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February 2009 Archive for Crop Comments

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

February Crop Comments

Feb 27, 2009
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.

What's happening in your fields? Has bad winter hit your area? What were your best yields? Have you planend your crop mix for next year? Send us your photos and video!

Editor's Note: Some comments submitted to AgWeb Crop Comments are appearing in the Sound Off blog.

Here's a sampling of what some folks are saying:

  • 2/27 - Northwest Iowa, Cherokee County: We have been in a 70% corn 30% bean rotation in the few past years, but we are going back to 50-50 rotation due to the high fertilizer prices & low corn prices. Fertilizer prices in this area have NOT dropped any ( NH3 still $ 950 a ton), I have been checking with 5 different suppliers, one told me that there was one supplier he heard had dropped prices for about a day until the major ag bank that finances all major suppliers stepped in and threatened them. Doesn't sound like free trade is working.  If anyone knows where we can buy NH3 or 28% at a reasonable price in Northwest Iowa please let me know.    Going without P&K this year the way it looks as for now. I highly doubt they are going to get the 86 million acres of corn they are predicting this year.

    Land: Rent in our area is all over the place, most cash rents on average ground is $140 - $220 for 2009, BUT we have had a few greedy Land Hogs that took ground away from long time tenants last fall at rent MUCH above the high.  I heard some of those fellows are now trying to renegotiate their rents, I hope the Landlords don't negotiate & make them pay that ridiculous rent, most of us will enjoy going to their farm sales next year and NOT bidding on any of there fancy equipment.

    With all the high inputs & low grain prices I truly believe there will be tough times ahead, with a NEW Farm Crisis if things don't change shortly.                  

  • 2/27 - Northeast Iowa, Fayette County: I always kind of take with a grain of salt when someone says we all had a chance to sell multiple years of crops for those high 2008 prices. Some things to temper that thinking are folks that rent land may not know from year to year how much they'll have next year, especially with land hogs out there that prefer to refer to  themselves as "aggressive" or "progressive" instead of just "greedy". Also, no one knew when prices started to rise if exploding inputs would level off or if more was needed by way of continued crop price increases. And when it just kept raining and crops looked sick, it's hard to sell something you don't have or don't think that you will have. The input costs we have now aren't true, but rather reflect what retailers booked and paid for. So you can either pay up or take a chance and cut back or skip a year if you think you can get by.

    The USDA Outlook Forum is the biggest farce so far this year, they have no clue how acreage will turn out, it's just a guess for the end users benefit. Also, when they project imports and exports, could they do anymore damage ??? I don't suggest that USDA should lie, they already do that. But sometimes, no news is good news, if you can't say something positive, try not saying anything at all. Keep the faith, I think things will get better a whole lot faster than we think.

  • 2/26 - Fayette County, Iowa: I have to agree with the gentlemen from Illinois.  We all had the opportunity to sell at very high prices. However, given the current circumstances, I don’t think they are in touch with the rest of the world.

    Our commodity prices rose and rose, all the analysts said we’ve reached a new plateau.  It can’t go down from here. Now those same analysts are saying boy, if you get the chance to sell $4 corn and $10 beans, you better jump. I have trouble listening to them all, because they change their tune, just like the markets.

    Machinery and cars, and trucks have not dropped in price by 50%. What farming is seeing is a depression, not a recession.  Our goods are now worth less than what they cost us to grow them.

    Hopefully, the 2010 year, inputs, will be more in line with prices, and we can squeeze out a profit, but we all have to hang on thru this year. It may not be fair, but we’ve all been in this business long enough to know, farming is not fair.


  • 2/26 - Lynn County,Texas: Dry land wheat going fast with these 80 degree temps.  Irrigated wheat still looks good, but will take a lot of water to make that breakeven yield.  Seems that President Obama has gotten worked up about direct payments.  Must be a direct payment bug going around.  They are spending $35 billion a day to bail out America and our $20 billion a year in farm program safety net has given them a fever.  The direct payments are the rural American bail out.  Those payments are turned over 7 times in our communities.  Those payments are coming with more and more strings and we could get tangled up and choke.



  • 2/25 - Illinois/Wisconsin border: If the CBOT ever vanished, we would all be in serious trouble.  How else would you be able to offset your risk?  That’s the job of the futures allow me to put off my risk onto someone else (think speculators).  If you want to call the CBOT a "legalized gambling center" with "manipulated markets" and "insider trading" then that’s your business.  But just remember, those "gambling market manipulators" gave you the option to sell $7 corn through 2010 and $6.50 corn for 2011.  In my opinion, you lose the right to complain if you are given an opportunity but don't take advantage of it.  I certainly didn't sell all my crops at those prices but I can't blame anyone but myself because the opportunity was there.  

  • 2/24 - Jackson, Alabama: We are the same in 09 as 08, 50% corn and beans. Bought n-sol at last year prices. Hope you all the best, and GOD bless.
  • 2/24 - Southwest Ontario: Spring is coming as frost has left and tiles are running full…..sure sign is fertilizer dealers are out asking for money to “ensure spring fertilizer deliveries.”
  • 2/24 - Kit Carson, Colorado: Winter wheat out here is in trouble as well. About 10 more days of no rain and unusually high temps will put the hammer on this one. Late planted is in dire need of rain. The winds have been frequent and harsh. 

  • 2/24 - West Central Texas: Wheat is toast – turning brown and dying. Thank goodness for $8.77 CRC! The irrigated pecan orchards are already getting their first flooding (irrigation) of the season. Drought monitor considers us ‘exceptional’ drought.  If it rains there will be lots of haygrazer/sorghum planted to replenish feed stocks. 

  • 2/24 - West Central Oklahoma: I’m getting all my panels out to mark off spots for insurance!!! If we don’t get rain in 2 weeks that yields here will be slim to none.  Insurance premium on 1003 acres are over 42000.00 net pay off around $105,000.00. I’ll take it and will not fertilize. Hay and graze for what ever its worth!! Some here have already fertilized and are wishing they had their money back. Nh3 fields look the best but will need a lot of water in the next two months. With no rain predicted for 90 days!!!!!!! Mother Nature again will get us out of the over production we always seem to manage!!!! 

  • 2/23 - Stearns County, Minnesota: I am planning 90% corn, 10% oats, or am I planting just the opposite.  Or maybe I will be planting 50% soybeans, nobody besides myself needs to know.  Fertilizer prices better come down some more.  Got some VT3 corn for $199/bag.
  • 2/23 - Southwest Nebraska: Well who is going to listen to their crop adviser? If you had one that done you good I would like to know his name. I know that no one knew the big credit crunch was coming, but come on you missed it by that much. As far as planting, down in my county corn is the best thing, but some more soybeans will be seen and more feed for cattle. Also I bet we see more oats and milo planted, oats for feed and milo because of about the 1/2 input to raise and stocks are better for the cows.
  • 2/23 - Sumner County, Kansas: Winter wheat here in the nation’s top wheat-producing county is in need of rain. The earlier planted wheat has a root system that is hanging on but the later planted wheat is in trouble and needs rain in the next week to 10 days. Driving SW into Oklahoma and Texas it's pretty much over for the wheat crop already. Seems the KC board of trade doesn't know it. There is a great expense in this crop with nitrogen from last fall invested at over $800 per ton and $4.00 diesel fuel. We've got 2008 expenses in an 2009 crop.
  • 2/23 - Marshall County, Kansas: We saw nh3 and dry spreaders going today in this area. High temp was 65 with snow expected by morning. 

  • 2/23 - Thurston County, Nebraska: We are looking at 50/50 corn/beans for 2009, same as 2008. That may change if the bean prices do not stop what they have been doing the last week. Trying to get prices on fertilizer and chemicals is a challenge. Good luck to everybody. 

  • 2/23 - Northeast Arkansas: I've received 4 phone calls the past 2 weeks for Soybeans at the River Terminals in Memphis.  Where are all these beans from this HUGE  2008 crop!!!! As far as crop mix, the lower Soybean prices have brought Corn back into play!!

  • 2/20 - Northeast Iowa, Fayette County: I agree with the gentleman from central Minnesota. USDA never does us any favors, in fact the exact opposite with the way they manipulate reports to suit the needs of the end users, and reporting our plans is actually helping them to screw us. Something kind of wrong with that, don't you think??? So, on my farm in 2009 I am going to have a mix of ....... Guess you'll have to wait until fall to find out. 

  • 2/20 - Central Minnesota: I personally don't think any farmer out there should tell anyone what they will plant in 2009 keep to everyone guessing. I cannot see where it does any farmer any good when you show everyone your hand. Does any company tell the other what they are up to or what they are planning? I just think reporting what you are planning to plant more often then not, drives markets into the tank. Let's make them guess and maybe they will be wrong once and it will work in our favor. Have a good safe spring everyone. 

  • 2/19 - Northwest Wisconsin: We were finally able to harvest soybeans, which are running low between 17 and 40 bushels.  Corn is still at 30% or higher...some around me are just getting going on high-moisture corn.

  • 2/18 - St. Clair County, Southwestern Illinois: We had a week of spring earlier in the month.  We went back to below normal temperatures with the ground being saturated.  Our crop mix for 2008 was 70% corn, 22% beans, and 8% wheat.  We have purchased enough seed to be 70% corn, 30% beans, and no wheat.  I also purchased enough beans to be 100% beans in 2009.  After getting punched in the stomach today, 2009 is looking a bit grimmer each day. 
  • 2/18 - Southwest Iowa: We planted 65% corn and 35% beans in 2008.  2009 plans are 70% corn and 30% beans.  I know beans are cheaper to raise but corn yields are consistently better and the corn acres net more.  We booked a lot of NH3 for 2009 in Feb. of 2008.  God's blessings to all.  Have a safe 2009. 

  • 2/18 - Nueces County, South Texas: It is dry, dry. There is some moisture down deep but hard to get to. It is warm enough to start planting grain sorghum- just waiting on a much needed rain.

    -- Nueces County, South 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.)

  • 2/17 - Atchison County, Kansas: A lot of fieldwork (dirt work and dry fertilizer spreading) has been happening the last couple of weeks. We get about a week to two weeks of work in and then the weather changes to either snow or rain. Most guys sticking to a slightly higher corn/bean rotation in our area (60/40 or 55/45). The scariest scenario that we are facing in this area is the lack of information we are getting from elevators and crop insurance guys on the changes in programs. My old agent did not have my best interests at heart when he had us in the policies we used for years. I changed and am glad I did especially if the grain prices drop from the spring to fall. Guys, you need to protect yourselves this year. Don’t skimp. 
  • 2/17 - South Central South Dakota: It’s beginning to look like a late spring round here.  Still a little snow on the ground.  Ground is still very cold and wet.  It will be awhile before we get in the field.  The wheat looks excellent; it is starting to green up.  It sounds like more beans round here than normal.  If we get a more rain or snow, the wheat stubble fields that are supposed to go to corn are going to be swamp.  But that’s a good problem to have. 

  • 2/17 - Northeast Arkansas: We finished hauling the last bushel of corn this week.  We didn't get near what we had booked last summer.  Chicken mills paid a lot better than river market but had to haul it further.  Good news is fertilize is getting a little better Urea 350. P 350. K 700...I know that’s still high but it may not get much better.  Cotton farmers are still leaning toward soybeans. At least most folks have electricity now and some will not have it until next month, ice storm was the grand daddy of all ice storms.  Really do enjoy the comments from all of you, I find it very informative. 
  • 2/17 - Fulton/Miami Counties, North Central Indiana: Mix for '09 50% Soybeans 50% corn. 100% Waxy corn this year. It keeps the whole harvest thing simple.  We will plant all the "stacked" waxy numbers we can get.  There will be a limited supply. It has been non-FMO until '09. 

  • 2/17 - Rock County, Wisconsin: Thanks to all those that have posted their acreage mix so far.  Please remember to include not only this year’s potential mix but also what you planted last year.  We need to know if there is an increase or decrease in planted acres so that we can back that number out of last years USDA final plantings report.  Thanks again....and remember, the bigger the sample size the more accurate we can get.  I am tallying the numbers and will share with everyone what I come up with.  Or you can do your own recording.  Thanks again! 

  • 2/13 - Piatt County, Illinois: Direct payments?  A lot of us are all going to be losing them anyway. A lot of people don't know of the new criteria for receiving them. Add your off farm income and your wife's income and your basically out. I figured mine and they are gone unless some rules change. I have never seen anything go south so fast. I'm been farming for 42 years and things are not looking very rosy for 09. I was 1 of the people who bought high priced fertilizer. My 50 50 lease and cash rent ground stipulates I must replace the amount that I removed from the previous crop. Another thing I can't agree with is 2008 corn crop at over 12 billion bushel. My corn yields were down 35 to 55 bushel from last year. Somebody had some awful good yields to make up for my poor ones. I'll hope for some price recovery or this may be my last year. The stress level isn't worth it. Good luck to everyone else.
  • 2/13 - Mercer County, West Central Ohio: 0% corn, 46% beans, 4% wheat. A lot of wind damage in the past day. 

  • 2/13 - Stevens County, Minnesota: 2009 96% corn, 4% beans/2008 87% corn, 13% beans. 

  • 2/13 - Poweshiek County, Iowa: Our planting intentions for 2009 will most likely be 50% corn and 50% soybeans. That could change a little if markets change in the next two months. No fertilizer on some of this and might still change. We planted about 55% corn last year and 45% soybeans last year. We lost a farm we had farmed for most of 30 years to a neighbor who likes to pay lots of cash rent. I enjoy reading everyone's comments on this site and hope everyone has a great spring. 

  • 2/13 - West Texas, Texas: Wow, look at those corn exports this morning. Putting some urea on the irrigated wheat this morning. We had a inch of rain Monday. This was our first moisture in about 3 months.  The dryland wheat in our area looks fair , but will take a lot or help along the way to make a crop. Preparing the cotton ground at this time.  Not a lot of excitement in my area on this high input crop.  Bankers want everyone to make a crop  with a .55 price.  Look at futures this morning, .46 price. With  high inputs we need .65 price, but heck our new Ag. Sec. says it will be alright.  Take away the direct payments and go get a off farm job to make up the difference.  Oh and get a few windmills, bio-fuel plant on the farm, and little bit of organic farming.  Seems like 600 million dollars of direct payments have got the man's panties in a wad!  Thanks to Jim W. for all the good press reports of what they are thinking in the belt-way. 
  • 2/13 - Northeast Arkansas: We had an ice storm here ... old timers say it's the worst they ever seen. Some residents will be without power for a month. I am like the farmer from Texas, any cotton planted here will be a money pit. Grain prices are getting weak ... not much excitement about 2009 crops. We will just plant and hope for a price recovery. 

  • 2/13 - Dickey County, Southeast North Dakota: Last year I was 100% soybeans, I was planning on 100% corn this year.  Unless there is a substantial rally in the corn price, ($5.00 December Futures) I will be planting 100% soybeans again this year.  

  • 2/13 - South Central Iowa: Last year we were 55% corn and 45% beans.  This year we are 55% beans and 45% corn.  Maybe bucking the trend and going a little heavier on beans this year...but it is really our normal rotation.  The last few years we have done some corn on corn and kept around that 60% corn to 40% beans...this year we decided to go back to our normal rotation. 

  • 2/13 - Clay County, Nebraska: 70% corn 30% soybeans in 09. 

  • 2/12 - Rock County, Wisconsin: I have a small request of readers of this site.  Would you please post your intended acreage mix of corn and beans for this years ('09) growing season.  And also what your acreage mix was last year ('08).  I think it would be extremely interesting to tally numbers from around the U.S. and see what kind of acreage mix we are intending to plant.  I know this isn't the most scientific approach but I bet we will get a pretty good idea before the planting intentions report.  I know a lot can change from now until planting but if you are fairly certain of your acreage mix please share. As for me, I intend to plant 65% corn 35% beans.  Last year my rotation was 60% corn 40% beans.

  • 2/11 - Fulton/Miami Counties, North Central Indiana: We seem to be sitting pretty close to the fire for the past weeks. Tax prep and the annual paper work for the banker has been the focus.  Grain is moving to market, some fertilizer and lime is getting spread.  We have started the seasonal ritual of wrenching on equipment for the attack on spring planting. All our snow is off and it is raining today with water standing in any low spot. Our plans have not changed. Corn will follow soybeans and soybeans will follow corn. Local fertilizer supplier (that we've worked with for several years) can't give us a firm price on much of anything. If we'll take delivery then he can price it?  We're not in a hurry to put much in with the exception of some chemicals. Fuel has been pretty much hand to mouth for us.  Partly because of price partly because of weather conditions, blended road fuel in particular. It's a fight to keep trucks and tractors going at zero. The hired help doesn't move to fast either. Marketing will be our biggest challenge as it is every year.  Every year is different. If it was easy anybody could do it.


  • 2/11 - Holdingford, Minnesota: Half inch of rain on top of 12 inches of snow really makes a mess. Plan on planting 60% corn 40% soybeans in 2009. Was quoted urea at $400/ton but potash and 10-34-0 are still $800/ton. I couldn't get a good deal on double and triple stack corn this year so I am planting on planting just RR. Will manure all of my corn ground in 2009 so I don't need much additional sidedress. Thank GOD for manure.

  • 2/10 - Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: We had one of the coldest Januarys on record: 23 days never went above freezing, normal is 13, last year was 7.

    Warming up right now by sweating out the "stimulus" bill in Congress, hoping that they reduce corporate taxes enough to repatriate over $500 Billion held by transnational companies overseas because of our onerous U.S. corporate taxes, second-worst among industrialized countries!

    Hoping for the best this spring, planning to plant same as last year.

  • 2/9 - Goddard, Sedgwick County, Kansas: We are getting some much needed rain today. Won’t be a lot but the wheat definitely will benefit. I was checking fields yesterday and was surprised just how dry the fields were. The wheat is short in our area and some fields were blowing last week. I just heard Greg Hunt this morning on the gas tax issue. He is right on target. I always have to chuckle at the comments regarding the free market, socialism, etc.,  as farmers are very social considering the farm payments we get for doing nothing. Payments even go to millionaires. Any tax the government collects is spent anyway, just makes one more turn before being spent. 

  • 2/9 - Shawano County, Wisconsin: A word to my fellow farmers -- don't allow the local coop to take all your profit.  Let them play the waiting game and see what happens.  Just because they chose to spend our money on the high dollar fertilizer doesn't mean we have to buy it.  All the reps that seem to be stopping by really want to cover themselves.  But just do what you feel comfortable and what your check book will allow you to do.  Maybe the reps just need to be told NO for once to bring them back down to reality. Because when they go home at night they don't worry about how to pay for the seed, rent, fertilizer etc. plus Mother Nature.  Don't think there is going to be a bailout for the farmers because we are way down on the list.  Good Luck in the coming year. 

  • 2/9 - Northeast Arkansas: Not a lot of cash rent in the land of Dixie. Most farmers do crop shares here. We think it’s fair to everyone involved. 

  • 2/9 - Northeast Iowa: I think a lot of this market inflation would be eliminated if the traders in Chicago had to physically own the commodity before they could trade it. That way true supply and demand would prevail. They would have to pay the farmer or the Coop storage and a fee to keep it in condition until they sold it. I also think the USDA missed the mark on the yields for 2008. Any one with level ground that has ever had water cover a crop for more than three days knows how much it will cut yields. And yet there were fields that sat under 3, 4, and 5 feet of water for more than a week. Just doesn't seem possible that those acres would have even produced a crop at all. Good luck for 2009.

  • 2/6 - Ransom County, North Dakota: After record snow fall in December the snow machine has slowed up, that's great. Still very cold, numerous days with below ZERO highs. No grain moving to town yet. Crop insurance will be the main ingredient to a successful '09, sad but true. Fertilizer prices have been all over the place. Seems every retail outlet has it's own strategy. Pays to shop around some for better prices. Forecast seems to be leaning towards a return to a snowier pattern which would be unappreciated. Spring floods seem likely. 

  • 2/6 - Tippecanoe County, Indiana: I for one could not agree more with the distinguished gentleman form St. Clair County, Ill who gave us the following comment:

    To all of the clowns, oops, I mean analysts predicting an average of 158bpa for corn in 2009, you might want to take your crystal ball and wipe it with some Charmin if you know what I mean.  If you want to go with a solid prediction I will offer you one.  We will never like any of you because you are puppets that manipulate markets.

    If everyone would get on board with this gentleman we might someday put these clowns back in the circus where they belong!! 

  • 2/6 - Harrison County, Western Iowa: Corn and bean contracts were delivered to the processors. Corn moisture was between 17-18%. Trucks were lined up in the wet dump pits. There must be a lot of wet corn in the bins to check regularly. There will be bin fans going as the temperature changes. USDA carryover bushels maybe shrinking as well as the corn in the bins.

    All fertilizer was applied in the fall. Seed, chemical and fuel was purchased in December. Bean seed has been delivered and seed corn will be coming next week. This region is leaning to more corn. Corn yields out do beans. The young farmers need the extra revenue. Competition for land to farm is high. Some high rents are a bargain and some lower rents are too high. It depends on the quality of the soil. There is a big variance between farms. 

  • 2/6 - Central Wisconsin: I Dairy Farm. I milk 40 cows and lost 50% of my income because of prices went from around $20.00 to now $11.45 per 100#, and around $9.50 for Feb. milk. Not good, looking to sell out and plant more corn,and not much hay. I wish all the CEOs would take a 50% cut in income, and all the bills keep coming and nothing to pay them with. My brothers just lost land that they rented for $110.00 a acre to someone that's paying $235.00 a acre, what are they thinking. 

  • 2/6 - Wisconsin: To the farmer in St. Clair County, IL.  With the basis at an all time high, this sounds like an excellent opportunity to market your grain.  By selling now, you lock in this great basis.  If you feel that prices are going to go higher, you can always go to the board to re-own the grain.  Some people would consider this speculating, and it may be.  But, if you have the grain in the bin un-priced you are already speculating.  Most growers, myself included, do this all of the time (speculate).  The other thing to keep in mind is that if the board would rally your great basis would disappear, wiping out part of that rally.  Just something to think about.  Good luck to all this year! 

  • 2/5 - St. Clair County, Southwestern Illinois: We had nine inches of snow last week.  It was our first big snow in quite sometime.  It is time to admit I was wrong on where I thought commodity prices would be.  I thought we would see $10.50-$11.00 beans and $4.50-$5.00 corn by now.  I priced some fuel, some DAP, and bought enough seed corn to go with a 70-30 rotation.  I also purchased enough seed beans to go 100% beans.  I haven't made a decision on planting intentions and the markets over the next six to eight weeks will be the prevailing factor.  The grain elevators are begging for grain around here and nobody is willing to move it.  The corn basis is plus 22 cents and the bean basis is plus 30 cents.  I can never remember the basis ever being this high.  We have had below average temperatures all winter.  The weatherman is calling for fifties and maybe even sixties for the next seven days. He also mentioned some flooding due to rain being predicted for five to seven days in a row.  (Just one more thing)  To all of the clowns, oops, I mean analysts predicting an average of 158bpa for corn in 2009, you might want to take your crystal ball and wipe it with some Charmin if you know what I mean.  If you want to go with a solid prediction I will offer you one.  We will never like any of you because you are puppets that manipulate markets.  Everyone, please hang in there.  Everything will eventually get better, it always does.  

  • 2/5 - Marshall County, Iowa: We will be going back to 50/50corn /soybean program, verses 80% corn and 20% beans. We bought urea at $355 / ton running about $65/acre for nitrogen we had fertility tests this fall and have been told that we do not need any p & k. We have used 28% in the past but this year it is too expensive. Seed has been $240.00/bag for corn (DeKalb) and $40.57/bag for beans (Asgrow). We have no plans to buy any equipment this year and our landlords have kept the rent at $ 170.00/acre on average. We have a positive cash flow of $5.00/acre on corn and $7.31/acre on beans using FMHA prices. Good luck boys and have a safe year. 

  • 2/5 - Cimarron County, Extreme Northwest Oklahoma: Wheat is crashing in price and in health.  Row crops won’t work.  Last rains here were in October and they were hit and miss.  Most of our moisture comes in snows in winter.  Yet we have had no snow so far.  Extreme cold nights and some 60-70 degree days.  Lots of wind daily.  A lot of the wheat already destroyed due to blowing.  Insects are pressuring it pretty hard, but why treat a dying crop.  The commodity boys will get what they want by manipulating the prices on the board to the lower side, but soon they will find out they will starve.  The farmers just cannot afford to take the risks like we took last year and ended up with these prices now.  Always at the bottom end of the totem pole! We are needed, but not appreciated.  Take away the insurance and we are looking at an agricultural Depression. 

  • 2/4 - North Central Iowa: I think we will stay with a 50 /50 corn/bean ratio this year. We will either apply a lower rate of N or wait and side dress after the price drops. We did not apply any dry and won' t until the "experts" at the coop sell out their train load of high priced stuff they bought last year. Starter fertilizer can be had for about $300 per ton less than the coop price if willing to take semi loads. 

  • 2/4 - Northeast Arkansas: We had an ice storm here ... old timers say it's the worst they ever seen. Some residents will be without power for a month. I am like the farmer from Texas, any cotton planted here will be a money pit. Grain prices are getting weak ... not much excitement about 2009 crops. We will just plant and hope for a price recovery. 

  • 2/4 - Waupaca, Wisconsin: A couple fertilizer and seed salesman have stopped by the farm. The fertilizer salesman is selling Triple 17 in this area for $950 a ton and urea at 675 a ton. The seed salesman thinks our farm is able to afford $275.00 a bag corn.

    With the fertilizer salesman I ordered 6 ton on ESN nitrogen for my starter and that's all we can justify using on 200 acres. He seemed disgusted with me and said if he was me he would use the same as last year. I told him go rent some ground and put all the fertilizer you want, $3.15 corn does not cash flow at those input costs.

    I told the seed salesman I had already ordered $60.00 a bag corn and there's no way we can afford $275.00 a bag corn, his $275.00 a bag corn suddenly became $150.00 a bag, however our farm still can not justify those input costs.

    Last year we did all what these so called expert salesman suggested, and we ended up working for the fertilizer and seed company for no pay.

    We also went and saw a Bankruptcy Attorney, his advise "get out while the getting is still good" As we both sat there listening, it just makes you think how stupid us farmers must sound. We try to stay in business in times like these by trying to borrow more money to pay the bills we couldn't pay before. It just seems that farmers are meant to work for nothing for there sweat and tears.

    All in all, our farm has decided to do it one more year, isn't it silly, we have better odds going to Las Vegas, at least there I think you get the drinks for free? 

  • 2/4 - Central Texas Hill Country: 24 degrees this morning and no frost – that is DRY! Wheat is toast for the most part.  CRC will be a life saver. Some compare this drought to the 50’s or 1984.   Some cattlemen have run out of water, and many have culled deep already to make what grass is left last. The bright side is that it did rain after those droughts.   If it does rain there will be lots of feed and sorghum planted on failed wheat acres this spring. 

  • 2/4 - Holdingford, Minnesota: No-tilling oats into soybean stubble this spring on 100% of my acres. 

  • 2/3 - Southwest Ontario: Corn and soys with some winter wheat—most guys won’t or can’t change much…will be business as usual. 

  • 2/3 - Lubbock County, Texas: Have I gone back in time?  This feels so much like 1983. Every crop that we can plant in my area is in the tank.  Milo isn't worth the fuel to deliver it.  There isn't a soul in the world that wants our cotton.  And for peanuts everyone in America stays 10 feet away from the peanut butter as they shop the stores.  If I were a bear I would just hibernate.  Might just plant sunflowers. At least they would be pretty to look at. Best of luck to all my fellow farmers out there, 2010 just around the corner.  To the young farmers out there, yes it will get better.  1986 came along and the sun came out again. 

  • 2/3 - North Central Bureau County, Illinois: Personal check area for triple stack full season popular hybrid – went through two months of winds, sleet, ice and snow. Harvested Jan.22, 2009. 

    -- North Central Bureau County Illinois

    (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.)

  • 2/3 - South Central LaMoure County, North Dakota: With driveway covered with a 4 foot snow bank it is a little hard to get excited about 09 crop, although I know now is the hour to get at it. Crops needs to be moved to market, before load restricts apply granted its hard to believe road restrictions are possible with -13 below temps this A. M., however time slips away fast. 

  • 2/3 - Kearny County, Southwest Kansas: Extremely dry here! Seems to be the normal though. We've been dry here for the last 10 years. Some years we've received timely rains, but for our averages have been well below normal. This last year we were 8" below normal for our farm. Normal rain fall is between 16 and 18 inches here. Most of the moisture that we did receive was in two rains in September and October. That was the last moisture that we've received that amounted to anything. It is warming up now. This week temps are going to be way above normal. The wheat is starting to break out of dormancy. We are going to need moisture soon or we are going to be in trouble. The wind seems to blow hard every other day. We haven't had to chisel any ground yet for blowing dirt, but have heard west of us in the next county and into Eastern Colorado they have chiseled ground three times and the dirt keeps on blowing. We got our wheat up and have a good stand. I think what has saved allot of ground from not blowing is all the CRP acres that we have out here. The grass helps break up the wind off the ground. I wish the government would continue the CRP program out here. As of right now 75 to 100 percent of the CRP acres out here will be coming out in the next 3 years. Most of the ground out here that was put into that program should not ever be farmed again. If it comes out and we're still in this dry cycle I believe the dirty 30's will be relived here again. Guys on irrigated circles are putting on fertilizer for the upcoming corn crop right now. Dryland spring crops will be in a world of hurt out here this year if we don't start receiving moisture. There is not much subsoil moisture at this present time. We need a major weather pattern change so we can receive some moisture. 

  • 2/2 - Union County, Indiana: The way I see it is to keep our crop in the bin is the cheapest crop to raise, maybe corn with no fertilizer. 

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