Great improvement in Wisconsin soil moisture

A dramatic change in soil moisture conditions across Wisconsin in the last four weeks. As of Sunday, 9 percent of the state is listed as very short, 36 percent short, 50 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Three weeks ago 90 percent of the state was rated short to very short. Wet conditions did slow the combines a bit but a number of reporters say, “no one is complaining” 77 percent of the Wisconsin corn-for-grain is harvested, up 11 points from a week ago and 33 points ahead of the five-year average. 47 percent of fall tillage is completed with farmers commenting things are working-up much easier with the rain. Winter crops are emerging nicely.

Since September 1, Green Bay has received 6 inches of rain, Madison 5.89 inches, Milwaukee 5.21 inches, La Crosse 4.47 and Eau Claire 2.55 inches. Year-to-date, Eau Claire is 7.23 inches below normal precipitation, Madison down 5.7 inches, La Crosse is 5.14 inches short and Milwaukee is 4.42 inches below normal. Green Bay however is 2.77 inches above normal precipitation for the year.

Read the full NASS report here:

National Milk Producers Federation elects officers

Two new board members elected at the National Milk Producers Federation annual meeting in Orlando this week. Donald De Jong from Dalhart, Texas was elected to represent Select Milk Producers, Inc. and Larry Webster from Buffalo, New York, was elected to represent Upstate Niagara Cooperative.

Eight board officers were re-elected

  • Chairman Randy Mooney, from Rogersville, Missouri, representing Dairy Farmers of America;
  • First Vice Chairman Ken Nobis, from St. Johns, Michigan, representing Michigan Milk Producers Association;
  • Second Vice Chairman Cornell Kasbergen, from Tulare, California, representing Land O’ Lakes, Inc.;
  • Third Vice Chairman Mike McCloskey, from Fair Oaks, Indiana, representing Select Milk Producers, Inc.;
  • Treasurer Pete Kappelman, from Two Rivers, Wisconsin, representing Land O’ Lakes;
  • Assistant Treasurer Adrian Boer, from Jerome, Idaho, representing Northwest Dairy Association;
  • Secretary Dave Fuhrmann, from Baraboo, Wisconsin, representing Foremost Farms USA;
  • Assistant Secretary Doug Nuttelman, from Stromsburg, Nebraska, representing Dairy Farmers of America.

Three outgoing directors were recognized for their service on the NMPF Board of Directors: Tom Croner, from Berlin, Pennsylvania, and Les Hardesty, from Greeley, Colorado, both representing Dairy Farmers of America, and Clyde Rutherford, Syracuse, New York, representing Dairylea Cooperative.

South Dakota solicits drought relief ideas

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture wants drought disaster relief ideas from farmers and ranchers who have struggled with this year’s extreme drought.

It’s a matter of determining how the state can best help producers through the effects of the drought, said Walt Bones, South Dakota’s Secretary of Agriculture.

“In a big picture, are we doing what we need to do, are there some gaps that we need to fill,” Bones told Brownfield Ag News on Tuesday evening from his farm near Parker, South Dakota.

Hearing producer’s ideas first-hand is the best way to help generate action to get the state’s number one industry back on track, said Bones.

“We have our own things that we can do, private enterprise has things that they can do,” said Bones, “and with this collaborated effort, hopefully we can mitigate and lessen some of the severity of what’s been going on out here all summer long.”

Agriculture generates nearly $21 billion in annual economic activity and employs more than 80,000 South Dakotans, according to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture.

AUDIO: Walt Bones (6 min. MP3)

Strong 3Q for Fiat Industrial SPA

Italian-based Fiat Industrial reporting a good third quarter. The parent company of Case IH and New Holland reports revenues for the quarter ending September 30th were 6.3 billion Euros ($8.1 billion U.S.), up 7.9 percent from the third quarter of 2011. Trading profit was 575 million Euros ($745 mil U.S.), up 91 million Euros from the same quarter a year ago thanks to strong performance from CNH. Net profit for the quarter was 297 million Euros, a 45.6 percent increase over the 204 million Euros a year ago.

The group raised it projected 2012 revenues to more than 25 billion Euros ($32.3 billion U.S.) with net profit of 900 million Euros ($1.166 B)

While CNH reported a 27 percent increase in ag equipment sales, driven by high horsepower tractors in North America, Fiat Industrial said sales at its Iveco truck business were down 7 percent from a year ago due to continued economic decline in Europe. The contraction in truck sales also hurt performance of the powertrain division, which reported a 12.9 percent decline in revenues.

Fiat Industrial SPA currently owns 88 percent of CNH and made a stock-swap bid for the remainder of the company earlier this month. That bid was rejected by the independent shareholders who said it was too low.

Read more on the third quarter results here:

Profitability improved on the farm in October

The Preliminary Index of Prices Received by Farmers in October increased 8.8 percent from September. The Crop Index increased 6.7 percent for the month while the Livestock Index increased 3.9 percent.

The average corn price was $6.95 per bushel, up 6 cents from September, soybeans decreased a dime to $14.20 per bushel and all-hay was $6.00 higher at $193 per ton.

The average beef price in October was $121 per hundredweight, unchanged from September while hogs were $5.00 higher at $60.70 per hundredweight. The October all-milk price increased $1.50 to $21.10 per hundred pounds. Broilers were a penny-per-pound higher at 50 cents; turkeys increased 0.3 cents to 76.5 cents per pound. Eggs dropped 22.3 cents to 83.7 cents per dozen.

The Index of Prices Paid by Farmers increased 0.9 percent from September. Farmers paid more for complete feeds, concentrates, feeder cattle and nitrogen. Less for feeder cattle, mixed fertilizer, supplements, gasoline and diesel.

Compared to a year ago, prices received by farmers are 14 percent higher while prices paid by farmers are 7.3 percent higher.

Read the full NASS report here:

Base milk prices increase for October

The milk check will be bigger for most dairy producers this month, the October all-milk price increased $1.50 to $21.10 per hundred pounds. The highest all-milk price is $24.00 in Florida while the lowest is $19.20 in California.

 The October milk-feed ratio is 1.68, up from 1.58 in September but below the 1.82 of a year ago.

The October base milk prices: Class II $18.44 up $1.40 from September but 97 cents below October of 2011. The Class III base price for October is $21.02, up $2.02 for the month and $2.99 above a year ago. Class IV base is $18.54 up $1.13 from September and 13 cents above last October. Component prices per pound for October milk: butterfat $2.1136; protein $3.7278; nonfat solids $1.2828: other solids $0.434.

The average price for milk cows in the United States was $1,390 per head at the end of October compared to $1,420 at the end of July and $1,480 a year ago. Vermont has the highest price at $1,550 per head while Missouri has the lowest at $1,100. While most states saw a decline in prices from July to October, Florida and New Mexico had higher prices. In Wisconsin, cows averaged $1,460 at the end of October down $100 from July.

Read the full NASS report here:

Missouri’s top soil moisture continues re-charging

Rain fell across most of Missouri this past week, but it was dry in the northwest and west-central parts of the state. Topsoil moisture is now 46 percent short to very short and 54 percent adequate to surplus.

Soybeans are 62 percent harvested, 8 days behind last year, but the same as normal. The cotton harvest is 70 percent complete, 3 days behind normal. Missouri’s sorghum harvest is 76 percent done, 8 days ahead of normal. Winter wheat planting is 67 percent complete, 5 days ahead of normal. Wheat condition is 54 percent good to excellent.

Pastures are still 60 percent poor to very poor. Stock water supplies are 78 percent short to very short.

South Dakota harvest advances despite damp weather

Despite rain and wind last week in South Dakota there was still a lot of field work done, bringing harvest closer to completion.

More precipitation fell, but most was rather light and not very helpful in changing drought conditions. Hot Springs had the most at over a half-inch. The US Drought Monitor map shows some decrease in drought level in the northeast part of the state after heavier rain the previous week.

Topsoil moisture is still 84 percent short to very short.

Winter wheat is 95 percent planted. The average is 98 percent planted, but high wind this past week has blown some out in some areas. Ninety-two percent of the sunflowers are harvested, ahead of the five year average of 42 percent.

Stock water supplies are 78 percent short to very short. Feed supplies are 45 percent adequate to surplus. Range and pasture are 83 percent poor to very poor.

Rain and winds slowed Illinois harvest some

Rain and strong winds slowed harvest last week in Illinois but progress was still made. According to the Illinois office of the National Ag Statistics Service, 94 percent of the corn crop is harvested statewide, ahead of last year and well ahead of the average.

Eighty-seven percent of soybeans are harvested, just above the average but a few points behind last year at this time.

Eighty-one percent of the winter wheat crop is planted, nearly 50 percent has emerged.

Close to half of Illinois pastures, as of Sunday, were in good shape.

Nebraska’s corn, soybean harvest near completion

A cool, damp and windy week slowed Nebraska’s harvest this past week. Producers in western counties are struggling to harvest lodged crops, but statewide, corn harvest is 94 percent done. Normally it’s only half done by now. The soybean harvest is 98 percent complete. It’s about 85 percent finished by now on average. Some winter wheat fields were reseeded due to poor stands and wind damage. Emergence is over two weeks behind normal. Sorghum harvest is 85 percent done, ahead of the 41 percent done by this time normally. The sugar beet harvest continues out west. Concerns about reduced forage supplies continue to burden livestock producers.