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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

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.

   

Harvest Better Than Expected

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - This year's corn crop is the largest the nation has ever seen, and exceeds earlier government projections.
In its first report since the government shutdown, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it expects 13.99 billion bushels of corn. It had forecast 13.8 billion bushels. The previous record was 13.1 billion in 2009.
Heavy rains delayed spring planting and drought conditions returned to parts of the Midwest. Some analysts thought there would be a subpar harvest.
But adequate rain and cooler temperatures at pollination time produced exceptional results, especially in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio.
Prices dropped below $4.20 a bushel Friday, the lowest since 2010.
That means some farmers see lower profits, but chicken, pork, and beef producers will have lower feed costs. Grocery prices won't be impacted.

   

Harvest Progressing

(Le Mars) -- Farmers are making progress with this year's harvest.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports 55 percent of Iowa's corn crop and 87 percent of the soybean crop have been harvested.
Monday's weekly report showed the corn crop was about 5 percentage points behind normal,
while The soybean harvest was about two days ahead of normal.  Joel DeJong, Iowa State
University extension crop specialist says the soybean harvest in Plymouth County is close to completion.

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DeJong says generally the corn harvest is doing well, but a few farmers have had to deal with lodging issues and dropped ears.

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The crop specialist says the recent rains are helping replenish the lost soil moisture levels from the last two years due to the drought conditions.


   

Surprise Harvest

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers in many states are surprised at the abundance of corn coming from their fields, and record harvests are likely in many states including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio.

In southeastern Nebraska, farmer Ben Steffen says his first field brought in 168 bushels an acre, above the average of 140.

The best crops are in areas with adequate rain and where corn pollinated amid cooler temperatures.

The positive surprise is welcome after the dismal harvest for many farmers last year when drought spread across the country reducing corn and soybean crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates this year's harvest to bring in 13.8 billion bushels of corn, beating the 2009 record of 13.1 billion bushels. Some analysts believe farmers may exceed the estimates.

   

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