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Big this week: Checking on corn yields
Farmers in the Corn Belt aren't far from starting up the combines, and this week saw many in the field conducting some final yield estimates. And, most don't like what they're finding. See some of the results and more of the big stories in agriculture this week.
USDA on Monday showed 58% of the corn crop is in good-to-excellent shape. 36% of farmers say their crop is 'nothing to write home about.
- Talk: Crop photos
With so many farmers reporting lower-than-average corn yields, some are starting to look ahead to what the market will do if or when low yields start coming in from the field. "A 150 [bushel/acre] yield, let alone a sub-150 would fundamentally change the dynamics of the market," says one farmer. What do you think?
Higher corn prices aren't just changing dynamics in the grain industry. Hog producers are facing some serious challenges in trying to maintain feed supplies with prices around $1 higher than the breakeven point, according to a report this week.
One of the factors driving corn prices is ethanol. This week, leaders of that industry met to discuss the future for their business, namely the potential loss of tax incentives that could change how the corn-based fuel could compete at the gas pump.
But, "life is going to become very interesting" without the ethanol tax credit, one ethanol industry group leader said this week. That's true at least while grain-based ethanol is the chief source of the fuel.
Big in agribusiness news this week is Syngenta's response to a recent move by Bunge North America to refuse grain with the Agrisure Viptera trait. Syngenta officials say it's the worst possible time for such a move, while Bunge officials say they're acting to preserve "the integrity of our export supply chain."
There's good news if you're a landowner -- 2 new studies released in the last week show land values in Illinois and Indiana continue to surge, with the latter at the highest levels in 34 years. But, are land prices getting too high? One specialist says to watch one key variable to answer that question.
Next year's corn crop is going to have to be a big one. So now, even before the first combines start kicking up dust in the Corn Belt, farmers say they're looking at getting at least some of their seed corn purchased. Are you buying your 2012 seed corn earlier than normal?
John Deere released its new product lineup this week, including a new line of high-tech combines whose guidance systems rival those of the first space shuttle.
If you're in the Corn Belt and your crop could use a big drink before harvest, you may not enjoy the word from Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., this week. "chances are good that when you next see such a rain, it will be too late on the calendar for that rain to be of any good to your crops," according to Freese-Notis on Thursday.