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Agri-Line - Le Mars Agricultural Connection

Farm Futures Magazine Makes Crop Prediction

ST. CHARLES, ILL. (08/06/2013) — A year after a historic drought punished crops, farmers faced a new threat to production in 2013: A cold, wet spring that delayed planting across the Midwest. But Farm Futures' first survey of 2013 production still shows potential for record corn and soybean crops this fall.

Farmers could harvest 13.485 billion bushels of corn, according to the magazine’s producer survey, which found yields of 155.9 bushels per acre nationwide. However, the crop’s potential suffered from the cold, wet spring, which cut plantings by more than 1 million acres, compared to last year. Farm Futures estimates planted acreage fell to 96.1 million, with harvested acreage down to 86.5 million. USDA estimated 2013 corn acreage at 97.4 million in its June 28 survey, with harvested acreage put at 89.1 million.

"Heavy rains washed out producers hopes in the northwest Corn Belt this spring," says Farm Futures Senior Editor Bryce Knorr, who conducted the survey. "But our survey found yields consistent with estimates made from weekly crop ratings, which still show potential for a good crop. While our estimate is lower than many in the market, it still may not do much, if anything, for prices."

Farm Futures Market Analyst Paul Burgener agrees. "Our survey shows a little smaller corn crop, but 13.5 billion bushels remains a big crop to move through a system with reduced demand after last year," says Burgener. "Carryout could double, sending prices much lower this year unless weather lowers yields."

Some, but not much, of the lost corn ground was switched to soybeans. The survey found soybean seedings of 77.9 million acres, up 1% from last year. However, wet conditions may also be taking a toll on soybeans. The survey found farmers expect to harvest 1% less ground than last year, though yields could improve to 44.14 bpa, producing a record crop of 3.369 billion bushels.

"The soybean crop looks to be larger than last year, and double the carryout is in the cards," says Burgener. "But there is little room for lower yields. Only a small change could mean another extremely tight year."

Farm Futures surveyed more than 1,350 farmers by email July 22 to Aug. 5. On Aug. 12, USDA will make its first production estimate based on in-field reports and surveys with farmers. The agency is also expected to update its estimate of soybean plantings in areas affected by wet conditions this spring.
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Vilsack Annouces CRP Program

AMES, Iowa (AP) - U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the government will accept 1.7 million acres into the Conservation Reserve Program under the general sign-up for the current year.
Speaking in Ames at the Iowa Farm Bureau's 2013 Economic Summit Monday, Vilsack says USDA has more than 26.9 million acres enrolled nationally. That's down from a high of more than 36 million acres
in 2007. The decline is partially due to the increased value of corn and soybeans. It many instances it's more lucrative to rent out land for crops that to collect the CRP payment.
Vilsack, a former Iowa governor, says the USDA received 28,000 offers from farmers willing to voluntarily set aside land for soil, water, and wildlife conservation.
The USDA pays landowners about $2 billion a year for the program.

   

Farmers Urged To Update Hay And Straw Directory

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Iowa's top agriculture official says hay and straw producers should be sure to keep their information on a state directory updated to help market their products.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey says with the continued tight supply of forage crops used for livestock feed, the Iowa Hay and Straw Directory is a critical link for buyers and sellers.
The listing is available to interested buyers throughout the nation. Only sellers from within Iowa are on the list.
The information may be accessed and updated on the IowaAgriculture.gov website.

   

USDA Expects Lower Corn Crop

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture has slightly lowered its estimate of the corn crop, reflecting late planting in the Corn Belt caused by a wet spring.
Farmers are now expected to harvest 13.95 billion bushels, 55 million fewer bushels than predicted in June. That still beats the 2009 record by about 858 million bushels.
The supply of corn is likely to shrink this summer because of last year's small, drought-affected harvest of 11 billion bushels and this year's delayed planting, so prices will likely remain high.
That's good for farmers selling grain, but will increase the cost of corn-based feed for livestock producers raising cattle, chickens and pigs.
Food prices aren't likely to be affected much by the change.

   

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