Thursday, August 23, 2012

Don't Fret, Drought Good For Wine

While the U.S. drought has punished corn and soybean crops, grape growers say they have a bit to cheer. Vintners throughout the nation's midsection say their vineyards generally have proven resilient to the months of battering heat and dryness. They say that's because the drought has left the surviving grapes with concentrated flavors and sugar, stoking the promise of standout wine.
Read more from WHOW...

Got Fire Extinguisher?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Illinois Cattle Farmers Turn to Crop Grazing

Some Central Illinois cattle farmers have turned their cattle out on corn crop fields that will not yield enough grain to be worth harvesting.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Bigger and Better, #FPS12 Expands by 85 acres

An increased demand for space at the Farm Progress Show has resulted in the expansion of the field by another street.

“When the Farm Progress Show site was built in Boone, it was built to accommodate the largest show usage in recent times,” says Matt Jungmann, National events manager. “As assignments for space were completed this spring, it became clear that extra space was needed to accommodate all the requests by exhibitors and the investment would need to be made to accommodate those requests.”

The Farm Progress Show grounds have grown from twelve streets to thirteen. That increase equates to 3.68 million square feet of exhibit space or close to 85 acres.

The 2012 Farm Progress Show takes place in Boone, Iowa, August 28, 29 and 30. The exhibit field is open to visitors 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. For a full schedule of events and more detailed information, visit And don't forget to check out our coverage of the show right here on!

Why I'm headed to Farm Progress 2012

It sure would be easy to take a year off and wait for Farm Progress 2013. I mean, I'm going to have to travel up to Iowa, miss a day of real work, and probably get so nasty dirty that the girls will hose me down before I'm allowed back in the house.

The thing is, there is A LOT going on in agriculture this year. The drought, farm bill, livestock sell-off, economy, and election are all big items for discussions. Looking at the official program that the folks at @FPShow sent me, manufacturers and dealers are counting on a big turnout. The programs are as varied as always, and the forecast looks great, as noted by fellow blogger Chuck Zimmerman. Yes, I think it is a great year to head to Iowa!

Watching Crop Tour for Direction

Read more from WJBC...

Yes, it is that scary

Overall, the August corn projection foresees a 10.1 percent reduction in utilization on a 12.8 percent reduction in production. In addition, the projection of year-ending stocks was reduced to 650 million bushels, the lowest level since the 1995 crop year.
From Policy Pennings...

Monday, August 20, 2012

Crop Insurance - Set It Free?

Lots of talk this year about crop insurance. The current system is a bit messed up, and lots of confusing government speak and arcane rules. If You Love Crop Insurance, Set It Free!

Getting Ready for Farm Progress 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Insult to Injury

Forget the drought. Corn farmers in Illinois have another concern:
Last year, Iowa State University's Aaron Gassmann confirmed populations of western corn rootworms that are resistant to the Cry3Bb1 protein. At today's University of Illinois' Agronomy Day, U of I agronomist Mike Gray announced that he'd confirmed the exact same thing in Illinois.
Read more from

Weed Control Options

Bayer CropScience is touring the Midwest and South again this summer urging farmers to "respect the rotation." Now entering its third year, the company’s Respect the Rotation program advocates rotating crops, herbicides and traits to keep additional herbicide options from falling victim to weed resistance.

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Drought affects Ethanol production

Some ethanol plants in the U.S. have stopped production because of the drought.
Technology and Business Development Director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association, Dave Loos, said the reaction is about more than just a lack of corn for production. He said it’s market conditions such as corn prices, natural gas prices and the price of ethanol on the market compared with gasoline. Loos said it is possible that some plants could shut down.

Experts Urge Grain Bin Readiness

Despite drought conditions hampering the growing season, Illinois farmers are still going to be harvesting this fall, and things are shaping up for an early harvest. Experts are encouraging farmers to prepare their grain bins now.

Audio from WHOW...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cargill CEO calls for Corn Rationing

From the Chicago Tribune, discussing the government ethanol mandates:
"If all of that (demand rationing) is only on livestock or food consumers, it really makes the burden disproportionate. What we see are 3 or 4 percent declines in supply lead to 40 to 50 percent increases in prices, and I think the mandates are what drives that price elasticity which I think needs to be addressed,"

High corn prices force Ethanol discussion

High corn prices sparked by the drought are leading to renewed calls for an end to the ethanol mandate. 

Illinois needs 12 to 15 inches of rain

Most of Illinois needs 12 to 15 inches of rain in order to bring the state up to its normal levels. Across the MidWest and the Plains, rainfall amounts from 9 to over 15 inches are needed. Rain today (8/8/2012) will make only a small dent in this total, with most corn crops already past the point where additional moisture will be beneficial.