Monday, July 30, 2012

The Secret Farm Bill???

Last fall, House and Senate Agriculture Committee leaders tried to insert a “secret farm bill” in the super committee’s un-amendable deficit reduction package. They failed.
Now some of those same leaders are trying to evade a floor vote by the full House by extending the current law for a year, as a pretense to negotiate a five-year farm bill with the Senate, which has already passed its version of the $1 trillion bill.
And this time, some of those who backed the “secret farm bill” gambit aren’t keeping their intentions so secret.  They would like to avoid House debate on a bill that cost even more than the Troubled Asset Relief Program, known as TARP.
Read more from EWG Ag...

Crop Claims to top 1988

Steve Worthington, who oversees crops claims for Country Financial, predicts crop damage this summer will top the $40 billion in losses that farmers took during the 1988 drought.
from WJBC...

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Variance in Corn Crop

This picture from twitter (courtesy of @ILDeere) shows just how much variance we may see in the 2012 corn crop due to the drought conditions. This is the same field, same plant date, and so relatively the same amount of moisture.

Flexibility in Farmland Leasing

From WJBC: “Certainly Illinois is unique, because we are one of the leading states in the number of acres that are not owned by farmers. About 62 percent of the farmland is rented by farmers from someone else. Most of the states, even in the Midwest, have a much higher farmer-owner rate, and so the rental area of Illinois is always a hot topic,” explained Don Meyer, a broker with Lee Realty working in real estate and farm management. ... Many farmers have had questions in the last five to ten years about variations on cash leases. Some who are locked into a fixed rate would now like to be more involved in sharing the risk, as well as the reward. Read more...

Friday, July 20, 2012

More Illinois CRP grazing

USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) State Executive Director Scherrie V. Giamanco announced that in response to drought conditions, FSA has authorized emergency haying and/or grazing use of certain Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres for 54 counties.


The following counties are approved for emergency CRP haying and grazing: Adams;Alexander, Bond; Brown; Calhoun; Cass; Christian; Cumberland; DeWitt; Edgar; Edwards;Fayette; Franklin; Gallatin; Greene; Hamilton; Hardin, Jackson, Jasper; Jefferson; Jersey;JoDaviess; Johnson, Livingston; Logan; Macon; Macoupin; Madison; Marion; Mason; Massac,McLean; Menard; Montgomery; Morgan; Piatt; Pike; Pope, Pulaski, Randolph; Richland;Saline, Sangamon; Schuyler; Scott; Shelby; Stephenson; Tazewell; Union, Wayne; White;Williamson ;Winnebago and Woodford.


The haying authorization will become effective August 2, 2012, which is after the wildlife nesting and brood rearing season in Illinois and shall not exceed August 31, 2012. The authorization to graze also will begin on August 2, 2012 not to exceed September 30, 2012.


"Eligible producers who are interested in emergency haying and/or grazing of CRP must request approval at their County FSA office before haying and/or grazing eligible acreage," said Giamanco. "It is also important for producers to obtain a modified conservation plan from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that includes haying and/or grazing requirements," she said.


Upon approval of emergency haying, producers must leave at least 50 percent of each field or contiguous fields unhayed for wildlife. The same CRP acreage cannot be both hayed and grazed.


In addition, participants are limited to one hay cutting and are not permitted to sell any of the hay.There will be a 10 percent CRP payment reduction based on the number of acres actually hayed or grazed. Eligible producers who are interested in grazing must leave at least 25 percent of each field or contiguous CRP field ungrazed for wildlife, or graze not more than 75 percent of the stocking rate as determined by NRCS.


Producers who do not own or lease livestock, may rent or lease the haying or grazing privilege to an eligible livestock producer.


For more information on eligibility requirements and to request approval for emergency haying and/or grazing of CRP acres, contact your local County FSA office.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Grazing of CRP

Cass County has been released for emergency haying and grazing of CRP acreage. Eligible producers must visit the office to identify areas to be hayed or grazed  and obtain approval before starting any activities. No grazing or cutting for hay can begin until August 2. The CRP annual rental payment will be reduced by 10% for the number of acres hay or grazed. For haying, 50% of each field or contiguous fields must not be harvested. For grazing, this figure is 25% or can be 0 if stocking rate is reduced. Call the FSA office at 217-452-7781 for more information.     

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why food prices SHOULDN'T go up

Joe explains correctly why the drought should not have a direct impact on non-meat food prices. However, markets being what they are, who knows for sure.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Young Farmers

2012 Farm Progress Show

The 2012 Farm Progress Show will be held in Boone, IA on August 28th-30th. Last year's show was just down the road from us in Decatur, IL. Local farmers and students that attended reported that the show was one of the best they had attended. If you're planning on going this year, tickets are available now.

Jared White from DewittDailyNews has an audio interview preview of this year's show.

Here's a slideshow of last year's show

Crop Insurance Payments Increasing

"Crop insurance could make large payments in 2012 as low yields become increasingly likely as a result of hot, dry growing conditions. Roughly 60% of the corn acres and 50% of soybean acres in Illinois are insured at high coverage levels with revenue products containing guarantee increase provisions. These acres likely will receive large payments if drought conditions continue."
Read more from Farm Industry News...

Drought effects on Food Prices?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A Record Corn Crop?

Imagine walking into a corn field and sticking a spade into a 1 inch crack, only to find its deep enough to swallow the entire thing. That’s what happened to Chad Colby, of Cross Implement Inc. in Illinois, this week. He was walking a field with one of his growers discussing the same topic that is on the mind of most of the Midwest: Will the rain come in time?

Farmers throughout the country are living on a finite timeline. Counting the number of days they can survive without a rain. Brian Scott, a farmer near Monticello, Ind., says the weather has got to turn around soon. In fact he says that if it doesn’t rain by July 4, things are going to get really ugly really fast. "I don’t think it will be dead, but it’s going to be hurt awful bad," he says.
Read more from AgWeb...