common antibiotics and antimicrobial…

'Subdued' hog bounceback ahead By: 07/25/2013 @ 8:45am

Continued strong demand, lower supplies, and a disease that's trimming productivity in the U.S. hog herd are all lining up to bolster profits for pork producers in the next year, according to a report…

Reasons for cattle market optimism By: 07/24/2013 @ 2:46pm

Parts of the country are still fighting drought conditions. But things have bounced back in other areas, and the resulting effects on the nation's beef sector could have some producers smiling, economists…

Foliar corn diseases rising By: 07/19/2013 @ 10:03am

The wet, cool spring that hampered many farmers' efforts to get their crops planted this spring are again coming back to bite them, this time in the form of the threat of foliar diseases that could…

Cattle fortunes hinge on weather -- economist By: 07/19/2013 @ 9:00am

As summer hits its midpoint, there have been a lot of questions about the weather, what it will mean to crop production, and ultimately, how it will affect farmers' bottom lines.That's also true for…

Will land follow the grains lower? By: 07/18/2013 @ 9:49am

Will cash farmland rental rates follow a projected slide in grain prices in the next few months? University of Illinois Extension ag economist Gary Schnitkey says it's likely that bountiful corn and…

SDS could be severe in 2013 soybeans By: 07/18/2013 @ 8:38am

Though weather and field conditions have largely returned to normal, the cool, wet spring continues to cause headaches for farmers, now in the form of increased chances of a major soybean disease. Sudden death…

Corn rootworm damage slow to arrive By: 07/14/2013 @ 9:33am

They're out there -- just not causing their usual damage . . . yet.Observations from around the heart of corn country in Illinois indicate that corn rootworm larvae, though present and beginning to emerge…

Fungus threatening forage, cattle health By: 07/14/2013 @ 9:08am

If grazing cattle is a key part of your business, you've already felt enough pain in the last year. Now, add another challenge to your list.The fungus ergot has been popping up in pastures around the Corn…

Grazing fescue? Stockpile & fertilize, expert says By: 07/14/2013 @ 8:40am

Though hay supplies in some areas have bounced back in many areas after a poor start to the growing season this spring, you still may be facing a potential shortfall in hay stocks moving toward fall. The good…

Augmenting ag reality with wearables By: 07/13/2013 @ 2:47pm

Maribeth Gandy, director of the Georgia Tech University Interactive Media Technology Center, has been conducting research on wearable computer and augmented reality technology for almost two decades…

Augmenting ag reality with wearables By: 07/13/2013 @ 2:47pm

Maribeth Gandy, director of the Georgia Tech University Interactive Media Technology Center, has been conducting research on wearable computer and augmented reality technology for almost two decades…

Pondering retirement? Try it in phases By: 07/12/2013 @ 1:48pm

Is farming a profession or a lifestyle? The majority of farmers are likely to say the latter. That makes a topic and life transition like retirement something of a tough topic for a lot of farmers. It makes…

Trials pit prairie grass against runoff By: 07/11/2013 @ 10:49am

Cover crops are getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason; they're a way to sustain soils, prevent erosion, and provide a home for better crop yields. Now there's a new player in the…

Get up close with new crop mapping tool By: 07/11/2013 @ 9:07am

A new weather utility can now give you a bird's-eye view of what's happening to your specific area's corn crop on a much more detailed level than ever before.The Climate Corporation has rolled…

Normal weather, lower grain incomes By: 07/11/2013 @ 8:16am

The corn is tasseling, and August -- the most critical month for soybean development -- isn't far off. Certainly the weather's been a lot more friendly, in general, than it was a year ago in much of…

Think you need more feed? Act quickly By: 07/10/2013 @ 2:50pm

Last year's crops -- both grain and hay -- were in most locations fried by the drought. Then, along came a wet, cool spring that's cut planted acres for row crops and continues to challenge forage…

Uncovering cover crops By: 07/10/2013 @ 2:14pm

Cover crops have been a hot topic in Midwestern agriculture for the last couple of years. And, for good reason; a growing number of farmers say they're seeing their soils and crop yields benefit from…

Pick the right beef herd genetic mix By: 07/08/2013 @ 8:57am

Today's beef industry is no stranger to technology, especially when it comes to breeding for specific traits in your herd. However, don't get too excited about one particular potential trait or…

Got monster weeds? Control options limited By: 07/08/2013 @ 7:53am

The heat of summer has settled in over the Corn Belt, and that's got everything -- crops and weeds alike -- growing rapidly. That's starting to create some weed control challenges, especially in…

Google Glass hits the farm By: 07/03/2013 @ 3:30pm

A new category of digital technology is in the works that could change how you do a lot of work on your farm. Wearables, or devices you wear on your body somehow (some companies are working on watches or…

Google Glass hits the farm By: 07/03/2013 @ 3:30pm

A new category of digital technology is in the works that could change how you do a lot of work on your farm. Wearables, or devices you wear on your body somehow (some companies are working on watches or…

Soybean development lagging -- USDA By: 07/01/2013 @ 3:48pm

There are still a few farmers wrapping up soybean planting, but it's near its end, with only 4% left to go, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. And 91% of that crop has emerged, a…

Corn emergence nears finish line -- USDA By: 06/24/2013 @ 4:02pm

Corn emergence and soybean planting have just about caught up to the normal pace for this time of year, leaving soybean emergence about the only variable that's further off the average pace, according to…

Farm bill failure reactions By: 06/20/2013 @ 2:52pm

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted down the farm bill on Thursday afternoon, spawning reaction from around the agriculture industry. Here are just a few of the immediate reactions to…

Variability reigns as wheat harvest rolls north By: 06/20/2013 @ 9:10am

The combines are whittling out the wheat crop around Oklahoma and starting to move into Kansas as farmers continue to find a huge range of grain quality and yields.As harvest nears its end in southern Oklahoma…

Researchers named 2013 WFP Laureates By: 06/19/2013 @ 1:08pm

This year marks the 100th birthday of Norman Borlaug, father of the Green Revolution and the man credited with saving more than 1 billion lives throughout his long career in plant genetics.It also marks the…

Keep those unplanted acres intact By: 06/18/2013 @ 2:48pm

If you've got corn and soybean acres you won't be able to get planted because you simply couldn't get into the field, you have the option to make ends meet in the crop insurance…

Soybean planters in the homestretch -- USDA By: 06/17/2013 @ 4:23pm

Corn planting progress is no longer the top item in USDA's weekly Crop Progress report, meaning that job's off the to-do list for U.S. farmers, according to Monday's version of the report.Only…

Is your corn drowning? By: 06/13/2013 @ 7:54am

The "derecho" weather phenomenon that's swept through the U.S. the last 2 days has brought even more rainfall to some already-waterlogged areas, leaving some corn fields looking more like fishing…

How late can you plant corn & soybeans? By: 06/12/2013 @ 9:34am

Traditional thinking says we're just about to the end of the time when corn can be planted and expected to turn out much of a crop at all. But do this year's unique conditions mean you can stretch…

Rootworms are on the move By: 06/11/2013 @ 3:09pm

Though it happened a little later than normal, entomologists report discovering freshly hatched larvae of the western corn rootworm late last week in Indiana, showing that the pest could become a problem of…

Replanting corn? Try this mobile app By: 06/11/2013 @ 2:26pm

Are you replanting corn? If so, your window may be closing. Either way, it's probably not the easiest decision to make. Specialists at the University of Illinois have just the deal for you.A new…

Word on the street: Senate farm bill passage By: 06/11/2013 @ 11:27am

Here are a few of the reactions from Monday's passage of the Farm Bill, S. 954, the Agriculture Reform, Food & Jobs Act, in the Senate. Read more: Senate passes farm bill. . . againSee more on the Senate…

Need more alfalfa tonnage? Cut later By: 06/11/2013 @ 8:05am

The alfalfa crop in much of the country got smoked by the drought last summer. Now, tight supplies and resulting high prices continue to make life tough for those relying on the forage for feed. But there are…

Watch out for SDS this summer By: 06/10/2013 @ 10:18am

Is it going to be a bad year for sudden death syndrome (SDS) in soybeans?There's good news and bad news. The bad news first: This spring's wet, cool conditions have been just about perfect for the…

Feed costs, supply top hog farmer worries By: 06/05/2013 @ 3:08pm

The hog business has been profitable in the last few months since USDA released a bearish Grain Stocks report in late March and grain prices started to slide. But, a lot's happened between then and now…

Brazil's bad infrastructure getting worse By: 06/05/2013 @ 8:00am

Some farmers in Brazil have to drive each truckload of soybeans a distance equivalent to the route from Des Moines, Iowa, to New Orleans, Louisiana. This is oftentimes over roads that are nowhere near anything…

Iron, fertilizer hold key to profits By: 06/04/2013 @ 12:59pm

There have been a lot of recent outlooks calling for a downturn in farmland prices. But what about the other costs associated with raising a crop? Recent data from Illinois Farm Business Farm Management show…

Pork profits hinge on 2013 corn, soybean crops By: 06/04/2013 @ 11:23am

As the global hog industry converges in Des Moines, Iowa, for the annual World Pork Expo this week, there's a new profit outlook that shows Mother Nature is in complete control of whether or not the…

Amendment targets loans for young farmers By: 05/31/2013 @ 11:46am

An amendment to the farm bill that's received support from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle would offer loans up to $35,000 to young and beginning farmers to get started in the agriculture…

Smithfield pros & cons for farmers By: 05/30/2013 @ 4:05pm

It's the largest merger ever of its kind in agriculture. But how the acquisition of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui, a large Chinese pork producer, will ultimately affect U.S. hog farmers is largely unclear…

Filing prevented or delayed planting? By: 05/29/2013 @ 8:56am

A lot of rain is falling. As many as 14 million corn acres may go unplanted this spring because of all that rain. "Questions are certainly justifiable about how much of that will be planted to corn, enroute to…

Chinese company buying Smithfield By: 05/29/2013 @ 8:18am

The name synonymous with integrated pork production in the U.S. now has a new home in central China.Company officials with Smithfield Foods and Shuanghui International, a central China-based meat processing…

Think you need to replant corn? By: 05/23/2013 @ 7:24am

Corn planted early this spring faced something of a tough go getting started because of cool, wet weather that lasted a lot longer than normal. And since then, storms have raked through parts of corn country…

Land, rates, and the Fed By: 05/22/2013 @ 8:47am

It's been widely documented that interest rates and farmland values are fairly closely tied. And, right now, very low interest rates are enticing more buying than selling, adding a lot to land demand and…

Keep your eye to the sky By: 05/21/2013 @ 11:01am

Severe weather's suddenly gone from a sporadic spring occurrence to a national headline. But even as the headlines begin to fade in frequency after storms like those that ravaged parts of Oklahoma Monday…

Corn planters make mammoth strides -- USDA By: 05/20/2013 @ 3:36pm

Up until Sunday, it had been quite a week for farmers with corn to plant. All of a sudden, farmers are now within a few percentage points of the normal planting pace, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop…

Farm incomes weakening -- Fed study By: 05/16/2013 @ 8:47am

There have been signs here and there lately that may indicate a reversal in the years-long climb in farmland values. And that's a key indicator of the direction of farm incomes down the road. Market…

A farmer's Father's Day By: 05/15/2013 @ 1:31pm

Father's Day is right around the corner! If you've got a father to shop for and he's not the easiest person in the world in that department, let us help narrow down your search for the perfect…

Rain delays & weed control challenges By: 05/15/2013 @ 7:42am

Much of the Corn Belt has seen a return to better corn-planting weather over the last few days, with temperatures not only reaching seasonal levels, but surpassing them by double-digits on Tuesday. And, while…

Is your early-planted corn at risk? By: 05/14/2013 @ 2:39pm

The sun's out, the temperature's rising -- perfect weather for planting corn. But, you may have already planted some of your acres when conditions were less-than-ideal. Even if you did, and…

Don't let ticks get you down this spring By: 05/14/2013 @ 12:27pm

The weather's finally seasonably warm and sunny. So, it's go-time if you've got crops to plant.The last thing you need now that seasonable weather has finally arrived is to be slowed down by…

Planters make bigger strides; farmers' nerves rattle By: 05/13/2013 @ 3:39pm

The last seven days have been by far the most productive week of the spring for U.S. corn farmers. States where hardly a wheel had turned prior to last week now have double-digit readings in the planting…

Farmland rental rate climb slips -- survey By: 05/13/2013 @ 1:46pm

The last three years have seen farmland rents track fairly closely with values themselves. The trend hasn't bucked from its sharply higher trajectory . . . until now. Does recent data further foreshadow a…

Planting window finally flies open By: 05/13/2013 @ 8:03am

Spring's finally arrived, or so it seems, in a large part of the area of the nation's center where farmers still have a lot of corn and soybeans to plant. That effort is likely to get a boost in the…

Plant now, worry about nitrogen later By: 05/08/2013 @ 9:43am

Last year, it was too dry. So far this year, it's been too wet. The former condition likely means you still have some of that nitrogen you applied left in your fields. The latter means you're…

Ag's booming . . . will it bust soon? By: 05/06/2013 @ 3:47pm

For every boom, there's a bust. For every period of prosperity -- like the one that's under way for a lot of crop farmers who have seen a robust marketplace for their products -- there's a…

Planting weather window cracks -- USDA By: 05/06/2013 @ 3:30pm

Farmers didn't exactly light the world on fire in the last week, but some did make strides in planting corn, especially compared to the dismal progress of the past 3 weeks.Monday's USDA-NASS Crop…

Switching to soybeans? Don't rush it By: 05/03/2013 @ 11:17am

It's early May, and there's snow on the ground in parts of corn and soybean country. That's had a lot of farmers wavering about the planting decisions they made well before Mother Nature threw a…

Freak May snow extends fieldwork delay By: 05/02/2013 @ 9:03am

It's May, and it's snowing in much of the nation's center. That's not a typo. It's snowing.Just hours after conditions were starting to help crack open the planting weather window…

Late start? Consider these adjustments By: 05/01/2013 @ 9:47am

Next to none of this year's corn crop is in the ground. The planting window up to this point can't be changed. What you do moving forward once the planting window does open up can and, sometimes…

High water soaking river basin farmland By: 04/30/2013 @ 3:16pm

This spring's been a real bear so far for a lot of farmers around the country. But though it's not going to be all smooth sailing from now until summer, temperatures are on the up, and that could…

Stay safe with treated seed By: 04/30/2013 @ 2:25pm

As you plant this spring -- something you'll likely be in a rush to do after weeks of rain delays and inclement conditions -- don't overlook important safety precautions when handling treated seed as…

Cattle loans pace strong ag lending -- Fed By: 04/26/2013 @ 3:03pm

The first quarter of this year saw ag banks lend more money to the cattle industry than they have in almost 10 years, and that trend is likely to continue through the rest of the year, according to new…

Big ideas from farmer-inventors By: 04/25/2013 @ 8:33am

Necessity is the mother of invention. And, because of the myriad situations and circumstances in which they may find themselves every day on the farm, farmers are some of the best inventors in the…

Can cattle prices finally break higher? By: 04/23/2013 @ 1:18pm

Just a while back, livestock economist Chris Hurt was high on the idea that the cattle market would have a "very bullish year." Now, he's not as optimistic. Why?There's blame to go around on all…

Mind your soils once the planter rolls By: 04/22/2013 @ 3:35pm

Though it may not seem like it now, you will eventually be able to plant corn this spring. At the rate things are going, however, chances are better than average that it'll be a little soggy. Just…

Shoot for May? Corn planting creeps along By: 04/22/2013 @ 3:19pm

The good news: Over the last week, U.S. farmers have doubled the amount of this year's corn crop they've planted. The bad news: It's only gone from 2% a week ago to 4% Monday, according to the…

World crop weather worries abound By: 04/22/2013 @ 11:16am

You probably can't plant any corn today. Tomorrow either, probably."I'm not sure where ANY significant corn acres were planted this past week. We may have actually lost some acres with cold weather…

Don't fret late planting yet By: 04/19/2013 @ 1:00pm

April and early May is typically accepted as the ideal window for planting corn. This year, Mother Nature's doing everything she can to stretch that window later, and it's got a lot of farmers…

Signs point to a turning land rent tide By: 04/15/2013 @ 5:03pm

In 2007 -- just 6 years ago -- cash rent was about $183/acre for decent farmland.Last year, that same land rented for, on average, just shy of $400/acre. That's a pretty sharp increase. But, move forward…

Are hog profits on their way back around? By: 04/15/2013 @ 4:44pm

A while back, hog profitability was seen as just over the horizon. Then, the drought hit, sending feed costs through the roof and all but gutting profitability on most of the nation's livestock farms. But…

Think 'thermal' with corn planting By: 04/15/2013 @ 3:13pm

No, not the thermal sweatshirts and coats you may still have to wear when you head out to the field in this spring that's been much cooler and wetter than normal in much of the nation's…

Despite rain, some pastures still parched By: 04/15/2013 @ 11:12am

It may be damp now, but that doesn't mean farmers and ranchers in places like Nebraska are out of the woods when it comes to drought. That's especially true for cattle producers relying on pasture as…

Last-minute planter prep tips By: 04/12/2013 @ 8:50am

The planting weather's far from perfect in much of corn country as mid-April nears. But, don't waste the delay time pacing the floor and just wishing for better weather. Now's a good time…

8 cover crop tips for a cool spring By: 04/04/2013 @ 9:14am

A year ago, farmers around the nation were already in the field planting the 2012 corn crop. But, soil temperatures from the western Corn Belt to the northeast have yet to crack the critical 50-degree mark, so…

Young farmers & large farms may mix -- economist By: 04/03/2013 @ 7:38am

Young farmers typically face an uphill climb in getting a foothold in row crop agriculture, especially when it comes to scaling up in size. But, new data shows younger farmers have a growing tendency to…

Eyes are all around on this farm By: 04/02/2013 @ 11:03am

Alex Shaw's always been kind of a computer technology junkie. Now, what started out as a hobby -- and later a 4-H project -- has turned into a way for his Oneida, Illinois, farm family monitor and control…

Weighing more winter wheat fertilizer By: 04/01/2013 @ 3:58pm

As the spring warmup continues, the Plains winter wheat crop's "stretching its legs," moving out of dormancy and into a homestretch that could be tough for many fields where moisture's been well…

The latest on the farmland market By: 03/28/2013 @ 8:21am

Farmland values -- and the general topic's many subplots, like leasing rates, the consequences of skyrocketing prices and how values will respond to a potential continued drought -- continues to…

Get your sprayer fine-tuned By: 03/27/2013 @ 3:07pm

The marketplace is calling upon you to raise a whale of a crop this year. So, every little bit will help. That includes your sprayer. And now, with the start to planting as much as a month behind the…

3 signs farmland may be topping By: 03/26/2013 @ 3:32pm

Not even an historic drought could trip up farmland values in the Corn Belt in the last year. Double-digit gains continue even outside of what's typically thought the hotbed of skyrocketing farmland…

Massive USDA reports coming Thursday By: 03/26/2013 @ 11:04am

Thursday's a big day for the U.S. corn and soybean business. Major USDA reports -- namely Prospective Plantings -- will help crystallize this year's corn and soybean crop sizes. But, the…

Control your tile drainage By: 03/26/2013 @ 10:08am

If there was a way to preserve the lifespan of your field tiling, prevent nutrient buildup within that system and let you start spring fieldwork earlier than normal, would you adopt the tool in your…

Cattle prices caught in a tug-of-war By: 03/26/2013 @ 9:39am

There are 2 distinct sides to the cattle feeding profitability coin right now.On one hand, there's the depressed macroeconomy. That's got major implications for cattle prices via consumer beef…

Dry soil this spring? Plant deep By: 03/25/2013 @ 11:08am

Despite recent snowfall in the Corn Belt, soil moisture likely won't be up to its full potential in many parts of the region by the time planters roll.But, all signs point to a serious need for a major…

Verbal vs. written land lease deals By: 03/22/2013 @ 12:05pm

A hearty handshake has long been thought a binding agreement when it comes to some business deals on the farm. And, for generations, that's included farmland rental agreements. Now, partly because land…

Get your irrigation ready to work this spring By: 03/19/2013 @ 9:30am

If you irrigate your crops, don't wait until right before you fire up your motor this spring to get your systems ready for the long growing season. If you do, you could be risking inconsistent application…

Sell cattle early? Here's potential tax help By: 03/19/2013 @ 9:02am

If the drought forced you to sell off cattle last year before you originally wanted or needed to, you may get a tax break this year. Arkansas saw some of the worst of the drought in 2012, and the numbers in…

Tool helps prevent pesticide drift damage By: 03/19/2013 @ 7:56am

Row crops and specialty crops like fruit, vegetables, bees and organic field crops aren't always the best neighbors. Officials at the University of Nebraska have developed a web-based tool to make the 2…

Removing corn stover? Keep your soil intact By: 03/18/2013 @ 3:30pm

A growing amount of corn stover's being removed from fields during or after harvest. But, the removal of that critical crop residue could be causing harm to your fields' future viability, The results…

Better investment: Farmland or stock market? By: 03/18/2013 @ 11:04am

A 10% to 15% increase in value every year has made farmland an enticing investment opportunity, especially when compared to an equities sector that's had trouble returning much of anything to investors…

Measuring iron depreciation By: 03/18/2013 @ 8:51am

You can't control everything. Mother Nature's constantly driving home that point. The same's true of crop inputs and the prices you have to pay to get a crop raised. You can control what it…

Get your pasture back in shape By: 03/15/2013 @ 10:50am

The drought didn't just hurt last year's crops. Much of the nation's pasture land was torched by the heat and dryness, forcing cattle producers to trim herd numbers in a major way.But…

Crop sector margins tightening -- FAPRI By: 03/12/2013 @ 4:56pm

A new report confirms what market analysts, traders and farmers have suspected all along heading into the 2013 growing season: If crop output returns to normal, profit margins could collapse like a house of…

Rocketing land prices warrant caution By: 03/06/2013 @ 4:02pm

New information shows the skyward trend of farmland values in the eastern Corn Belt is showing little to no signs that it's abating. Ordinarily, that would be cause to be bullish on land in the near…

Bills target crop insurance funding By: 03/05/2013 @ 4:59pm

Last year was one of broken records for crop insurance indemnity payments on account of the nationwide drought. Though crop insurance was a lifesaver for many farms, especially in parts of the Plains, Midwest…

Fertilizing wheat? Know before you go By: 03/05/2013 @ 11:47am

What a difference a few inches of snow can make.A month ago, a lot of wheat farmers were wondering whether they'd have enough of a stand to justify spending the time and money on inputs like fertilizer…

CME Group trims back trading hours By: 03/05/2013 @ 8:23am

The CME Group is again changing trading hours for corn, soybeans, wheat and other ag futures and options contracts.Tuesday's announcement comes after "comprehensive outreach to producers, commercial…

What's a wind farm worth? By: 03/04/2013 @ 3:49pm

What's a wind farm worth to a rural area and nearby small communities?In a study comprising 12 "wind-rich" states in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains, USDA researchers found county-wide personal…

Pork profit outlook dims By: 03/04/2013 @ 2:46pm

Late last year, margins were tough for hog farmers. The drought had really clamped down on the business, largely because of skyrocketing feed costs. But, despite a tough marketplace leading up to Thanksgiving…

Pioneer steps further into the mobile space By: 03/01/2013 @ 9:43am

Farmers are starting to adopt smartphone and tablet computer technology at a breakneck pace, and in recognition of that trend, DuPont Pioneer officials released 2 new mobile apps to help farmers manage a…

Pioneer steps further into the mobile space By: 03/01/2013 @ 9:43am

Farmers are starting to adopt smartphone and tablet computer technology at a breakneck pace, and in recognition of that trend, DuPont Pioneer officials released 2 new mobile apps to help farmers manage a…

The latest from the Classic By: 02/28/2013 @ 8:31pm

New tools & technology, predictions for the industry's future and how policy will affect agriculture are all big features of this week's Commodity Classic taking place in Kissimmee…

Wheat technology catching up By: 02/28/2013 @ 12:02pm

When it comes to yield-improving research, wheat's long been considered a laggard to typically more profit-bearing corn and soybeans. But, with factors looming like an expected crash in water supplies in…

Ag volatility the new normal? By: 02/20/2013 @ 1:30pm

Tight grain supplies and high price volatility (for both crops and the inputs required to grow them) have paced the corn and soybean business in the last few years, begging some to wonder whether those…

Post-drought pasture leasing tips By: 02/19/2013 @ 1:29pm

Farmland leasing and negotiating land rental rates can sometimes rival walking a tightrope. Get too far out of balance one way or another, and sometimes a deal can completely fall apart. But, that's not…

Irrigated land a hot commodity -- Fed By: 02/15/2013 @ 2:45pm

When a drought's on, you need water.And, new data shows that's exactly what's happened in the farmland market over the last few months in the nation's center where some of the worst effects…

Protection in a post-MF Global world By: 02/15/2013 @ 9:29am

The farmers and investors who lost money when MF Global Inc.'s leadership skimmed off client funds to retain market positions are a big step closer to seeing the vast majority of those dollars returned.An…

Farmers, experts: Keep crop insurance afloat By: 02/13/2013 @ 2:41pm

The total damage done to U.S. crop yields inflicted by last year's drought continue to mount in the form of rocketing crop insurance indemnity payments, though industry officials say the total tab will be…

Mycotoxins may be back By: 02/12/2013 @ 11:51am

Mycotoxins were a big problem for a lot of corn farmers last year, and the infected grain that's in storage may not be done causing farmers headaches, especially now that temperatures are starting to rise…

Corn Belt sharing in cattle cutbacks By: 02/12/2013 @ 11:13am

Though cattle producers and feeders in the southern Plains have faced the most dire market and herd health conditions because of the 2012 drought, the implications are far from geographically isolated to that…

What's up in Ukraine's fields? By: 02/11/2013 @ 4:59pm

Agriculture.com Markets Editor Mike McGinnis chats with Ukrainian ag economist Iurii Mykailov about the status of that nation's grain export ban and how the crops are shaping up there. Mykailov says crop…

Crop price surge seen through 2015 -- USDA By: 02/11/2013 @ 1:19pm

Grain prices will again entice farmers to plant a lot of corn and soybeans this year, but if Mother Nature cooperates and those large plantings translate to large crop output by the season's end, it could…

WASDE lifts corn, wheat prices By: 02/08/2013 @ 11:13am

In its monthly World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates (WASDE) report, USDA raised corn ending stocks, reflecting lighter usage, both domestically and abroad.At the same time, the agency lowered…

Drought grip loosens slightly By: 02/07/2013 @ 10:22am

There's a little less color on the U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday morning than there was in the version of the map released a week ago.Parts of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin, as…

Settling a major farm argument By: 02/05/2013 @ 3:19pm

A lot of farms have dogs. And, a lot of farms have cats. But, which animal's more important to you, in terms of its utility around the place and companionship? Now's your chance to make your voice…

Making bees & corn work together By: 02/05/2013 @ 12:19pm

What's good for one crop isn't always the best for another. And now, a new research projects seeks to find ways to make production practices for 2 common denizens throughout the nation's…

Cattle profits ahead...with a big 'if' By: 02/05/2013 @ 9:35am

The drought hit, the market spoke and producers listened, at least to the latest cattle inventory numbers from USDA. The severe conditions of last summer that forced massive liquidation in just about every…

New loans for young, beginning farmers By: 02/05/2013 @ 8:27am

If you're just starting out on your farm, or looking for a way to get into the business, there's a new USDA program that you may want to know about.The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) has developed a…

Is El Niño returning? By: 02/04/2013 @ 12:57pm

The last couple of weeks have seen a major recovery in soil moisture conditions in a part of the Corn Belt that suffered some of the most severe of the region's drought stress last summer. It's been…

Is your machinery snow-ready? By: 02/04/2013 @ 10:49am

You have to spend money to save money, right?That may be the case with a lot of farm operations, but cutting back on energy costs during winter weather outbreaks can be done without pouring out much of any…

New campaign targets FFA programs By: 02/04/2013 @ 9:59am

After a commercial that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday night declaring 2013 the "Year of the Farmer," Ram Trucks and Case IH have announced a partnership to continue the message that the Ram ad conveyed…

Need help getting unstuck? By: 02/01/2013 @ 4:13pm

Getting stuck is a fine way to ruin any otherwise good day on the farm. The people getting you out -- whether it's you, someone else on your farm, or a neighbor down the road -- may not always be the most…

Farm loans surge; sector still strong -- Fed By: 02/01/2013 @ 3:54pm

A combination of high input costs for crop farmers, high feed costs for livestock farmers and the rush to cash in before year-end accelerated depreciation tax espiration led to sky-high farm lending volume in…

A trio of farm concerns for the next 12 months By: 02/01/2013 @ 12:58pm

Just how exactly the drought rears its head this year is far and away the biggest concern for most farmers heading into the 2013 crop season. But other issues -- some of which are entangled in the larger…

Top farmers share big future ideas By: 01/29/2013 @ 12:10pm

The 2013 AG CONNECT Expo Masters & Mavericks are some of the most forward-looking farmers in the U.S. And, they're all looking at ways to bring new management systems and technology on to their farms…

What's new at the 2013 AG CONNECT Expo By: 01/29/2013 @ 11:18am

The 2013 AG CONNECT Expo got started on Tuesday at the Kansas City Convention Center, bringing almost 400 agricultural manufacturers and input companies together from around the world.This year's show…

A walk through tractor history By: 01/25/2013 @ 10:36am

It's winter, which means it's the heart of farm show season in the U.S., a time when manufacturers roll out the latest new machinery and technology to help farmers get the job done in the field. That…

2012 a record crop insurance year By: 01/23/2013 @ 4:09pm

Losses to last year's corn crop on account of the drought account for just shy of 60% of total 2012 crop insurance indemnity payments sent to farmers, with soybeans accounting for about 12%, according to…

Dairy rebound ahead -- economist By: 01/23/2013 @ 3:44pm

The dairy sector's been hurting for a while, but that could change in the next few months, says one dairy economist."We've moved from a really bullish scenario to more of a neutral one in the last…

Farmland ‘supercycle’ or bubble? By: 01/21/2013 @ 12:55pm

Farmland bubble. Those 2 words have been the topic of reams of speculation in the last few months, and that speculation should zero in on a few key factors through 2013, experts say.First, don’t overlook the…

Get the most for your irrigation buck By: 01/16/2013 @ 1:13pm

The drought of the last year has only added to concerns that water supplies in the nation's center -- namely those underground -- are dwindling. As a result, water resources for crop use are being…

More crop insurance this year? By: 01/16/2013 @ 8:11am

The last 2 years have been big ones for the crop insurance industry. More than 60% of corn farmers in Illinois, for example, used revenue protection (RP) products at coverage levels between 70% and 85%, and…

Keep up quality, keep down loss By: 01/14/2013 @ 2:53pm

Gleaning maximum grain quality and minimum grain loss in your combine may be next to impossible. But, there are ways to get as close as possible to both, one respected ag engineer says."If you get too…

Knock back resistant weeds By: 01/14/2013 @ 1:32pm

Herbicide-resistant weeds may be on their way to your fields. So, what can you do to make sure you don't become another part of the problem? Turning to different herbicide products is the foremost way to…

Make your farm shop work harder By: 01/10/2013 @ 10:09am

Your farm shop is more than a place to store iron. It's your workshop, mechanic's garage, storage facility, office, and more. So your farm shop -- whether a refurbished barn or top-of-the-line steel…

Tips & tricks for tip-top tools By: 01/04/2013 @ 1:29pm

Want to get more out of your tools, make them safer, or get a new job done with your existing lineup? Check out a few ideas to stretch what you can do with your tools with these ideas from All Around the…

Are you replanting winter wheat? By: 01/04/2013 @ 11:01am

Hard red winter wheat farmers in the Plains have some tough decisions ahead.Farmers in areas where snow's fallen this winter are relatively lucky compared to their drier neighbors; that snow's…

Watch for this wheat bug By: 01/03/2013 @ 10:25am

One bug might be pouring salt on the wounds from a dry, harsh winter for the winter wheat crop in the Plains.Though it's not the most common insect pest in the crop world, the winter grain mite can have…

Farm bill failure draws industry ire By: 01/02/2013 @ 9:59am

A failure by lawmakers to get a deal done on a new farm bill that would have ended direct farm payments has rankled farm-state legislators and ag group leaders who say party politics trumped the needs of the…

Cash rents, insurance key to 2013 income By: 12/27/2012 @ 1:48pm

Crop insurance and high grain futures prices combined to kick general farm incomes higher in 2012. Now, as the page turns to 2013 on the calendar, what can we expect in the next 12 months?It's a foregone…

Snow takes small bite out of drought By: 12/27/2012 @ 12:49pm

The ground is snow-covered in a good portion of the Corn Belt right now, and the moisture from that snow has taken the drought at least a small step in the right direction. Thursday's update of the U.S…

Prepping for 2013 By: 12/26/2012 @ 11:00am

The end of the calendar year is always a time to pause, reflect on the year that's ending, and look ahead to the one to come. Here are a few topics Successful Farming magazine and Agriculture.com…

Volatility fuels flex lease interest By: 12/20/2012 @ 7:46am

With sharp variation becoming a common theme in both crop markets and yields, more landowners are turning to flexible leasing arrangements to hedge against potential profit losses, one expert says.But flexible…

Plan now to make forage last By: 12/19/2012 @ 2:59pm

The drought may have caught a lot of cattle producers off-guard this last year, but with most outlooks favoring a continuation of the dry conditions, there are no excuses to be ill-prepared heading into 2013…

Army Corps begins river rock removal By: 12/19/2012 @ 2:31pm

The Army Corps of Engineers has begun the process of removing rock from the Mississippi River channel in an effort to keep open navigation -- including the movement of grain -- that's been threatened by…

Winter's here -- are you prepared? By: 12/19/2012 @ 1:57pm

A major winter blast rolled through the nation's center in mid-December, firing up blizzard warnings and bringing with it high winds, heavy snow, and a stern reminder that it's the time of year to…

Is your herd ready for winter? By: 12/19/2012 @ 11:20am

A major winter blast is working its way across the nation's center this week. Are you ready? If you raise cattle in an area in the storm's path, good preparation will be the difference between a…

Crop insurance payouts piling up By: 12/19/2012 @ 8:57am

The indemnity checks continue to flow out to farmers around the nation affected by this year's devastating drought. As of this week, more than $8.7 billion has been paid out by the crop insurance…

Iowa program boosts cover crops By: 12/19/2012 @ 8:44am

More than 100 farmers in Iowa have planted 4,660 acres of cover crops this year in part because of a state cost-share program encouraging them to do so, officials said this week.A total of 117 farmers took…

Buying a new ATV for your farm? By: 12/14/2012 @ 1:55pm

The purchase decision-making process for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) isn't a lot different than a lot of other machines on the farm. They're purpose-driven machines, and that's the utmost…

Time to buy tires? Do your homework By: 12/14/2012 @ 1:47pm

South-central Nebraska farmer Randy Uhrmacher recently did a quick tally of all the tires on his farm. "I've been servicing center pivots the last 2 days. While pumping up tires I got to thinking…

Do your homework with our new Buyer's Guide By: 12/14/2012 @ 1:37pm

The Agriculture.com Buyer’s Guide is a decision engine that enables farmers to quickly compare complex information on a variety of key products, including row crop and utility tractors, ATVs and…

Pickup tips By: 12/14/2012 @ 11:29am

A pickup is more than a way to get from point A to point B. It's likely your farm's office, shop, tool chest and more. And, most farmers are fairly loyal when it comes to buying pickups. More than…

Buying a tractor? Watch these factors By: 12/14/2012 @ 11:08am

It's the cornerstone of your farm's machinery lineup. But, even the best tractors lose their edge and ultimately have to be replaced. So, how do you make what's one of the biggest purchase…

Streamline feed to offset cattle drought pains By: 12/12/2012 @ 8:58am

If you raise cattle, you may want to block out the last year from your memory as soon as you can. High feed costs, severe drought conditions, and a tanking marketplace have all made life difficult for most in…

How much N? Illinois project aims to find out By: 12/11/2012 @ 1:21pm

This year's drought did a number on the nitrogen applied to a lot of cornfields. In some places, it's likely there's still a lot of unused nitrogen in the soil while in other spots, it may all…

Buyers still 'chasing' farmland By: 12/11/2012 @ 12:36pm

With a lot of strong farm incomes this year despite one of the worst dry spells in decades, farmland's still a hot commodity and will likely continue to be even if the drought continues, one expert says…

Iowa farmland up 24%; is it a bubble? By: 12/11/2012 @ 10:32am

Iowa farmland is worth, on average, just shy of $1,600 an acre more than it was a year ago. The 23.7% increase, up to $8,296 an acre on average statewide, is the key finding in the 2012 Iowa Land Value Survey…

Time for some farm shop fix-ups By: 12/07/2012 @ 9:43am

How's your farm shop these days? Now that the crop season's over, now's a good time to take stock of your shop and start thinking about any winter projects you want to take on. Get a little…

'Fiscal Cliff' and your farm By: 12/06/2012 @ 8:49am

Members of Congress aren't exactly lighting the world on fire in their efforts to address the issues that could culminate in the nation falling off the "fiscal cliff" at the end of this month. The…

Low-quality hay causes long-term problems By: 12/05/2012 @ 1:57pm

Even if the drought was ending shortly, the effects on your beef herd wouldn't end with it.That's because after a drought, it can take up to 2 years for cows and their calves to recover from the…

Serbia ramps up aflatoxin testing By: 12/04/2012 @ 7:47am

In an incident that could manifest itself as yet another factor in an ever-tightening world corn supply situation, the government of Serbia confirmed last weekend that aflatoxin has been discovered in the…

The world's got a wheat problem By: 12/03/2012 @ 11:04am

It's shaping up to be a rough year for a whole lot of wheat farmers around the world. Whether it's too much moisture or too little, Mother Nature is bringing the pain to a sector that's already…

The cases for high & low farmland By: 11/30/2012 @ 11:21am

Some say there's not a bubble building in the farmland market. Others say some factors are lining up to send the market tumbling. So, which one's right? The answer to that question, experts agree…

Leaders seek help as rivers dry up By: 11/28/2012 @ 1:16pm

Old Man River may be the next casualty of the drought of 2012.On a day when lawmakers and leaders from industries depending on river transportation are drafting a letter to send to President Barack Obama later…

No farmland bubble building, expert says By: 11/27/2012 @ 3:07pm

Despite factors like interest rates, grain demand, and crop insurance payouts that could tighten farm profit margins to the point that could turn the tide away from the surge in farmland values, one land…

Watch these factors for land price direction By: 11/26/2012 @ 4:03pm

Farmland prices are in a tricky spot, with some farmers saying they're seeing more land showing up on the auction block, a sign that farm income optimism may be lagging as expectations for grain prices…

Picking next year's seed? Watch this variable By: 11/26/2012 @ 10:48am

Though there's growing speculation that this year's drought will stretch into the 2013 crop year, it's fueling a lot of uncertainty about what corn and soybean varieties might perform best next…

How big a corn crop do we need in 2013? By: 11/26/2012 @ 9:21am

The last time the corn market was a profitable venture for both producers and end-users was the 2010-2011 marketing year, when corn was just shy of $5.20 per bushel, and ending stocks were south of 10% of…

Farmers weigh key income factors By: 11/23/2012 @ 12:35pm

Where's your farm income headed?There are a lot more questions about farmland values right now than there were a year ago. And, there's a lot of anxiety -- both on and off the farm -- about expanding…

Weather extremes sharpening, group says By: 11/20/2012 @ 11:53am

Amidst quiet, apprehensive outlooks that 2013 could see the continuation of the drought that chewed through the nation's midsection and more this year, a new outlook gives further evidence that the…

Hog farmers: Don't panic By: 11/19/2012 @ 2:29pm

There's a lesson to be learned from how U.S. hog farmers -- some of them, anyway -- handled this year's drought. Don't panic!Just a few months ago, the drought was slashing its way through the…

U.S. slipping as corn export leader By: 11/19/2012 @ 1:14pm

Is America's role in the corn export business starting to slip? For several reasons, the U.S. role in the global corn trade is doing just that. An acreage base that's relatively static compared to…

Low rivers may hamper grain movement By: 11/19/2012 @ 10:53am

The drought that smoked through crop yield potential this year is still top-of-mind for anyone near the nation's biggest river system, especially along the Missouri River from the Dakotas to the…

Ethanol still faces choppy seas By: 11/16/2012 @ 3:13pm

The battle lines were drawn earlier this year, and with action Friday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the fight's over for now.Leaders of EPA on Friday upheld the federal Renewable…

Winners & losers in new Fed ag data By: 11/16/2012 @ 2:13pm

There's more proof that the 2012 drought took a chunk out of some farm income potential, this time in new information that shows farm lending rose in the 3rd quarter of this year in the nation's…

Which first: $9 corn or $14 soybeans? By: 11/14/2012 @ 3:37pm

The corn and soybean markets have spent another week shooting sharply in both directions from zero. New information this week shows there's reason to believe those swings will continue, ultimately…

Get Christmas shopping for your farmer! By: 11/14/2012 @ 1:59pm

It's that time of year again: Time to shop for the farmer on your Christmas list. Or, are you looking to start dropping gift hints yourself? Regardless of whether you're looking for…

Adding more weight per head in your herd? By: 11/13/2012 @ 1:12pm

This year's drought led to a widespread liquidation in the U.S. beef herd as the cost of feed skyrocketed and the quantity of available feed fell through the floor.Though economists say the market's…

Don't get lax with stored corn By: 11/12/2012 @ 11:25am

Warm weather for about half of the weekend wasn't too kind on corn in storage, especially those bushels that were put away a little higher on the moisture scale.Now that things have cooled back down…

Post-election farm bill questions loom By: 11/07/2012 @ 2:00pm

Tuesday's elections featured two sides of an argument about how to move the nation's economy forward. And this will continue to influence upcoming elections.Zero in on the farm sector and it's…

Ag moves forward after elections By: 11/07/2012 @ 9:20am

The 2012 elections are in the books. President Barack Obama will serve another 4-year term, while the Democratic party retains control of the Senate and the Republican party keeps control of the House of…

Flexible land leases in volatile times By: 11/06/2012 @ 11:02am

Interest rates are low, grain prices are high and land values continue to follow those high grains to record or near-record levels. It all adds up for good justification to consider flexible cash lease…

Despite delays, crop insurance paying off big By: 11/06/2012 @ 10:53am

Despite the devastating hand Mother Nature dealt many of the nation's corn and soybean farmers this summer, the damage to those farmers' bottom lines wasn't as bad as it could have…

Rainfall extremes stoke S.A. crop worries By: 11/05/2012 @ 11:11am

It's been a season of moisture extremes in South America. Much of Argentina has been downright waterlogged this fall, and that's disrupted planting and left farmers with mounting frustrations in a…

Stretch feed supplies with this additive By: 11/01/2012 @ 3:56pm

The shortage of feed and forage supplies has been thorough, well-documented, and virtually nationwide this year, increasing prices and eating away at the bottom lines of cattle producers everywhere.But maybe…

Seed costs seen rising 7% to 10% for 2013 By: 11/01/2012 @ 3:31pm

Seed corn's going to cost you quite a bit more, but the investment will in most cases be well worth it, one expert says.Seed corn could increase in price by up to 7%, and soybean seed could cost you 10%…

Rationing an already tight corn supply By: 10/31/2012 @ 4:10pm

When it comes to slowing corn consumption in an effort to get demand more in line with existing shorter-than-normal supplies, the marketplace is doing its job... sort of. It's got a long way to go…

Drought pushes operating loans higher By: 10/31/2012 @ 2:21pm

Just a few months ago, the number of farmers taking out operating loans was lower than normal, as farm incomes spurred by sharply higher grain prices were enough to make it easier to operate with cash on hand…

Fertilizer, natural gas prices sliding By: 10/31/2012 @ 1:23pm

Anhydrous ammonia prices have surged in recent weeks. But does that foreshadow an across-the-board jump in prices between now and next spring? As of right now, there are variables tugging on both sides of the…

Pondering corn-on-corn for 2013? By: 10/30/2012 @ 1:43pm

The drought has made it tough to glean much of any crop data from this year to put to reliable use for next year's corn and soybeans. The moisture shortage frankly made it difficult for any single…

Farmers dominate SW Iowa land auction By: 10/30/2012 @ 11:01am

The price tag may not have been as eye-popping as the recent $21,900/acre sale in Sioux County, Iowa, but a land sale last Friday goes just as far in showing how strong of a position farmers hold in the race…

Sandy rumbles inland, stalls harvest By: 10/30/2012 @ 9:51am

Throughout the northeastern quarter of the U.S., people woke up to one heck of a mess Tuesday morning. Sandy's whipping her way inland Tuesday, taking with her the torrential rain, blasting wind and even…

Sandy forces USDA, companies to delay reports By: 10/29/2012 @ 3:10pm

The latest USDA-NASS Crop Progress report, usually released weekly at 3:00 p.m. CST each Monday, will be delayed on account of Hurricane Sandy's arrival and subsequent evacuations under way in major…

What if your farm is in Sandy's path? By: 10/29/2012 @ 1:54pm

If your farm is in or near the path of Hurricane Sandy as it makes its way aground, it's likely to make life tough for the next few days, especially if you're not prepared.The good news is that even…

Sandy roars in; will she ease dryness? By: 10/29/2012 @ 11:31am

The northeastern seaboard of the U.S. and a region stretching west almost to the Iowa-Illinois state border is in the path of what some are calling the worst hurricane storm system to hit the country in…

Monster land sale raises big questions By: 10/26/2012 @ 3:25pm

A parcel of farmland sold for just shy of $20,000 an acre a year ago. Now, that $20,000 price point is already in the rearview mirror.An 80-acre field in Sioux County, Iowa, sold Thursday for $21,900 an acre…

Grain market makers & shakers By: 10/26/2012 @ 1:41pm

It's been a year unlike any other in many ways: Crops slammed by devastating drought, historically tight grain supplies around the world, arguably the most volatile grain markets U.S. farmers have ever…

Drought hangovers & crop rotations By: 10/23/2012 @ 10:17am

Now that much of the 2012 crop is in the bin, you may be turning your attention to how you'll balance corn and soybean acres next year. Will the drought hangover force you to change what you'll…

Crop insurance can muddy tax waters By: 10/23/2012 @ 9:08am

If you're like many farmers whose crop yields have been gutted by drought this year, you're likely deriving some -- if not most -- income this year from crop insurance. This has a lot of…

Cattle market clawing out of the red By: 10/22/2012 @ 1:50pm

Days after USDA released numbers that showed a steeper-than-expected drop in the number of cattle in feedyards around the country, one expert's now saying that sharp drop in numbers will likely turn the…

Ukraine wheat situation turning dire By: 10/19/2012 @ 10:10am

The wheat situation's not getting much better in a key region for that crop outside the borders of the U.S.Agriculture officials in Ukraine this week announced that nation's farmers have wrapped up…

Per-acre returns key to nailing down cash rent By: 10/17/2012 @ 11:16am

Need help determining what your cash land rent's going to be in the next few years? If so, Gary Schnitkey's your man.The University of Illinois ag economist recently ran the numbers on potential cash…

Rainfall picking up in the Corn Belt By: 10/17/2012 @ 10:46am

There may be a little whiplash ahead for a few corn and soybean farmers. After a record-fast pace to corn harvest so far this fall, the brakes may be screeching over the next few days, with increasing rain…

CME Group buys KCBT By: 10/17/2012 @ 9:25am

The influence of electronic grain trading took a big step forward Wednesday with the announcement that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) Group has acquired the Kansas City Board of Trade (KCBT). Now, the…

Farming 'marginal' acres By: 10/16/2012 @ 1:49pm

There's a lot of grain demand in the world, and there may not be enough supply to meet all that demand. Though some corn and soybean yields have been surprisingly good despite this year's drought…

Farmers, analysts still bullish corn, soybeans By: 10/16/2012 @ 10:19am

The range of volatility in corn prices in the last few months has been equal to the prices themselves as lately as 2005. That makes marketing grain and managing risk tall orders these days, especially when…

Iowa farmland tops $10,000/acre By: 10/08/2012 @ 12:59pm

Iowa farmland is now, on average, worth $10,000/acre.A year ago, farmland values were climbing at a double-digit clip in Iowa. While that's still true in parts of the state now, the climb has dipped as…

Fighting emotional strain of drought By: 10/08/2012 @ 10:29am

This year's crops and livestock have fallen victim to the worst drought in decades. But, so too have the men and women who raise them. That emotional toll is often overlooked by a lot of farmers whose…

A case for flexible land leases after a drought By: 10/05/2012 @ 9:48am

Grain prices are at levels where profit's not all that difficult to nail down, if you have a crop. Taken alone, that's good. But, a recent trend in risk exposure on the land rent market has one…

Winter annual weeds? Time to treat soon By: 10/04/2012 @ 9:05am

Depending on what weed pressures hit your fields hardest, you may want to get out, scout and consider putting down some post-harvest herbicide before winter rolls in. Specialists have already advised scouting…

Small & shattering soybeans causing harvest losses By: 10/03/2012 @ 3:28pm

Soybean harvest is rolling right along. But, one issue's starting to pop up in parts of the Midwest where conditions have been driest throughout the growing season.Ohio State University Extension soybean…

Tallying up 1988 vs. 2012 crops By: 10/03/2012 @ 2:45pm

The growing season's drawn to a close in the Corn Belt and the combines are barreling through the corn and soybean crops at a record pace. So now that the crop year's nearing its close, 2 Corn Belt…

Talking classic tractors By: 10/03/2012 @ 1:13pm

What's your favorite classic workhorse? There's been no shortage of innovations that have come and gone over the decades -- some for better and others for worse -- from the tricycle front to tracks…

A mild start to winter? By: 10/03/2012 @ 8:01am

Don't dig out the union suits and long johns just yet.A new winter outlook shows warmer-than-normal temperatures in much of the Midwest and northern Plains through November. Then, things really warm up in…

Land values not sinking soon, farmers say By: 10/02/2012 @ 12:32pm

There's been a lot of speculation about whether this year's drought and its effects on crop yields and farm incomes will reverse the skyrocketing trend of farmland values. Now as harvest races along…

Hog industry's red ink deepens By: 10/02/2012 @ 8:57am

Things could be going from bad to worse in the hog sector.That's the latest outlook from Purdue University Extension livestock economist Chris Hurt, who's been watching the industry struggle in the…

Corn harvest nears 3X normal pace -- USDA By: 10/01/2012 @ 3:29pm

The grain markets felt some major pressure on Monday from a couple of factors, the biggest one being corn and soybean harvest that remains way ahead of the normal pace. As of Sunday, 54% of the nation's…

Farm bill lapses; what's next? By: 10/01/2012 @ 1:55pm

It's October 1, 2012, the first day U.S. agriculture should be functioning under a new farm bill.But, lawmakers left Washington, D.C., without signing off on a new legislative package. So, now what?"As of…

Mother Nature backs away from El Nino By: 09/26/2012 @ 2:35pm

Surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean are cooling down. Not a big deal for your crop potential in the Midwest, right? Wrong.This trend, seen developing over the last 4 weeks, signals a shift back away from…

It's a good year for soil testing By: 09/26/2012 @ 1:45pm

With harvest running at full steam in much of the nation's middle, other jobs like soil testing may seem far from your mind. But, it's more important this year than usual to make sure you get a good…

Cattle cuts shrink MO land demand By: 09/26/2012 @ 8:03am

Farmland prices and land rental rates will likely move higher in the next year in Missouri, according to a recent report. But, there are a couple of variables unique to that state that could shape just how…

Congress punts on farm bill By: 09/21/2012 @ 7:45pm

Lawmakers are heading home from Washington, D.C., this week until the November elections have come and gone, leaving on the table a farm bill, the continued stall of which continues to baffle farmers in a year…

Manure in a drought year By: 09/21/2012 @ 10:21am

Thinking of applying manure this fall? There are some unique challenges this year, courtesy Mother Nature's stinginess with rainfall through this last growing season. "The extended period of dry weather…

Shake up your farm shop By: 09/20/2012 @ 10:24am

Whether you're sprucing up your existing farm shop or you're weighing the pros and cons of building a new shop building altogether, you've got a lot of decisions to make, from the size and…

Welding wonders, blunders & more By: 09/20/2012 @ 8:21am

Everybody's got their own tricks when it comes to welding. But, there are also a lot of tools and ideas out there that might be able to help you streamline this common job on the farm. Check out one…

Talkin' Tires By: 09/19/2012 @ 1:47pm

Fall can be a tough time to keep your tires in good shape, whether on the truck or machinery in the field. Sharp corn stalks, loaded grain trucks and the occasional soft spot or pothole can all make things…

No more flat truck tires? By: 09/19/2012 @ 11:34am

In parts of Brazil, where infrastructure to get grain from the field to the terminal, some large trucks actually have to keep air lines running to each tire in case the rough road causes a tire blowout or…

How's your harvest rolling? By: 09/19/2012 @ 11:01am

As corn harvest nears its midpoint and farmers get rolling on soybeans, weather and the fungal corn disease aflatoxin remain the biggest concerns as yields come in from the field as variable as they have in…

Weather, aflatoxin top harvest-time worries By: 09/19/2012 @ 10:16am

Though most farmers harvesting corn likely won't need the extra time, Mother Nature's going to provide just that, according to the latest weather forecast looking ahead to mid-November.In their…

Will your tractor ever run itself? By: 09/19/2012 @ 8:17am

Your machinery one day will be able to operate itself -- with you behind a computer screen or other type of controller -- in the field. Manufacturers say they've already got the building blocks in place…

Latest on land rents By: 09/14/2012 @ 3:29pm

Recent data shows the climb in cash rent levels paid by farmers will likely slow in the next year in the heart of the Corn Belt. The numbers come after a summer when speculation grew about how this year's…

Cash land rent climb mellowing in Illinois By: 09/13/2012 @ 10:01am

If you farm rented ground, the jump in what you pay for that land may not sting as badly next year as it did this year.A recent survey of farm managers and rural appraisers in Illinois shows that, while the…

Tips to get up a late-planted wheat crop By: 09/11/2012 @ 11:07am

The generally accelerated timeframe for most cropping activities this year has turned from largely a blessing to a curse for wheat farmers who jumped on planting the 2013 crop earlier than normal.The drought…

A few more alternative feed sources By: 09/10/2012 @ 2:50pm

The drought's created a lot of talk in the last few weeks about alternatives to "normal" forage feed sources. Now, add to that conversation the possibility to raise feed from brassica crops like canola…

Clean wheat = higher-yielding wheat By: 09/10/2012 @ 1:09pm

Just shy of 13% of the Kansas wheat crop was lost to disease in 2012, just ahead of the normal pace. That number was higher on account of some diseases like nematodes that are growing in prevalence, adding to…

Farmland keeps climbing despite drought By: 09/07/2012 @ 2:30pm

Indiana farmers have been hit harder than most in the Midwest by this summer's drought. But, that hasn't stopped land values from going crazy in that state in the last year, a new survey shows.This…

Tips to keep up your yield monitor By: 08/30/2012 @ 9:25am

Field conditions are going to be tough enough when you get harvest underway this fall. Don't let a faulty yield monitor make things even worse. Yields may be bad enough; don't let bad yield data add…

'Tsunami of red ink' ahead for hog business By: 08/29/2012 @ 9:58am

U.S. hog herd numbers are being slashed hard as per-head losses start to pile up because of previously high inventories and skyrocketing feed prices on account of this summer's drought. Now, a "tsunami of…

Get ready to roll this fall By: 08/28/2012 @ 2:15pm

If you're not already rolling, fall harvest is right around the corner. And, there are a lot of unique challenges facing farmers this year. Get some of the latest information on ways to best arm yourself…

Farmland value gains slow -- Fed By: 08/27/2012 @ 3:28pm

The direction's the same, but the pace has fallen back a bit in the upward movement of farmland values in the Corn Belt, according to a recent report from the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank.Now, that's…

Aflatoxin worries piling up By: 08/27/2012 @ 9:59am

There are a lot of expectations for a quick corn harvest this fall. That's reasonable, some farmers say, given the crop's going to be short and dry. But, on the contrary so far, some early loads to…

Falling land values? Watch interest rates By: 08/27/2012 @ 8:24am

High cash rents and low interest rates are the 2 main factors keeping farmland values in the stratosphere right now. But, there's at least one sign that a decline in values could be in the cards, one…

Prepping soils for the 2013 crop By: 08/23/2012 @ 3:38pm

Once you get this fall's crop in the bin, the drought of 2012 will be behind you, right? Wrong.How you handle your fields after harvest this fall and next spring before planting your 2013 crop will go a…

Time to fine-tune your irrigation efficiency By: 08/22/2012 @ 9:54am

One silver lining to this year's drought -- if you irrigate, that is -- is that issues with your irrigation systems will stick out like a sore thumb.There are countless ways that the uniformity of center…

Consider alternative grazing, forage sources By: 08/22/2012 @ 8:59am

If you're struggling to find feed for your cattle herd, you may be overlooking a few alternative feedstocks that, though obviously of lower quality, can get you through this tough drought period.A lot of…