This is the year of statistics. Check out Statistics2013.org. It is a great little website dedicated to the people that devlop all those numbers the market loves to trade. Down near the bottom of the homepage you'll find a section called "Statistician Job of the Week".
This week it highlights Dan Kerestes USDA NASS Chief of the Livestock Branch. A few weeks ago Rick Mueller section head of the National Agriculture Statistics Service’s Spatial Analysis Research unit in Washington, D.C. was highlighted. Do read the article about him, and the work he does with satellites.
There are links in the article to what appear to be really valuable assets for agriculturalists. USDA NASS in cooperation with George Mason University post satellite stats through webpages called CropScape and VegScape. Check them out for yourself.
This week University of Illinois Ag Economist Darrel Good explored the future growth potential for corn. He draws some sobering conclusions. You may read more on his thoughts here, and in the link to the FarmDOCDaily article below. You'll also find a link to the interview Todd Gleason did with Dr. Good Friday morning after the relase of the June Grain Stocks and Acreage reports.
The is the concluding paragraph of the "Corn Boom Ending" article: The recent period of growth in the U.S. corn industry appears to have peaked. The domestic ethanol market has hit the E10 blend wall and will be dependent on consumption of higher blends in order to expand total domestic consumption and to increase corn consumption. The domestic livestock industry is also mature and may require larger exports for production growth. Finally, the corn export market has become a lot more competitive in the past several years as high corn prices have stimulated an increase in world production.
If the size of the U.S. corn market has peaked, a period of lower prices and reduced acreage may be required. Lower prices would be beneficial for the livestock industry, at least initially. Lower crop farm incomes might result in some downward pressure on farm land prices, particularly if interest rates continue to increase. Making plans for such an adjustment seems prudent, while at the same time hoping for a surprise development on the demand side.
It is clear farmers throughout the Midwest are exercising the Combo Crop Insurance policy Prevent Plant option. Todd Gleason reports some of the numbers behind the decision not to plant.
High School FFA Chapters from around the nation are gathering at their state conventions this summer. Scattered among the blue and gold jackets will be their teachers, and a few aspiring agriculture education teachers. Todd Gleason caught up with one of them and has this story on how she came to a Big Ten school through the Community College system.
Corn fields with poor color are probably suffering from a lack of oxygen rather than in need of an addtional nitrogen application. This is the conclusion of University of Illinois Agronomist Emerson Nafziger.
He writes in this week's bulletin, "As soils dry out in most areas of Illinois and temperatures stay warm, it’s likely that many fields with yellow corn plants will improve, in some cases rapidly. Late planting and warm temperatures do tend to favor top growth over root growth, but we expect that as leaves grow and start improve in color and as soil oxygen levels increase as soils dry, sugars will become more available to the roots as well as the tops, and this will further improve root uptake of nutrients."
You may read more or listen to our report with Emerson Nafziger using the links below.
Farmers, especially no-tillers, are very concerned about weed control in their soybean fields this year. Todd Gleason reports some burndown herbicide applications failed to kill everything.
Farmers, long delayed by rainfall in much of the cornbelt, have some new decisions to make this week. Todd Gleason reports those that purchased revenue protection crop insurance products must consider whether or not to plant corn.
Tuesday, as some of you may already know, I flew to Washington, D.C. with my father on an Honor Flight. It is a most moving experience. Dad is a WWII vet and among only a handful on this trip. Most were Korean Era vets. You can see photos taken during the day using the link below. If you are or know a WWII or Korea era vet and can travel (at all) please do not miss this opportunity. Honor Fights are extraordinary events.
Over this Memorial Day as we remember the fallen, please take time to thank those that served along side them. Freedom comes at a price, and a few have paid with their lives, many have paid with their service. We thank all of them.
Todd Gleason, Guardian - Central Illinois Honor Flight
The United States House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture will mark up the 2013 version of the farm bill today in Washington, D.C. (May 15). Last night ranking member of the committee Collin Peterson spoke about the bill and the mark up with farm broadcasters. Todd Gleason was among them and files this report. It begins the way the evening event started with Peterson and his band the "Second Amendments" entertaining members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting.
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