Burndown Top Priority This Spring

Apr 18, 2017 56

Burndown Top Priority This Spring

David Cosgray

Indiana planting got off to a slow start, with 4% of the corn planted as of Monday.  The pace, however, is picking up. Yet, for many growers, cleaning up weed covered fields must come first.

The warm and wet spring conditions have allowed both spring weeds and winter annuals to get well-established in many fields. David Cosgray, with DuPont Pioneer, says burndown has been the major activity this week in his area, “There is some very heavy winter annual coverage out there, and a lot of farmers wished they could have gotten to these fields earlier.” He told HAT there was a good deal of burndown spraying done last week trying to get fields ready for planting this week.

Cosgray said planters are rolling this week, but not everywhere, “Every day we see more and more planters rolling, but guys are having to hunt to find fields that are dry enough.” He said some fields may be dry on the surface, but are still too wet down a few inches to plant, “Fields with lighter soils and where fall nitrogen had been applied are the best candidates for planting this week.”

Cosgray urges producers not to plant into a wet seed bed. Rain is back in the forecast beginning on Thursday, which may bring field activity to a halt. Hoosier Ag Today meteorologist Ryan Martin says, “I think there is a fairly decent chance we escape Wednesday with very little moisture – a few hundredths of an inch to perhaps a tenth or so. Northern counties will be best situated to see scattered showers, but a large part of the state just sees clouds through Wednesday. Thursday, we likely will not be so lucky, and a cold front will sweep through the state, bringing about 75-80% coverage of rain. However, rain totals still are not stunning. We think we can see .25”-.75” rains, with most of the state closer to the lower end of the range.”

On Friday, Martin will release his planting forecast for next week. You can sign up to get an e-mail copy here.

Listen to the complete DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report under the crops tab at this web site.

More Farmers Considering Drone Use

Apr 18, 2017 60
SHARE

Facebook

Twitter

A new poll finds 21 percent of farmers plan to operate a drone this year. The poll found 21 percent of farmers will operate the drone themselves, while another 12 percent of farmers indicated they would opt for a third-party entity to fly drones. More than 1,000 farmers responded to the poll. Thirty-one percent of respondents say they will keep an open mind about drone use on their operation for 2018.

Last August, the Federal Aviation Administration released its final unmanned aircraft rule allowing for the commercial use of drones, including for agricultural purposes. RnR Market Research in April 2016 predicted the agriculture drone market would be worth $3.69 billion by the year 2022. A forecast by the research firm says the market is poised for significant growth over the next few years.

The forecast says the use of drones brings transparency to agriculture, along with improved efficiently and higher productivity.
Source: NAFB News Service

Survey Shows Farmers Concerns

Apr 18, 2017 52
SHARE

Facebook

Twitter

A new survey by the Farmer’s Business Network shows the current concerns farmers have in the United States. The new Voice of the Farmer Report examines the state of modern day farming through a combination of interviews with farmers and analysis of millions of acres of real farm yield as well as thousands of farmer seed and chemical invoices and price records. The survey finds issues including farm profits, industry consolidation, farm consolidation, and health care, along with technology needs, are all top-of-mind for farmers and ranchers. The report predicts industry consolidation will likely further hurt the current low farm profits, and farm consolidation will put further pressure on independent farmers.

The report also says health care coverage and cost is a major concern for farm families, noting a family of five might pay thousands of dollars for health care premiums, forcing farm families to add off-farm jobs and further pressure their profits. You can find the 72-page report online at Farmers Business Network dot com (https://www.farmersbusinessnetwork.com/).

Source: NAFB News Service

Commerce Department Investigating Argentina and Indonesia Biodiesel Imports

Apr 18, 2017 43
SHARE

Facebook

Twitter

The U.S. Commerce Department has launched an antidumping and countervailing duty investigation aimed at biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The investigation is in response to a complaint filed by the biodiesel industry in the United States. U.S. biodiesel industry representatives testified to the International Trade Commission last week, saying biodiesel produced in Argentina and Indonesia has been flooding the U.S. market since 2014. The industry claims the subsidized biodiesel from Argentina and Indonesia forced U.S. producers out of their home market. The Commerce Department says there is reason to believe that Argentine and Indonesian biodiesel companies were selling into the U.S. “at less-than-fair value.”

The National Biodiesel Board said imports from Argentina and Indonesia increased by more than 460 percent from 2014 to 2016, gaining about 18 percent of U.S. market share during that time.
Source: NAFB News Service

EPA Administer Promises Back-to-Basics Agenda

Apr 18, 2017 34
SHARE

Facebook

Twitter

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has promised a back-to-basics agenda approach for the federal agency. While visiting a Pennsylvania coal mine, Pruitt announced the new focus “means returning EPA to its core mission: protecting the environment by engaging with state, local,and tribal partners to create sensible regulations that enhance economic growth.” In his speech to Pennsylvania miners, Administrator Pruitt explained that the EPA would be partnering with states and tribes to ensure a “thoughtful approach is used to maximize resources to protect America’s air, land, and water.”

The agenda reinforces Pruitt’s pledge to refocus EPA on its intended mission, returning power to the states, and creating an environment where jobs can grow.

Source: NAFB News Service

DuPont Pioneeer Agronomy Update 4/18/17

Apr 18, 2017 36

DuPont Pioneeer Agronomy Update 4/18/17

Indiana planting got off to a slow start, with 4% of the corn planted as of Monday.  The pace, however, is picking up. Yet, for many growers, cleaning up weed covered fields must come first.

The warm and wet spring conditions have allowed both spring weeds and winter annuals to get well-established in many fields. David Cosgray, with DuPont Pioneer, says burndown has been the major activity this week in his area, “There is some very heavy winter annual coverage out there, and a lot of farmers wished they could have gotten to these fields earlier.” He told HAT there was a good deal of burndown spraying done last week trying to get fields ready for planting this week.

Cosgray said planters are rolling this week, but not everywhere, “Every day we see more and more planters rolling, but guys are having to hunt to find fields that are dry enough.” He said some fields may be dry on the surface, but are still too wet down a few inches to plant, “Fields with lighter soils and where fall nitrogen had been applied are the best candidates for planting this week.”

Cosgray urges producers not to plant into a wet seed bed. Rain is back in the forecast beginning on Thursday, which may bring field activity to a halt. Hoosier Ag Today meteorologist Ryan Martin says, “I think there is a fairly decent chance we escape Wednesday with very little moisture – a few hundredths of an inch to perhaps a tenth or so. Northern counties will be best situated to see scattered showers, but a large part of the state just sees clouds through Wednesday. Thursday, we likely will not be so lucky, and a cold front will sweep through the state, bringing about 75-80% coverage of rain. However, rain totals still are not stunning. We think we can see .25”-.75” rains, with most of the state closer to the lower end of the range.”

On Friday, Martin will release his planting forecast for next week. You can sign up to get an e-mail copy here.

Listen to the complete DuPont Pioneer Agronomy Report under the crops tab at this web site.

Indiana Farmers Looking for Corn Planting Windows

Apr 17, 2017 41

If there is a window to plant corn, farmers will take it. And that they did over the Easter holiday weekend around Indiana. With our new planting forecast first released this past weekend, those windows look to be limited in the coming weeks. Mike Silver of Kokomo Grain gets regular updates of activity around the state, and he said it was apparent the weekend window of opportunity brought out the equipment.

“There was scattered rain activity over the long holiday weekend, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday in northwest central Indiana over around the Lafayette area there was quite a bit of field work being done. There was burndown of fields, some anhydrous being applied, tillage operations, and there was some corn planting.”

But certain parts of the state are still too wet to get to the fields.

“As you travel up the I65 corridor up toward the region up toward Chicago there was very limited activity up there. Soil is heavier up that way and they had a little more rain earlier in the week. You get across the northern tier of Indiana counties around Winamac, Plymouth, towards Warsaw, on some of the lighter soils there was limited field activity and very little planting activity.”

In the far northeast part of Indiana reports are very little field activity was seen. Silver said there was considerable activity in east-central Indiana, especially east of Indianapolis all the way to the Ohio line. That activity included corn planting. He tells HAT south of Indianapolis in Johnson County, Bartholomew County, Shelby County and areas further southwest, there was plenty of fieldwork including corn planting.

Planters rolled on Monday too, but some wet parts of Indiana will need numerous days of drying before seed can be put in. Keep an eye on planting weather at https://www.hoosieragtoday.com/seed-consultants-planting-forecast-april-15-2017/, and the new planting forecast will be released Saturday. Sign up at our website if you would like that emailed directly to you.

More from Mike Silver:Mike Silver on Indiana planting

Cutting Costs in Tight Times, Difficult but Doable

Apr 17, 2017 50

Cutting Costs in Tight Times, Difficult but Doable

In a special series of reports this month, Hoosier Ag Today and  Farm Credit MidAmerica have been focusing on the fixed costs of a farming operation and how to better manage those expenses. We have focused on equipment costs and land costs. Some fixed expenses are more difficult to cut than others. Evan Hahn, Vice President of credit, Agribusiness, with FCMA, says labor  costs are areas where efficiency can often be improved, but employees may be affected, “One way is to improve production efficiency by using precision equipment which can reduce labor costs.”

A cost that  is often hard to control is family living costs. Hahn said they recommend writing a check each month to cover family living costs, “With lower profit levels in an operation, some families may have to look at lowering their living costs. One way they can do that every month is to write themselves a check out of the farming operation. That allows them to separate those costs from the farming operating costs.”

Hahn says, if you need help evaluating your fixed costs, talk with your  lender.

FCMA has other resources to provide advice and direction for your operation. Visit them at e-farmcredit.com.

Indiana Field Conditions Improving

Apr 17, 2017 58
SHARE

Facebook

Twitter

Warmer weather improved field conditions, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The week started with some storms and hail. However, strong winds and decreased rainfall helped dry field surfaces to allow farmers to begin field preparation for planting spring crops. Average temperatures were 61.1 degrees, 10.7 degrees above normal for the state. The amounts of rainfall varied from 0.00 to 1.67 inches over the week. The U.S. Drought Monitor reported abnormally dry conditions in Southern Indiana, mainly north and south of Interstate 64. There were 3.2 days available for fieldwork for the week ending April 16.
Termination of cover crops has started and some anhydrous ammonia application has begun. A small amount of farmers reported corn, soybean and mint being planted. Melon transplants are being set. Pastures, hay and wheat fields are greening up.

Livestock were reported on average to be in good condition and some have been moved to pastures. Other activities for the week included continued work on equipment, indoor activities, delivery of seed, cleaning ditches, tillage, moving grain from bins and visiting FSA offices.

China Growing Less Corn as Acreage Drops

Apr 17, 2017 41
SHARE

Facebook

Twitter

Farmers in China will plant less corn this season, resulting in the nation’s smallest crop in six years. A poll finds that, during the spring planting season, growers in China plan to cut corn acreage for the second straight year to 35.2 million hectares, the equivalent of roughly 85 million acres, 4.1 percent less than a year ago. The lower acreage will result in corn output dropping to 207.5 million metric tons in the 2017-18 crop year that ends in September, 5.5 percent lower than the 219.6 million produced in the 2016-17 season. At the same time, China’s soybean output will edge higher to 13.5 million metric tons, 2.9 percent higher than the 13.1 million produced last year. Reuters says the shift towards rising soybean output and falling corn production reflects Beijing’s goal of reducing corn growing to cut its bloated stockpiles.

China currently has around 250 million metric tons of corn in storage, more than one years’ worth of consumption.

Source: NAFB News Service