March Crop Comments
Mar 31, 2014
Use this link to send us your comments (or e-mail CropComments@agweb.com) 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:
- 3/31 - Sargent County, N.D.: Out like a lion, that’s how March left us. Blizzard conditions will set spring planting back at least another week. Yuck. More snow to shovel in the morning. Frost was out a few inches. 40-50 mph winds has piled the snow up and that makes such a mess. No early start expected here so less wheat is the most likely result. Good luck to those with newborn calves. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/31 - Adams County, Neb.: In south central Nebraska, the drought of 2014, makes the drought of 2012 look like a boyscout picnic.
- 3/31 - Western Walsh County, N.D.: We still had snow drifts in the tree rows and farm yards, with some patches left on the fields after a couple days of melting. But today is an old fashioned blizzard with up to a possible 15 inches of snow. Our bigger equipment that has to sit outside is still frozen into snow drifts. Certainly doesn't feel or look like spring yet.
- 3/31 - Stearns, Minn.: 2012 was our earlist planting and our best crops. Last year was our latest plantings and one of our worst crops. This year is colder and wetter than last year. Makes me feel a bit negative. On the bright side, I sold Holstein steers for $1.43 live weight last week!
- 3/31 - Lancaster County, Neb.: Dry, dry, dry, windy, windy, windy, and mostly cold, cold, cold, with a warm day now and then. Nh3 going on and saw the coop spraying on some pre Everything very brown and fires have been a problem, hasn't been this windy in a lot of years sometimes we have corn planters running by the 4 or 5th that will not be the case this year. Lay in some tile for terraces and some moisture there but not very much will need significant rains to replenish subsoil moisture. Corn and bean basis firming, heard that ethanol plant margins are very good.
- 3/31 - Montana: Pretty disappointed. I'm sure much more crops are grown in Montana and Wyoming than in New York and Pennsylvania...probably Louisiana and Mississippi too. But don't bother to mention us or take us into account to help us out. I'll happily avoid further publication from you. Thanks for nothing
- 3/28 - East Central Missouri: Lots of field work done around here, NEMO, & WCIL. We did get .5 inch rain finally 3/27. Last rain event over an inch was August 10, 2013! That drought monitor map ain't lying.
- 3/28 - Lancaster County, Penn.: Hauling manure last evening and was still hauling on partially frozen ground. 3 years ago rye was being put into the silo on the same date at an adjoinging dairy farm.
- 3/28 - Custer, Neb.: Not much field work done here. Pivot tracks are filled. Some ends are disked down ready for the strip till machine. Our equipment is ready...waiting for the weather to straighten out. On the cattle side, we are over half done calving. We have had really good luck with minimal death loss. From what I hear in this area, everyone is similar. I think the high calf prices are encouraging people to do there best.
- 3/28 - Gage County, Neb.: 2 years ago we had already mowed our lawn. This year nothing is very green yet including the wheat. I don't think it will do anything until we get some rain. very dry here, even the henbit and chickweed are slow to green up. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/27 - Trempealeau County, Wis.: I have been reading all these comments from analyst about early planting and early planting dates are coming up quick and late planting. The only date that is important is the optimum planting date for the area that you live and farm in and only after that date happens should we even start talking about late planting. Just look back to 2012 when we had the earliest planting ever how good did that that worked out for everyone that planted early.
- 3/27 - Winnebago County, Iowa: Low of 8 Sunday morning, still big drifts in groves and along tree lines. Reports of Frost 5 and 6 foot deep with frozen water lines and this morning it is snowing and 19. I think we maybe hit 50 once so far in March otherwise highs of 33-35 and lows in the teens. The NWS is predicting below normal temps for the next 90 days. Does not look good for timely corn planting in 3 to 4 weeks. I know weather can change fast, but this below normal trend has been persistent and we need it to change soon if we’re going to have a timely planting season.
- 3/27 - Buffalo County, Neb.: Another very windy, dusty day here in central NE. It's been awhile since we had such a windy year. There are 40mph gusts on a regular basis this year. There is moisture below the surface of the ground, but the top 2" are bone dry and move which ever way the wind happens to be blowing. The temps have been very erratic as well. I am still waiting to see if my wheat has survived the winter. We have a couple of warm days that try to make it green up, followed by several frigid ones that burn it back. It appears that we will have another "interesting" year. Good luck to all. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/26 - Just South of I-70, Ill.: Been a winter for the record. I have been out near every day walking the fields this winter. The soil is drier than any year I can remember in 20 here. The frost has broke up a lot of surface compaction. If average rain, should get in two weeks earlier than normal about April 15. According to my diary, the soil condition most reminds me of the years 1992,1994,1997,2000,2001 all good years and fast plant. So here we go another year.
- 3/26 - Falls Co. Texas: Corn planted and starting to emerge. Very cold winter and early spring so far. Very dry here with winter wheat jointing and cracks in the fields. Some freeze damage to wheat on 3/18 because of 17 degrees and ice from freezing rain. Hope you guys in the corn belt will keep the corn acres reasonable. We are in a corn/cotton/wheat rotation for years so let's all do what we can to keep the corn price up. We have tried to grow beans here but can only make 20-25 bu in a good year. Too hot!!! (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/25 - College Station, Texas: Though it may seem like a return of Dust Bowl days to some Texas High Plains farmers and ranchers, we’re not there yet —at least not quite, according to Dr. John Neilsen-Gammon, state climatologist, College Station. However, this week’s reports from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service county agents do give evidence of some very difficult working conditions for producers in the Panhandle, South Plains and Rolling Plains regions. Mark Brown, AgriLife Extension agent for Lubbock County, reported only a trace of moisture for March with sustained high winds and gusts of 58 mph on March 18 accompanied by blowing dust.
- 3/24 - Central, Neb.: Well, a few guys trying to fertilize. But our cold nights are putting in serious frost. It has been a long winter here. Just cold and dry. Talked to relatives out in western Neb., and they think this wheat crop is gone. I don't believe out here the ethanol plants are having problems getting rid of ethanol. They are all grinding over 100% and the rail cars come and go. Lots of corn has gone to town. Don't think the crop was as big as the trade wants us to think it was. Lots of guys here are finding out your corn yields aren't that great when it's continuous corn on corn. It's this thing called root worms. And it's becoming a serious problem. Last but not least. I agree with the man from Michigan. I'd like to see a list of farmers names who are letting the usda into their fields. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/24 - Bay County, Mich.: Snow melting slowly here with water all over the fields. The most water I have seen on fields in 40 years. Ditches starting to open up so water should start going down soon. Some wheat fields 1/3 covered with ice and water. Temps to be in 50's by weekend. Hope snow is gone by next week!Sugar beet and corn planting will be the end of April 1st of May.This is like years ago on a normal year.We have been spoiled the past 10 years.Hope you all have a safe year. Plant your normal crop rotations one crop will make you money and the rest will or break even as I see it. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/23 - Western Wis.: "Freeborn County" One question then did your neighbor plow it up for row crop or put it into hay, pasture or sorghum? I'm sure if he was into soil conservation and it was marginal ground he didn't go after the big cash rent crops and seeded it down right?
- 3/23 - Adams County, Neb.: 2014 crop mix few more beans, a little less corn, no major shift
- 3/23 - Somerset County, Pa.: 50% corn 40%beans 10% oats
- 3/22 - Polk County, Iowa: Frost out of the top 8 inches where the ground is bare, not so much where the ground is covered. Need those spring rains badly as the ground is very dry. With below freezing temps expected for the next 4-5 days, it looks like we'll easily be 3-4 weeks later than average, getting into the field.
- 3/22 - Newfolden, Minn.: 8:00 this mourning had a blizzard yesterday not much snow but wild wind white out conditions. getting ready for calving season. can't haul any grain, elevators are full no rail cars, bases level's out the window, cash grain is lower now than 3 weeks ago even with the increase in futures. hoping for some warm weather.
- 3/22 - East Carroll Parish, La.: Corn was planted quickly last week during a 48 hour window. Planters ran til after midnight. Still a lot left to plant. Cold fronts show up every 5-7 days with rain, and cold winds following. At least the crappie are biting, and the gobblers are gobbling.
- 3/22 - Walsh County, N.D.: About 70% of the snow has melted out of the fields, but tree rows and farm yards are still holding huge snow banks. Tomorrow morning temps will be 5 below zero. Spring seems like a long way off, but as we all know, it can change quickly.
- 3/22 - Lac Qui Parle, Minn.: 9 degrees this morning. pretty cold for the 2nd day of spring. Really dry here. Need some rain this spring.
- 3/21 - Central Indiana: Snow all gone except a little in a few ditch banks but we still have frozen water lines. It's interesting to hear the experts on "AgDay" talk about how big the carryover is going to be when we get done harvesting the crops this fall! Now there is no doubt that we do grow better crops today with all the new technology in the seed and all the high tech equipment that we are using but this whole crop is still in the Lord's hands. I know that west of the Mississippi River the land is very dry and that area is a huge crop area so unless the Lord decides to bless those farmers with much needed moisture we all know that the experts will be out to lunch just like they usually are and to think that farmers subscribe to there advise is unreal to me. Only in a perfect world will that even be possible this year in my opinion and guess what I have an opinion just like the experts do. Good luck to everybody in this 2014 growing season and please stay safe on the farm.
- 3/21 - Chouteau County, Mont.: According to FAPRI, wheat prices will average in the $5 range for the next 10 years. Seems like a good time to retire. Dont think I would encourage my son or daughter to raise wheat at so called "break-even prices," either. Maybe seed everything to grass and buy cattle. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/21 - Western Wis.: "Freeborn County" One question then did your neighbor plow it up for row crop or put it into hay, pasture or sorghum? I'm sure if he was into soil conservation and it was marginal ground he didn't go after the big cash rent crops and seeded it down right?
- 3/21 - Berrien County, Mich.: As our margins tighten the experts tell us were we should cut expenses, what about the U.S. government? They just borrow more. They could cut trillions if they needed to. Input suppliers could take a little burden also. It will be a late spring here could be may before any corn goes in the ground.
- 3/20 - Stearns County, Minn.: 15-20" snow on the ground yet and huge snowbanks. Supposed to be below zero again this weekend. This is looking just like last year and the crop was a dud last year but crop insurance saved me. At least getting some stuff finally hauled.
- 3/20 - Morrison, Minn.: 10" new snow, over 2' on the ground
- 3/20 - Cheyenne County, Neb.: Drove to Dodge City, KS over the weekend. Wheat mostly out of dormancy. Windshield survey on 2 routes down and back. Lots of corn in open piles at more than a few elevators. Wheat mostly looked pretty good.
- 3/20 - Stanislaus County, Calif.: Very dry here. No planting corn in rain moisture pre-irrigating with limited water resources. Irrigating oats and wheat. Starting to chop. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/19 - Freeborn County, Minn.: In respond to the comments from Buffalo County Nebraska: We only have the polititions for this. On a farm that we have rented for years with CRP in the mix had to pull out at the end of contract since it did not meet the new rules. The owner was not happy.
- 3/18 - Sumner, Kan.: Got 1/2" rain then winds blew, no fields lost any soil but it has been on some late wheat. Some wheat looks good and some not too good. You farmers with all that fancy tech stuff on your combines that know all, well USDA will know your bushels before you get it to town, another big brother watching.
- 3/18 – Henry, Ohio: 10 degrees here this morning. Wheat still partially covered with ice and snow. Saw two fields being top-dressed. Not sure why. No warm weather forecasted soon. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/17 - Dallas County, Iowa: Days of 50 degree temps and bright sun has melted the snow drifts and everyone is feeling relieved. But other than raising pond water levels, very little has been done for our "drought" conditions. After the ice went off the creeks and rivers water levels reverted back to mid-summer levels. The top 24 inches of the ground may have moisture, but it's dry below that. We are going to need steady, slow and consistent rains to replenish soil moistures around here.
- 3/16 - Dallas County, Iowa: Snow is gone except for a few ditches. More on the way tonight they say. I wish the seed companies would be banned from giving out seed sales to the USDA. I've been told that's how they get their acres to be planted. May be wrong. But have you ever been surveyed in the winter? Or, it could be a guess and they talk with the funds to get their ideas.
- 3/15 - Buffalo County, Neb.: I'm with "Western Wisconsin." Pasture land around here continues to be torn up an converted to crop land. I wonder where those people think the animals that eat the corn and gluten are going to come from? The government has made crop insurance way too lucrative and easy to obtain. And WHEN, not if, we need another "soil bank, CRP" those tools will be the first ones in line with their hands out for aid. We are our own worst enemies. Just my 2 cents.
- 3/14 - Dickinson County, Kan.: Wheat in our area trying to break dormancy, but there is more winterkill in this area than I have seen in the last 30 years. Winterkill seems to be more prevelant in some of the Clearfield varieties, but it is not confined to them. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/14 - Charlevoix, Mich.: Two days above freezing, then back below zero for lows.
Water line to barn froze three weeks ago, drain field line froze this week. First time ever. Two to three feet of snow in the fields. It's going to be a late spring.
- 3/14 - East central Iowa: Was able to scrape yards down to the cement for the first time since the middle of December. The warmest we have been so far is 50F. Still have a little bit of snow in the fields and a fair amount in the road banks. I still think guys around here will plant more corn depending on how the spring plays out. There was virtually no field work done or fertilizer applied the last fall. A lot of corn and beans are going to town. Hearing of a few bins going out of condition. Ready for 80F!
- 3/13 - Douglas County, Kan.: We are not changing our normal rotation, which is some wheat (depending what we can get planted in fall) then all the rest divided between corn and beans as close to ½ and ½ as possible, right or wrong no one knows. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/12 - Fillmore County, Neb.: Don't you think it's funny that everything seems to be going along just fine. Exports are going well, ethanol plants are making money, feeders are making money, grain prices are on the rise. Then all of a sudden out of nowhere China's economy is slipping, another famous USDA report (or lack there of as always), China plays the "maybe we'll cancel or maybe we won't or maybe we'll cancel this week and buy back twice as much next week on the break that we created with the dumb Americans." How many times are we going to play this game?
- 3/12 - Southeast Minnesota: Two years ago seeding oats and alfalfa here. Today, not this year. Blowing snow to haul manure instead though.
- 3/11 - McLeod County, Minn.: To the comment from Steuben Co N.Y, I also remember the so called "experts" saying sell all your beans because China's going to cancel beans because of SA record crop that's coming. Were a week into March and have seen very little in the way of cancellations and now SA crop isn't so big after all and now that most of the beans are out of the farmers hands beans have been going up. What a surprise.It's been laughable or should I say flat out embarrassing how wrong they've been. The truth is they don't know anymore about what's going to happen than we do and if they did they wouldn't tell us any way. They want you to think they do so you call them up, buy their newsletter and get you to do some trading with them so they can make a extra buck off you at the casino. To the comment from Barron Co Wis, it's beyond me to why farmers would tell the usda anything, all they do is use it against us and if they don't like the info they get they just make something up to keep the markets in check.
- 3/11 - Saskatoon, Canada: Spring melt has begun, 20 degrees Fahrenheit in the daylight, frost 8’ to 12’ deep in the soil. Won’t be in field until May. Acres are not decided yet, big crop in 2013 is still on farmyard or stuck in elevators.
- 3/11 - Todd County, Minn.: Corn left in the field last fall was 25% moisture with a test weight of 51. March 10 moisture 15.5 with a test weight of 54. I guess the cold was good for something.
- 3/10 - Emmons County, N.D.: Some corn left to harvest, some were combining last week, sounds like it is still very wet. Some reports that water lines buried 8 feet are froze. The temps have warmed to 55.
- 3/10 - Billings, Mont.: Wet/cold weird weather this winter, 50 degrees one day, 20 below the next! The cattle are really going through the feed just to maintain. The corrals are a complete mess, way to wet here. I am sure the daily gain is shot this last month! People don't think we may have less cattle on hand in USA, but it has been way colder than normal this winter across whole cattle feeding states and that takes a lot more corn use than with a mild winter to feed cattle/hogs/chickens/turkeys, etc ... you still think we will have a surplus of corn everywhere? Just what I think! Last 5 years at this time we have started planting barley and done by March 15th but will be lucky to start by April 15th this year, but the moisture is welcomed!
- 3/10 - Yolo County, Calif.: Started out dry dry. Had to start irrigation about halfway though second irrigation and got some good rain crop looks very good.
- 3/6 - Fayette County, Texas: March 1st, 70degrees, planted corn. March 3rd ice on the ground March 7th maybe plant some more.
- 3/6 - Franklin County, Ind.: Still waiting for the soil to thaw.
- 3/6 - Steuben County, N.Y.: Was out in my corn field. 1 foot of ice, not snow over it. Looks like a big storm next week will bury it under more. Has anyone else noticed the corn price? For having such a huge carryover how do you explain it being up 2% today again and near $5? Seems I remember "experts" saying sell at $4 before it goes to $3. Am I the only one who does not think there is much out there?
- 3/6 - Pieres, Argentina: Harvesting sunflower crop. 3 ton/ha. Will soon be starting beans and corn. Summer weather has been fair, yields should be at or above average.
- 3/6 - Barron County, Wis.: Why would anyone tell usda how many acres they are going to plant and what they're going to plant so they can manipulate the price!!!
- 3/6 - Parana, Brazil: Many agencies are predicting a soybean crop in Brazil around 87 mi tons, from the initial estimate of 91 mi tons. But according to official figures estimated by agriculture agencies from different states, the crop will be much lower. And I am talking only about official numbers.
The department of agriculture of Paraná announced a lost of 2.1 mi tons, and said this is not final. They did not measured the loss of weight on the grains, only the loss of pods per square meter. The department of agriculture of Rio Grande do Sul announced a lot of 2 mi tons due to the extreme heat a drought. The department of agriculture of Goias announced a loss of 1.3 mi tons. The department of agriculture of Mato Grosso do Sul estimate a loss of 1 mi ton.Only there the size of the loss is 6,4 mi tons. And I did not count the losses in Mato Grosso (too much rain in the harvest time), Bahia (severe drought for 30 days), Minas Gerais (30% losses), São Paulo (drought), Piauí and Tocantins.
For the Brazilian farmers and traders it is certain we will not reach the amount of 80 mi tons. We had the most devastating drought and heat wave on the record, and right at the time the pods were being filled. Farmers are selling only the necessary to buy groceries because we know sooner or later the truth will have to come up. There won't be enough beans for everybody.
It's going to be a wild time until the U.S. harvest.
- 3/4 - Berrien County, Mich: 20 degs below normal 90 day forecast below normal could be a cold planting season here. Think maybe that will get us to 5.00 corn it seems as if the 2013 crop wasn't as big as thought.
- 3/4 - Western Wisconsin: Just so everyone knows if we plant more then 91m ac of corn and 78 of beans and don't put some of these ac back into pasture or hay act. We only have ourselves to blame for no profit and low prices unless mother nature bails us out again!
- 3/4 - Stearns County, Minn.: Planting 50% Corn, 35% soybeans, and 10% small grains.
- 3/3 - Norman County, Minn.: Too cold. Corn prices are too low. Just soybeans and wheat this year. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/2 - Palo Alto County, Iowa: It's looking like another late spring for us. Neighbors 4 foot deep waterlines are frozen and reports of frost as deep as 6 foot according to local well company who have been swamped with service calls of frozen lines. Combine that with forecasts of below normal temps for April and first part of May it's not looking good.
- 3/2 - Southeast Indiana: Another Sunday of ice/snow and church cancellations. While spring could arrive quickly, its hard to imagine anything but that this will be a late planting season. Thus crop mix will be a last minute decision on 35% of our acres.
- 3/1 - Western Wisconsin: We are going back to a more normal ratio of 60/40 corn to beans last year and 2012 it was 80/20. We are also seeding down 100ac back into hay ground for selling cash hay that was marginal ground. If farmers like myself included want to enjoy profitable farming we all need to switch a few acres out of corn/soybeans or we can all just look in the mirror to blame the people that flooded the market with product. If we plant 91 million ac. of corn and 78m of beans we will all make money, plant 95m and 81m we will all suffer unless a drought saves us again. Just my 2 cents.
- 3/1 - Buffalo County, Neb.: Extremely cold with little snow forecast for this weekend. The wheat has no snow cover again, I wonder how it will look when it finally warms enough to start to green up? If it winter kills, I will plant the field to corn, and switch a previously planned field to beans from corn. I will plant about a 50/50 rotation. We continue to be dry. Not sure how that will translate when it comes to pasture utilization this season. Good luck to all. (Read more wheat-related comments at AgWeb's www.VirtualWheatTour.com)
- 3/1 - McLeod County, Minn.: 428,000 bean contracts traded 2/27/14. That's 2.14 billion bushels or roughly two thirds of our entire crop traded in one day? We supposedly only have 150 million bushels on hand. Anybody believe now that the funds are making the market and are in control? After all isn't it all about money flow? If you want to know where prices are headed ask the funds.