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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Northey Expects Farm Income To Decline

(Le Mars) -- After seeing the past few years of farmers enjoying higher commodity prices, Iowa Agriculture Secretary, Bill Northey, says he is concerned about a possible decline in farm income this year.  Northey was in Le Mars Thursday morning.  He says this coming crop year may prove to be interesting as farm income is projected to be lower. The question is  how much lower?

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Northey expects the lower farm income will definately have an impact on ag businesses?

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Crop Values Declined In 2012

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The value of crops fell last year as corn and soybeans prices declined from record highs the year before. 
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in an annual report the value of 2013 field crops fell 9.8 percent to nearly $167 billion from $185 billion in 2012. 
     The 2012 drought reduced the corn and soybean harvest and drove prices to record highs which resulted in increased crop value.
     Friday's report says the average price of corn for 2012 was $6.89 per bushel and the value of the crop that year was $74.3 billion. Last year's average price was $4.50 and the overall value fell to $62.7 billion.
     Top crop producers last year were Illinois with crops valued at $16 billion, Iowa at $15.9 billion, and Nebraska at nearly $12 billion.

 

   

Farmland Rental Rates Expected To Decline

(Orange City) -- Farmland rental rates look to be holding steady or showing some signs of decline, that according to an Iowa State University Extension Farm Management Specialist.  Melissa O'Rourke says landowners and farmers are now negotiating terms for the upcoming crop year.  She says our neighbors to the east project a slight decline in farmland rental rates.

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O'Rourke says whether  farmland rental rates trends go up or down, or hold steady, depends largely on what the previous conditions and terms were for the lease agreement.  O'Rourke says she still hears of instances where a tennant and landlord had entered a long-term lease agreement and the rental rates are extremely low.

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The ISU Farm Management Specialist says there have been times in the recent past when farmland rental rates were given a "bump up".  But she says 2014 may be a year when profit margins are tighter.

 
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O'Rourke says most farmland rental agreements today are scheduled for a one-year term with review of the yield performance, future projections, and current and future commodity prices.

 

   

Low Corn Prices Give Cattle Producers Optimism

AMES, Iowa (AP) - A livestock specialist at Iowa State University says falling corn prices are generating some optimism that cattle farmers can again make money.
      Historically high corn prices during the last several years drove up the cost of feed and many producers cut herd numbers as drought intensified.
      Lee Schulz, a livestock specialist and assistant professor of economics, says producers have been in survival mode but are beginning to talk about expansion. There's interest in building new facilities and growing herds.
      Feedlots made money on cattle sold in October, breaking a long streak of monthly losses. 
      He says it will take several years to build the herd with increased calf crops and increasing cattle supplies because of the time it takes for calves to mature.

   

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