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China announced Aug. 23 that it will impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s latest planned levies on Chinese imports. The measures include an added 5% tariff on soybeans and an extra 10% on American pork as of Sept. 1. Corn and cotton products were also on the list.

DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

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PRINCETON, Ill. — Youth ages 5 through 12 joined University of Illinois Extension 4-H in a fun, educational Nature Detective Camp on Aug. 7 in Princeton. This half-day camp offered hands-on activities for youth to learn about habitats, birds, monarchs, and animal tracks. Youth created nature journals, went on a nature scavenger hunt, made butterfly life cycles, and took home milk jug birdhouses.

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This past Christmas, Curt Mottet did not spend his nights celebrating. The Richland, Iowa, location manager for Farmer’s Coop Association was instead dealing with the crunch of making sure farmers received anhydrous ammonia before a price increase went into effect at the beginning of 2019.

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“We don’t ever think it’s going to happen to us, but it happened to me… because it happened to him.” Marion County farmer Lacey Miller’s emotion-filled words about her father, Ralph Griesbaum, are enough to bring anyone to tears.

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Kevin Oppermann grazes cattle on 28 acres of pasture at his home farm near Fitchburg, Wisconsin. To accommodate his expanding herd he also began in 2017 converting 24 acres of cropland to permanent pasture at the Fitchburg-area farm his grandparents once owned. The farm is now owned by Oppermann’s parents.

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So far in the Pro Farmer’s crop tour (where they’ve gone thorugh Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois), yields are being pegged all over the place. Indiana is being put around a 161 bushels per acre mark, while Nebraska is showing around 173 bushels per acre.

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Steve Hyde of CHS Hedging said choppy trade is “likely to continue” with trade looking at crop results and weather.

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The lean hog market is technically oversold, holding a larger than normal discount to the cash market, The Hightower Report said.

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The upcoming days will feature a pair of livestock reports, as we will get the Cold Storage report on Thursday. Allendale is projecting 633.631 mln pounds of pork for the end of July, an 11 mln pound increase. Beef is estimated at 397.410 mln pounds, which would be 18% below last year’s mark, but a 3 mln increase from last month.

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“Lower prices may be needed to spur demand,” John Payne of Daniel’s Trading said. “The world has an abundance of exportable wheat and the competition between the EU/Ukraine and Russia is likely to keep prices low for the foreseeable future.”

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Packers “appear poised to make up for the lost production” with strong profit margins, in the wake of the closed packing house, The Hightower Report said. “This opens the door for a more normal trade and a more normal relationship between cash and futures.”

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Support for grains is being found in the ongoing Crop Tour, adding to concerns about the crop not being as good as the USDA is projecting. However, “traders are cautions, as higher trade overnight does not necessarily translate to day session gains,” Allendale said.

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A number of factors pushed wheat markets lower — plentiful world supplies, slow demand and technical selling, Heesch said.

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In weighted average negotiated prices for barrows and gilts, USDA reported:

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The grain markets experienced lower trade today with beneficial rains moving through the Midwest, said Ami Heesch, with CHS Hedging.

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Hog markets were a little higher Tuesday despite trends in pork product prices. Markets are still trying to recover from recent losses.

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Soybeans were up Tuesday as traders are not sure about the size of this year’s crop.

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“Corn prices were on the defensive from beneficial moisture moving across the U.S. Midwest and spillover weakness in the wheat market,” Heesch, with CHS Hedging, said. “The corn market does not seem to be bothered by this week’s crop tour findings, despite yields estimated below last year and the three-year average in the Eastern Corn Belt’s key states.”

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Minnesota Governor Tim Walz will participate in the 2019 “Purple Ribbon 4-H Livestock Auction” at the Minnesota State Fair, which will mark the 40th anniversary of the auction. The Purple Ribbon 4-H Auction will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 5:45 p.m., in Compeer Arena at the State Fairgrounds.

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Boxed beef cutout values this afternoon were higher on Choice and steady on Select on moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings.

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Prospects are that soybean prices will continue to be low over the next several years, leading to a period of lower farm incomes.

Even given those prospects, prices could go even lower, causing more financial stress to develop. Herein, we present an adverse set of prices that could plausibly occur but are not likely to occur.

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Dairy prices through this year’s second half are on track to be the best since 2014’s records. The recovery, combined with assistance from the new Dairy Margin Coverage program, doesn’t mean a return to full prosperity. But the improvements should help stop the bleeding and perhaps begin healing balance sheets.

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DES MOINES — Supporters of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement took advantage of the Iowa State Fair to hold a press conference promoting the agreement, encouraging farmers to contact their elected officials to express support.

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Wallace Tyner, the James and Lois Ackerman Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University, passed away Aug. 17 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Jean, his sons, Davis and Jeffrey, their wives, and four grandchildren.

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We had about a half inch of rain Sunday and we needed it. The pastures were getting dry and the beans were starting to dry up. That shot of rain really helped. It also helped some of the pastures. Other than that, it's probably time to start getting the combine ready.

I think we have some pretty decent crops in our area. The rains Saturday night were huge. There was a little wind but nothing major. It was not a good haymaking week, with a couple of little showers and poor drying conditions. I drilled alfalfa and orchard grass Saturday so the rain was huge for that. I think there’s some pretty good yield potential on corn in this area.

We had some much-needed rain this past week — about 1.6 inches early in the week and a few tenths over the weekend. It was about 2 inches together. The beans look a little better with the rain. Things are progressing.

We ended up being on the drought monitor this past week, but an inch of rain this past weekend makes me optimistic we will be out of that. Thin parts are starting to show up. I have a 111-day corn planted on April 24 that is starting to dent. We are starting to get knee deep into cover crop stuff and final recommendations put into place. Next week we might start flying cereal rye on.

We got between 1.5 and 3 inches of rain last week, depending on where you were. I won't complain about that at all. We're getting ready to put some fungicide on the fields, and the late beans look good right now.

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We got almost an inch of rain Saturday night and into Sunday (Aug. 18). That helped. The beans look good and the corn looks good. We've seen some foggy mornings, so I'm feeling good about my decision to put fungicide on the fields.

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We really didn’t do a lot last week. Had some board meetings and went to the State Fair. Crop-wise things progressed and things look good. We got about an inch of rain Saturday night and moderate temperatures today with a possibility of a shot of rain tonight. We couldn’t really ask for a better August so far.

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The start of the week went well with an inch of rain on Monday, which helped greatly. Most of the area was covered, so that made everyone feel better. We started spraying double-crop beans and should be done today if everything goes well. Not much else going on other than mowing of roadways and fungicide spraying. Hope we keep the rain coming to keep this crop moving forward.

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Last week brought us 1.7 inches of rain on Monday across White and Hamilton counties, and Tuesday brought 0.7 inches of rain, then Sunday afternoon brought 0.5 to 1 inch. We had a lot of straight-line winds through here on Sunday afternoon, bringing several trees down. The corn seems to be standing well. It looks like the heat is coming to advance GDU on the corn, and beans are growing rapidly. We had an agronomist in our corn Wednesday checking for rust; none was found. How about that market report — all the clowns don’t work for the circus, do they?  I have been on the phone this morning to some terminals. Some basis bids are improving. Looks like this fall marketing the crop is going to take a lot of time and patience for the reality of the real numbers in the market to appear at the farmers’ doorstep. Good luck and have a blessed week.

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There are still a few guys putting on fungicide and insecticide, but that is starting to wind down and we're starting to look toward harvest. We had about an inch of rain, and that was welcome. I've heard from some dairy guys that they are looking at the possibility of starting on silage in a few weeks.

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We received 1 inch of rain here on the farm this week. There were different amounts around the area though, and where there was little rain, the crop stress is getting more evident. The field work is pretty much done until harvest in our area. Most of the double-crop beans are beginning to bloom; they will have to hurry to beat the frost, I'm afraid. Enjoy what is left of summer!

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We got lucky again and caught another nice rain across the area this week. Crops are looking good. These last few rains have really helped our beans. I wish our mid-May beans would have set more pods. As they are wrapping up pod set, they have about 25% less pods than the April beans. Time will tell as beans are very funny and we won’t know yield tell we run with the combine. Big week for markets as we watch the Pro Farmer crop tour and see what they come up with. I have a feeling it will be a market mover. Have a good week.

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This week we got about 2 inches of rain in some areas, although rain was not widespread in Central Illinois. We have been scouting fields and have seen very little disease pressure in crops. We have noticed some corn tipping back and beans are in R5 stage now. Looking ahead, more rain in the forecast and cooler temperatures coming which means adding test weight to the corn and help filling out bean pods. As always, be safe.

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A few spotty showers managed to find their way to our area, but the soaking rains that we have needed continue to squeak around us. While the temps haven't been miserably warm, we struggle for moisture on every farm. To top it off, the USDA report seemed to be a sucker punch. As dry and frustrating as this growing season has been, I do think we will learn a lot this harvest regarding what works and what doesn’t work. While we originally thought that we would have a late start to harvest, it’s not as far away, which means harvest equipment maintenance is on our agenda this week.

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