Winterizing equipment saves time next spring

Neil Hoff

Farmers finished harvest early leaving time to winterize farm equipment before it gets cold. The goal of winterizing is to prepare equipment for the next time it’s used, whether that’s next month, next spring or next fall, says Neil Hoff with CHS. Among his tips to winterize farm equipment, Hoff tells Brownfield Ag News that taking the proper steps to care for equipment is one of the most important things a grower can do to protect the investment they have in equipment. Winterizing equipment that will sit idle for months or that will be used throughout winter will extend the life of equipment and save time the next time the equipment is used.

AUDIO: Neil Hoff (7 min. MP3)

Big drop for soybeans

Soybeans were sharply lower on profit taking, commercial selling, and spillover from the outside markets. The dollar was higher following U.S. jobs numbers with the Dow, gold, and crude oil sharply lower. There was no real fresh news out Friday and the trade is keeping an eye on planting conditions in South America. Some forecasts are showing improved conditions for Argentina and Brazil, while others are less certain. Weekly export numbers were solid but not a factor. Soybean meal and oil were lower, following the lead of beans. Ahead of the November 9 USDA production estimates, FC Stone sees 2012 U.S. soybeans at 2.959 billion bushels with an average yield of 39.1 bushels per acre, while Informa pegs the crop at 2.925 billion bushels with an average yield of 38.6 bushels per acre. In October, USDA estimated soybean production at 2.860 billion bushels with an average yield of 37.8 bushels per acre.

Corn was lower on commercial and technical selling, along with spillover from soybeans and the outside markets. Corn stayed in its recent trading range with no real fresh fundamental news to end the week. End user demand is solid but export demand remains slow with another bearish set of weekly numbers. Ethanol futures were lower. USDA’s next set of supply, demand, and production estimates are out Friday November 9. Ahead of the numbers, FC Stone pegs the crop at 10.881 billion bushels with an average yield of 123.9 bushels per acre and Informa projects corn at 10.738 billion bushels with average yield of 122.4 bushels per acre. Last month, USDA estimated production at 10.705 billion bushels with an average yield of 122 bushels per acre.

The wheat complex was mostly lower on commercial selling and profit taking, in addition to spillover from corn, beans, and the outside markets. Kansas City was the exception, supported by forecasts for more dry weather in the Southern Plains. Given world crop problems, the trade does expect a significant increase in export demand. However, it hasn’t happened recently with another bearish set of weekly numbers. DTN reports millers from Thailand bought 45,000 tons of U.S. wheat but that was considered routine; shipment is scheduled for December. Lebanon is tendering for 50,000 tons of optional origin wheat and India has 275,000 tons of wheat on offer for sale. European wheat was firm on the neutral to bullish supply and demand outlook.

Lower hog weights may improve market

After a week of lower hog prices, a market analyst says there are indications that the market may turn around in the coming week.

Butcher hogs marketed last week in the Iowa/southern Minnesota direct trade were averaging 272.8 pounds apiece, according to Ron Plain, livestock economist at the University of Missouri. That’s 1.1 pounds heavier than the week prior, but more significantly, said Plain, it’s about three-quarters of a pound below what the average weight was last year.

“That’s a good indication that producers are current in their marketings and hopefully means that hog prices will be steady, maybe a bit higher in the coming week,” said Plain, in an interview provided by the National Pork Board.

It’s the fifth consecutive week that market hog weights have been below year-ago levels.

AUDIO: Ron Plain (1 min. MP3)

MU holds horse auction preview Saturday

The University of Missouri Equine Program is holding its annual online horse auction in November and has scheduled a sale preview on Saturday, November 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MU Equine Teaching Facility located at the university’s South Farm in Columbia. 

Students from the Equine Behavior and Training class and the Equine Facility Management and Marketing class in the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources will be available to show the horses and discuss health, training and pedigree of the sale animals, according to a news release issued by the university. 

This is the sixth year that MU has held an online horse auction.

Packers may start next week short bought on cattle

The cash cattle trade was not tested on Friday. DTN says that packer behavior seemed a little strange. On one hand trade volume totals were barely moderate at 78,888 head. On the other hand, weekly slaughter actually turned out to be larger than the previous week. Both of those factors mean that packers could start out next week extremely close to the knife. There are reports one major packer in the North plans to be dark at one plant on Monday. The weekly cattle kill was estimated at 643,000 head, 2,000 more than the previous week, but 7,000 less than last year.

Boxed beef cutout values were weak on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice boxed beef was down .76 at 192.74, and select was .76 lower at 175.74.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle futures contracts settled unchanged to 55 points lower with the exception of December. Futures were pressured by long liquidation and beef demand worries. Packer reluctance to extend live inventories seemed to encourage bears to dig deeper bear discounts. Significantly lower beef cutouts at midday also weighed on the market. December settled .10 higher at 145.42, and February was down .05 at 129.17.

Feeder cattle ended the session 15 to 52 points higher. Prices were lifted by late week profit taking and the selloff in the corn pit. November was up .25 at 144.90, and January was up .32 at 146.67.

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Iowa corn group likes harvest weight extension

The Iowa Corn Growers Association is applauding Governor Terry Branstad’s decision extend the harvest weight proclamation for farmers.  

ICGA says the extension will help those who are still bringing in the 2012 corn crop.  

The extension starts November 3rd and runs for 15 days. The proclamation specifically increases the weight allowable for shipment of corn, soybeans, hay, straw and stover, by 12.5% per axle (up to a maximum of 90,000 pounds) without the need for an oversize/overweight permit.  

ICGA says the Branstad proclamation is an improvement over the past few proclamations, when the previous maximum per-axle limitation was the lesser of 10% or 88,000 pounds. 

The proclamation again applies to loads transported on all highways within Iowa, excluding the interstate system.  Trucks cannot exceed the truck’s regular maximum by more than 12.5% per axle and must obey the posted limits on all roads and bridges.

Good week for soybean exports

USDA reports soybean and soybean oil exports for the week ending October 25 were above analysts’ estimates, while corn and wheat were within pre-report projections, and soybean meal was below expectations. The report was delayed a day by Hurricane Sandy.

Wheat came out at 362,900 tons, down 37% from the week ending October 18 and 8% lower than the four week average. Taiwan bought 102,100 tons and Nigeria picked up 89,100 tons.

Corn was reported at 167,900 tons, up 18% from the week before and 5% higher than the four week average. Japan purchased 181,100 tons while unknown destinations canceled on 124,500 tons.

Soybeans were pegged at 741,200 tons, an increase of 42% from the previous week and 4% more than the four week average. China was the leading buyer at 382,600 tons and unknown destinations picked up 214,500 tons.

Soybean meal came out at 73,200 tons, mostly to Mexico (25,200 tons) and Italy (19,800 tons).

Soybean oil was reported at 28,500 tons, with Egypt picking up 18,000 tons.

Net beef sales totaled 14,600 tons, 12% less than the prior week and 6% under the four week average. The listed buyers were Mexico (3,300 tons), South Korea (2,400 tons), Canada (1,900 tons), Hong Kong (1,500 tons), and Vietnam (1,400 tons). Sales of 600 tons for 2013 delivery were mainly to Mexico (400 tons) and Canada (100 tons).

Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: November 2, 2012

Dec. corn closed at $7.39 and 1/2, down 11 and 1/2 cents
Nov. soybeans closed at $15.27, down 31 and 1/2 cents
Dec. soybean meal closed at $475.90, down $8.40
Dec. soybean oil closed at 49.26, down 117 points
Dec. wheat closed at $8.64 and 1/2, down 4 cents
Dec. live cattle closed at $125.42, up 10 cents
Dec. lean hogs closed at $77.75, down 12 cents
Dec. crude oil closed at $84.86, down $2.23
Dec. cotton closed at 70.35, up 14 points
Nov. Class III milk closed at $21.20, up 10 cents
Dec. gold closed at $1,675.20, down $40.30
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 13,093.16, down 139.46 points

Potential tax law changes driving more land to market

Potential changes to federal tax laws are driving more farmland onto the market this fall.

So says Lee Vermeer, who heads up real estate sales for Farmers National Company.

“Probably over 50 percent of the sales that we’re doing right now, the people that are calling and wanting to sell their land are saying to us that they want it sold and they want it closed before the end of the year because of the potential for tax law changes come January 1st,” Vermeer says.

Unless Congress takes action in the lame duck session, Vermeer explains, the capital gains rate will go to 20 percent, with an additional three-point-eight percent added for health care costs.  “If the Congress does nothing, then we know we’re going to be looking at capital gains taxes over 50 percent higher than they are right now.”

But Vermeer says, even with more land on the market, there are still more buyers than sellers.

“Demand is strong—predominantly from farmers,” he says. “There’s still some investors out there buying farmland as well—but the strongest market is still coming from the local communities and local farmers.”

Vermeer says active farmers continue to buy about 75 percent of the land sold by Farmers National.  

AUDIO: Lee Vermeer (8:06 MP3)


Three Nebraska agriculturalists honored

The Nebraska Agribusiness Club recognized three Nebraska agriculturalists Thursday night at its annual awards banquet in Lincoln.

Receiving the group’s Public Service to Agriculture awards were Lisa Lunz of Wakefield, who has been very active in the soybean industry, and Alan Tiemann of Seward, a leader in the state’s corn industry.

The group also presented a new award called the Horizon Award, which recognizes younger individuals who are making big contributions to agriculture.  The first winner of that award was Dawn Caldwell of Edgar, a farmer and also communications manager for the Aurora Coop.