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From more efficient combines to Case IH’s Advanced Farming Systems – the Case IH Exhibit at the Farm Progress Show is all about farmer productivity.

Case IH is unveiling its new Optum tractors this week.  Dave Bogan, Case IH Marketing Manager says the tractor has great offerings for large haying operations as well as row crop farmers.

Dave Bogan, Case IH Marketing Manager

Leo Bose, Advanced Farming Systems Marketing Manager says in times of lower commodity prices and tighter margins – farmers want to be more efficient.  And the AFS product allows farmers to do just that.

Leo Bose, Advanced Farming Systems Marketing Manager

Cy Werda, Combine Marketing Manager says when commodity prices were higher farmers often times didn’t think twice about getting a larger class of combines.  But with tighter margins and bigger yields (in parts of the Corn Belt) farmers need that increased productivity in a smaller class of combines.  He says Case’s new 140 series of combines will give farmers the efficiency they need.

Cy Werda, Combine Marketing Manager

Farm Progress Show runs September 1-3 in Decatur, Illinois.

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The field demonstrations are one of the biggest attractions to Farm Progress Show each year but it has been two years since they have happened.

National events director Matt Jungmann says early on he was a little worried the field demonstrations might not happen again this year.  “I watched those rains come through early on,” he says.  “But fortunately our host farmers did a great job getting the crops in.  All the corn was in by Tax Day and as long as nothing flooded out we were going to be in good shape.  And as long as we had good heat.  And we were able to get a normal amount of heat units through the summer like we haven’t the last two and it put everything right on pace.”

In fact, Jungmann says the fields are in perfect condition for harvest this year.

The field demonstrations begin at 11am every morning of the show.

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Wisconsin farm CALS

Cooler-than-normal temperatures slowed development of the corn and soybean crops in Wisconsin last week but the south got some much-needed rain. The weekly Crop Progress Report from the National Ag Statistics Service says topsoil moisture is now 70 percent adequate, 9 percent surplus; an 8-point improvement from a week ago. The southwest and southcentral districts improved from 51 and 53 percent short to very short a week ago to 20 and 43 percent short to very short this week.

The Wisconsin corn crop is now 84 percent dough or beyond with 40 percent dented; 2 days ahead of the five-year average. The corn is rated 77 percent good to excellent condition. Some are starting to chop corn silage.

96 percent of the Badger State soybeans are setting pods with 10 percent turning color, 2 days behind the five year average. The soybean crop is rated 79 percent good to excellent condition. With a forecast for above-normal temperatures this week, the crop should make-up for any time lost last week.

The oats are 92 percent harvested, potatoes are 39 percent harvested with 91 percent in good to excellent condition. The cranberries are turning color in Sawyer County.

Read the full NASS report here:

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Corn silage harvest

Corn harvest for silage is underway in Minnesota.

According to USDA’s latest Crop Progress Report, silage harvest is five percent done thanks to more than five days suitable for fieldwork last week.

With only extreme northern and southern sections of the state receiving significant rainfall, the third cutting of alfalfa advanced to 75 percent complete.

Small grain harvest is nearing the finish line with only five percent remaining to be cut and sugar beet harvest, although just six percent done, is two weeks ahead of normal.

The report also notes that cool temperatures made conditions comfortable for livestock, while pasture condition improved slightly to 73 percent good to excellent.

Corn condition in good to excellent shape remains in the upper 80’s and soybeans just below 80 percent.

Crop development is ahead of normal with 65 percent of the state’s corn acreage now in the dent stage, and 27 percent of soybeans turning color.

And the moisture profile in Minnesota is very healthy with both topsoil and subsoil supplies more than 90 percent adequate to surplus.

 

 

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Wisconsin Organic Farm

The Index of Prices Received by Farmers in July decreased 5.7 percent from June as farmers received lower prices for cattle, broilers, strawberries and lettuce. Prices were higher for soybeans, corn, sweet corn and cantaloupes.

The Crop Index was 2.3 percent lower than June. Corn averaged $3.80 per bushel up 22 cents, soybeans increased 38 cents to average $9.96 per bushel, all wheat was 20 cents lower at $5.23 per bushel and all-hay averaged $156 per ton down $6 from June. Alfalfa hay averaged $169 down $9 from June.

The Livestock Index fell 5 percent. Beef cattle averaged $149 per hundredweight down $6, hogs were $1.20 lower at $58.70 per hundredweight and all-milk dropped 30 cents to $16.60 per hundredweight. Broilers were 11 cents cheaper at 51 cents per pound, turkeys increased 3.6 cents to 84.8 cents per pound and eggs decreased 12 cents to $1.81 per dozen.

The Index of Prices Paid by Farmers in July was unchanged from June. Lower prices for feeder cattle, feeder pigs and fertilizer were offset by higher prices for complete feeds, concentrates, feed grains and dairy cows.

Compared to a year ago, Prices Received by Farmers were down 10 percent while Prices Paid by Farmers were 3.5 percent lower than July of 2014.

Read the full NASS report here:

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National Milk Producers Federation is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to hold-off on implementing the Clean Water Act. In a letter to EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers on Monday, NMPF stated that if the preliminary injunction issued by a North Dakota judge on Thursday applies only to the 13 states involved in that lawsuit, it would create a confusing double-standard for dairy farmers.  Senior Vice President Chris Galen says it is a matter of fairness for all produces across the country.

NMPF submitted comments in November of 2014 expressing concerns over the lack of clarity and certainty for dairy producers should the rule proceed. Galen says many of those same concerns were brought forth by Judge Ralph Erickson’s ruling last week.

Galen’s comments:

 

 

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The U.S. all milk price for July is $16.60 down 30 cents from June. Florida has the highest price at $21.40 down 50 cents from June. California has the lowest all milk price at $15.12 down 60 cents from June.

Other Brownfield states July all milk (compared to June)

  •             Illinois; $17.40 (-.10)
  •             Indiana: $16.40 (-.10)
  •             Iowa: $17.00 (-.30)
  •             Michigan: $15.90 (-.10)
  •             Minnesota: $17.40 (-.50)
  •             Ohio: $17.10 (—–)
  •             South Dakota: $18.10 (-.60)
  •             Wisconsin: $17.50 (-.40)

The July Milk-to-Feed Ratio is 2.01 compared to 2.06 in June and 2.36 in July of last year. The ratio is the pounds of 16% dairy ration equal to the value of 1 pound of whole milk.

 

Milk cow prices averaged $2,030 per head in the U.S. in July up $60 from April. Despite all of the water issues, California had the highest average price of $2,200 per cow in July up $200 from April. Of the 23 major dairy states, Ohio had the lowest price at $1,850 unchanged from April. Cow prices in all 23 states were either unchanged or higher than the April price.

Brownfield states July price per dairy cow (compared to April, 2015)

  •             Illinois: $2,000 ( $100)
  •             Indiana: $1,950 ( $50)
  •             Iowa: $2,050 ( 100)
  •             Michigan: $2,100 (—–)
  •             Minnesota: $1,880 ( $20)
  •             South Dakota: $1,900 ( $60)
  •             Wisconsin: $2,090 ( 10)

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corn ears-iowa late August 2015Nebraska’s crops continue to receive high marks.

Corn is rated 77 percent good to excellent with soybeans at 74 percent. Fifty-nine percent of corn has dented, slightly behind normal. Ten percent of soybeans were dropping leaves, a little ahead of average.

Fourth cutting of alfalfa was 29 percent complete with the crop rated 67 percent good to excellent. Pasture and range conditions rated 66 percent good to excellent.

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Dairy markets were mostly higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange on Monday. For the month: cash cheese barrels lost 8.75 cents, blocks are 1.75 cents lower, butter gained 36 cents, nonfat dry milk is 7.75 cents higher. August Class III lost 11 cents, September slipped 35 cents, October is 14 cents higher and February was unchanged.

The U.S. all milk price for July is $16.60 down 30 cents from June. Florida has the highest price at $21.40 down 50 cents from June. California has the lowest all milk price at $15.12 down 60 cents from June.

The July Milk-to-Feed Ratio is 2.01 compared to 2.06 in June and 2.36 in July of last year. The ratio is the pounds of 16% dairy ration equal to the value of 1 pound of whole milk.

 

Milk cow prices averaged $2,030 per head in the U.S. in July up $60 from April. Despite all of the water issues, California had the highest average price of $2,200 per cow in July up $200 from April. Of the 23 major dairy states, Ohio had the lowest price at $1,850 unchanged from April. Cow prices in all 23 states were either unchanged or higher than the April price. Wisconsin averaged $2,090 up $10 from April.

 

National Milk Producers Federation is asking the Environmental Protection Agency to hold-off on implementing the Clean Water Act. In a letter to EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers on Monday, NMPF stated that if the preliminary injunction issued by a North Dakota judge on Thursday applies only to the 13 states involved in that lawsuit, it would create a confusing double-standard for dairy farmers.

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soybeans-iowa late August 2015As they head into the home stretch, Iowa’s crops are in generally good shape and pretty much on schedule.

The corn crop is rated 81 percent good to excellent with 57 percent dented or beyond, about three days behind normal.

Soybeans rated 76 percent good to excellent with 11 percent turning color, two days behind the five-year average.

Last week was unseasonably cool, with the statewide average temperature nearly 6 degrees below normal. Statewide average precipitation for the week was just over one-and-a-half inches, six-tenths of an inch more than normal. Heavy rains rolled through north-central Iowa late last week with unofficial reports of nine to ten inches from southeast Webster and southern Hamilton counties.

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Futures Markets copy

Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying, along with a late surge in crude oil. Unknown destinations bought 125,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans Monday. Contracts were mixed, mostly lower, for much of the session, watching the weather. According to the USDA, 93% of U.S. beans are at the pod setting stage, compared to the five year average of 95%, and 9% are dropping leaves, compared to 7% on average. 63% of U.S. soybeans are in good to excellent condition, steady with last week and with 1% moving from good up to excellent. Soybean meal was mixed in consolidation trade and bean oil was up on that crude oil rally.

Corn was narrowly mixed. Corn was watching the weather, expecting generally non-threatening conditions this week. The trade is keeping an eye on the potential for yield reductions in parts of the Eastern Cornbelt. The USDA reports 92% of corn is at the dough making stage, compared to 90% on average, and 60% has dented, matching the normal pace. 9% of the crop has reached maturity, compared to 15% on average. 68% of corn is in good to excellent shape, down 1% on the week. Monday was the first notice day for September grain and oilseed contracts and also marked the end of the 2014/15 marketing year for corn and soybeans. Ethanol futures were higher.

The wheat complex was mixed. The fundamentals remain bearish with a large available world supply and slow export demand for U.S. wheat, but there is some commercial support. Also, the dollar was weak Monday. The spring wheat harvest is at 88%, way ahead of the 62% average, with Minnesota and South Dakota at 95% and Washington officially wrapped up for the year. Egypt bought 55,000 tons of wheat from Ukraine. Statistics Canada is set to issue new grain stocks estimates Thursday. According to Allendale, the average estimate for all wheat is 6.5 million tons, down nearly 40% from the twenty year high this time last year.

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Indiana’s continued dry spell is adding more pressure to already stressed crops.  Corn and soybeans with shallow root systems are susceptible to drought stress and the current stretch of dry weather has farmers concerned about the crop’s ability to finish maturing.

According to the weekly crop and weather report 47 percent of the corn crop is rated good to excellent with 89 percent in the dough stage, 51 percent dented, and 3 percent at black layer.  Forty-seven percent of the state’s soybeans are rated good to excellent with 95 percent setting pods and 3 percent dropping leaves.  The crop is in its final weeks of maturity but the cool an dry weather threatens under-filling of pods in soybeans.

Harvest continues for potato, mint, tomato, and tobacco – with some of the tobacco crop rated in poor condition because of the early season rains.

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Programs ICON

This year’s U.S. corn and soybean crops continue to develop close to average.

As of Sunday, 92% of corn is at the dough making stage, compared to the five year average of 90%, and 60% has dented, matching the usual pace. 9% of the crop has reached maturity, compared to 15% on average. 68% of corn is rated good to excellent, down 1% on the week.

93% of soybeans are at the pod setting stage, compared to 95% normally this time of year, and 9% are dropping leaves, compared to 7% on average. 63% of soybeans are in good to excellent shape, steady with last week.

88% of the spring wheat crop is harvested, well ahead of the five year average of 62%.

50% of U.S. pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent condition, 2% less than a week ago.

 

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The country was quiet on Monday afternoon with bids and asking prices not well defined, although a few showlists have been priced around 150.00 in the South and 232.00 plus in the North. The new offering appears to be generally smaller with only Colorado showing a few more ready steers and heifers. The kill totaled 109,000 head, even with last week, but not comparable to last year’s holiday slaughter.

Boxed beef cutout values were lower on light demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was .98 lower at 242.24, and select was down .91 at 232.04.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled unchanged to 122 points lower. Moderate pressure held throughout the complex despite the strong push higher in feeder cattle earlier in the session. Traders were focused on the lack of support in beef values as well as softness in last week’s cash cattle trade. Each day as the Labor Day weekend gets closer, the more concerns about lackluster beef demand over the holidays is affecting the entire live cattle market. October was .77 lower at 143.20, and December was down .62 at 145.42.

Feeder cattle ended the session 67 to 222 points lower. Feeder futures were mired in volatility once again with triple digit gains early met by resistance especially in the deferred contracts. The inability to draw any significant support into the live cattle futures sparked additional late session uncertainty. Wide market shifts were seen in the complex. September settled .57 lower at 201.82, and October was down 1.05 at 197.87.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Joplin, Missouri Regional stockyards on Monday totaled 5,000 head. Compared to last week, steers and heifers are steady to firm. Demand is moderate to good and the supply is moderate today. Feeder steers medium and large 1 weighing 500 to 600 pounds traded at 230.00t o 244.00 per hundredweight. 5 to 6 weight heifers brought 217.00 to 228.00.

Lean hogs settled 35 to 160 points higher’ Futures were able to draw additional strong buyer support back into the futures market. The focus on collecting even additional buyer support as lean futures battled back from midmonth losses seemed to help to spark some consistency in the higher prices are still developing camp. October settled 1.60 higher at 68.02 and December was up 1.57 at 63.12.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade closed .56 lower, the West was up .01 with both at 71.56 weighted average on a carcass basis. Nationally the hog market was down .50 at 70.88. Missouri direct base carcass meat price was 1.00 to 3.00 lower from 64.00 to 66.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis closed steady with an instance of 1.00 2.00 lower from 45.00 to 58.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was 1.31 higher at 85.84.

For the week ending August 15, hog dressed weights averaged 209 pounds, unchanged from the previous week and 4 pounds less than year-ago. Over the past six weeks hog dressed weights have averaged 209.7 pounds, 3.3 pounds lighter than the same six weeks in 2014, down 1.6%.

Hog slaughter was estimated at 429,000 head, 4,000 less than last week, no comparison to the holiday last year.

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Futures Markets copy

Sep. corn closed at $3.63 and 3/4, up 1/2 cent
Sep. soybeans closed at $8.97 and 1/2, up 4 and 1/4 cents
Sep. soybean meal closed at $320.90, down 50 cents
Sep. soybean oil closed at 27.92, up 13 points
Sep. wheat closed at $4.82 and 1/2, up 5 and 1/2 cents
Aug. live cattle closed at $145.50, down $1.02
Oct. lean hogs closed at $68.02, up $1.60
Oct. crude oil closed at $49.20, up $3.98
Dec. cotton closed at 63.00, unchanged
Sep. rice closed at $11.88, up 29 cents
Sep. Class III milk closed at $16.21, up 4 cents
Dec. gold closed at $1,132.50, down $1.50
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 16,528.03, down 114.98 points

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Programs ICON

The deadline for the Michigan Soybean Yield Contest has been extended. Program Coordinator Ned Birkey tells Brownfield the entry deadline has been prolonged to encourage farmers and seed consultants to apply after the Labor Day holiday. He says submissions will now be accepted through September 15.

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A new report from RaboBank looks at the appreciating U.S. dollar and its impact on ag exports.

Study author Steve Nicholson says the dollar has strengthened significantly in the past year.

“People in agriculture have been talking about this, particularly in the U.S. as we’re exporters of grains and oilseeds.  (there is) A lot of worry over what it means to U.S. agriculture, various commodities and what it means for other countries.  So we focused on all three of those things in the report.”

He says the report sheds light on the dollar being abnormally low from around 2008 to 2014, and the recent turn-around has to do with it being economically and politically stable.

In regard to competitive currencies, Nicholson tells Brownfield the report focused on the Brazilian real.

“We did that because it is kind of the easiest one for people to get a grasp on.  Brazil soybean production is front-and-center for U.S. producers and they’re really our biggest competitor.”

He says if you look at current soybean futures prices compared to last year’s harvest lows, U.S. producers have seen about a five percent increase in value.

“But if you convert that to reals per bushel, the Brazilian farmer has seen over a 50 percent increase in the value of his soybeans.”

Because of that, Nicholson says Brazil is looking at a four to six percent increase in soybean acreage this year, driving prices down even further.

“It’s sort of around-the-horn to think about what that’s going to do to prices.  The increase in production is going to move prices down, forcing the U.S. prices down and basis down too just to be competitive in the global market.”

Nicholson says the strong dollar is also hurting wheat exports, but for corn only 10 to 15 percent is sent out of country, so the impact isn’t as significant.

On the livestock side, he says it’s a little harder to figure out because of the many types of products and their quality. But overall, a strengthening dollar should be less detrimental to U.S. exports than for soybeans or wheat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Minnesota corn and soybean farmer is using multiple strategies to market grain.

Doug Albin of Clarkfield says some of his crops are pre-sold.

“It looked like an attractive price, and right now prices are well below the cost of production.  It’s really hard to look at selling anything that’s below the cost of production.”

He tells Brownfield trading options is a possibility.

“I’ll probably be looking at buying some call-options, just to give us an opportunity to take and enhance the price when it does finally start moving to the upside.”

Ultimately, Albin just wants to see what this year’s crop actually looks like.

“(the) Export markets; I expect they’re going to start opening up.  Falling price of oil (therefore) less impact on the railroads.  Maybe they’ll be a little more eager to haul corn and soybeans out of here.”

Albin says he has enough grain storage to hold the soon-to-be-harvested crop for up to a year, giving him more flexibility with marketing decisions.

 

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Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley

Congressional efforts to stop EPA’s Clean Water Rule, formerly known as Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), will resume next week when lawmakers return from their summer recess.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says their best bet is to use the appropriations process to eliminate funding for EPA’s implementation of the Clean Water Rule.

“Because this is the biggest power grab by any particular government agency that I can remember,” Grassley says, “and it won’t be long that farmers are even going to have to have a permit from the EPA and the Corps of Engineers to even do normal farming. That’s how outrageous it is, from my point of view.”

Grassley says the move to eliminate funding may buy the Senate more time to pass legislation that would force EPA to withdraw the rule and develop a new rule with more input from stakeholders. However, Capitol Hill watchers say it is unlikely the Senate would have enough votes to override a likely presidential veto of that bill.

AUDIO: Excerpts from Grassley’s conference call with ag media 8/31/15

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The 62nd Princess Kay of the Milky Way is a 19 year old from Wright County. Kyla Mauk of Howard Lake is looking forward to representing hard working dairy farmers like her dad.

“My dad is the most hard-working man I’ve ever met, and now I get to represent 3,600 dairy farm families that work hard everyday to produce that wholesome, nutritious food, just like my dad.”

She says being named Princess Kay is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Being able to advocate for the dairy community with eleven amazing individuals (the Princess Kay finalists) has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

In the next year, Mauk will speak on behalf of Minnesota dairy producers and hopes to educate consumers about the industry.

“I really hope to teach them about how hard-working dairy farmers are, and how they’re working 365 days a year to make sure everyone is getting a nutritious food.  Dairy products are one of the most nutritious foods that we can get.”

Mauk will be a sophomore at South Dakota State University this fall, pursuing a degree in agriculture education.

 

 

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