United Nations Names 2016 International Year of Pulse Crop

The United Nations has declared 2016 as the International Year of the pulse crop. “Pulse” is another term for legumes such as dry beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. These crops are gaining in popularity, not just in the United States but internationally. The word “pulse” comes from a Latin name for “thick soup.” “We’re working… Read more »

What goes around, comes around

The livestock industry saw record profits in 2014 and is expecting another profitable year in 2015.  Mike Boehlje from Purdue’s Center for Food and Agriculture Business says they shouldn’t get too comfortable – as grain farmers were in a similar position just a few years ago. “The lessons are very clear,” he says.  “The lessons… Read more »

Margins may be tight – but there is opportunity

Farmers are looking at tighter margins heading into 2015.  Dr. Mike Boehlje from Purdue’s Center for Food and Agriculture Business says there are a few things farmers need to remember as they look at their balance sheets.  “Create strong working capital positions by not having too much debt,” he says.  “Focus the attention on cost… Read more »

Ag loans increase, survey finds

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Agriculture loans increased in the fourth quarter along with lowering profits for crop producers – according to the national Survey of Terms of Bank Lending to Farmers issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Most of the gains were from borrowing for current operating expenses. Farm loan debt – outstanding as of September… Read more »

Demand is key in 2015

For the second straight year, American corn farmers have produced a record crop.  Chris Novak, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association says looking to 2015 the key is demand.  “How we can continue to grow our biofuels market is going to be important to the success of corn farmers,” he says.  “Ensuring that we… Read more »

Missouri corn growers push for higher hauling limits

Missouri corn growers lobbied state lawmakers for higher grain hauling limits Tuesday.  The current limit is 80,000 pounds, but Missouri Corn Growers President Kevin Hurst says members favor a year-round exemption for grain, allowing weights that many other states have. “Most of [surrounding states] run 85,500 pounds or better, and we would like to be… Read more »

Cranberry production slipped last year

U.S. cranberry production was lower in 2014: 8.7 million barrels (144,000 tons) compared to 8.9 million barrels (147,000 tons) in 2013. Cranberry acreage was reduced 1,500 acres to 40,500 while yield was a little higher at 211.6 barrels (10.8 tons) per acre. 8.29 million barrels of the crop were processed and 279,000 barrels were sold… Read more »

It was a good year for apple production

Total apple production in the U.S. last year was 11.2 billion pounds compared to 10.4 billion in 2013. Harvested acreage was slightly less but yield was 17.2 tons per acre compared to 15.8 the previous year. The 2014 apple crop is valued at $2.9 billion compared to $3.1 billion in 2013 as the price per… Read more »

A record popcorn crop in Indiana

Farmers in Indiana planted a record number of acres to popcorn in 2014.  Despite abnormally wet conditions, those acres produced a record crop.  The 90,000 harvested acres yielded 432 million pounds of popcorn, 16 percent more than 2013. Even though the average price received was down $2.80 per hundred weight from last year, the crop… Read more »

Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota land prices

Farm Credit Services of America says cropland prices in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming declined somewhat in 2014 but demand remained strong for pastureland. FCS America tracks sales records every January and July – and its 64 benchmark farms in the four state area. Cropland prices in the last six months of 2014 fell 7.1… Read more »