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Farmer Reactions to Last Week’s Reports

01:35AM Jul 07, 2011

One week has passed since USDA released its June 30 Acreage and Grain Stocks reports. But, the data that was released in those reports is still a hot topic of conversation. 

According to many of the comments left by readers on our news articles about the reports, the consensus seems to be a lot of disbelief and distrust with USDA.
Here are some of the comments about the reports. Click the story headlines to read the stories to which the comments were posted.
no spin farmer - SD
Planting conditions were so good in South Dakota , we were able to planted for eight weeks starting on May 3. In fact it was so good we planted some a second time.
FG - Cuba, IL
Corn acres is one thing. What will it produce? I don't claim to know, but that is the figure that really matters. But anything to depress prices seems to be the goal!
Cliff2 - Willmar, MN
I just can't believe that writer thanks that planting conditions in MN and SD were great…Is that why both states planted a lot of corn in June?
Another piece of USDA garbage....planted acres. How many are under water? That is the number I want to know and what is drowned out. We have a lot of holes in Corn Belt corn fields! We will be lucky to harvest 81 to 84 M acres and NO BODY IS TALKING ABOUT YIELDS GOING DOWN! With the morons we have in DC you cannot believe anything!
Amazing how so many feel the report was just a crock of beans (no pun intended).
Smallest Dairy Farmer
Well USDA...not popular with this report...I just hope they're right. Seriously, all commodities have a resistance or shall we say a point when the end user cannot continue to use or not be able to use as much. This is a risky place, because alternatives are tried that may work just as well profit wise. Lower corn price may not bring back the whole demand there once was, if alternative practices succeed.

I noticed that a lot of my range cows friends have planted corn for the first time in ND, to raise the corn for feed for themselves. More corn in my area (western ND) then I ever seen before. So I guess the part about NY & at least ND stating the biggest corn acres for these two states is correct. I guess the beef guy's reaction to grow their own corn is a good idea for dairies with acres for production as well.

Another thing worth noting...if the report of the most corn acres being the highest ever except for the 93 corn crop, that was 16 years ago. Imagine the technology and yield potential that exists for these 2011 reported acres.

A very wise Agwebber here is fond of saying....."Nothing cures high prices like high prices" & vise versa.
PullMyFinger - Chappell, NE
USDA. A great place for the cuts to begin. Shocked by something the USDA said? Where have you been for the past 60 years? Have they EVER been right about ANYTHING?
I would add that I agree that the USDA is slanderously controlling prices with their outlandish acreage and yield projections. It is absolutely ludicrous to assume that current planted acres will result in even close to trend-line yields. There are so many unaccounted for zero acres it's ridiculous. I could go on and on but to no avail. Good luck to all....I need to go pump out my basement again....not to mention the 100s of acres I have of flooded crops that apparently will be fine with two or more months of flood water upon them.
Milton - Alexandria, SD
I do not believe all the PP acres have been reported yet so are they guessing the acres not planted?
Talk to a farmer. Did any of them plant fewer corn acres when they were done than what they thought in March? Most planted a few more. Most farmers aren't fond of having to harvest soybeans. As for the stocks...who is using corn when it is $7.00 ? There should be more of it setting in bins.

Cliff2 - Willmar, MN
Remember that In 1993 the USDA had their head in the sand until the November crop report... A friend told me that we should have known it would be a bearish report after they took crude oil from the reserve... Listening to the radio on Friday it was like the USDA released a press release on with all the corn that food prices would be going lower. Knee high by the fourth of July is an old wives tale, and lots of corn in Minnesota still isn't knee high by the fourth...
WCMN Farmer - MN
Here in my area we have some of the better looking corn in our state and it is not even knee high. Went on a 375 mile round trip last week to south east MN. I would not trade any of my corn fields for what I saw. When the lead guy at USDA has to try and convince people as to the "correctness" of the numbers the same day as release and then an announcement that some states will be re-surveyed it tells you that even they lack confidence in their ability to get it right. This is just another classic example of distrust in another government agency.
Mark - Sigel, IL
Last year we took a 200 mile trip crop checking, 1 out of 3 fields were hurt. Yesterday we took a 250 mile trip, 1 out of 3 fields are not planted. Yes there are good fields of corn & beans. but alot of acres not planted & under water. Glad we added 50,000 bushels of storage. Because USDA will change their mind.
Curt - Geneseo, IL
This is just another example of the government manipulating the markets to try to control the value of grain. It happens every year, they just didn't want a repeat of last years report.

WhyMeJake – The guys in Chicago obviously believe that corn can grow on concrete if it rains enough??? They too have missed the boat. Or maybe they should get in one and go see the damage from the flood waters.

This report shows that the USDA has no clue that the levees are bursting in the Missouri, the COPRS breached the Mississippi and none of the land along those areas are going to be productive. Whats more important, crop land or a town built on a island in the Mississippi river??? I guess EATING in less of a priority that saving a town that wasn't yet in total danger.
More total acres planted than last year? Complete and utter BS, I don't think this has caused anyone around here to lose faith in the government though. Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and a trustworthy government? PLEASE!!!!

Let's put them all on Social Security when they retire, take away the massive pensions and medical benefits and put them all on Obama-care. I think it will take about a day to fix all of those problems. They get only one term and then get them out before they figure out how Washington is run.

Cost savings? Reward anyone that can cut spending by giving them 10% of the first year's savings. Get out those military cost books with them expensive toilet seats and hundred dollar hammers.

I don't think the people in Chicago are dumb enough to believe these numbers! 
Daniel - Pine City, MN
I don't think they know what is going on out here in rural America. They are out of touch.
iowafarm2 - PA
Vilsack is the head of the USDA. Fire him for stupidity or laziness or both. He is spending time drawing plates of food for nutritionists instead of making sure that the NASS reports jibe w FSA and WASDE. The buck stops with him. FSA is most accurate because they make farmers certify is return for DCP payments. Use their numbers and fire NASS bean counters because they are idiots that give a present to China and a lump of coal to farmers.
With less than 2,500.000 bushels in deliverable positions indicates that commercials are short corn. now might be a good time for farmers with corn to call their hand. Many have been buying hand to mouth waiting for this big break. Well you can buy paper in Chicago, but you will have to go to the country you buy corn. If futures go higher than cash, no matter how high, then we would have a buyers market for those that are long the market. With such a strong basis it is a sellers market only if you are short the board.
WCMN Farmer - MN
MBJ and FG: I couldn't agree more with your observations. Here in my area where corn is usually silking by now most is just barely knee high. The best corn we have is waist high. Yesterday we talked with our broker who wondered if a class action suit could be brought against the USDA for their ineptness. Years ago an old fellow said "if you can't work for anyone else-work for the government because they can't fire you".

A lot of financial damage has been done and it will take along time for this to all shake out. In the end...many sleepless nights. I have to remind myself I am not alone on this island. We as farmers have been circle by the sharks. Where is it written that farmers can't make money? The days of the hayseed farmer are over. This will have a trickle down effect. We make less money we spend less money. Everyone from the implement dealer to the main street stores will feel the sting of inaccuracy. I wonder where in the end will this all shake out or if it just gets shuffled under the rug.
FG - cuba, IL
I remember the 1993 flood year when USDA refused to recognize the reality of crop loss depressing prices until AFTER the harvest was in. The markets reacted to false data and many farmers lost a bundle. In 1993 were they incompetent or was in part of conspiracy to depress prices? It was one or the other! For 2011, we shall see. But the damage to corn markets has been done for many farmers who do not store corn for a year at a time.
mbj - North Platte, NE
There was a time when I thought that the USDA actually did a good job in their sampling. This was brought into question last October when they miscalculated the old crop corn inventory as farmers were blending new crop corn with their damaged old crop. Now they miss again as they come up with planted acres that either are under water, or were still planted well past reasonable planting dates for insurance reasons. The acres may be right, but the yields are grossly over estimated. Harvested acres will not approach the acres estimated. This will changes yields significantly, even if the early corn does well. Their credibility going forward is seriously in question.
Daniel - Pine City, MN
The USDA is full of crap on their corn report...
WCMN Farmer - MN
And neither should anyone else but apparently the people controlling the money at CBOT do. Sure hard to be patriotic when your own government screws you over!
I do not take much stock in anything USDA or the Federal Gov. has to tell us.
3:25 PM Jun 30th 
WCMN Farmer - MN
If they knew they would not have "accurate" information-and I use the word accurate VERY loose maybe they should have delayed the reporting due to circumstances?
A Questionable Crop Report??? By the U.S. Farm Report Mailbag blog
Tim Brannon - B & G Equipment - Paris, TN
The USDA Crop Report will prove to be as incorrect as last year's summer report.  We are a farm machinery dealer and talk to equipment retailers across the country.  Eight of ten dealers report poor, late and replanted crops.  Few see the "switch" to corn.  'Protection' is a word used almost everywhere.  My daughter works for a major grain corporation and they shrug their shoulders in disbelief.  The input for these reports is worth looking in to.  Private sector reports are proven much more reliable.  Keep in mind our taxes pay for these "guesses" and guessers.  With the budget crisis at hand, maybe it is time to look to the private sector, prune the 'Ag Tree' and save the expense of the majority of the USDA and other government agencies who have redundant bureaucracies at the state level.

What do you think?

Did USDA miss the mark? How do crops look in your area? Leave a comment below or e-mail your thoughts to