Ag Notes


WILL - Ag Notes - November 22, 2013

2013 Illinois Farm Economics Summits

Join the University of Illinois farmdoc team for the Illinois Farm Economics Summits the week of December 16th, 2013. It is a 'must attend' event for farmers, bankers, lenders, and landowners.

Speakers will explore farm profitability, price outlook, and management challenges from several perspectives, including farm income prospects and crop rotation decisions, trends in farmland prices and rents, renewable fuels policy and crop markets, the new farm bill, and health reform.

Categories: Agriculture

WILL - Ag Notes - November 16, 2013

Corn Based Ethanol & the 10% Blend Wall

by Todd E. Gleason

The United States Environmental Protection Agency has proposed rule making that would change the amount of renewable fuel required to be blended in the domestic supply of gasoline. University of Illinois agricultural policy specialist Jonathan Coppess wonders if the agency hasn't over stepped its congressionally granted authority.

Categories: Agriculture


WILL - Ag Notes - November 08, 2013

2014 Could be a Tough Year for Cash Renters

by Todd E. Gleason

Commodity prices likely will be lower in the next several years than they have been in the past several years. As a result, per acre returns will decline, decreasing the ability to pay high cash rents from returns. This situation may require some farms to adjust. Those farms with over 90% of their acres cash rented and having farm-minus-county cash rents over $25 per acre may face the most financial pressures.

Table of Grain Farms by Size, Percent of Acres Cash Rented, and Dollar Amount Paid over the County Cash Rent Average

However, these farms also may do well if they have lower than average costs. In any case, about 4% of farms cash rent more than 90% of their acres and have $25 per acre or more farm-minus-county cash rents. A higher proportion of larger farms meet these criteria.

Categories: Agriculture

WILL - Ag Notes - November 07, 2013

Farmland Markets Conference

TIAA CREF Logo and University of Illinois Logo with picture of USA farmstead and soybean field.

Wednesday, November 13
9:00 am to 3:30 pm

Hilton Garden Inn
1501 S. Neil Street
Champaign, Illinois

Registration $85
$99 after November 8th

Keynote Speaker: Joseph Glauber, Chief Economist, United States Department of Agriculture

Dr. Glauber will address the State of U.S. Agriculture, and provide linkages between commodity markets, global supply and demand markets, and forces affecting Farmland Markets in the future.

  * Bruce Sherrick: Farmland Markets – farmland performance as a financial asset for both owners and operators
  * Gary Schnitkey: Rental Arrangements – how income is split with different types of rental contracts
  * Scott Irwin: Commodity Outlook – RFS impact on current and future prices
  * Jonathan Coppess: Farm Bill – update on progress, deadlines and program expirations, and farm program alternatives
  * Tim Hopper: Top 10 Global Dynamics that Make Your Farm What it is Worth

Special Lunch Guest: Mike Thomas, University of Illinois Athletic Director

Registration includes lunch and materials

Categories: Agriculture


WILL - Ag Notes - October 25, 2013

Tribute to a Farmer; a photo essay

photographer Matt Rubel

Last month, during the busy harvest season, a group of farmers near Monticello drove their tractors, trucks and combines out of their half-harvested fields, and parked them. Dozens of red, green and yellow machines, in a long row along the highway outside of town. It was a tribute to a friend and fellow farmer. Only 31 years old, he recently died of cancer. Photographer Matt Rubel was visiting family in the area at the time. He captured the tribute, in photos and in this essay, which ran in Modern Farmer magazine.

Donations to the Kaleb and Khloe Hendrix Scholarship Fund can be made to the First State Bank of Monticello, 201 West Main Street, Monticello, Illinois, 61856,  (217) 762-9431.

Categories: Agriculture

WILL - Ag Notes - October 24, 2013

Father of Modern Agricultural Weather Forecasting

Listen

(Duration: 11:31)

Peter Leavitt; 1931-2013

This week agricultural meteorology lost one its most influential figures. Peter Leavitt served our nation’s farmers for nearly all his 82 years. He was the chairman and CEO of Weather Services Corporation and in 1978 founded WSI Corporation now part of The Weather Channel.

Leavitt graduated from M.I.T. in the 1950’s with a degree in meteorology. In mid-1970’s he taught himself to program a computer (see photo) and did the original database work to create weather forecasting models. He founded WSI in 1978. It eventually spawned The Weather Channel. Leavitt hired Paul Bayer right out of college to help write the computer program. Bayer is a principal software engineer at WSI. You may listen to Todd Gleason’s interview with Bayer about Peter Leavitt’s legacy using the links on this page.

Leavitt volunteered his agricultural forecasting expertise to WILL radio in Urbana, Illinois every Thursday afternoon over parts of the last four decades. 

Categories: Agriculture

WILL - Ag Notes - October 22, 2013

Would More Rain have Made Better Corn Yields

written by Emerson Nafziger

The Illinois State Water Survey weather recording site in Champaign near the South Farms provided the following rainfall totals (in inches) in 2013: May – 4.65; June – 5.33; July – 3.47; August – 0.49; September – 0.50. The dry weather along with high temperatures in late August into September – it reached 98 degrees on August 31 and again on September 10 – had many of us believing that yields would be lowered. I was also hoping that irrigation in a study we conducted here might bring us 300-bushel yields by preventing such a decline.

The irrigation study was conducted by grad student Josh Vonk, with help from others. It was planted following soybeans, with 180 lb of N applied as UAN before final tillage. On May 20, we planted about 40,000 seeds per acre of DeKalb hybrid DKC 62-08. Irrigation was done using dripline placed between row middles, with a row skipped between lines. We started to irrigate in mid-July, and from then to mid- September, irrigated plots received 9.66 inches of water, or about 1.2 inches per week. Rainfall totaled only about 2 inches over this period.

Categories: Agriculture

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