Tuesday, September 02, 2014
   
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Cool Temps Slow Down Crop Maturity

(Le Mars) -- With the cooler temperatures that we have been experiencing, many farmers are wondering if that may mean an early frost is likely this year.  If frost were to come early, would our crops have reached maturity so yields won't be compromised?  Joel DeJong, Iowa State University Extension Crops Specialist for northwest Iowa details how much more time the corn crop needs in order to become fully mature.

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DeJong says if temperatures remain cooler than normal for a significant time period, that could further slow down the maturity development process. He says the closer to the maturity date before frost hits, the less likelihood for yield loss.

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The crops specialist says the corn crop is falling behind on growing degree days.

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USDA Crop Report Looks To Set Record

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Farmers will produce a record-breaking corn harvest this year, surpassing earlier expectations of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has revised upward its estimate of this year's corn harvest to 14 billion bushels.
     That exceeds last year's 13.9 billion bushel record.
     Soybean production also will set a new record at 3.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 harvest of 3.4 billion bushels.
     Farmers are blessed with an abundant crop but cursed that it has driven prices lower. They are taking more control of their grain marketing by building more on-farm storage, holding onto the crop and timing the sale to maximize profit.
     Rain fell at the right times and a cooler summer made for favorable growing conditions in the 18 states that produce 91 percent of the nation's corn.

 


 

 

   

Farmers Cut Back On Corn Acreage, But Plant More Soybeans

 DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - American farmers have planted less corn than in any year since 2010 but more soybeans than ever, as expected.
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture says in its annual Acreage Report released Monday that farmers planted 91.6 million acres of corn. That's 4 percent less than last year but still the fifth-largest corn crop planted since 1944. Analysts expected some farmers to devote more acreage to soybeans because of a drop in corn prices.
     The USDA says farmers planted a record high 84.8 million acres of soybeans, up 11 percent from last year. Record soybean acres have been planted in Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
     Seventy-six percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition, compared with 63 percent last year.
 

   

Farmers Concerned About Cold Temps On Planted Seed

Farmers Concerned About Cold Temperatures With Planted Seed

(Le Mars) -- Farmers have been thankful for the rains of the last few days, but along with the rains have been some colder than normal temperatures, and farmers who have planted corn are wondering if the seed can withstand the colder soil temps.  Iowa State University Extension crops specialist Joel DeJong believes most of the planted corn will survive.

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As for the reserve soil moisture levels, DeJong says northwest Iowa could use additional rains.

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The ISU crops specialist believes all of the frost has finally thawed within this area.

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USDA To Monitor Swine Virus

USDA To Monitor Swine Virus

 MILWAUKEE (AP) - The federal government is starting a new program to help monitor and possibly control the spread of a virus that has killed millions of pigs since showing up in the U.S. last year.
 
     The porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, believed to be from China, causes severe diarrhea in newborn piglets, who die from dehydration.
 
     The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Friday it is stepping up efforts by requiring farmers to report infections and labs where farmers send tissue and fecal samples to report positive tests.
 
     Farms that suffer an outbreak also will have to participate in a program to help control the spread of the disease
 
     Previously, the USDA and the nation's pork industry tracked the disease with voluntary reports from the labs.

   

Rootworms Build Resistance To Bt Corn

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Researchers say bugs are developing resistance to the widely popular genetically engineered corn plants that make their own insecticide, so farmers may have to make changes.
     Cases of rootworms eating roots of so-called Bt corn have been confirmed in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota and Minnesota.
     Iowa State University researchers say rootworms have developed resistance to two of the four genetic traits in corn plants that are engineered to kill rootworms.
     Iowa State professor Aaron Gassmann says the problem isn't widespread yet, but farmers and seed companies should consider changing their approaches to pest control.
     In areas where Bt corn has failed to control rootworms, farmers turned to insecticides. The USDA says 76 percent of all corn planted last year was Bt corn.

 

   

Agriculture Census To Be Released

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The U.S. Department of Agriculture is set to release its Census of Agriculture, a detailed report released every five years that lists the number of farms, how many acres are farmed, the number of farmers and their average age and many other statistics.

The last report released in 2007 revealed that the number of Iowa farms had increased 2 percent from 2002 to 2007 to more than 92,800. The average farm size was lower and total acres of land farmed fell 3 percent.
Iowa ranked first in the nation in 2007 in production of hogs, corn, soybeans and third in the nation for the value of agriculture products sold.
The report to be released Thursday morning is used in evaluating and implementing agriculture policies and programs.

   

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.

 

   

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