Planting end nears; Land rides high

  • 01

    It's been a busy week in corn and soybean country, with farmers making major progress in getting their crops in the ground, fueled by warm, dry weather. By next week, USDA numbers show much of the nation's corn and soybeans will be planted.

  • 02

    This spring's planting season has been unique -- good in some ways and bad in others. It's all got to do with the amount of crop development variability caused by how long the planting window's been open this spring, one expert says.

  • 03

    On those acres that are already planted, it may already be time to get into the field and scout for insects, disease and weeds, all of which could be accelerated in their development this year because of the wide planting window. Get all the latest tips and information to get your sprayer ready to do its job this spring.

  • 04

    Soil erosion in some areas that's worse than it's been in years. One expert said this week it's the worst it's been in almost 2 decades in his area. It puts a premium on sticking to your guns if you employ a minimum tillage or no-till system, he says.

  • 05

    But, while rains have been the major driver of soil erosion in some areas, it's been the lack of rain that's created headaches in other areas, namely in the Plains where the wheat crop's starting to suffer from drought. And, a smaller wheat crop could carry a lot of implications to all the grain markets in the near future.

  • 06

    Another factor that could have a bigger influence on the grain markets in the near future is China's appetite for U.S. corn and soybeans. After one larger purchase earlier this week, analysts say they expect China's import pace to pick up in the next few months.

  • 07

    Another 3 months gone by, another sign that farmland values aren't tripping and falling anytime soon. A report from the Federal Reserve released this week shows ag lenders in the nation's midsection see continued surging land values. That's got more landowners putting land up for sale and farm credit conditions improving.

The nearing end to spring planting and more news of high land values top this week's big stories in ag.

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