Bearish data, rising bugs & policy progress

  • 01

    This week's been one of continued jerky planting progress, but also some progress on farm policy and more thorough diagnoses of the challenges this year's field conditions could pose to the corn and soybean crops.

  • 02

    The USDA released bearish corn, soybean and wheat market data Wednesday. In its June Crop Production Report, the USDA increased stockpiles for corn and wheat, while leaving soybean estimate unchanged. As a result, the CME Group corn, soybean and wheat markets reacted negatively to the report.

  • 03

    Wednesday's reports came on the heels of USDA's weekly crop progress report Monday that showed there's still some corn left to plant, and quite a few soybeans left. But, while many farmers continue to work toward completion of intended acres, many are already "throwing in the towel."

  • 05

    Corn and soybeans aren't the only crops whose 2013 lifespans may be altered by rainfall extremes. Last year's drought left the nation's alfalfa crop in pretty weak shape, meaning many livestock feeders were well short of critical forage supplies. So, how can you boost those stocks early this summer?

  • 07

    Bugs and disease weren't the only things active in the ag sector this week. The U.S. Senate finally approved its version of the farm bill early this week, moving it to the House of Representatives for a vote, the point at which the legislation stalled last time around.

  • 08

    There's good news out of farm country lately. Recent data show grain bin-related deaths on U.S. farms declined sharply in the last year. Farmers say there are a lot of reasons for the decline, but say good old-fashioned common sense is the best way to avoid bin-related injury or death.

Planting remains on the sluggish side as experts start to look ahead to the full crop season.

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