One of the nation’s top-yielding corn farmers says he’s just a student of the crop.
For 20 years, mid-Michigan farmer Don Stall has competed in the National Corn Growers Association Yield Contest with a goal of hitting 500 bushels. Despite the ebb and flow of drought and flooding conditions in 2021, he harvested 465.7 bushels on conventional irrigated land.
“Our crops never looked like they were stressed, they always looked like they were really healthy,” he says.
For several reasons, the cost of raising crops is much higher than it was last season. If South Dakota farmer David Poppens would fertilize his crop at the full rate, “we’d be almost $100 an acre higher just on the fertilizer costs.” Poppens and his farming partners constantly run cash flow analysis and incorporate higher input costs into that equation, but even pricing next fall’s corn at $5.00 a bushel, the Lennox, South Dakota farm family continually addresses challenges to profitability.
Farmer members from nine different Wisconsin agricultural groups spent Wednesday telling state lawmakers what is important to them.
More than one hundred Wisconsin farmers participated in Ag Day at the Capitol, starting with updates on issues and ending with visits to see Senators and Representatives to discuss issues and priorities. Kieth Ripp is with Wisconsin Farm Bureau and says several water quality bills are near the finish line. “One house or the other may have taken action on some of these bills so it’s just a matter of finishing them up and getting them over the last hurdle and getting them to the Governor’s desk, and seeing if he’ll sign them.”
Ripp says farmers are also asking for more financial support for the Producer-Led Watershed Protection Grant program.
USDA’s Risk Management Agency has extended the comment period for the proposed Apple Crop Provisions rule.
The new deadlines for comments in April 15th (2022).
The proposed changes are based on stakeholder feedback and recommended changes from a study on the apple crop insurance program.
RMA Administrator Marcia Bunger says they proposed changes would give apple growers more flexibility.
“They’re allowed to elect different coverage levels and percent of price elections by type, which, in essence, allows producers to better manage individual coverage of price risks more effectively.”
She says hearing straight from RMA customers – apple producers – is the best way for the agency to know how to improve the products and programs offered to them.
At the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, live and feeder cattle closed higher on technical support. February live cattle closed $.95 higher at $138.05 and April live cattle closed $1.80 higher at $141.90. March feeder cattle closed $.95 higher at $160.80 and April feeder cattle closed $.92 higher at $166.20.
There was another round of light trade reported in the South on Wednesday at mostly $136, $1 lower than both Tuesday’s and the prior week’s business. Previous deals this week have been at $137 live in the South, fully steady with last week’s business and $218 dressed, also fully steady with the previous week’s weighted average basis in Nebraska. Look for a little more business to develop over the balance of the week. Today’s Fed Cattle Exchange had an offering of 2,904 head, all of which went unsold as they did not meet the reserve price.
At the Ozarks Regional Stockyards in Missouri, compared to last week steer calves were $3 to $6 lower and heifer calves were steady to $4 lower. Lightly tested yearling steers and heifers were steady to firm. The USDA says demand was moderate on a moderate supply. Receipts were up on the week and the year. Feeder supply included 50% steers and 43% of the offering was over 600 pounds. Medium and Large 1 feeder steers 607 to 632 pounds brought $160 to $171 and feeder steers 807 to 828 pounds brought $151 to $161. Medium and Large 1 feeder heifers 460 to 494 pounds brought $150 to $160 and feeder heifers 601 to 645 pounds brought $140 to $152.
Boxed beef closed sharply lower on light demand for solid offerings. Choice closed $2.92 lower at $289.46 and Select closed $3.60 lower at $279.72. The Choice/Select spread is $9.74. Estimated cattle slaughter is 118,000 head – up 3,000 on the week and down 2,000 on the year.
Lean hog futures closed mixed, adjusting spreads.
Ag leaders and state legislators are ready to approve Missouri Agriculture and Small Business Development Authority tax credits in the House and move them to the Senate.
Missouri House Agriculture Policy Chairman Don Rone is in favor of the MASBDA tax credits.
“I sat on the budget [committee] for four years and I saw bad tax credits, but you know what, I never saw a bad ag tax credit,” he said.
The signup period for USDA’s general Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) begins soon – January 31st through March 11th.
USDA Under Secretary Robert Bonnie, for Farm Production and Conservation, tells Brownfield Ag News CRP is a really important voluntary program from a climate standpoint.
“On average, it sequesters or reduces emissions about equivalent – it’s about 19 Million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.”
And he says extra CRP incentives that the administration put in place last year will stay in place.
Mar. corn closed at $6.27, up 7 cents
Mar. soybeans closed at $14.40, up 32 and 3/4 cents
Mar. soybean meal closed at $400.50, up $8.50
Mar. soybean oil closed at 63.93, up 142 points
Mar. wheat closed at $7.95, down 23 cents
Feb. live cattle closed at $138.05, up 95 cents
Feb. lean hogs closed at $88.02, up 57 cents
Feb. Class III milk closed at $19.51, down 40 cents
Chicago Mercantile Exchange Class III milk futures were pressured by follow through selling. February was down $.40 at $19.51 and March was $.64 lower at $20.17, while April was down $.41 at $20.57 and May was $.28 lower at $20.62.
Cash dairy markets were mostly lower, continuing that recent trend. Barrels were down $.0425 at $1.6625 and blocks were $.03 lower at $1.73. Grade A nonfat dry milk lost $.025 to $1.7775 and double A butter continued its slide, dropping $.21 to $2.49, while extra grade whey held at $.82.
China has a two-way impact on corn farmers.
Angus Kelly with the National Corn Growers Association tells Brownfield China’s demand for corn this past year was a boon for U.S. farmers, but questions remain on how long it can be sustained.
“China has stockpiled about 50 percent of the world’s grains if you can imagine, and about 69 percent of that is corn alone so they’re sitting on huge inventories, but they need it because of their hog herds,” he explains.