October 26, 2015

Online Courses Target Weed and Crop Management

by Angelique Peltier

Each year University of Illinois Extension’s regional Crop Management Conferences offer hours of research-based education to farmers, Certified Crop Advisors, and other agricultural professionals. Interactive online courses were developed from 2015 conference presentations by University of Illinois Department of Crop Science faculty:

  • New (and old) Tools for Delaying and Coping with Herbicide Resistance – Dr. Adam Davis, USDA Weed Ecologist

  • Confirming Herbicide Resistance – Dr. Aaron Hager, Extension Weed Scientist

  • Corn & Soybean Agronomy: Will What Worked in 2014 Work in 2015? – Dr. Emerson Nafziger, Extension Agronomist

These and 14 other courses covering soil and water management, integrated pest management, and crop management topics are open for public viewing free of charge on the University of Illinois Extension CCA webpage.

Descriptions of each course are listed below course titles on the main webpage (Figure).

To view a course, click on the course title, then click on the words “Begin Course” under the green box located on the right side of the page (Figure). Certified Crop Advisors interested in earning continuing education units (CEUs) must register, log in, pay a small fee, view each slide in its entirety and complete a short quiz (Figure).

If you have difficulty accessing this content, please contact Angie Peltier: apeltier@illinois.edu, (309) 734-1098.

October 26, 2015

2016 Farmland Price Outlook

While farmland prices likely will continue to see downward pressure into 2016, the capitalized values do not suggest the price of farmland is too high or in a bubble. Todd Gleason has more from the agricultural economists at the University of Illinois.


October 21, 2015

The Regular Climate Pattern of Brazil

They say it is best to keep your friends close and your …let’s go with competitors in the soybean market… even closer. Todd Gleason has this story on how weather patterns in Brazil generally unfold year in and year out.

October 19, 2015

Don’t Bet the Cash Rented Farm on a Loss

It is very difficult to give up a farm, even one that is losing money because the cash rent is too high. Todd Gleason has a few simple guidelines one might follow to help them make that decision.

October 15, 2015

Africa and Soybean Trials

The nations of Africa have struggled to feed themselves for decades. There are some places, like South Africa, that have successfully adapted some of world’s primary crops. Corn is a good example. Soybeans are also grown in Africa, but they’re not particularly high yielding varieties. Todd Gleason reports soybean breeders from three African institutions have been visiting the United States in hopes of making some improvements.

October 14, 2015

The Corn Crop is Unlikely to be Overestimated

After the Crop Production report was released last week some of the trade began to discuss the possibility USDA had overestimated the size of the U.S. corn crop. This is not very likely.

USDA’s October 9 Crop Production report forecast the 2015 corn crop at about 13.6 billion bushels. That was down 30 million bushels from September and 660 million bushels smaller than last year.

Commentary following the release of the report suggests some believe the corn crop is even smaller. One of the factors cited as evidence the crop may be smaller than forecast is the strong basis levels in many markets. This seems the make some sense. The argument is that a crop as large as forecast, particularly in the face of a rapid pace of harvest and a large soybean crop, would not support such a strong basis due to the resulting strong demand for storage space. That argument, however, is not completely supported by the current estimates of crop supplies thinks University of Illinois Agricultural Economist Darrel Good.

Basis levels are generally determined by the supply of storage space and an array of factors that determine the demand for storage capacity. Harvest-time basis levels at the point of producer delivery may be receiving some additional support this year from the recent expansion in grain storage capacity. The USDA’s December Grain Stocks report, for example, estimates that permanent storage capacity (on- and off- farm) increased by nearly 550 million bushels from December 1, 2012 to December 1, 2014. Additional capacity has been added in the past year. Basis levels at the farm may also be receiving support from the lack of widespread transportation delays and the increasing use of delayed pricing contracts. Both of these factors allow for more rapid movement of corn through the marketing channel. Darrel Good says the lack of widespread transportation issues may reflect, in part, the dominance of the domestic corn market relative to exports resulting in a larger portion of the crop moving by truck rather than by rail where delays are more common.

Basis levels are also influenced by the pace of corn consumption. A more rapid pace of consumption, all else equal, tends to strengthen basis in order to make storage less attractive. Domestic ethanol production in September and early October 2015 was nearly five percent larger than that of a year earlier, supporting the domestic demand for corn. Domestic feed demand for corn has also likely been supported by the four percent increase in the hog inventory this fall and the slightly larger number of cattle on feed, dairy cattle, and broiler placements. On the other hand, the pace of export shipments is well below that of last year. The relative pace of consumption in the various segments of the corn market may explain part of the regional differences in basis patterns this year.

Since corn basis levels and patterns are determined by a complex set of supply and demand factors, it seems to be a stretch to conclude generally strong harvest time basis levels this year point to a smaller corn crop than currently forecast writes Good in his Weekly Outlook. It can be found on the Farm Doc Daily website.

He says history is also not on the side of a smaller yield forecast than the 168 bushel forecast of last week. In the 40 years from 1975 through 2014, the USDA yield forecast increased from September to October, as it did this year, in 24 years. The January yield estimate was below the October forecast in only four of those 24 years. While higher corn prices as the marketing year progresses are possible, then, price increases are not likely to be generated by a smaller U.S. production forecast. Instead, Darrel Good says prices will be influenced by the pace of consumption and the development of the South American crop.

October 12, 2015

Working Capital on the Farm

Low commodity prices are quickly eating into the reserves farmers built up over the last several years. Listen to Gary Schnitkey to learn more on agriculture's 'working capital'.

original article from FarmDocDaily

October 09, 2015

USDA Reports - October 9, 2015

WASDE Summary Table
2015/2016 Marketing Year


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