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January 2010 Archive for Crop Comments

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Read the latest crop reports from the fields across America! Also, submit your own comments.

January Crop Comments

Jan 29, 2010
How's the Weather in Your Parts? Are You Running Out of On-Farm Storage? What Are Your Plans for 2010?

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Use this link to send us your comments about the crops in your local area. Be sure to send us your photos and videos! Comments will be edited for brevity and clarity. (Please keep your comments crop-related.)


Here's a sampling of what some folks are saying

 

  • 1/29 - Clinton County, Ind.: All we have to do is beat them at their own game. Just leave 3% of your total acres set idle. And make more money on what you farm.
  • 1/29 - Sedgwick County, Kan. (just west of Wichita): Completed a survey of our wheat acreage early this week. Some of the wheat was planted in the first half of October and looks good. A lot more was planted in late October/early November and it looks like bare ground until you get the sun viewing angle just right. It was very windy on Monday and noted a couple of late planted wheat fields were doing some blowing. Nothing serious yet, but certainly are giving a preview of what could happen if the crop doesn’t grow much by March.

  • 1/28 - West central Illinois: We had slightly below '08 crop in corn yields and 5 to 10 bu. less in the beans. There were a lot of acres that were way down on yield also. I think the USDA report is off a little but not enough to change things all that much. Hell will freeze over before anyone at NASS or USDA admits they misjudged the crop. I sold most of my beans at $10.00 and half my corn at $3.90 and am sitting on the rest of the corn, watching it get cheaper every day. Didn't sell any new crop, either. What to do now is pure speculation. I think corn will continue down a little and when March 10 hits, look out. It will probably get even bigger and corn will be $2.50 at planting time. What a joke farming is now, and all the experts don't know any more than I do. Only way now to survive is to PRAY!

  • 1/27 - Bremer County, Iowa: To the farmer of east central Illinois -- You hit the nail dead on the head. Yield monitors are a guess at best. You can’t sell 200 bu. wet corn now, can you? I’m also reading and thinking about 2010, and all the reports coming out: CRP, and wheat acres not planted. There may not be much if any rally to buy corn acres this year. But on the flip side, once they wake up to the light corn, and all the damaged corn sitting in wet piles going bad, I'd say it will be after planting before that reality rises to the top.

    By now, most of you out there have probably locked in your needs for next year. If any of you skipped a lot of fertilizer like I did last year, and now are putting it on again like normal, your inputs are probably not all that far off from last year.  I found two variables that decreased in price: Roundup type chemicals and most fertilizers (NH3 and bulk fertilizers). Other chemicals have held their prices, and seed -- let's just say "ouch." Fuel is inching up again too. So in short, I’m watching my break-even point rise and the corn prices drop.

    Sounds like normal farming. Buy at retail, sell at wholesale, and pay shipping both ways. 

  • 1/26 - East central Illinois: The problem with crop surveys is many farmers give yields in wet bushels. At 1.18% shrink factor per point of moisture, 10 points amounts to 11.8% yield reduction, a 200 bu. yield at 25% moisture (very common this year) is reduced by 23.6 bu. to only 176.4 bu. at 15% moisture. Add low test weights to that. 176.4 bu. of corn at 50 lb. test weight = 157.5 bu./acre. So a farmer reports a 200 bu. yield but actually only has a 157.5 bu./acre yield. So reduce the average corn yield by 42.5 bu./acre and see what your state actually averaged. It really was not a great crop after all.
  • 1/26 - Harrison County, Iowa: Delivered Jan. contracts of corn. Moisture content was between 17%-18% moisture. The wet line was close to two hours long. Dry line was drive-through.

    The saying is "sell it or smell it." We will keep taking tops off bins to fill Feb.-Mar. and Apr. contracts, but will not sell any corn that is not contracted already. When Spring comes and bin fans go on, the carry-over may just shrink to alarming figures. History dictates prices go too high and they go too low. When the average age of a farmer is 57, there are a lot of farmers in a position to hold grain and be content with a Social Security check. Corn in the bin is a lot better than a time certificate for them.

    There will be times when unsaleable inventory will affect prices and there will be years when yields are short. That's when a few of those old farmers will keep $10.00 corn, so they won't have to pay all of that income tax.

    Good luck to all the young farmers.

  • 1/25 - McPherson, Kan.: My father-in-law was a big believer in rain 90-100 days after a fog.  He would mark it on his calendar and it was amazingly accurate.  Central KS set a record for consecutive (or nearly consecutive) days of dense fog last week.  Does that mean a wet April again for 2010?  The January Top Producer article "Lower Weather Risk Ahead" says that after two wet years, there will be diminished precipitation in the Corn Belt.  Granted, I have fairly low expectations for any forecast more than 3 days out.

    My other ponder for the week was on carbon trading, also highlighted in the January Top Producer.  Ethanol has been ruled as less carbon friendly since twice as many new acres of land will be brought into production in other parts of the world to replace those crop acres used by the US ethanol industry.  Yet, cap-and-trade advocates actively promote carbon payments for reforesting North American cropland as a way to reduce global atmospheric carbon.  How does this acreage loss not cause the same global crop acreage expansion as ethanol acres? (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
     

  • 1/25 - Banner County, Neb.: With the costs of land taxes, fuel, oil, fertilizer, machinery and repairs going up we cannot afford to raise corn and wheat at $4 a bushel or less.  Those are prices typical of the 60's, 70's and 80's.  Wheat and corn prices in this range will put a lot of farmers in the red economically and eventually they will be forced to quit farming altogether.  If this continues its just a matter of time before the farming industry will collapse.

     
  • 1/25 - Walsh county, northeast North Dakota: The recent drop in grain prices has really slowed down the movement of grain to the elevators.  This part of the country is sitting on an enormous amount of wheat, much of it in the 11.8% to 13.0% protein range.  We did not want to take the big discounts, hoping that by closer to spring the discounts would become less severe.  Looking back, we should have sold about 3 weeks ago and stayed short in the futures market.  But the elevator grain buyers tell me that we are stuck with the discounts until the market has a feel for what the protein levels are in the coming winter wheat crops. 

    In casual conversation with growers from around the state, I think wheat acres in ND will be down some.  Many are buying more canola and sunflower and flax seed than before.  Edible beans will also be a good option.  The malt barley contracts were ranging from $4.15 to $3.60 (which isn't anything great) but now they have dropped about $.55 in the past two weeks also.  Maybe beer prices will follow the barley down (?).....Our farm will drop wheat acres from 2700 last year to about 2000 this year, and increase canola, sunflower, dry bean, and pea acres.  All our wheat will seeded to the higher protein varieties. Barley will remain about the same. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

     
  • 1/25 - Custer County, Neb.: The corn harvest looked to be a real bin-buster, with load after load coming off most fields, even when compared to last year.  However, compared to last year, on average, we were harvesting corn that was 5% higher in moisture, and 5-7 lbs. per bushel heavier.  After doing all the math, our yields overall were about on par with last year.  While we had some corn that astonished us with its yield, we also had some disappointments, mainly due to test weight.  I guess it could have been worse.  Talked to one guy who still has corn to harvest at just over 20% moisture, and 46-48# test weight.  Now with the snow, it is going down.  Comparing ear/kernel counts from this summer to scale tickets, his yield is about 70% of what he was hoping for, probably less now due to higher field losses.
     
  • 1/25 - Wilbur, Wash.: Our wheat is dormant and waiting for growing weather. I did some soil probing and found 6" of frost so any moisture we may get will still run off.  More time is spent in the office preparing yr end tax info, and watching energy prices like a hawk!. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

  • 1/22 - Riddleton, Tenn.: Tennessee farmer George McDonald still farms 315 acres that are in production on the Hermitage, the historic home of President Andrew Jackson. McDonald says he can use modern farming technologies such as fertility mapping, GPS guidance, yield mapping, and automated planter section and boom shutoff to preserve and conserve the historic integrity of the property while maintaining is rootsagriculture.


     
  • 1/22 - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada: Disputing crop reports doesn’t do any of you any good.  The funds and speculators are again on your side bringing the futures market higher without fundamental support.  When you see this happening SELL…

     
  • 1/22 - Homer, Neb.: Meet the people who made 2009 successful on the Jenkin's Farm.


     
  • 1/22 - Jackson County, Mich.: Farmers need to come to realize that the USDA numbers are correct. I have been in attendance at many seminars/workshops this winter and the one comment that I hear over and over again is, "I can’t believe how good my corn crop was. It was one of my best ever." I know on our farm we had some of our best yields ever! People need to realize that all we hear are the bad reports. All we hear about is the 48lb TW, 10% VT, and $1,500 dockage for a 1,800 bushel load of grain.

    Also we need to realize that its not going to be any better next year. With the millions of acres of wheat that never got planted you have to think that most of that will go to corn, but don't think that wheat prices are going to go up. The only chance that we have is if oil goes up even more and ethanol becomes a more viable option. Most ethanol plants are not running at full capacity at the moment and some are simply sitting idle. According to Dr. Jim Hilker there is a 50% chance that the price will be below $3.68 and a 70% chance that the price will be below  $3.85. You can still make money with $3.50 corn. We plan on planting more corn next year just because on our farm there is still money in it than growing beans. We are roughly 93% corn on corn. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

     
  • 1/22 - McPherson, Kan.: I find the monthly WASDE (World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates) reports interesting.  That was the USDA report released Jan 12.  As with most lengthy reports, one finds what they want to see.  We have the fewest US wheat acres going into 2010 since 1913.  That should have driven prices up, right?  As you already noticed, old and new crop both dropped $.50 instead due to high ending stocks.  Just goes to reinforce the reality that for every trade that occurs on the board, half the people think it is going higher and the other half think it will go lower.  We can not out-guess the markets. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
     
  • 1/22 - Orleans County, N.Y.: The recent discussion regarding market data and price discovery is certainly more intriguing than wet, moldy corn. I have for years wondered why we, as producers of a very important raw material, so willingly share our production data with anyone other than our banker. I discard those surveys and have yet to be incarcerated, although the increasing loss of civil liberties may change that. Keep in mind, there is always someone who will sell for less. If it's not your neighbor across the hedgerow, it is your neighbor across the ocean. We won't be successful playing hardball. The unions tried and lost. There are plenty of producers that end every year in the black by producing a higher than average quality product and selling it above their breakeven. But I digress. Our weather is mild for January and snowpack is light. Perhaps an early spring.


     
  • 1/22 - Eastern Indiana: I read all these blogs about how the markets are messed up and it’s because of the USDA.I agree but the USDA is run buy your government. SIMPLE FIX!!!! When you go to the polls next time don't vote for anyone who has held office before or is in office now. They are the problem and they won't be the cure. The American people have to stop career politicians. And that goes for your official that you may think is doing a good job. LET'S CLEAN HOUSE.

     
  • 1/22 - Lewis, Kan.: I don't really think it matters what condition our crops are in.  One thing is guaranteed, next year, we will raise the second largest crop on record.  Maybe the largest.  No matter what, this is the same old BS the government always puts out to impress the foreign countries.  Why ask all the questions about acres, etc when all they have to do is check the FCS records and get all the information they need.  Why go through all the old question/answer sessions when they don't use the information honestly anyway.  If this isn't the case, why have we been listening to market reports all year that stated if there is ANY, repeat ANY, problems with corn harvest or a weather problem, we will see the markets go through the roof.  We need everything we can grow and then some.  Now we have a few hundred million bushels still in the field (which by the way the GOV calls on-farm-storage) uncut and the whole market (wheat, beans and corn) going south big time.  As far as I'm concerned, I hope we have a real crop crisis.  Let's see what the rest of the world eats!!!

     
  • 1/22 - Kearny County, Kan.: Well we could sure use some moisture! We planted our wheat in marginal moisture. We then received quite a bit of rain here in October and early November. It was a real cool fall. We have good stands, but our wheat really didn't get very big though. Since November we have had our coldest winter here in a long time. We haven't received any snow yet this winter. The wheat really got froze back. Some of the latter planted wheat almost looks like it never came up, but its still there. We had some horrible winds on Christmas day. We had part of one field blow really bad. The neighbor had some big weeds blow across us and got the dirt to blowing. There were several other neighbors lose some wheat also that day. We still have good deep moisture, but the top three to four inches is bone dry. With the freeze and thaw it is like a powder keg waiting to go off. I'm not looking forward to our big spring winds out here if we don't get some moisture. It could get pretty dirty out here. Usually by now people would be getting their fertilizer on for the upcoming corn crop but the ground is still frozen. Some have tried, but have broken shanks and disc blades. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

  • 1/21 - Putnam County, north central Illinois: We still have about 200 acres. We need some snow to melt so we can finish. We were completing a farm last week and a lady stopped me as I was leaving to haul a load of corn to see if we would combine 100 acres of corn for her. She cannot get anyone to finish it because it is about 40% down and will be a slow process. We are going to try it with our down corn reel as soon as the snow is off and we have the rest of ours completed. This has been a difficult year as our corn yields have been coming in at least 20 bu. less than last year and test weights are in low 50s. The good news is the moisture has come down from 29% to what went to town at an average 20.5%.

    Also, our county has given us a grace for hauling on posted roads. This is the first time in almost 30 years of farming in our area that there has been enough corn left to do after January 15th for the county and townships to give this kind of grace for the posted roads.

    Which says there is still a lot of corn out in the field in our area. Some of the landlords we custom farm for are planning to add more beans and cut back on corn. We haven't decided yet on our own ground. It depends on the weather in March on how much tillage we can get done. I told my sons today, as my father told me, it will be better next year. Just so you know, they are both Cubs and Bear fans. So they were skeptical.

  • 1/20 - Reno, Nev.: Reply to the writer from Trempealeau, Wis. (the corn market, we own it, etc.):

    I’m retired. Old. After 55 years, still enjoy following the markets. I agree with you from Trempealeau, the era of free markets is gone (it has been for years; we were in and are still in, denial).

    It is time to use more of the resources available...i.e., the Capper-Volstead cooperative approach. C-V has been used for years, of course. But corn farmers could tweak it a bit and get more benefit. It takes a cooperative mentality (something farmers hate) but it works (not perfectly, but it works).

    What if under C-V corn farmers formed a cooperative that doesn’t sell the crop, but sells information about WHEN to sell the crop? The information is much more pure than USDA, NASS, etc., because part of the deal is members must provide their own statistics to their association…and the statistics are subject to audit.

    This pure data source gives growers the information necessary to sell at their own best time. Too simplistic? It would appear so when compared to the complexities of how we now do it…hedge managers, brokers and market watchers, etc.

    The good news is, one agricultural group, not corn growers, has captured this vision and are using it. They have stabilized their market for the past five years—the first time in 100 years that this has happened!

    The simple premise: bring supply and demand in line with each other (duh) by having pure data on what true supply and true demand really are. This can only be done when such data is controlled by growers, not government agencies whose interests are not at all aligned with the growers' interests.

    Let’s hear more from you, Trempealeau...good stuff.
     
  • 1/20 - Fulton/Miami Counties, north central Indiana: We have been waiting on soil and crop conditions to improve enough to finish 2009 corn. I can't remember when we've been this late. It'll be slow going with 15-20% of the crop down. We'll get it sooner or later. We think we can get it done in a couple of good days or running.

    As we look forward to 2010 our crop mix will not change too much. We will grow slightly more corn in 2010. We finally found out what our premium will be for waxy corn in 2010. It is down from 2009 by $0.45/bushel. According to the company we do waxy with, there is a lot of waxy carryover from the past two years. Some producers will be offered contracts with less acres.
     
  • 1/20 - Glacier County, Mont.: To all of you guys out there that don't believe reports, it is high time we get truthful with the USDA and any private companies taking surveys. You would be amazed at how many bananas and coconuts we grow in Montana, or at least as far as our reporting goes. It is painfully obvious that as farmers we could get all of the information we need from the market, so why do we enable our parasites (i.e., grain and chemical companies) with information to our detriment?

    Why do all of you corn farmers struggle for so long trying to harvest a worthless crop when your insurance policies will surely cover your losses, or are the crops as bad as you are letting on? It seems that the good farmers harvesting poor quality crops to dump on the markets are as responsible for our overabundance as anyone.

    It is also apparent by the crops' prices that we have an abundance of food in the world and don't require any more advances in herbicide resistant varieties or GMO crops that would potentially endanger our current markets. Sorry for the rant.

  • 1/19 - Kalamazoo County, Mich.: The nightmare of 2009 just continues on. Too wet then a really bad drought then too wet in the fall, now taking what we thought was good corn out of the bin, is costing $750 each truckload because of mycotoxins. And we were stupid enough to think that 2009 had finally ended.

     
  • 1/19 - Trempealeau County, Wis.: Sooner or later, when we put  the Mississippi in a culvert so we don't have to turn around at the end of the field, the 10 farmers that are left can form a cartel like OPEC, and decide just how much to charge for our product, ha ha, so ponder this, what if no one sells for less than  $4.00 corn in 2010,  at that point who gives a ----  what USDA says, and we don't have to spend a fortune on puts, calls, longs and shorts or listen to all the bull that  brokers have to pontificate about. To be fair,--- we can sell at profitable levels most years if we use the tools available to us, but we are always selling something that isn't in the bin, on a bet that the sun will shine and rain will fall, of course it always does, but where, and on whom?  I am generalizing a bit, but this market  is ours to control, not the whims of USDA's production numbers, the value of the dollar or commodity and Index funds,  we own the corn, it doesn't matter if it's 48lb or 58lb corn. 

    I am a believer in free markets, but the tail is wagging the dog here, we producers have to  realize  just exactly what we have here , its not any one else’s  to decide, this isn't poker, we hold all the cards. How long will it take for a realization amongst farmers that as independent individuals we are easy to manipulate, and that the rest of the market place knows it, and uses it to their advantage, talk about a bluff! , we hold a royal flush and still lose.

    Will it ever be possible that we farmers could arrive at  a silent consensus of sorts, a knowing among ourselves, not to fall for every whim of the market, and to vote with the deliveries of our grain as to what price we will accept? Sometime we will come to that point, hopefully before their are only 10 of us left.

  • 1/18 - Waupaca County, Wis.: I think USDA has figured out the secret to our big yields, "double cropping corn".  Harvesting corn here on January 16th and again in October should give me at least 300 bu. per acre.

    -- Waupaca County, Wis.
     

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)


     
  • 1/18 - Northwest Illinois: Still harvesting, when weather permits. Almost done. Corn was killed by frost still 25% with test weights of 48 and 49 #'s. Plus, the quality is poor, feeling almost rubbery, even after drying. We weigh all of our corn before it gets dried and stored. Loads that were 1000 bu. of 56# corn, are around 860 at 48#'s. Then, after drying 10 points, shrinks to around 760 bu. I wonder if USDA took this into account in their report. Guys who normally count loads are going into bins will be disappointed with the amount of corn they actually haul out. I agree with the earlier comment about the USDA manipulating the markets to benefit the big players. It's just another corrupt government agency!!

     
  • 1/18 - Mower County, Minn.: The USDA report was tough to swallow.  If other parts of the country were similar to Southern MN in crop quality then I would really have my doubts.  We had a good crop but the test weight was mostly 50-52#.  If 56# is normal then we are 8% below what we could have had.  165 bu/acre X 108% = 178 bu/acre national yield.  Seriously?  With 4 million acres still in the field?  The one bright spot is that livestock producers should get a chance to put some profits on the books, and we need that more than anything right now.

     
  • 1/18 - Monroe County, Ala.: I have long said as farmers we are our own worst enemy.  We take substantial risk and have gained a lifetime of info by trial and error.  I can assure you that I can recall all decisions that have cost me money.  So please don’t take any survey. This information is too valuable to you and is only used by the companies that provide our inputs and marketing to micro manage our profits to just keep us hanging on.  Do you realize how many people and businesses we support indirectly with our production  I have been told the only survey that is mandatory is the USDA statistics survey but I tell them to get any info they need from FSA-aren’t they the same group of people.  Maybe there should be an investigation into those folks that provide those reports from the USDA to see how many are speculating in the market before they release a bearish or bullish report.  I sure would like to have some inside info so I could sell my crop before the market collapsed, wouldn’t you!

     
  • 1/18 - Southwest Kansas: John Deere 9620T with John Deere 1910 and John Deere 2510S   .

 

  • 1/18 - Trempealeau County, Wis.: Close the bin door and wait for 4.00. There is no more corn today than there was before. If the USDA can't get the acres right from June to Nov., what can you believe now. This should be a refined number at this point with all techs that is available and the time frame involved. Yield I can understand with the harvest year from hell, but not the acres, the creditability of these reports needs to be explained in some form as to the process of arriving at these numbers.  With that in mind why do they have such a large effect on the market?

     
  • 1/18 - Central Minnesota: For all that seem to be shocked by the recent USDA report you should not be, and here is why.  A large percentage of their January final production estimate comes directly from farmer surveys, and it seems to be similar to what I have read on this and other sites regarding their 09 production.  I have no way of knowing who is stretching their yield numbers and who are reporting actual numbers.  I would venture a guess that those who have not delivered all their bushels are going to be surprised that their bin cannot hold as many pounds of light corn as it does heavy corn.  For all of you that think the USDA is out to get you, ask yourself how did you, or one of your neighbors fill out one of those surveys?  Did you use actual weights or did you guess.  Around here there has been a slight shift in attitude towards what they actually produced since finishing harvest, and most have come to the realization that the test weight factor reduced their expectations quite substantially.  Since the farmer has been saying all fall they felt they had record production it seems perfectly logical to me that the USDA is more right than wrong.  I would guess that when they re-survey they may find more not less.  I have heard a lot of complaints the last few days and wonder why so many are angry as it seems most of the talk has been this has been their best year ever.  I am not saying I agree with that line of thinking as I have had much better years than this, however you must take into consideration the entire Corn Belt so maybe it is true.  Instead of blaming the USDA look at how they compile their data and who provides it for them.

     
  • 1/18 - Memphis, Tenn.: *Breaking News*  The largest Grain Elevator in Memphis (largest Grain Co. in the world) yesterday, Tuesday January 14, stopped taking Soybeans that had over 5% damage due to delayed harvest.  These Soybeans were being loaded directly to barges then being moved to the Gulf.  No Soybeans were trucked in last week due to temperatures being in the low teens. This week trucks had started moving beans to the elevators on the river, with a steady truck line and about an hour to a 2 hour wait in line all day. Yesterday when they stopped taking Soybeans over 5% damage you could drive straight onto to pit, IF you had GOOD Soybeans!!!!!

  • 1/15 - Northwest Missouri: Finally thawing out here after sub-zero weather & a huge dumping of snow. Afraid the wheat didn't fair well.

    Reading the entries, I agree with: 1/14 - East Central Illinois: I would like to see USDA put out reports on seed  and fertilizer quantities and availability so we could buy our inputs half price or below the cost of production like the buyers of our grain!

    USDA hurts us with all their reports & now they are going to resurvey some states. I say don't give them any ammunition. If the survey is voluntary I don't respond.
     

  • 1/14 - Vernon, Texas: “It has been very cold here the last week. Temps have dipped into the teens and single digits at night. It had been hard on the smaller wheat. Nearly all of the snow is melted except in the ditches. The wheat has shut down because of the cold and the cows are getting ahead of it in some spots." (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

    -- Vernon, Texas
     

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)

     
  • 1/14 - East Central Illinois: I would like to see USDA put out reports on seed  and fertilizer quantities and availability so we could buy our inputs half price or below the cost of production like the buyers of our grain!

     
  • 1/14 - Wilbur, Wash.: We are having a very mild winter this year.  The cold air seems to be east of us 200-300 miles.  It was 50F here today!  With 12 inches of frost there is quite a bit of water running down the creek.  No ditches in this area, but some areas around did get some ditch cutting before Christmas.  No cover on the winter wheat has us nervous too! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com) 

     
  • 1/14 - Manitoba, Canada: To the farmer in Lafayette County, Iowa: I have asked the same question as you have We know there is very little #56 lb. corn if any from the  Canadian border till you get to the S. Dakota Nebraska border. That covers a large area and a lot of bushels.  Most of it is 50 to 52 lbs. with mold.  Most of the corn in Manitoba was destroyed because of mold. It makes a big difference in yield if you go from 56lb.corn down to 50.  I think you are exactly right.  The biggest manipulators in the markets are USDA and our version statistics Canada. They will do whatever necessary to manipulate the markets.  What I do when they call is to refuse to answer there questions statistics.

     
  • 1/14 - Mayfield, Kan.: Right now we have some wheat that looks pretty good, but about half of are acres don't, because we where not able to plant it do to wet conditions on time. We had to let some acres out, never could get planted. I am afraid that the little wheat may not make it do to very cold conditions and no cover on it. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

  • 1/13 - Stanislaus County, Central California: We are still harvesting corn due to heavy Oct. rains and extreme winds. Standing corn was knocked completely flat on the ground. We were force to purchase a lodged corn kit so we could pick it up off the ground. The corn is still yielding aprox 235 bu per acre running 21.5% moist, with very few dryers in California drying fees are extremely high. We are on our last 60ac left out of 1600 trying to harvest in between the winter rains.


    -- Stanislaus County, Central California
     

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)



  • 1/13 - Fayette County, Iowa: Does anyone believe in USDA’s crop report?? All I have heard on this site, is large yields, but low test weight and poor quality. For every 1000 bushels @ 56# when you shrink it to 54# you end up with 964 bu. So using very simple math, for every 1000 bu you loose 35.7. So when you enter a billion bushels, you loose nearly a million bushels. We all know of lots of acres still in the field, and we all know there will be losses. This just seems like a way for USDA to manipulate the free markets. I welcome other comments ect.
     

  • 1/12 - Norman County, Minn.: This is Sather Farms in Gary MN (Norman county) these pics are of the farm and hauling corn a couple days after Christmas. We still have the same amount of snow.

    -- Norman County, Minn.
     

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)


  • 1/11 - Southeast North Dakota: The second winter storm of the season combined with brutally low temps, even daytime highs at 10-12 degrees below zero have stressed both livestock and wildlife. Lots of deer and pheasants have moved into the yard. Finished corn Dec. 23rd. Very low test weights at 49 lb/bu, moisture was down to 22%, had been 27% at Thanksgiving. The last 6 weeks have been unusually cold we could really use a warm up. Best of luck to all in the New Year.

     
  • 1/11 - Mercer County, Northwest Illinois: Picked corn Jan. 4h, 5th, and 6th before more snow came in (7 inches). With temps well below zero it was a real struggle! Spent a lot of time changing fuel filters on trucks and combines. In three days of work, only had both machine running at the same time for a day and a half. Just get one running and the other would gel up, even with blended fuel and 911 additives. Then, truck brakes started freezing!

    Too cold to dry corn. Can’t get plentum temps high enough to be efficient and intake fans were icing up. Thank God local elevator is very cooperative, even staying open late for us.

    Down to about 350 acres left. That's about 4 days at his rate. Corn is still standing and yielding well, with moisture around 19%. Still see a lot of fields standing in this area. Misery loves company! With higher temps forecast for the week, hope to fire back up on the 11th or 12th. 
     
  • 1/11 - Shelby County, Ill.: I began harvesting my 152 acres of corn on Nov 30, but have only been able to get in when the ground was frozen!  We had a heavy wind storm that evening and all north/ south rows suffered major stalk lodging.  Midway through harvest we got another 2 to 4 inches of rain, then a wet snow followed by freeze-up. My remaining 80 still has 36 acres left, twisted, full of snow and frozen to the ground. 2009 harvest continues into 2010 as I wait for the snow to leave.

  • 1/8 - Central Illinois: Pam Smith, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor: See a corn field still standing in the snow in central Illinois


     
  • 1/8 - South Alabama: We need help stopping wildlife damage to crops. WE could use any comments that you might have. What are your state laws?

     
  • 1/8 - Watonwan County, Minn.: We must be close to 4 feet of snow since it started in Dec. Just keeps coming! Few days after Christmas why shed roofs started to make the news as they were collapsing under the weight of the snow.  I cleaned mine off as the pic shows, shed is 80 ft long and it was up to 3 ft deep most of the way across! Enjoy the rest of winter guys! :-)

    -- Watonwan County, Minn.
     

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)



     
  • 1/8 - East Central Illinois: 15 degrees and dropping with 8 inches of powdery snow on Thursday Jan. 7th after a week of below 0 to mid teens. With strong winds predicted. Just north of rt. 133 you see field after field of corn all the way up past Urbana. It’s a tangled up mess and some fairly flat. It is going to be a tough spring planting season for a lot of these farmers.  Fields where soaked and have standing water before they froze. I have been told you see fields of corn unharvested around Bloomington and around Danville. Lets hope for a better 2010.

     
  • 1/8 - Ingham County, Mich.: To all you farmers getting protein discounts for wheat price of 1.00 dollar And dockage for sprouts above 1.00 think about burning your wheat.  I burn wheat in my corn stove...it don't dock me...keeps me warm at 1 bushel per day. Try finding a fossil fuel that does that? By the way it burns better than corn. Hotter, dryer, cleaner. Good luck. Save some bucks and burn wheat…get meaner. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com) 

  • 1/7 - Morrisburg, Ontario, Dundas County, south of Ottawa: First day of corn harvest was a bit of a bumpy one. Burnt the slip clutch on the grain cart and the corn is well over 30% moisture. What fun. (Video courtesy of Cedar Lodge Farms)

  • 1/6 - Morrisburg, Ontario, Dundas County, south of Ottawa: Case IH 9250 pulling a heavily modified 2810 8 furrow plow. (Video courtesy of Cedar Lodge Farms)


     
  • 1/6 - Texas: A big chill came to Texas, stalling winter forage growth and stressing cattle and plant life, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel. For the most part, the cold has not been too hard on livestock as long as they've got shelter and hay, but the up-and-down temperatures have been hurting them. Much of the cold has been accompanied by moisture, either as rain or snow. The moisture has generally been good for wheat and small grains already planted, but bad for those producers who were late getting small grains planted, according to reports from AgriLife Extension offices throughout the state.

    Wet, cold weather has required increased feeding of hay and supplements to livestock. (Texas AgriLife Research photo by Dr. Gerald Evers)
     

    (Have any photos of the crops on your farm? Send them to AgWeb and have them posted on Crop Comments! Be sure to include a caption.)


  • 1/5 - Wilbur, Wash.: I raise soft white winter and spring wheats on 1700 acres, using a minimum-till/summerfallow rotation. Our crops look very promising right now with good soil moisture, and very full stands last fall. Not much snow has fallen and stayed in the area this year, and the ground has about 10"-12" of frost in it.  We expect to lose the winter moisture because of the frost. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

     
  • 1/5 - Lancaster County, Pa.: No fall tillage was done and plan on a similar crop mix this growing season. 25% small grain for silage double cropped to corn and soybeans. 25% full season beans and 50% full season corn. 20% of corn crop is harvested as silage and 20% can be harvested as high moisture corn for a sealed silo. Balance of grains are dried and stored on farm. Happy New Year!!!

     
  • 1/5 - Northwest Alabama: It is wet and has been wet since Labor Day.  Guess it will stop raining just in time to begin next year's drought.

     
  • 1/5 - Manitoba, Canada: To the producer in Indiana: We know this is a problem everywhere.  We have been allowed to destroy 70% of our corn by our crop insurance because of mold. We know this is a problem as well in N. Dakota, Minn. and S. Dakota but nobody seems to want to admit it there.  Our hog producers have been told to be careful of U.S. corn by our Vets and our nutritionists and have switched to wheat and barley when ever possible.

     
  • 1/5 - Western Walsh county, northeast North Dakota: For the coming year, my son and I are discussing the pros and cons of which wheat varieties we should be planning on.  Stick with the short height, high protein, higher management (fungicide twice) and give up a little yield? or go with the super high yields that might not stand as well, and have somewhat lower protein?  Or plant some of each?  In 2009 most of the hard red spring wheats had protein levels from 11.5%, up to a rare 14%.  As a result, we are facing $1.50/ bu. discount for wheat in the 12% range (which a great many farmers have in their bins).   We are leaning toward varieties with the best protein levels. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com) 

     
  • 1/5 - Bremer County, Iowa: Well 09 is in the books, and I would say that is a good place for it.  09 brought with it high inputs, and great uncertainty. Wet and cold spring followed by a cool summer, and finally a late wet fall.  I’m sure there are others that are bidding 09 good riddens!!!!

    Just bought inputs for 2010, and I have a feeling there will be some surprises. Nitrogen came down, and so did chemicals, however seed did not, and dry fertilizer remain high.  My inputs with dry fertilizer back in the mix, equal what my inputs last year were with out the fertilizer.

    2010 is off to a costly start.  Let’s hope for some marketing opportunities for us all.  Jan is proving to be tough on the livestock, it’s a blessing every morning that the water’s are working properly. Good luck to all.

     
  • 1/5 - Geary County, Kan.: Our wheat was planted late, last of Oct.-second week of Nov. It’s very small and we've had lots single digit temps. The snow would have helped if it would have stayed on the field and not in the road. It doesn't look too good for a big harvest now, but you do have to kill wheat five or six times for to be very good so we'll see. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)

  • 1/4 - Lancaster County, Pa.: Finished as of yesterday 12/30/2009!!! Not exactly bragging rights, but finished none the less. Successfully finished corn harvest just before a 14+" snow before Christmas. This past weekend's slow rain and 45 degree temperatures melted the snow and after 2 days of windy conditions, yesterday was as good as it was going to get to finish the last 25 acres of soybeans. 15.5% moisture...We have another 2-3 inches of snow already this morning. We have delivered a 50 bushel per acre yield to the market and the bin still has several truck loads yet to deliver. Final yield should exceed 55 bpa, but probably will come just short of 60 bpa. Soybeans were about 55/45% full season and double crop after small grain. Average price per bushel is just over $9.80 so far.

    Corn in the Penn State variety test plot averaged 208 bpa at 17% over all varieties tested. Range was 188 - 237. That yield was accomplished with residual fertility and 2 ton per acre of broiler litter before no-till planting. That is the second time I have accomplished an independently documented 200 bpa in corn with no commercial fertilizer. Different farm, different year the other time however.

    Have locked in and paid for nitrogen fertilizer and seed. At least 25% lower than current year. Basis on corn however is lower than previous years trend at only 20+ - 30+ cents....too much corn still in the field looking for an empty bin.... We can run 40+ - 70+ cents to Chicago.... we can however actually forward price both 2010 corn and beans with our local elevator and defend with a call option if we desire. 

    Happy New Year!!!.

     
  • 1/4 - Hancock, Ind.: Corn is getting rejected for high levels of Vomotoxins at our local elevators. What are we supposed to do with the corn?  Is anyone else having this problem?  We are going to have big losses if we can't sell our corn.
     
Where can you find the latest wheat production news? It is just a click away at AgWeb’s www.VirtualWheatTour.com.


  
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