Western Indiana farmer Kevin Cox is trying something new on his farm this year by planting early.
“Our plan going into the spring was to try to get more than 500 acres of soybeans in the ground and maybe 100 acres of corn in the ground in that early window,” he says.
He says conditions were warm and dry when they began planting soybeans but have since turned cool and wet.
Southern Ohio farmer Greg Corcoran says he was able to complete fieldwork and plant some soybeans because of recent warm and dry conditions.
“We were able to get most of our anhydrous on ahead of our corn, I think we’re only down to a couple hundred acres that’s left and we should have most of that in soon,” he says. “We did put some soybeans in the ground. We’re mostly trying to work out some things with the planter and make sure everything was running well, but we took advantage of that weather and put maybe 100 or so acres in the ground.”
He tells Brownfield conditions in his area changed quickly.
An official with the Kansas City Federal Reserve says banks made about 10% fewer non-real estate farm loans in the first quarter. Economist and Vice President Nathan Kauffman tells Brownfield that’s because farmers had more income and stronger balance sheets. “The biggest category where we have seen some of the pullback has been in operating loans, but it’s been relatively broad-based. It’s held up a little bit better for things like farm real estate, and that’s actually been a market that’s been maybe even surprisingly strong relative to where things were a year ago at this time.”
Kauffman says the number of real estate and capital improvement loans is only down slightly from a year ago.
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live on and feeder cattle ended the day lower on fund selling. April live cattle closed $.75 lower at $120.85 and June live cattle closed $.47 lower at $119.17. April feeder cattle closed $.42 lower at $139.62 and May feeder cattle closed $.70 lower at $143.72.
There was very light, scattered trade to end the week for direct cash cattle trade following the light to moderate business that took place on Thursday.
A Purdue University ag economist says the development of automation in agriculture has the potential to cause an economic divide in the industry.
“We’re moving into a period now where this precision agriculture technology is going to be valuable enough, that I worry that people that are skittish about adopting this technology are going to have a disadvantage from a financial standpoint,” Michael Langemeier said.
Langemeier tells Brownfield smaller farms or those unsure about technology adoption don’t need to hire full-time employees to manage emerging technologies.
The National Pork Producers Council wants better access for US pork headed into Vietnam.
Nick Giordano, vice president and counsel for NPPC, says there’s a lot of opportunity for the industry. “The US has a trade imbalance with Vietnam,” he says. “And pork alone is a great candidate to put a dent in that trade imbalance. We’ve got bipartisan support on The Hill and we’re pretty optimistic the US government is already taking this request very seriously.”
Vietnam continues to struggle with African swine fever and has had to increase their imports of pork.
A southwest Minnesota corn and soybean grower came close to expanding his rotation this year.
Chris Hill of Brewster says he likes the idea of adding a small grain.
“But for the most part we’re sticking with our same corn and soybean rotation.”
He tells Brownfield there could be some opportunities with spring wheat.
“We’re also looking at harvesting all of the straw for some livestock producers in the area, and we have some guys out here who are looking to early apply liquid manure.
The Missouri Farm Bureau is pushing for the full repeal of the estate tax.
Missouri Farm Bureau’s Spencer Tuma said Congress’ ability to ‘move the goal post’ of the estate tax threshold causes great uncertainty for farmers and ruins financial planning.
“On principal, we believe that your death is not a taxable event and we believe this is wrong,” she said.
Congressman Jason Smith of Missouri said the current estate tax threshold is set to drop from $11.7 million dollars per person to $5.5 million in 2025.
Michigan Wheat Program will continue for five more years after 85 percent of wheat growers in the state approved the recent referendum.
Chairman Bill Hunt is one of the founding board members of the program and tells Brownfield a decade of wheat research has elevated the crop.
“We have tried very hard to deal with issues—falling numbers, a lot of the different vom issues, a lot of different things—we’re covering them all and I think every direction we’re heading so far has been a return,” he says.
For the remainder of Friday, a mix of rain and snow will fall in the Northeast, while precipitation across the Plains will gradually subside.
Meanwhile, rain should linger into the weekend across the central Gulf Coast region, where additional flooding may occur. By Sunday and early next week, the focus for heavy showers should shift to Florida, where totals could reach 2 to 5 inches.
Early next week, a strong cold front sweeping across the Plains and Midwest will generate rain and snow showers, trailed by a reinforcing surge of cold air.