Washed and cleaned corn roots waiting to be graded for damage.
Steve Parker, University of Illinois
August 15, 2013

Why ILLINOIS Does Root Digs

Every summer the Extension entomologist at the University of Illinois digs up the roots of corn.

Why ILLINOIS Does Root Digs

August 06, 2013

Meds & Food for Kids – soybean for nutrition

A cooperative grant effort between the National Soybean Research Lab based in Champaign, Illinois, the United States Department of Agriculture, and a Haiti based Not-for-Profit called Meds & Food for Kids is working to fight malnutrition in the Caribbean nation while at the same creating economic prosperity. Todd Gleason files this report from the north end of the island.

Meds & Food for Kids – soybean for nutrition

Quote from Gary Schnitkey.
Todd E. Gleason
August 02, 2013

2014 Crop Budgets Project Much Lower Corn Income

The 2014 Illinois Crop Budgets have lower returns than received in recent years.  This suggests incomes will be down from recent levels in the upcoming year.

Much can happen between now and 2014 harvest.  Price expectations can change.  Moreover, cost expectations, particularly for fertilizer, could vary from those shown in this release of the budgets.  These budgets will be updated as market conditions change.

Budgets represent averages across many farms.  Individual farms can vary from the budgeted amounts.  Farmers should evaluate their own costs contained in budgets.

Submitted by:  Gary Schnitkey, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois

Listen to Gary Schnitkey and Todd Gleason using the link on this page. Or read the whole of the article on the Farm Doc Daily website.

A picture of corn in the field.
Jerry Gulke
July 31, 2013

Weekly Crop Progress

USDA's Weekly Crop Progress reports indicate the condition of crops in the United States. Each week during the growing season from April to November the statisticians from the five top corn producing states in the nation deliver audio reports to the U of I College of ACES for redistribution. WILLAg pacakages them together and puts them ON AIR during the Tuesday Closing Market Report. The reports often contain a bit more than the raw numbers.

These are a great source for "what's happening on the ground and in the field". You can listen to this week's report using the link below. 

We believe these live pigs were being carried to market strapped to the back of a motorcycle.
Todd E. Gleason, University of Illinois
July 25, 2013

Pigs on a Motorcycle

Yup, you can take two pigs to market on the back of little motorcycle. 

Pigs on a Motorcycle

July 11, 2013

Making 2014 Corn Sales

Thursday July 11 USDA updated the projected 2013/2014 corn supply and demand numbers for the United States. The agency projects a record sized corn crop of some 14 billion bushels will be harvested this fall. You may see the exact number in our USDA Reports page. Darrel Good talked with Todd Gleason about the numbers. The two looked forward to next season's crop, and Todd wondered if the ag economist believed it worth hedging now. You can hear why Darrel Good thinks that should the be the case using the link below. 

July 08, 2013

2013 International Year of Statistics

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.

U.S. corn consumption for ethanol in billion bushels.
June 29, 2013

Is the Corn Boom Ending? ...and more.

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.

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