Big in ag: Soggy, slow harvest strides

  • 01

    Last week, corn and soybean farmers caught up to the normal harvest pace. This week has gutted that progress, with major rainfall moving through the Corn Belt and mid-South at mid-week. The window's opening again this weekend, forecasters say, before another rain delay next week.

  • 02

    As harvest has advanced, yield models show there's a better crop, in general, around the country than earlier expectations, one analyst said this week. "That means more carryout of everything as USDA needs to hike yields given the better-than-expected yields during harvest," he says.

  • 04

    But, will it be a short crop? That, and its effects on price in the long term, is a hot topic in Marketing Talk this week. "Wouldn't surprise me it all to see corn range $3.75-$4.50 in 2013/2014," says one Marketing Talk member. What do you think?

  • 05

    How long will the lower prices continue? "Current prospects do not seem to favor a quick or substantial recovery in corn prices without production problems in South America," ag economist Darrel Good said this week. "Without an increase in the price for the 2014 soybean crop, lower corn prices may be more likely," he says.

  • 06

    But, that doesn't mean the bank's getting broken, for a couple of reasons, at least in the short term. One, this week marks the end of the price establishment for federal crop insurance guarantees. So, where will that get you this year? Here's the latest from one expert.

  • 07

    And, there are a lot of ways to manage margins moving forward, too. Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist Steve Johnson takes a look at some of the latest numbers for crop production costs and returns and looks ahead to some options for farmers to stay on the right side of the equation.

  • 08

    One piece of the crop input equation is in increasingly tight supply: Propane. Tight supplies have distributors traveling up to 500 miles to secure enough for their customers, and that's keeping prices moving higher. How long will this be the case?

  • 09

    Another major piece of that equation is land prices. Though many experts say they see values sliding, there are some key variables showing how prices and resulting rents will shake out.

  • 10

    For cattlemen, there's new data out showing one way to get more productivity out of your beef herd: Earlier weaning. Doing so can reduce grazing pressure and help animals adjust to a ration without as much supplementation, a team of experts said this week.

  • 11

    While lawmakers continue to slowly push toward a new farm program, former ag leaders sat down together recently to chat their priorities while U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and some of the more pressing issues facing agriculture and food in the U.S. today.

Harvest-delaying rainfall after major strides of progress is one of the big stories in agriculture this week.

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