Dust is flying in NE Iowa!
Apr 24, 2009
Chore time for me isn't what it used to be when I was growing up on our eastern Iowa farm, but taking care of two horses in the morning before I head in for work gives me a little time to think about the day ahead. Each morning, stop at this spot to get a feeling for the "tone of the day" - and some attitude about agriculture and the markets.
I was thinking…
... about all the dust flying around the Pro Farmer home base!
Wow! On my 17-mile drive home yesterday, I counted 14 guys planting corn. The air had the sweet smell of "earth" and the dust was flying. It was the first "all-out" day in northeast Iowa that I've noticed. And there's a good reason for it... after taking a shot at setting some new record high temps today, rain is supposed to move into the area tomorrow, stick around all day on Sunday and maybe even carryover into Monday. So, starting yesterday, the race is on. Growers remember last year all too well and they know a slight shift in the pattern could send the Illinois-Indiana pattern further west, shutting us down for a while.
A buddy of mine from over in western Iowa summed up the last couple of days very simply: "We put a pile of corn in the ground!" In his immediate area, he thinks corn planting will be close to 50% done before rain stops progress on Saturday.
Another buddy of mine from central Illinois summed up his situation very simply: "We haven't turned a wheel." In his immediate area, he thinks corn planting will be close to 0% done before rains move back in this weekend.
I got some "jeers" for my concern over the lack of planting progress I talked about earlier this week in Chore Time... they just said it's "too early" to be too concerned about the lack of planting progress. Generally, I agree. But, it's not just the date that has me concerned. It's also the lack of fieldwork that's been done, the lack of nitrogen application, current soil conditions and the weather forecast. When all those things are taken into account and not just the planting pace and the date on the calendar, it's already late. Can we catch up? Only if the weather forecast is wrong -- which I wouldn't rule out!
Anyway... we're talking about a lot of "cool" stuff in Pro Farmer newsletter this week. Pro Farmer news editor Roger Bernard was in Washington D.C. earlier this week and he'll share what he learned, along with providing some perspective on California's new biofuel, greenhouse-gas emmission-reduction plan. We're also talking planting progress, discuss the chance of continued strength in the boxed beef market, some improvement in chances to export beef to S. Korea, the really poor finish to the Argentine soybean crop and the government-induced challenges farmers there face in the year ahead, the condition of the winter wheat crop here in the U.S. and we highlight the latest economic outlook from LaSalle Economics president Dr. Vince Malanga. And that's what's covered on just 3 of the 8 pages!
Pro Farmer Sr. Market Analyst Brian Grete filled another 4 pages with fundamental and technical analysis of the corn, soybean, wheat, cotton, cattle and hog markets, along with a look at interest rates, Federal Reserve action and explains our current risk management plan for all the markets we cover.
I haven't written the front page of the newsletter yet, which is what I'm going to start right now! For e-mail subscribers, the newsletter will be in your mailbox at about 1:00 CT this afternoon... for everybody else we'll get the printed version of Pro Farmer in the mail this afternoon. If you'd like to know more about Pro Farmer services, drop me a note, or give Shelley a call at 1-800-772-0023.