Work to do before planting begins

There’s work to do BEFORE planting begins. Shaun Casteel, Extension soybean specialist at Purdue University says work begins by looking back at where things ended in 2014. “Corn yields were great, exceptional, harvest was later than normal, we got frozen soils so we didn’t get fertilizer applied and we didn’t get tillage on a lot… Read more »

USDA speeding up biotech deregulation process

The USDA is speeding up the process to get new biotech crops tested and deregulated for use by farmers. Kevin Shea runs the USDA agency in charge of that process, which has been criticized in the past for being too slow. He told a congressional panel that the backlog for approvals has been rapidly reduced… Read more »

Nebraska farmland values slip three percent

After five years of increases, average farmland values in Nebraska dropped three percent over the past year. That’s according to preliminary findings from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln 2015 Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey. The biggest percentage drop was in the eastern district, which was down 10 percent, while the biggest increase was in the… Read more »

Iowa State Herbicide Guide offers weed management strategies

As herbicide resistance continues to spread, producers will need to employ “a greater diversity of tactics” to combat resistant weeds in 2015. So says Iowa State University Extension weed scientist Bob Hartzler. Hartzler and his ISU colleague Mike Owen have recently updated the Herbicide Guide for Iowa Corn and Soybean Production for 2015. “Every year… Read more »

Evaluating risk in the short term

After a couple of really strong years in the agriculture economy, a Purdue ag economist says farmers liquidity or working capital looks pretty good. However, Mike Boehlje with the Center for Commercial Agriculture says there is potential for operating losses in 2015.  “With our current lower commodity prices our numbers are showing that even with… Read more »

Managing herbicide resistant weeds

There may be snow on the ground, but Joe Armstrong, Dow AgroSciences field scientist says it isn’t too early to start thinking about weed management.  “Early season weed control is important regardless of the crop, but in a crop like soybeans, eliminating that early season weed competition is what sets you up for success for… Read more »

Most Central Valley farmers unlikely to get federal water–again

It’s not a big surprise, but the federal government has announced it won’t be sending any of its reservoir water to the Central Valley of California for the second straight year. That means farmers in California’s agricultural heartland will probably have to idle more land — and produce fewer crops — because there is simply… Read more »

Other states look to Iowa on water quality issues

Water quality issues were a big topic of discussion last week at Commodity Classic in Phoenix. Tom Oswald, president of the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA), says other states are turning to Iowa’s leadership in addressing water quality. “A lot of people are looking to the things we’ve done, seeing how they can incorporate those,” Oswald… Read more »

Farmer: Price outlook “pretty bleak”

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The price of commodities is an overarching concern among growers. Wayne Fredericks is president-elect of the Iowa Soybean Association and a director on the board of the American Soybean Association. He says the price outlook is pretty bleak, “The outlook at the moment is down, although we’ve seen a really good rally in soybeans the last… Read more »

Defending ethanol ‘a never-ending struggle’

The latest attempt in Congress to weaken the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) leaves Jerry Mohr shaking his head. Like many corn growers, Mohr—a farmer from Eldridge, Iowa and president of the Iowa Corn Growers Association—is frustrated by the introduction of a Senate bill called the Corn Ethanol Mandate Elimination Act. “It’s obviously introduced by people… Read more »