@C - CORN - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 370'0 365'0 369'6 3'4
May '17 376'6 371'6 376'2 3'0
Jul '17 383'2 378'2 383'0 3'0
Sep '17 389'2 385'0 389'2 2'6
Dec '17 396'2 392'0 395'6 2'2
Mar '18 403'0 399'2 402'6 2'2
@S - SOYBEANS - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 1071'2 1060'0 1067'4 -2'6
May '17 1079'4 1068'2 1076'0 -2'4
Jul '17 1085'2 1074'2 1082'0 -1'6
Aug '17 1079'0 1069'6 1076'2 -1'4
Sep '17 1055'0 1045'4 1052'4 -0'6
Nov '17 1031'0 1021'2 1028'6 -1'0
Jan '18 1033'0 1024'2 1031'2 -0'4
@K - HARD RED WINTER WHEAT - KCBT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 444'4 437'6 443'0 0'6
May '17 456'2 449'6 455'0 0'6
Jul '17 467'4 461'4 466'4 0'4
Sep '17 480'2 475'6 480'2 0'0
@L - LIVE CATTLE - CME
Month High Low Last Chg
Feb '17 121.025 119.250 120.250 -0.775
Apr '17 119.875 117.875 118.975 -0.900
@C - COTTON #2 - ICEFU
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 73.43 72.72 73.04 0.35
May '17 73.96 73.25 73.67 0.41
Jul '17 74.45 73.83 74.25 0.44
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National
K.C. Fed report: Volume of new ag loans drops
A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City?the Fed?s Tenth District?says farm lending activity at commercial banks slowed significantly in the fourth quarter as lenders and borrowers assessed economic prospects for 2017. According to the Federal Reserve?s Agricultural Finance Databook, new loan originations dropped sharply, despite persistent increases in the level of outstanding farm debt and ongoing demand for loan renewals. Officials say some of the reduced loan volume likely stemmed from lower costs of farm inputs. Continue reading K.C. Fed report: Volume of new ag loans drops at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
Gulke: Prices Rally to Levels Not Seen in Months
Off to a good start so far in 2017, says Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group. Livestock and grains saw a recovery well into the new year, despite recent negative attitudes in the markets.
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We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have ...
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have an exclusive partnership in Aurora and out of our Sedan grain locations.>
Balance GT Soybeans receive import approval from China
Balance GT Soybeans receive import approval from China>
Analysis finds that U.S. corn-based ethanol reduces greenhouse gas ...
Analysis finds that U.S. corn-based ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline, with additional benefits projected through 2022.>
Just doing a little interview about weed resistance, preparation, and ...
Just doing a little interview about weed resistance, preparation, and management with our friend Andy from NCN.>
We are also at the Northeast Nebraska Farm & Equipment Show in ...
We are also at the Northeast Nebraska Farm & Equipment Show in Norfolk today and tomorrow. Visit us at booth B77-78!>
Come visit us at the York Ag Expo at booth #2 today and tomorrow!
Come visit us at the York Ag Expo at booth #2 today and tomorrow!>
Please join us on Friday!
Please join us on Friday!>
Be sure to check out our website for more information on the GROW ...
Be sure to check out our website for more information on the GROW program at www.auroracoop.com/Agronomy.>
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We want to wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to doing ...
We want to wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to doing business with you in 2017!>
We wish you a very Merry Christmas from your friends at Aurora ...
We wish you a very Merry Christmas from your friends at Aurora Cooperative!>
Save the Date! Annual Stockholders Meeting is February 27 and 28th. ...
Save the Date! Annual Stockholders Meeting is February 27 and 28th. Stay tuned for more information!>
Keeping you Warm this Holiday Season!
Keeping you Warm this Holiday Season!>
?Reason for the Season?. The Aurora Coop main office raised ...
?Reason for the Season?. The Aurora Coop main office raised over $1,600 for local ?Christmas Cheer to Families? program. Way to go team!>
Great crowd to hear Dr. Jason Norsworthy discuss how to make sound ...
Great crowd to hear Dr. Jason Norsworthy discuss how to make sound weed management decisions.>
Local
Nebraska Ag Update - January 20, 2017
Nebraska Ag Updates
Herbicide Resistance-Farmers Talk, Weed Scientists Listen
The group of farmers, ag retailers, crop consultants, company reps and scientists that met Wednesday in southeastern Pennsylvania represent a special slice of agriculture. They spoke of the benefit of rotating grains with lima beans and other specialty crops. They traded tips on growing vegetables for fresh market sales versus processing. They voiced the challenges of farming in an area where crop fields can change hands and sprout suburban condos in a matter of months. Yet what brought these mid-Atlantic ag stakeholders together — the growing scourge of herbicide-resistant weeds — aligns them with every farmer in the country from the Western fruit grower to the Midwestern row cropper and the Southern peanut farmer. That’s why the Weed Science Society of America has decided to host a series of seven regional Herbicide Resistance Listening Sessions around the country this year. The meetings are designed to help agricultural leaders drill down on the most effective ways to combat the spread of weeds resistant to an array of herbicides, including glyphosate, ALS herbicides, and PPO herbicides. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, meeting was the second of seven such events scheduled this winter. (See DTN’s story on the first, held in Starkville, Mississippi, here: http://bit.ly/…). This meeting drew stakeholders from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Penn State weed scientist Bill Curran and other meeting leaders stood up and introduced themselves. Then, as the name of the meetings suggests, they put down the mike and listened to their guests. “This is not your typical meeting,” Curran explained. “Today you’re going to be the teachers and we’re the students. We want information from you … The goals for the day are to leave with more knowledge about the barriers to managing herbicide-resistant weeds and what the opportunities are for doing a better job and how we can work together to realize this.” Some of the challenges raised by the meeting attendees included: A scarcity of herbicide options for vegetable and specialty crop growers. “For vegetable growers, this is really tough to deal with because there is just no good chemistry to fight this,” noted Luke McConnell, a crop consultant for the Delmarva and New Jersey region. Many growers in the mid-Atlantic region rotate to grains like corn and soybeans partly for access to a broader array of herbicide options to clean up fields, added Richard Wilkins, the president of the American Soybean Association and a grain and specialty crop farmer from Greenwood, Delaware. Lost stewardship values when it comes to weed management. “We’ve forgotten what our grandfathers knew: Never let a weed go to seed on your farm,” McConnell said. Wilkins recalled summers spent pulling weeds in lima bean fields as a child. “Every year we have glyphosate-resistant marestail germinate, even in a field with no weeds there last year,” he said. “Because a marestail weed seed can travel up to 10 miles.” A Monsanto representative talked of the difficulty of re-educating farmers on intensive weed management, which means not only applying residual herbicides, but scouting fields two weeks later to destroy weed escapes and killing weeds when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Low commodity prices, which make growers less willing and able to spend more on weed control. “You’re asking guys to spend $25 to $30 an acre where they used to spend $10,” said Ron Manley, a regional crop consultant and cattle feeder. “That’s going to be a challenge.” The addition of the most aggressive weed in the country, Palmer amaranth, to the regional mix of resistant weeds. There was a time when Todd Davis, the noxious weed specialist for the Delaware Department of Agriculture, knew the location of every patch of herbicide-resistant weed in the region — mainly Johnsongrass, burcucumber or giant ragweed. “Then Palmer came around,” he said. “I went from knowing the location of the problem to every field, every roadside being susceptible. I went from a job that is manageable to a job putting out fires. You can’t be proactive — it’s too massive.” The growing complexity of herbicide labels and regulation, particularly with new herbicide-tolerant crop systems such as Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist system and Monsanto’s Xtend system. One ag retailer noted that his company isn’t certain it even wants to offer the newly labeled dicamba herbicides (for Xtend soybeans) because of the challenging labyrinth of label requirements governing each application. The notes and lessons learned from these meetings will ultimately be combined, refined and published this summer. For more information on the next five regional Herbicide Resistance Learning Sessions, which will take place in the Southeast, North-Central, West, Southwest and Northwest regions, contact your regional WSSA office. Source: Emily Unglesbee, DTN
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have ...
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have an exclusive partnership in Aurora and out of our Sedan grain locations.>
A Lot of Uncertainty Surrounding U.S. Trade Outlook
U.S. agriculture faces 2017 with uncertainty surrounding trade, and trade policy in disarray. After years of bipartisan support for trade agreements and record-breaking agricultural exports and imports, there are many unknowns for the coming year. Several factors are causing concern — the strengthening U.S. dollar, and economic woes among trading partners, to name a couple. However, the U.S. presidential campaign has highlighted, more than other events, the frustration of many Americans who blame trade and trade agreements for their declining economic situations and diminished quality of life. Canada, China, and Mexico will continue to be the top markets for U.S. agricultural products in 2017. As President Trump settles in, markets await implementation of his promises to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and backing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). NAFTA has been very positive for U.S. agriculture and most other sectors. Any attempt to change NAFTA, which has been fully implemented for nine years at the beginning of 2017, would likely be met with stiff bi-partisan resistance on Capitol Hill. RECORD EXPORTS TPP countries have been key components in record-breaking U.S. agricultural exports in the past few years. East Asia and China account for about half of all U.S. agricultural exports. Trade leadership in the Asian-Pacific countries could go to China if the U.S. backs out. To further highlight this, three-fourths of U.S. cotton is exported, and its top five markets include China, Vietnam, Mexico, and Indonesia. Nearly half of U.S. wheat is exported, and its top five markets include Japan, Mexico, Philippines, and South Korea. One-fifth of U.S. pork is exported and the top five markets are Mexico, Japan, China, Canada, and South Korea. Thus, tinkering with both NAFTA and TPP, or placing barriers on imports from China as Trump promised during the presidential campaign, could have serious implications for U.S. agriculture. Corn exports remain relatively strong, while there are declines in soybeans, wheat, and cotton. Pork remains relatively strong, with some decline in beef, and more serious declines in poultry and dairy. Fruits and vegetable exports are down slightly, while imports remain strong. The USDA forecasts 2017 volume gains for soybeans, corn, cotton, and most livestock and poultry. TRADE: LITTLE RELIEF Macroeconomic policy also looms large for U.S. trade. The Federal Reserve will likely increase interest rates, while the federal government will reduce taxes and increase spending. The U.S. dollar will likely remain relatively strong in 2017, limiting resurgence of U.S. exports, or even decreasing exports. The general U.S trade deficit has fluctuated over the past five years, and saw a multi-month low in late 2016. However, the general trade deficit is likely to increase in 2017, with little relief from agricultural trade. While U.S. agricultural trade is down from record-breaking 2014, it remains higher than in most of the previous decades. By the end of 2017, U.S. farmers and ranchers will have a better sense of the benefits and costs of likely gains from reduced regulations and the losses from reduced trade. (Dr. Larry D. Sanders is Professor and Economist, Policy and Public Affairs, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Dr. Luis Ribera is an Associate Professor and Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economic at Texas A&M University, College Station.. He also serves as the Program Director for International Projects for the Agricultural and Food Policy Center.) Source: Dr. Luis Ribera, Larry Sanders, Southwest Farm Press
Drought Monitor-Heavy Rains Bring Improvements
Several areas of heavy precipitation brought drought improvement to parts of the Northeast, Midwest, Plains, and Far West while drought conditions were essentially unchanged elsewhere. Nowhere in the country did dryness intensify enough to worsen the Drought Monitor depiction from last week. The Southeast Moderate to locally heavy precipitation (generally 1.5 to nearly 4.0 inches) fell across most of Kentucky and adjacent northwestern Tennessee, with light to moderate totals reported over the rest of Tennessee and in southwestern Virginia. Farther south and east, little or no precipitation fell. As a result, the small areas of dryness in southwestern Kentucky and adjacent Tennessee were removed, and conditions improved to D0 in a small part of southwestern Virginia and adjacent North Carolina, based in part on a re-assessment of the effects of prior weeks’ precipitation. Conditions were unchanged elsewhere, including through the areas of Severe to Extreme Drought from northern and central Alabama northeastward through the western Carolinas. Conditions across the southern half of Georgia will be monitored for additional potential improvement resulting from earlier rainfall as well, but no changes were made this week. Over the past 90 days, precipitation totals are 4 to 7 inches below normal in the most seriously affected areas. View current Drought Monitor map here. Midwest Substantial precipitation brought improvement to many of the dry areas from Iowa and northern Missouri eastward through Ohio, and enough fell elsewhere to prevent any deterioration. Generally 1.5 to locally over 3.0 inches dampened much of northern and southern Illinois, most of Indiana, and northern Ohio, prompting removal of D0 from Ohio and Indiana, with smaller areas of improvement noted farther west. Central Illinois, northern Missouri, and most of southeastern Iowa remained in D0 to D1. Less than half of normal precipitation fell during the last 30 days across much of northern Missouri and parts of central and southern Illinois. The Plains Light precipitation at best was reported from Nebraska and eastern Colorado northward to the Canadian border, leaving dryness and drought unchanged. In contrast, moderate to heavy precipitation pelted most areas from the southern half of Kansas and southwestern Missouri southward across much of Oklahoma and into parts of the Texas Panhandle and northeastern Texas. Between 3.5 and 5.0 inches fell along some areas near the Kansas-Oklahoma border. This brought improvement from D3 to D2 to a small part of southeastern Oklahoma, and broader improvements to many former areas of D0 to D2 elsewhere. Still, 90-day precipitation was generally 4 to 8 inches below normal from eastern Oklahoma and parts of eastern Texas eastward across southern Missouri, the northern half of Arkansas, and areas in and near northern Louisiana. The West Near to above normal precipitation on time scales ranging from 30 to 90 days or more prompted removal of the D2 areas in north-central and southeastern Colorado. Across the remaining areas of dryness and drought from the Rockies through the Intermountain West and Southwest, scattered to isolated areas of moderate to heavy precipitation weren’t enough to prompt any changes from last week. In contrast, very heavy precipitation ranging from 4 to 8 inches was recorded throughout the Sierra Nevada and isolated parts of the higher elevations in west-central and southwestern California. Elsewhere, 1.5 to 3.5 inches of precipitation fell in a swath from San Francisco southward to Monterey and eastward to the Sierra Nevada, and on areas along and near the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, including part of western Nevada. Given the protracted nature of conditions from much of the San Joaquin Valley southward to Mexico, no improvement was introduced there, including the persistence of D4 conditions in part of southwestern California. In sharp contrast, all D0 to D3 areas in the central Sierra Nevada and adjacent west-central Nevada were improved this week as a pattern of well-above-normal precipitation continued. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico Conditions remained unchanged in these areas, keeping much of southeastern mainland Alaska in D0 and maintaining the small patchy areas of D0 to D1 intact along the western sides of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. A drying trend, including reduced mountain snowpack, has been noted in south-central Alaska and through the Panhandle. No changes were introduced this week, but these regions need to be monitored for intensification in the near future. There is currently no dryness or drought in Puerto Rico. Looking Ahead During the next five days (January 19-23), above-normal precipitation (2-5 inches) is expected across most of the Gulf Coast states from far eastern Texas to and including northern Florida, most of the southern Atlantic Coast region, the Tennessee Valley, and southwestern portions of Kentucky and Virginia. Excessive precipitation amounts (liquid equivalents of 9-13 inches) are forecast for coastal California and most of the Sierras. These anticipated areas of heavy precipitation are likely to result in additional improvements to next week’s U.S. Drought Monitor depiction. Little if any relief, however, is forecast for most of the Great Plains and Northeast. For the ensuing five-day period (January 24-28), there are elevated chances for above-median precipitation across much of the contiguous U.S. However, odds favor below-median precipitation across the south-central states. Taking the two periods as a whole, Oklahoma and most of Texas are the least likely areas to receive beneficial precipitation. Source: Ernst Undesser, AgFax
Expect Fertilizer Prices Flat to Slightly Lower
In 2016, fertilizer prices were a bright spot for producers facing falling commodity prices. The question now is whether prices will hold, or even fall further in 2017. In answering that question it is helpful to take a look at the big picture. After decades of relative stability, the prices of all fertilizer products spiked dramatically in 2008. Increasing global fertilizer use in Asia and U.S. biofuel demand caused global demand to outrun production. The resulting price spike led to investments in new production facilities across the globe. Related: Cattle markets adjust to larger supplies: Outlook During the last five years, global fertilizer consumption has been increasing at 1.5 percent to 2 percent per year, while production capacity has been increasing more than 3 percent. U.S. fertilizer production, particularly nitrogen, has been in line with the global trend. Domestic market share of nitrogen fertilizer production fell below 50 percent in 1990, but has now grown to 70 percent due to plant expansion projects and new startups. With a dozen expansion projects still in the development or construction stage, some 6 million tons of ammonia capacity could come online in the next three years, increasing domestic market share to a level not seen in 20 years. PLENTY WILD CARDS That supply picture underlies our farm level price trends. While the magnitude varies across product forms, fertilizer prices have been trending lower since mid-2013. By the fall of 2016, most retail prices were at their lowest point since 2010. Retail prices for NH3, DAP, and phosphate all fell 20 percent during 2016, and were 25 percent to 40 percent off their peak levels. As we hope for more of the same in 2017, it is good to remember how far we have come. While the supply situation is cause for moderate optimism, there are still plenty of wild cards. The North American fertilizer industry has become very concentrated. Two firms control nearly 75 percent of the NH3 and UAN delivered to the central U.S. The phosphate and phosphate manufacturing industries are also concentrated. None of the major players are eager to idle capacity. However, supply discipline is much easier to achieve in a concentrated industry. Several potash mines were idled during 2016, reminding us that fertilizer manufacturers will adjust supply. While the U.S. is now more self-sufficient in fertilizer production, changes in consumption or exports by major players such as China, India, or Russia can still generate a seasonal spike. POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES The current consensus is for flat to weakening fertilizer prices for 2017 with the typical possibilities for seasonal rallies. Many producers will be tempted to play a cat-and-mouse game with retailers, hoping for small breaks in prices. Fertilizer dealers will be cautious about holding inventories, and are keeping a close eye on accounts receivable. This could present opportunities for well-capitalized farmers to pre-book at favorable prices or negotiate for higher than normal cash discounts. Some farmers may be willing to take on more risk by delaying fertilizer purchases in hopes that prices will continue to decline. That strategy might yield some gains in 2017, but trying to outguess the market can also be costly. In terms of other inputs, seed and chemical manufacturers won’t be pushing many price increases, but are unlikely to do much to decrease the producer’s burden. Before the advent of biotech traits, seed prices tended to follow commodity prices. Since then, seed prices have gone up virtually every year as companies attempt to recoup their multi-million dollar investments. RELATIONSHIPS IMPORTANT Despite low commodity prices, seed dealers are likely to try the hold the line on prices in 2017. Mergers in the crop protection industries have dealers worried about a reduction of rebates. That may limit their interest in pushing prices lower. Both seed and crop protection wholesalers are actively trying to bypass retailers and sell direct to the larger producers. That could create pricing opportunities for larger scale operations, but producers will want to consider the downside of upsetting long-term relationships. In tough times, retail relationships can become increasingly important. (Dr. Phil Kenkel is Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and holds the Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair. Dr. Steven Klose is Professor and Extension Economist-Farm Management, Texas A&M University, College Station.) Source: Phil Kenkel, Steven Klose, Southwest Farm Press
EPA Won't Waive Biofuel Requirements, Denies Oil Industry Request
U.S. environmental regulators have denied a request from oil refiners to waive some of their advanced biofuels use requirements from 2016, in what is likely to be one of the Obama Administration's final decisions on the controversial program. The denial, published on Environmental Protection Agency's website on Wednesday, comes just days before President-elect Donald Trump takes office and as his nominee for EPA chief was being questioned in a Senate hearing. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program was signed into law in 2005 and designed to boost a renewable fuel industry annually. It requires oil companies to use increasing volumes of biofuels including cellulosic ethanol, which is produced of plant waste material. AFPM and others from the oil industry have spent years lobbying EPA to lower the biofuels requirements, saying they are unachievable. The EPA in a Jan. 17 letter to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) said it was denying the group's request to waive some of the volumes that previously the agency said would be required for use in 2016, citing short supplies. Oil groups have previously taken EPA to court over these waivers. In December 2016, AFPM asked the EPA to waive the requirements that were in excess of real production of the advanced fuel last year. The agency established a waiver credit system to help oil companies meet annual targets set by Congress for required use of cellulosic ethanol, a biofuel made of plant waste. Development of this advanced fuel industry has been slower than lawmakers expected when they established annual targets in 2007. AFPM said total cellulosic production was below the total requirements targeted for 2016 last year, and monthly data from EPA through November suggests that to be the case. However, EPA said in its statement that the supplies are adequate based on last year's production and carryover stocks of compliance credits from previous years. EPA added the companies also can buy waiver credits as an alternative. The agency set the requirements for use of cellulosic biofuel at 230 million gallons for 2016. Source: AgriMarketing
Crop Profitability Still Slim, but Better Now than a Year Ago
Farm publications appear full of equipment auction notices, giving the impression of a bleak outlook for 2017. However, I think the profitability outlook is better now than a year ago. Soybean prices for 2017 harvest are 17 percent better now than mid-January 2016. Corn prices are even up slightly, cotton even. Wheat is currently 8 percent worse compared to harvest prices offered in January 2016. For the most part, variable expenses are down led by fertilizer. So from that standpoint, profitability considering variable, land and fixed cost is improved per acre: $31 for cotton, $32 for corn, $80 for soybeans and $55 for wheat/soybeans. Again, this is how the profitability outlook compares one year to the next. The 2017 outlook does have the advantage of a higher average yield because yields have been trending up in Tennessee. As producers plan for 2017, they should also use appropriate yields based on their farm’s history. As a starting point on looking at the profitability outlook for 2017, let’s look at how the big 3 crops in Tennessee stack up – that is cotton, soybeans and corn. When comparing crops to make cropping decisions, first look at returns over variable expenses, particularly for own- or cash-rent ground. In the scenario presented in the table, cotton looks more favorable than soybeans and corn. However, if share rent comes out as in this scenario of 25 percent share (used for comparing purposes), then cotton and soybeans are comparable as the most profitable. If equipment changes must be made, then fixed equipment cost must be examined and returns over specified costs should be looked at closely. Another take away from looking at this table and one that I am seeing with producers is cotton projects to be a profitable alternative to soybeans or corn, but mainly for the producer who is either already in cotton production or still has cotton equipment. That advantage goes away for the producer who has to purchase cotton equipment i.e. mainly a cotton picker or will rely on custom harvesting and maybe custom planting. When selecting crops to plant, producers should consider issues that are difficult to put a dollar number on. This includes timeliness of planting, spraying capacity and harvesting capability. Other factors to consider are capital requirements of each crop, and a producer’s borrowing ability to meet those requirements. As we look back over the years, it is difficult to dismiss the merits of a diversified cropping plan. It can provide producers some risk protection as we cannot always accurately project what yields and prices will be for each crop. Comparing returns in a budget format while helpful in making cropping decisions, do not give the producer or lender the full financial picture on the operation. In that case, a whole farm financial plan is needed to help examine the profitability considering all overhead type costs, debt payments and family living or owner draw. Budgets are an important part of that plan and should be incorporated into the plan. There is no doubt, profitability will be tight again this year and producers will struggle with profit margins. A whole farm financial plan should give clarity as to the viability of the operation. Projected row crop returns in Tennessee look better than a year ago. Profitable crop selection may vary depending on a producer’s land situation (whether own, cash or share rented), equipment availability and access to capital to put the crop in. Producers should consider diversification as a means of spreading risk and the fact that it cannot be accurately projected before planting which crop will be the most profitable at harvest. Producers should also consider the benefits of whole farm financial planning to give them a complete picture of the farms financial viability. In Tennessee, for more on crop budgeting or whole farm financial planning, contact your local Extension office or call the MANAGEment Information Line at 1-800-345-0561. Source: Chuck Danehower, Southeast Farm Press
2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic Herbicide Resistance Report
Glyphosate and PPO inhibitor Summary: 593 field samples representing approximately 2,000 waterhemp or palmer amaranth plants were tested for herbicide resistance at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic in the 2016 season. The Plant Clinic started offering herbicide resistance testing of waterhemp for resistance to two groups of herbicides (glyphosate and PPO inhibitors) in 2015. We added palmer amaranth testing in 2016. Almost twice as many whole fields were tested 2016 compared to last year, 593 vs. 338. The tests use qPCR protocols to determine if the most common site of action for resistance to these two groups of herbicide is present in the plants. Samples from 10 states across the Midwest were submitted in 2016. The following chart details the number of field samples from each state, along with the number of fields that were positive for glyphosate resistance and PPO inhibitor resistance. Fields with plants that are positive for both glyphosate and PPO inhibitor resistance are of particular concern due to the limited possibilities for control of these weeds. 2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic Herbicide resistance testing results. In Illinois, we received samples from 52 counties that had at least one sampled field that had waterhemp or palmer amaranth plants that tested resistant to both glyphosate and PPO inhibitors. Palmer amaranth issues: Until the 2016 season, palmer amaranth in Illinois was not known to be resistant to PPO inhibitors. However, several samples from southwestern Illinois were confirmed to be PPO inhibitor resistant (3 from Madison, 1 from Jackson, and 1 from St. Clair counties, respectively) in our testing. Due to difficulties in positively identifying related amaranth species, and concern regarding possible contamination of seed with amaranth weed seeds including palmer amaranth, the Plant Clinic is now offering a molecular identification service to positively identify palmer amaranth. This protocol was adapted and tested in fall of 2016, and will be offered to the public starting in 2017. Find our sample forms for this testing on the Plant Clinic website. Source: University of Illinois Extension
Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to Be Nominated as Ag Secretary
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will name former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as his nominee for secretary of agriculture on Thursday, a senior transition official said on Wednesday. Perdue, 70, served on Trump's agricultural advisory committee during his presidential campaign. His nomination, which must be confirmed by the Republican-led Senate, will complete Trump's proposed cabinet just before he is sworn in as president on Friday. By nominating a former governor from a Southern state, Trump eschewed candidates from major Farm Belt states in the Midwest that produce the bulk of crops such as corn, soybeans and wheat which dominate agriculture exports. Georgia is a key producer of crops such as cotton and peanuts. While Georgia governor, Perdue had to handle a severe drought in 2007, during which he took steps to cut water usage and at one point led a service outside the state capitol to pray for rain. Perdue, a Republican, was elected twice as governor, serving from 2003 to 2011. Before that, he was in the state senate representing a rural swath of the state about 100 miles (160 km) south of Atlanta. He switched political parties from Democratic to Republican in 1998 amid redistricting in the state and shifting demographics. Trump received strong support from the agricultural community as the farm economy slumped amid falling prices for key commodities. Ron Moore, president of the American Soybean Association (ASA), said he thought Perdue would support agriculture exports. "I think he will be very much in favor of trade," Moore said in a telephone interview. The ASA, with 15 other farm groups, this month urged the incoming administration to "protect and enhance" agricultural trade and its impact on the rural economy. Trade, a signature issue during the campaign in which Trump accused China of unfair practices, is critical for the farm economy. U.S. farm and food exports to China were more than $20.2 billion in 2015. Prices for soybeans rose 16.2 percent during 2016 on strong demand from China, which buys nearly 30 percent of the U.S. crop. Soybean exports helped boost U.S. gross domestic product in the third quarter. Some farmers are concerned that Trump's criticism of China could lead to deteriorating trade relations and put exports at risk. An influential Chinese state-run newspaper warned this week that U.S. agricultural imports and U.S. aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co could be targets for retaliation in any trade war ushered in by Trump. Zippy Duvall, president of the American Farm Bureau, praised Perdue as a strong voice. But environmental groups opposed the nominee. "Farmers need a champion in the USDA who will fight for conservation programs to help farmers be more resilient in the face of extreme weather, not pray for rain," Kari Hamerschlag, deputy director of food and technology at Friends of the Earth, said in a statement. After finishing his second term as governor, Perdue founded Perdue Partners, a global trading firm that consults and provides services for companies looking to export products. His cousin David Perdue is serving his first term representing Georgia in the U.S. Senate. The nominee is not related to chicken magnate Frank Perdue. Source: AgriMarketing
Five Top Trends Driving Change in Agriculture
Tools, technology and a changing workforce are driving changes in the agriculture landscape - changes that can to have a positive impact on the agriculture industry both in Wisconsin and across the world, according to John Shutske, University of Wisconsin-Extension biological systems specialist at UW-Madison. "The rapid increase in technology changes that has expanded our computing capability has also caused decreases in the costs to do business," Shutske said. "Through exponential growth, we've engaged in warp drive and are rapidly approaching light speed when it comes to changes in technology." Exponential growth, when applied to technology using Moore's Law - named after an early computer pioneer - tells us that computing power doubles approximately every 12 to 18 months. Computer capability "We have a lot of computer capability to harness and leverage to our advantage," Shutske told attendees at the recent Wisconsin Agribusiness Classic conference. The increasing computer capability plays a role in four of the five top trends Shutske sees having an impact on Wisconsin agriculture: Big Data, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, a sharing/collaborative economy, and the role of women in agriculture. In reference to Big Data, he noted there is a virtual tsunami of data at our disposal. New data collection devices are constantly being developed, adding to the growing science and business developing around big data, data science and data mining. Often referred to as the Internet of Things, ubiquitous sensor systems collect data from a variety of sources - a tractor that is fully connect to the Internet; an air filter with an IP address that can send an email to the manufacturer to order a new one without the needing to worry about it; and devices and sensors in crops to measure sunlight, heat units and pest pressures. With the growth of data collection and computing capabilities, Shutske said Wisconsin has to find faster, more affordable and more reliable solutions to broadband, high speed Internet and mobile coverage. Artificial Intelligence The second trend - artificial intelligence is driven by the massive amounts of data collected and continued to be collected. This information can be processed and used for critical decisions; some early agricultural applications might include pest management, scheduling operations or optimizing animal health or crop health treatments and regimes. "We're seeing examples emerging in the health care industry of how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing health care," Shutske said. In the medical sector, IBM is using its computer system, Watson, to partner with several hospitals and research centers - cancer is one target. Medical researchers publish more than 700,000 cancer treatment articles every year in science journals. While the average oncology or cancer specialist in these clinics, university centers and hospitals might read 180 or 200 articles a year, there is no way for one person to read, assimilate, and put all this new information to use. Watson can read, process, sort, and develop patterns and relationships in those 700,000 articles in 15 minutes. Give Watson a day, and a unit that's the size of five pizza boxes has in it more knowledge and wisdom on treating cancer than existed on this planet ever before. Several examples are now emerging of artificial intelligence suggesting treatment protocols or combinations of medication, precision surgery, pinpointed radiation and other cellular and molecular treatments with great success. Development and Marketing Shutske said development and marketing will continue for autonomous vehicles, including cars, trucks, tractors, robots and UAVs - the third trend. He said the biggest delay will not be the capabilities of the technology, but rather government regulation and proving the benefits to insurers. "All the major car manufacturers are running large-scale highway trials," he said. "Right now everyone is concerned about safety; at some point, things will shift and safety will become the main selling point and reason to move ahead." Sharing/collaborative economy The rapid emergence of the sharing/collaborative economy is the fourth trend that will influence the future of agriculture. "In agriculture, we already have done some of this," he said. "In fact, we've done some if it for 100 years. Agriculture has been a leader in the cooperative business model." For example, with ag machinery, how can purchasing a $500,000 combine that only gets used 5 or 6 percent of the time in a given year be justified? Software platforms to enable and facilitate sharing transactions while maintaining data about trust and relationships can be used to offset the cost of equipment. Using the AirBNB model, Shutske noted that similar types of business opportunities with portable or otherwise flexible ag assets will become available. "If I rent a room from AirBNB and it's a dump, that provider will get booted from the platform quickly," he said. "We will be able to use similar apps and relationship data managing software to allow sharing and collaborative transactions for things like expensive automated ag machines, or even processing equipment and storage facilities." Agricultural workforce Shutske's fifth trend shaping the future of agriculture is not connected to technology, but rather major changes and shifts in the agriculture workforce; specifically the role of women and new ways of thinking about the world of agriculture. In the U.S., the USDA's 2012 Census of Agriculture showed that women as principal farm operators are making up a larger and larger fraction of the industry. They account for almost $13 billion in annual sales of ag products that year. Globally by the year 2045 or 2050, agriculture will need to feed 9 billion people on the planet. A huge fraction of that population growth will be in areas that currently face hunger and food supply instability, but they are also places underperforming in terms of food production potential. One big priority is to recognize and purposely support the role women play. Several studies point to the fact that women are doing nearly half of the agricultural work globally, yet, in many areas lack equal access to capital, machines, and other technologies. "If you provide a man and a woman with equal access to resources in a developing country in Africa, or Central America, or parts of Asia - women will generate up to a 30 percent increase with the same resources, meaning a 30 percent greater return on investment," Shutske said. "Several business studies here in the U.S. point to this same phenomenon! Fortune 500 companies in the upper 25 percent or upper quartile with participation by women on corporate Boards of Directors generate 42 percent greater return on sales and 53 percent greater return on equity." Shutske noted, "Agriculture is increasingly a people a relationship business, we need to learn from each other and we need to work together to create opportunities." Source: AgriMarketing
USDA Reports Provide Support to Corn and Soybean Prices
On Jan.12, the USDA released a set of reports with major implications for corn and soybean prices in 2017. The National Agricultural Statistics Service released the final estimates of the 2016 U.S. corn and soybean crops and estimates of the stocks of corn and soybeans in storage as of Dec.1, 2016. Additionally, the World Agricultural Outlook Board released new forecasts for U.S. and world supply, ending stocks, and consumption levels during the 2016-17 marketing year on both crops. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, these estimates and forecasts will affect corn and soybean price dynamics through the spring of 2017. Hubbs provides the following to recap corn and soybean crop estimates and the price implications associated with them. Soybean production for the United States in 2016 is estimated at 4.307 billion bushels. Production is down 1 percent from the November forecast of 4.36 billion bushels but is still a record level of production. The harvested acreage estimate of 82.7 million acres is down from the November forecast of 83.0 million acres. Average soybean yield of 52.1 bushels per acre is 0.4 bushels lower than the November forecast. Dec. 1 soybean stocks of 2.895 billion bushels came in 40 million bushels below trade expectations. The stocks estimate for the first quarter of the marketing year indicates a disappearance of 1.61 billion bushels. The Dec. 1 soybean stocks number is a record high and 181 million bushels larger than last year. The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report maintained the forecasts for major soybean consumption categories projected in the December report. Soybean crush and exports retained the forecast levels of 1.93 and 2.05 billion bushels respectively. Total use is forecast at 4.108 billion bushels. At 420 million bushels, the ending-stocks forecast decreased 60 million bushels based on lower soybean production. The U.S. marketing-year average price is projected in a range of $9 to $10, compared to last month’s projection of $8.70 to $10.20. World production forecasts for the marketing year decreased from 12.4 to 12.32 billion bushels on the smaller U.S. crop. The Brazilian soybean production forecast increased by 73.48 million bushels over the December forecast to 3.79 billion bushels. The Argentinian soybean production forecast stayed at 2.08 billion bushels despite reports of delayed planting in many regions. The Brazilian soybean export forecast is raised 40 million bushels reflecting the increased crop production levels. Brazil and Argentina soybean exports are forecast to be 2.51 billion bushels over the marketing year. Corn production for the United States in 2016 is estimated at 15.15 billion bushels. Production is down 1 percent from the November forecast of 15.2 billion bushels. The harvested acreage estimate of 86.7 million acres is down from the November forecast of 86.8 million acres. Average corn yield of 174.6 bushels per acre is 0.7 bushels lower than the November forecast. Dec. 1 corn stocks came in at 12.38 billion bushels, a record high. The estimate is 84 million bushels above trade expectations and indicates a total disappearance of 4.56 billion bushels in the first quarter of the marketing year. The lower domestic supply numbers combined with higher stocks indicating lower-than-expected corn use sent a mixed signal for corn prices. The WASDE report for U.S. corn forecast during 2016-17 reflected the dichotomy of the corn reports. At 5.6 billion bushels, the forecast for corn feed use and residual moved lower by 50 million bushels. An increase in the ethanol use forecast by 25 million bushels offset the feed use forecast reduction for the marketing year. United States exports for corn maintained the 2.225 billion bushels forecast in December. The ending stocks forecast came in at 2.35 billion bushels for the 2016-17 marketing year. The ending stocks forecast is 48 million bushels lower than the December forecast. The range of the U.S. marketing-year average price increased by 5 cents from the December projection to a projected in a range of $3.10 to $3.70. World supply and demand projections for corn in the 2016-17 marketing year moved lower due to a reduction in United States production numbers. Brazil’s corn production forecast stayed at 3.41 billion bushels despite numerous reports indicating the possibility of a larger crop in the country. For the marketing year, Argentinian production forecasts stayed at 1.44 billion bushels. In total, Brazil and Argentina production forecasts exceed 2015-16 production estimates by 1.07 billion bushels and signify a recovery from the poor crop last year. Argentina and Brazil are forecast to export an additional 635 million bushels each above the 2015-16 estimates. South American corn exports for the marketing year are forecast to be 2.08 billion bushels. Given the increase in South American production and exports, the evolution of crop conditions in the region will be a major driver of corn price dynamics in 2017. The reports provide support for soybean prices in the short term and are ambivalent for corn prices. Despite lowering corn and soybean ending stocks forecasts, one cannot ignore the large crop potential currently unfolding in South America and the implications for U.S. exports in 2017. Corn and soybeans prices will reflect the pace of consumption and crop prospects in South America. Corn prices will likely average in the upper range of the USDA’s projection through the spring while soybean prices show the potential for falling into the lower half of the projected range as we move through the marketing year. Source: Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois Extension
Spread of Fever Tick Spooks Cattle Industry
The dreaded cattle fever tick, carrier of a blood disease that once nearly wiped out the U.S. cattle herd, has landed farther north in the Texas interior, worrying state and federal inspectors that the once-eradicated pest is no longer under control. Texas animal health inspectors recently found new fever ticks Nov. 30 on a bull on a Live Oak County farm, about 110 miles north from the Mexico border where they were thought to have been permanently quarantined. Since then, the ticks have been found on seven neighboring premises, prompting the Texas Animal Health Commission to set up a temporary “Control Purpose Quarantine Area.” It’s the fourth such quarantine zone, following ones set up in Willacy, Kleberg and Jim Wells counties. There are more than 450,000 acres in Texas under various types of fever tick quarantines that have been set outside of the permanent quarantine zone since the ticks started showing up farther inside U.S. territory in 2014. The most recent quarantine zone has grown by nearly 45,000 acres in the past six weeks as more fever ticks have been found, and now covers 57,541 acres. Inspectors are using genetic tests and epidemiological investigations to try to pinpoint how the ticks ended up in Live Oak – from transporting animals from quarantine areas near the border or from wildlife such as white-tailed deer and nilgai antelope carrying them farther into Texas. The latter is the biggest concern, indicating that previously successful efforts to contain the ticks to the border region are failing. The ticks are carriers for bovine babesiosis, a blood disease that in the 1800s wiped out much of the U.S. cattle herd and caused Kansas and other states to shun or restrict cattle from Texas. In 1943, the ticks were declared eradicated from the U.S. save for a permanent quarantine zone along the Rio Grande established to control ticks that find their way across the river from Mexico. But during the past few years, the ticks have increasingly been found outside that zone, prompting expanded quarantine zones in border counties and temporary quarantine zones in three counties farther north. “I don’t want to jump to conclusions,” Schwartz said of the possibility the ticks are migrating north on the backs of wildlife such as nilgai, a non-native antelope that’s become a nuisance carrier of the tick. “The concerning thing is we haven’t determined the source of those ticks yet.” While cattle owners in quarantine areas are required to round up, inspect and treat cattle for ticks, the Live Oak County discovery was unexpected. A veterinarian called to examine the sickly bull called a state livestock inspector to check some of the ticks he found on the animal’s skin. “That day she tentatively identified those as fever ticks, that’s the day we sprang into action there,” Schwartz said of the inspector. The bull likely was anemic from all the ticks drawing his blood, Schwartz said, but did not suffer from babesiosis. While babesiosis is still an issue for cattle south of the border, it has not shown up in U.S. cattle for decades, he said. “I think it’s a tribute to the success of the program to have kept the fever ticks, the hot fever ticks with babesiois, out of the country,” Schwartz said. “We’ve had some fever tick incursions, but none of them have been carrying babebiosis.” As in other quarantine zones, cattle in the Live Oak area must be “dipped” in a treatment solution every 10 to 14 days or injected with a vaccine every 25 to 28 days, which in either case usually involves costly helicopter roundups that are stressful to cattle. Hunters also are required to call inspectors to check any harvested deer for the ticks. Once hunting season is over, state and federal officials also plan to set up feeders full of deer corn treated with a poison that kills the ticks and is aimed at preventing them from spreading from the infested ranches. Nilgai, which aren’t native to the U.S., have become particularly worrisome in South Texas as they travel long distances and can easily jump fences, but they are not believed to have strayed as far north as Live Oak County. Ron Gill, head cattle extension specialist at Texas A&M University, said the Live Oak County discovery worried ranchers who thought that as long as they followed protocol the fever tick wouldn’t spread. “It periodically jumps out of the quarantine zone but not that far out,” he said. “Normally it will be one of the adjacent counties and they’ll fight it back into the quarantine zone. So I think the thing that’s got everybody more vocal about it now is it jumped a little further than usual.” Coleman Locke, who runs cattle in affected areas in Kleberg and Willacy counties, fears the tick could once again threaten the entire Texas cattle industry. “It concerns me as a cattleman,” he said. “We’ve got to get it under control. … A lot of Texas cattle go to feed yards in Kansas and Nebraska to feed out. We need our Texas cattle to be able to go anywhere.” Source: AgFax
Now is Good Time to Respond to Wheat Stages
January and February are good months to make wheat management decisions, according to a University of Missouri Extension agronomist in southeastern Missouri. Wheat maturity does not follow a calendar. Instead, wheat development depends on weather and planting date, says Anthony Ohmes. Wheat’s growth stages help producers decide when in spring to top-dress nitrogen to improve tiller development and stands. Growth stages also indicate when it’s time to apply post-emergence herbicides for weed control, and scout for soil-borne viral diseases and early-season foliar diseases. Livestock producers also should remove grazing cattle just prior to wheat’s jointing when the base of the stem is hollow, Ohmes says. Ohmes suggests Purdue University’s free guide “Managing Wheat by Growth Stage” at extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/ID/ID-422.pdf. “Initial evaluation of fields should include overall condition of stand and number of tillers present,” he says. “With the warm fall and December, wheat tiller numbers may be more than 80 per square foot. When tiller numbers reach approximately 80 or more, hold off nitrogen applications until pre-jointing green-up.” This practice also may reduce nitrogen loss and excessive early spring growth that can reduce sensitivity to freeze injury. Fields with fewer than 80 tillers per square foot in the fall to late winter may benefit from split applications of nitrogen. Ohmes recommends urease inhibitors containing the active ingredient NBPT when applying urea-based fertilizer. He also recommends tissue tests just before jointing to determine nitrogen needs at jointing. Sandy, low-organic-matter soils of southeastern Missouri will benefit from applying sulfur at 10 to 15 pounds per acre at pre-jointing green-up. Use sulfate sulfur found in products such as ammonium sulfate for spring sulfur, he says. For more information, the MU Extension guide “Management of Soft Red Winter Wheat” is available for free download at http://extension.missouri.edu/p/IPM1022. Source: Anthony Ohmes, University of Missouri Extension
Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease
While the farming industry advances steadily every year to improve upon previous growing season?s results, so do all the elements trying to make a producer?s life more difficult.Graduate research assistant Terra Hartman spoke to a crowd of more than 100 Jan. 6 at the Crop Production Clinic in York, where she discussed to all the new and old corn diseases found around the state.Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 1/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 2/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 3/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 4/5Give Crop production clinic targets newly discovered disease 5/5 No votes yet
National
K.C. Fed report: Volume of new ag loans drops
A new report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City?the Fed?s Tenth District?says farm lending activity at commercial banks slowed significantly in the fourth quarter as lenders and borrowers assessed economic prospects for 2017. According to the Federal Reserve?s Agricultural Finance Databook, new loan originations dropped sharply, despite persistent increases in the level of outstanding farm debt and ongoing demand for loan renewals. Officials say some of the reduced loan volume likely stemmed from lower costs of farm inputs. Continue reading K.C. Fed report: Volume of new ag loans drops at Brownfield Ag News.      
Hurst glad nominee has production ag background
The president of a Midwestern state Farm Bureau says he is glad someone with an ag background, closely tied to production agriculture, has been nominated for U.S. Ag Secretary, ?A lot of the names that were being discussed were a little bit further away from our industry, so that?s the good news. The most important thing that he can do now that he?s there ? once he?s confirmed ? is be an advocate within the administration for trade.? Blake Hurst, President of the Missouri Farm Bureau, tells Brownfield he hopes Sonny Perdue fully supports ag trade because trade benefits ALL of agriculture, whether southern or Midwestern. Continue reading Hurst glad nominee has production ag background at Brownfield Ag News.      
Economic impact of micronutrients
An agronomist says micronutrients are one of the biggest economic factors as farmers prepare for the 2017 growing season. Jon Zuk with Winfield United tells Brownfield consecutive years with record corn and soybean yields have left many soils nutrient-deficient. “If you look at the way the market is positioned right now, a lot of those micronutrient prices have come down.? But looking at our 2016 crop we know the removal (of nutrients) was awfully great, in a good way.? Continue reading Economic impact of micronutrients at Brownfield Ag News.      
Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee
The Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee is enabling farmers interested in engagement with consumers. Melinda Groth serves on both the American Farm Bureau and Minnesota Farm Bureau committees and says there are many opportunities to explain modern farming practices to an often uneducated audience. “We tend to think that everybody is not interested (because) it’s boring.? It’s our everyday thing, why would anyone else be interested in hearing about how we do chores or what planting decisions we make.? Continue reading Farm Bureau Promotion and Education Committee at Brownfield Ag News.      
Farmers hear about culture, concerns of workers from Mexico
An American dairy farm employee from Mexico says language and culture differences cause fewer problems for Latino workers now, but they still exist. Ignacio Escamilla, who calls himself Hispanic, manages a dairy parlor near Alma Center, Wisconsin where he has been employed for 22 years.? He tells Brownfield religion and certain holidays are important in their culture.? ?Mother?s Day is one of the big ones and it?s like a holiday for us because we celebrate our mothers, and the other is D?a de Muertos, that?s another big holiday in Mexico.?? D?a de Muertos is a celebration of the dead that dates back to ancient Aztec culture. Continue reading Farmers hear about culture, concerns of workers from Mexico at Brownfield Ag News.      
High capacity well bill priority for Dairy Business Association
The new President of the Dairy Business Association says they have unfinished legislative work to do.? Mike North tells Brownfield access to fresh water is vital.? He says, ?At the top of the list is high capacity wells. Dairies cannot operate in Wisconsin without water.? That?s a fact, and the reality for us is we need to make sure that there?s good legislation in place to help us move forward in that regard.? The high capacity well bill passed the State Assembly in 2016 and a similar version passed the State Senate, but the legislative session ended before a compromise could be reached. Continue reading High capacity well bill priority for Dairy Business Association at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soil health a long-term process
Conservation practices are making a positive difference in soil health, but new data indicate that patience is needed. Data examining soil make-up, soil management and crop performance are not conclusive, but they?re important, says Nick Goeser, director of the National Corn Growers Association Soil Health Partnership. ?It?s pretty interesting to start to look at the relationships between the different soil samples as they link to aerial imagery and yield,? Goeser told Brownfield Ag News, at the Soil Health Summit in Des Moines Friday. Continue reading Soil health a long-term process at Brownfield Ag News.      
Milk futures mixed, cash cheese lower
In Class III trade at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, milk futures were mixed, consolidating after an up and down week. January was down $.03 at $16.77, February was $.04 lower at $16.96, March was down $.01 at $17.40, and April was up $.06 at $17.67. Cash cheese blocks were down $.0225 at $1.6975. There were two loads sold at $1.6975. The last unfilled bid was on one load, also at $1.6975. Continue reading Milk futures mixed, cash cheese lower at Brownfield Ag News.      
Monday?s showlist may be priced higher
A moderate to active cattle trade developed in all areas on Thursday with Southern live sales 122.00 to 123.00, $3.00 to $4.00 higher than last week. While dressed business was generally $5.00 higher at 194.00 to 195.00. Look for showlists on Monday to be priced higher tied to bullish momentum and impressive evidence of tight fed supplies. The weekly cattle slaughter was estimated at 569,000 head, 40,000 less than last week, and 6,000 less than last year. Continue reading Monday?s showlist may be priced higher at Brownfield Ag News.      
Valley Irrigation launches new family of smart panels
Valley Irrigation has launched a new family of smart panels called ICON. The following is taken from a Valley news release: Valley, the leader in irrigation technology, introduces the smartest center pivot control available today with the new Valley ICON family of smart panels, providing intuitive control for any center pivot irrigation machine. ?With our release of four new control panels, growers will see firsthand the ease of operation with a very simple interface that?s extremely intuitive,? explains John Campbell, Valley Irrigation Manager of Technology Advancement and Adoption. Continue reading Valley Irrigation launches new family of smart panels at Brownfield Ag News.      
Minnesota Corn and Soybean Associations approve of Perdue
Leaders of the two largest row crop commodity groups in Minnesota are pleased with president-elect Trump?s nominee for Ag Secretary. Minnesota Corn Growers first vice president Kirby Hettver says the selection of former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue was worth the wait. “I’m pretty excited about somebody with his background to serve in the post of ag secretary.? There’s a lot of great experience that he’ll bring to the position.” Minnesota Soybean Growers president Theresia Gillie agrees that Perdue?s background in agriculture is a plus. Continue reading Minnesota Corn and Soybean Associations approve of Perdue at Brownfield Ag News.      
Next ag secretary needs to calm fears of trading partners
The Commissioner of Agriculture in Minnesota says the next leader of USDA will be tasked with calming the fears of U.S. trading partners. Dave Frederickson tells Brownfield if former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue is confirmed as ag secretary, he?ll need to strengthen some strained relationships. “I spent time with some folks from Canada this past week, that were here from Manitoba.? And they’re wondering what’s going to happen to our trade policy as it effects our closest neighbors Canada and Mexico.” Questions surrounding trade with both countries are swirling as the incoming administration threatens to alter or even eliminate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Continue reading Next ag secretary needs to calm fears of trading partners at Brownfield Ag News.      
House bill to move H-2A program to USDA
Legislation has been introduced to move the H-2A visa program from the Department of Labor to USDA. New York Representatives Elise Stefanik and Chris Collins? Family Farm Relief Act of 2017 simplifies the petitioning process for farmers to apply for H-2A workers and expands the scope of the program. The measure would increase the time foreign workers are eligible to work on farms from temporary or seasonal to year round up to three years for livestock workers, meaning dairy farms and other livestock operations would be able to participate in the program. Continue reading House bill to move H-2A program to USDA at Brownfield Ag News.      
Midday cash livestock markets
A moderate to active cattle trade developed in all areas on Thursday with Southern live sales 122.00 to 123.00, $3.00 to $4.00 higher than last week. While dressed business was generally $5.00 higher at 194.00 to 195.00. Asking prices on the limited amount of cattle left on the showlists are around 124.00 to 125.00 in the South, and 190.00 plus in the North. Boxed beef cutout values are mixed with the choice beef down 1.36 at 190.24, the select is .49 higher at 187.98. Continue reading Midday cash livestock markets at Brownfield Ag News.      
Minnesota?s Farming Today program celebrates 500th presentation
The Minnesota Farm Bureau Foundation?s Farming Today program has reached a milestone as it continues to help farmers share their stories. Central Minnesota dairy farmer Lucas Sjostrom has participated in a dozen of these outreach events, including a visit to Champlin Park High school earlier this month. It was the 500th Farming Today presentation, which he says enhances relationships between farmers and consumers. “When I’m speaking to my local community members within 20 miles of my farm, and then I see them at the grocery store or church or something like that, they know just a little more about me and a little more about what’s going on for me personally.” He tells Brownfield a lot of false information about agriculture is being circulated, and Farming Today gives farmers a face-to-face opportunity to tell the truth. Continue reading Minnesota’s Farming Today program celebrates 500th presentation at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
Gulke: Prices Rally to Levels Not Seen in Months
Off to a good start so far in 2017, says Jerry Gulke, president of the Gulke Group. Livestock and grains saw a recovery well into the new year, despite recent negative attitudes in the markets.
The Hardest Part of Wrenchin'
Figuring out what to fix is harder than fixing it.
Michigan Cheesemaker Known for Big Cow Statue Adds Big Flag
The Michigan cheesemaker that turns heads with its larger-than-life statue of a milk cow at its shop entrance is making a big patriotic gesture. A storm toppled Williams Cheese Company's sign and U.S. flag in 2012, so owner Mike H. Williams resolved to replace the 6-by-10-foot flag at the store [...]
January Cattle Rally Continues
Fed cattle led the parade with cash prices $3 to $4 per cwt higher. 
Disruption and Markets
There seems to be some agreement that the election of Donald Trump as President is something out of the ordinary, more than just a reaction to 8 years of a different political party leaning the other way on many issues. The media pundits are calling for widespread disruption of markets and global political alignments, and increased volatility. As an economic commentator, I would suggest that you resist the urge to act on any impulse that says ?this time is different?.
Good News On Valuation Discounts?
The IRS had proposed regulations to prevent taking discounts on transfer of farm entities. It appears that the IRS is backtracking on this and these new rules will not apply to most farmers.
Pro Farmer: Multi-Month Highs in the Grain/Soy and Cattle Markets
The strongest weekly export sales tally since the middle of December allowed corn to challenge the fall highs to end the week.
Falling USDA Crop Survey Repsonse Rates Prove Problematic
Did you know response rates for USDA-NASS acreage and production surveys has been steadily slipping since 2010? That could be problematic, according to several researchers, writing on the University of Illinois farmdoc daily.
Robot Crop Pickers Limit Loss of Farm Workers to Trump Wall
Decline of immigrant labor has spurred agricultural automation.
Perdue Awaits Confirmation Hearing, Gains Support From Ag Groups
On Thursday, the Trump team formally announced former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue would be the next Secretary of Agriculture, ending the longest search for the next USDA head in modern history.
In Comes Trump
Grain markets are lower to begin the first official day (half-day) of the new US presidential administration on US dollar strength and Argentine weather. All markets will have their eyes on the events of the inauguration.
Kansas Cotton Gin Could see its Second Biggest Year
A cotton gin in Kansas is seeing near-record production.
Great News on Section 179 For FSA AGI Purposes
FSA was not allowing Section 179 as a deduction for certain entities when calculation average adjusted gross income limitations. However, after being involved in two FSA appeals last year, FSA has now updated their handbook to allow full Section 179 deduction. This may be very welcome news for any farmer that had their payment rejected solely due to Section 179 not being allowed.
Trump Nominees Accept Global Warming -- But Only to a Degree
Cabinet nominees testify that climate change is no hoax.