@C - CORN - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 363'2 361'6 362'0 -1'2
May '17 370'0 368'6 369'0 -1'4
Jul '17 377'4 376'0 376'2 -1'2
Sep '17 383'6 382'4 382'4 -1'4
Dec '17 391'0 389'6 389'6 -1'2
Mar '18 397'4 396'6 396'6 -1'2
@S - SOYBEANS - CBOT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 1057'6 1054'0 1055'0 -3'4
May '17 1067'0 1063'4 1064'4 -3'4
Jul '17 1073'2 1069'4 1070'4 -3'2
Aug '17 1076'2 1063'0 1069'2 0'6
Sep '17 1045'0 1045'0 1045'0 -2'2
Nov '17 1025'0 1023'0 1024'2 -1'6
Jan '18 1027'4 1027'4 1027'4 -1'0
@K - HARD RED WINTER WHEAT - KCBT
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 440'6 440'0 440'2 -1'4
May '17 452'6 452'0 452'0 -1'6
Jul '17 464'6 464'2 464'2 -1'2
Sep '17 483'6 478'6 480'0 -2'2
@L - LIVE CATTLE - CME
Month High Low Last Chg
Feb '17 120.925 119.175 119.675 -0.575
Apr '17 119.775 117.975 118.400 -0.775
@C - COTTON #2 - ICEFU
Month High Low Last Chg
Mar '17 75.00 72.53 73.57 -1.06
May '17 75.51 73.24 74.37 -0.80
Jul '17 75.99 73.85 75.02 -0.63
DTN Click here for info on Exchange delays.
Local
Know Where NOT to Spray New Dicamba or 2,4-D
Gears are in motion for Southeast cotton and soybean growers to legally apply auxin herbicides in-season to new seed traits tolerant to them. Each label comes with major restrictions, and every detail should be followed. But it really boils down to a simple philosophy: Know where NOT to spray them. People will be watching. Auxin herbicides expected to be cleared at the federal and state level for legal in-season use in the 2017 cropping season on resistant seed are Monsanto’s Xtendimax with its new dicamba formulation, BASF’s new dicamba formulation sold as Engenia and Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Duo, which includes its new 2,4-D formulation. With the corresponding resistant seed technologies for dicamba or 2,4-D systems available for cotton and soybeans, coupled with the legal clearance to use the herbicides, the stage is set for “significant adaption across our state and definitely across the region,” which will be done to manage hard-to-control weeds such as Palmer amaranth, morning glory and to a certain extent tropical spiderwort , said Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia Extension weed specialist. “Keep in mind, our cotton industry has invested over $1 billion just to control Palmer amaranth (in the last decade),” he said. “We (cotton growers) desperately need help and new tools to manage this pest. We’ve lost some conservation tillage (due to the problem). We’re doing more tillage. The use of herbicides and our herbicide input cost has skyrocketed to control this plant.” Georgia cotton farmers in the past several years, including in 2016, are having to hand-weed 85 percent of the state’s cotton crop, even with good, timely management strategies. “Of course growers should be commended for this effort as it is arguably the single-most important step in preventing additional herbicide resistance development,” Culpepper said. Slightly improved control “In research-grade Palmer amaranth populations, the new technologies do offer slightly more flexibility and improved control over our standard practices with a few dollars less in hand weeding costs at seasons end,” Culpepper said. “It is critically important we have standard programs equally effective, allowing grower’s options. Those equally effective options do exist for most Georgia fields, but we do need to continue to improve our standard programs for the fields with heavy infestations. For our growers who are able to be timely and aggressive, they are already achieving effective control with standard programs that offer lower off-target drift risks.” The new auxins are formulated, and their labels written, to reduce the risk of off-target, drift-related crop damage. It’s been reported for several years, and it’s no secret, that vegetable and specialty crop farmers are concerned about the introduction of the new technology, especially into Georgia’s diverse agricultural landscape, said Culpepper, speaking Jan. 6 at the annual Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Savannah. Many major high-value Georgia vegetable crops, as well as major row crops not resistant to an auxin, are highly sensitive to these herbicides. “From my office (in south-central Georgia), I can be in 35 different crops in 45 minutes. We grow them all year round and grow them all in the same areas and often by the same grower,” he said. “If you look at our farmgate value and look at our agronomic crops versus our specialty crops, and you look at when they’re grown and where they’re grown, I think we have more potential conflict for potential drift (problems) than anywhere else on the planet. So, we are really going to have to be better than we’ve ever been if we are going to avoid any of these issues.” In 2016, there were no dicamba-related drift complaints reported to the Georgia Department of Agriculture or UGA Extension, which surprised officials in the state. It was not the same in the Mid-South, where crop damage due to illegal applications of dicamba in season prompted the EPA to issue a compliance advisory, something it rarely does, for the region. In Missouri, illegal dicamba applications have brought down 21 indictments so far. Crop sensitivities Starting in 2015 and into 2016, UGA Extension and the GDA, along with some industry representatives, initiated a training which is required to make in-season auxin herbicide applications in Georgia. The trainings are being offered in 2017, too. “The only thing that is guaranteed to avoid these (off-target) issues is knowing where not to spray these products. Understanding the sensitivity of the crops around you can help you determine where you should and should not apply these products,” Culpepper said. Culpepper and fellow UGA weed specialist Eric Prostko conducted 64 field trials applying dicamba and 2,4-D (at rates >1/75X, between 1/75 and 1/300X, between 1/300 and 1/800X and < 1/800X) to measure a specific crop’s visual sensitivity to the herbicides, rating each crop’s sensitivity to the herbicides in four categories: lower, moderate, severe or extreme. Using their sensitivity reference, for example, tomato and watermelon’s visual sensitivity to Roundup would rate in the ‘ultra-lower’ category. “Now, everyone knows tomato and watermelon are very sensitive to Roundup, but the point is that the scale has changed with dicamba and 2,4-D for many crops. For example, dicamba poses much greater threat to these crops and ranks in the ‘severe’ sensitivity category,” Culpepper said. “One of my favorite quotes that drives me nuts: ‘If you’re doing a good job with Roundup, you’ve got no problem with in-season 2,4-D or dicamba applications,’” he said. Not true. Culpepper pointed out that some crops widely grown in Georgia are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to dicamba or 2,4-D than to they are o Roundup. Registrations can go away Speaking Jan. 6 at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference, Rick Keigwin, deputy director of programs for EPA’s Pesticide Program office, reminded growers the dicamba registrations have two important time restrictions: 1) Both Monsanto’s and BASF’s registrations automatically expire in November 2018 unless EPA takes action to renew them. “And what we’re going to be looking at over the next two years is, ‘Are the off-sight drift incidents continuing? To what degree are they continuing? Are they getting worse or are they getting better? Is the magnitude increasing?’” Keigwin said. “And if we determine that that frequency of drift events is unacceptable, they (the registrations) go away.” 2) If the registrations for new dicamba formulation are renewed in November 2018, they will automatically expire three years later. At that time, EPA again will look at drift incidents and also at where things stand with resistance issues. The registrations go away if things are not acceptable. The bottom line: If EPA doesn’t take action on either deadline for the dicamba registrations, the registrations go away. “So, we all have to be partners to make sure these products are used the right way so that we don’t have the types of things that happened in the Mid-South,” Keigwin said. Dow’s Enlist Duo 2,4-D formulation will have a five-year term of registration. “It’s five years for Enlist because we haven’t had the drift events like we had for dicamba, and that five years is primarily focused on resistance management,” Keigwin said. Source: Southeast Farm Press 
National
Death Tax repeal legislation introduced
Bipartisan legislation has been reintroduced into the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the federal estate tax.? Representatives Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Sanford Bishop of Georgia introduced the legislation in the House and Senator John Thune introduced the companion bill in the Senate. A Joint Economic Committee report shows the death tax has removed more than $1.1 trillion in capital from the economy. Congresswoman Noem says following her father?s tragic death in a farming accident her family received a letter from the IRS and no family should have to go through a similar situation. Continue reading Death Tax repeal legislation introduced at Brownfield Ag News.      
Facebook
Be sure to catch this segment on our Liberty Link soybeans done with ...
Be sure to catch this segment on our Liberty Link soybeans done with NCN's Andy Classen!>
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have ...
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have an exclusive partnership in Aurora and out of our Sedan grain locations.>
Balance GT Soybeans receive import approval from China
Balance GT Soybeans receive import approval from China>
Analysis finds that U.S. corn-based ethanol reduces greenhouse gas ...
Analysis finds that U.S. corn-based ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent compared to gasoline, with additional benefits projected through 2022.>
Just doing a little interview about weed resistance, preparation, and ...
Just doing a little interview about weed resistance, preparation, and management with our friend Andy from NCN.>
We are also at the Northeast Nebraska Farm & Equipment Show in ...
We are also at the Northeast Nebraska Farm & Equipment Show in Norfolk today and tomorrow. Visit us at booth B77-78!>
Come visit us at the York Ag Expo at booth #2 today and tomorrow!
Come visit us at the York Ag Expo at booth #2 today and tomorrow!>
Please join us on Friday!
Please join us on Friday!>
Be sure to check out our website for more information on the GROW ...
Be sure to check out our website for more information on the GROW program at www.auroracoop.com/Agronomy.>
>
We want to wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to doing ...
We want to wish you a Happy New Year, and we look forward to doing business with you in 2017!>
We wish you a very Merry Christmas from your friends at Aurora ...
We wish you a very Merry Christmas from your friends at Aurora Cooperative!>
Save the Date! Annual Stockholders Meeting is February 27 and 28th. ...
Save the Date! Annual Stockholders Meeting is February 27 and 28th. Stay tuned for more information!>
Keeping you Warm this Holiday Season!
Keeping you Warm this Holiday Season!>
?Reason for the Season?. The Aurora Coop main office raised ...
?Reason for the Season?. The Aurora Coop main office raised over $1,600 for local ?Christmas Cheer to Families? program. Way to go team!>
Local
Know Where NOT to Spray New Dicamba or 2,4-D
Gears are in motion for Southeast cotton and soybean growers to legally apply auxin herbicides in-season to new seed traits tolerant to them. Each label comes with major restrictions, and every detail should be followed. But it really boils down to a simple philosophy: Know where NOT to spray them. People will be watching. Auxin herbicides expected to be cleared at the federal and state level for legal in-season use in the 2017 cropping season on resistant seed are Monsanto’s Xtendimax with its new dicamba formulation, BASF’s new dicamba formulation sold as Engenia and Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist Duo, which includes its new 2,4-D formulation. With the corresponding resistant seed technologies for dicamba or 2,4-D systems available for cotton and soybeans, coupled with the legal clearance to use the herbicides, the stage is set for “significant adaption across our state and definitely across the region,” which will be done to manage hard-to-control weeds such as Palmer amaranth, morning glory and to a certain extent tropical spiderwort , said Stanley Culpepper, University of Georgia Extension weed specialist. “Keep in mind, our cotton industry has invested over $1 billion just to control Palmer amaranth (in the last decade),” he said. “We (cotton growers) desperately need help and new tools to manage this pest. We’ve lost some conservation tillage (due to the problem). We’re doing more tillage. The use of herbicides and our herbicide input cost has skyrocketed to control this plant.” Georgia cotton farmers in the past several years, including in 2016, are having to hand-weed 85 percent of the state’s cotton crop, even with good, timely management strategies. “Of course growers should be commended for this effort as it is arguably the single-most important step in preventing additional herbicide resistance development,” Culpepper said. Slightly improved control “In research-grade Palmer amaranth populations, the new technologies do offer slightly more flexibility and improved control over our standard practices with a few dollars less in hand weeding costs at seasons end,” Culpepper said. “It is critically important we have standard programs equally effective, allowing grower’s options. Those equally effective options do exist for most Georgia fields, but we do need to continue to improve our standard programs for the fields with heavy infestations. For our growers who are able to be timely and aggressive, they are already achieving effective control with standard programs that offer lower off-target drift risks.” The new auxins are formulated, and their labels written, to reduce the risk of off-target, drift-related crop damage. It’s been reported for several years, and it’s no secret, that vegetable and specialty crop farmers are concerned about the introduction of the new technology, especially into Georgia’s diverse agricultural landscape, said Culpepper, speaking Jan. 6 at the annual Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference in Savannah. Many major high-value Georgia vegetable crops, as well as major row crops not resistant to an auxin, are highly sensitive to these herbicides. “From my office (in south-central Georgia), I can be in 35 different crops in 45 minutes. We grow them all year round and grow them all in the same areas and often by the same grower,” he said. “If you look at our farmgate value and look at our agronomic crops versus our specialty crops, and you look at when they’re grown and where they’re grown, I think we have more potential conflict for potential drift (problems) than anywhere else on the planet. So, we are really going to have to be better than we’ve ever been if we are going to avoid any of these issues.” In 2016, there were no dicamba-related drift complaints reported to the Georgia Department of Agriculture or UGA Extension, which surprised officials in the state. It was not the same in the Mid-South, where crop damage due to illegal applications of dicamba in season prompted the EPA to issue a compliance advisory, something it rarely does, for the region. In Missouri, illegal dicamba applications have brought down 21 indictments so far. Crop sensitivities Starting in 2015 and into 2016, UGA Extension and the GDA, along with some industry representatives, initiated a training which is required to make in-season auxin herbicide applications in Georgia. The trainings are being offered in 2017, too. “The only thing that is guaranteed to avoid these (off-target) issues is knowing where not to spray these products. Understanding the sensitivity of the crops around you can help you determine where you should and should not apply these products,” Culpepper said. Culpepper and fellow UGA weed specialist Eric Prostko conducted 64 field trials applying dicamba and 2,4-D (at rates >1/75X, between 1/75 and 1/300X, between 1/300 and 1/800X and < 1/800X) to measure a specific crop’s visual sensitivity to the herbicides, rating each crop’s sensitivity to the herbicides in four categories: lower, moderate, severe or extreme. Using their sensitivity reference, for example, tomato and watermelon’s visual sensitivity to Roundup would rate in the ‘ultra-lower’ category. “Now, everyone knows tomato and watermelon are very sensitive to Roundup, but the point is that the scale has changed with dicamba and 2,4-D for many crops. For example, dicamba poses much greater threat to these crops and ranks in the ‘severe’ sensitivity category,” Culpepper said. “One of my favorite quotes that drives me nuts: ‘If you’re doing a good job with Roundup, you’ve got no problem with in-season 2,4-D or dicamba applications,’” he said. Not true. Culpepper pointed out that some crops widely grown in Georgia are 10 to 20 times more sensitive to dicamba or 2,4-D than to they are o Roundup. Registrations can go away Speaking Jan. 6 at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Growers Conference, Rick Keigwin, deputy director of programs for EPA’s Pesticide Program office, reminded growers the dicamba registrations have two important time restrictions: 1) Both Monsanto’s and BASF’s registrations automatically expire in November 2018 unless EPA takes action to renew them. “And what we’re going to be looking at over the next two years is, ‘Are the off-sight drift incidents continuing? To what degree are they continuing? Are they getting worse or are they getting better? Is the magnitude increasing?’” Keigwin said. “And if we determine that that frequency of drift events is unacceptable, they (the registrations) go away.” 2) If the registrations for new dicamba formulation are renewed in November 2018, they will automatically expire three years later. At that time, EPA again will look at drift incidents and also at where things stand with resistance issues. The registrations go away if things are not acceptable. The bottom line: If EPA doesn’t take action on either deadline for the dicamba registrations, the registrations go away. “So, we all have to be partners to make sure these products are used the right way so that we don’t have the types of things that happened in the Mid-South,” Keigwin said. Dow’s Enlist Duo 2,4-D formulation will have a five-year term of registration. “It’s five years for Enlist because we haven’t had the drift events like we had for dicamba, and that five years is primarily focused on resistance management,” Keigwin said. Source: Southeast Farm Press 
U.S. Out of TPP-Ag Export Opportunities Potentially Lost
Financial Times writers Demetri Sevastopulo, Shawn Donnan and Courtney Weaver reported yesterday that, “President Donald Trump signalled he will put trade protectionism at the heart of his economic policy, withdrawing the US from a historic Pacific trade pact [the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)] and threatening to punish American companies for moving production overseas on his first working day in office.” The FT article noted that, “Advocates of TPP have insisted the pact is as much a geostrategic agreement as a trade deal, binding together the US with its closest Asian allies in an economic bloc that encircles a rising China, which has refused to participate in the deal and has been promoting its own regional trade arrangements.” Read the entire article here.
Is it Time to Sell Some 2017 Soybeans?
Soybean prices increased dramatically over the week ending Jan. 20 on reduced production estimates for the United States and increased uncertainty in the prospects for South American soybean production. Old-crop soybean cash bid prices in central Illinois ended the week at approximately $10.40. New-crop cash bid prices for harvest in central Illinois range between $9.90 and $9.94. According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, the 2016-17 marketing year for soybeans, as it is currently shaping up, has a striking resemblance to 2015-16 marketing-year expectations at this time last year. Despite the positive price outcome in 2016, a prudent soybean marketing plan for this year may possess some selling of 2017 soybeans in this price rally. “Currently, soybean production estimates for the United States in 2016 of 4.307 billion bushels is down 1 percent from the November forecast of 4.36 billion bushels but is still a record level of production,” Hubbs says. Dec.1 soybean stocks of 2.895 billion bushels came in 40 million bushels below trade expectations and indicated strong demand. The stocks estimate for the first quarter of the marketing year indicates a disappearance of 1.61 billion bushels. First quarter 2016-17 marketing-year estimates of exports and crush came in at 932.5 million bushels and 484.9 million bushels respectively. Hubbs says both numbers indicated substantial increases from last marketing year. At this time last year, expectations for an increase in the number of acres planted in soybeans during 2016 and a potential record South American crop set up a scenario of significant downside risk for prices through the marketing year. The USDA forecasted ending stocks of U.S. soybeans at 440 million bushels on Jan. 12, 2016. U.S. exports were forecast to be 153 million bushels less than the previous marketing year. Brazilian and Argentinian production ended up 136 million bushels smaller than expected in the January forecast and the substantial increase in planted acres did not materialize. U.S. exports ended the marketing year 245 million bushels higher than projected in January 2016, and ending stocks came in at 197 million bushels. Soybean cash prices reflected these events as the monthly average price for central Illinois increased from $8.64 in the first seven months of the marketing year to $10.26 in the last five months. Currently, the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report forecasts soybean crush and exports for the United States at 1.93 and 2.05 billion bushels respectively. At 420 million bushels, the ending stocks forecast is the largest since the 2006-07 marketing year. Projections of the U.S. 2016-17 marketing-year average price place it in a range of $9 - $10, which positions current harvest cash bid prices in the upper end of this range. “Many market observers believe a dramatic increase in soybean acreage will materialize in 2017,” Hubbs says. “Estimates see the possibility of soybean acreage eclipsing corn acreage in 2017 due to the lower cost of production and a large price differential currently in place with corn. The Jan. 12 Winter Wheat Seedings report offered some support to this notion. Winter wheat plantings of 32.38 million acres are down 3.75 million acres from the previous year. This is the lowest level of winter wheat planting since 1909, and one could expect some of those acres to switch to soybeans.” Forecasts by the USDA of Argentine soybean production currently sit at 2.09 billion bushels for the 2017 crop year. “Numerous reports out of Argentina indicate the substantial flooding in the region may reduce production by 100 to 150 million bushels,” Hubbs says. “Argentina soybean export forecasts stayed constant at 330 million bushels while import levels increased by 25.7 million bushels. Alternatively, the Brazilian soybean production forecast increased by 73.48 million bushels over the December forecast to 3.79 billion bushels. The expected increase in soybean production levels led to an increase of 40 million bushels in the forecast for Brazilian soybean exports. Taken together, USDA forecasts 5.91 billion bushels of soybean production and 2.51 billion bushels of soybeans exports from Brazil and Argentina over the marketing year. Currently, a realization of substantial production losses in Brazil and Argentina are necessary for total production in the two countries to fall to the 5.63 billion bushels seen in 2016.” Although possessing similarities to last marketing year, the possibility of a strong downward price movement through 2017 is substantial, Hubbs says. “Despite strong soybean demand and production issues in South America, the possibility of a large increase in soybean acreage planted and the continuation of excellent soybean yields hang over the rest of this year. The March 31 prospective plantings report will provide the next major indication for soybean acreage for 2017. With so much production uncertainty in the United States and South America over the next few months, the current bids for 2017 harvest delivery provide a pricing opportunity for locking in prices high in the expected marketing-year average price forecast. If producers are considering increasing soybean acreage in 2017, the current prices offer an opportunity, at a minimum, to price soybeans on the expanded acreage.” Source: Todd Hubbs, University of Illinois
Precision Ag Tools Help Bottom Line When Used Correctly
If you're looking for a way to save the farm in a tough market, buying a drone probably isn't going to help you, said Terry Griffin, cropping systems economist at Kansas State University. Griffin, one of the speakers at the sixth annual Precision Ag Summit held Jan. 16 and 17 at the Farmers Union Conference Center, said precision agriculture tools can help make producers' lives easier, and when used properly can help them make choices to improve their bottom lines. But this isn't the best time to look at buying new equipment. Instead, it's a good time to learn to use the technologies that came with the equipment purchased when prices were high a few years ago, he said. "This is your time to invest in human capital," he said. The Precision Ag Summit drew 260 attendees, on par with past years, said Delore Zimmerman, executive director of the Red River Valley Research Corridor, which organizes the event. The summit featured speakers, exhibits, breakout sessions and networking opportunities. "The theme of it is taking all this technology and trying to turn it into profitability in these times of low commodity prices," said Mark Watne, president of North Dakota Farmers Union, which also is involved in putting on the conference. North Dakota State University Extension Service and Dakota Precision Ag Center also are involved in organizing the event. David Schimmelpfennig, precision ag program leader at U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, analyzes the department's Agricultural Resource and Management Survey questions on farmer use of information technologies. His session at the Precision Ag Summit discussed the adoption rate of technologies and how that has affected farms. As might be expected, adoption of precision ag technologies increases with the acreage of the farm. "It's double the adoption rate between large and small farms," Schimmelpfennig said. For any size operations, unpaid labor tends to go down with implementation of precision agriculture tools, he said. However, large farms and small farms seem to be using the technology differently. Small farms that use precision agriculture are spending less money on machinery than ones that do not, while large farms that use precision agriculture are spending more on machinery. Hired labor goes up on large farms using precision agriculture, while spending on custom services goes up for small farms that have adopted the technology. Schimmelpfennig said it would appear that on smaller acreage farms, producers are finding ways to equip existing machinery with precision ag tools. They learn to do what they can and hire service providers to fill in the gaps. "The small farmer is doing it themselves and figuring out precision technologies," Schimmelpfennig said. On larger acreage farms, producers may be more likely to buy new equipment and hire their own teams to act in the place of service providers, he surmised. But no matter the size of the farm or what precision ag tools are implemented, the ARMS data shows that input costs, like fertilizer, pesticide, seed and fuel, decrease with the use of precision ag technologies, Schimmelpfennig said. Griffin said precision agriculture technologies are all about using data to create efficiencies, something that is especially important in today's market. The large crowd at the summit shows the interest farmers have in embracing new ways of using data and technology, he said. Mark Huso, a crop consultant from Lakota, N.D., attended his third Precision Ag Summit this year. He comes to the summit to gain confidence that he and his clients are moving in the right direction and taking advantage of the tools available to them. Huso said farmers have always used a "blanket approach" to farming, throwing fertilizer or fungicide onto fields. Farms should be managed on a variable scale, which is enabled by precision ag tools, he said. Agriculture always has been slow to adapt, Huso said, but he's excited about what the future holds. Raj Khosla, a professor of precision agriculture at Colorado State University, was the keynote speaker at the summit, and he told the crowd that sensors that could give plant-level data to farmers are about two years away from commercial availability. Huso finds that scary — and terrific. "It's changing very quickly," he said. Source: Jenny Schlecht, Agweek
Be sure to catch this segment on our Liberty Link soybeans done with ...
Be sure to catch this segment on our Liberty Link soybeans done with NCN's Andy Classen!>
Cotton Surges to Triple-Digit Gain
Trend-following funds reduced net longs 6.3% from record high. Cash online grower sales fell to 16,574 bales on The Seam. Cotton futures surged to a triple-digit gain and topped highs of the previous two weeks on heavy volume for this time of day in the early going Monday. Spot March hovered up 118 points to 74.22 cents, trading within a 143-point range from 73.03 to 74.46 cents on a contract volume of 7,505 lots. It printed its highest intraday price since Jan. 5. May traded up 111 points to 74.78 cents on a turnover of 3,123 lots. In outside markets, U.S. dollar index futures traded down 0.350 at 100.340 after falling overnight to a low of 100.170, lowest since Dec. 8, while Dow Jones futures ticked off 3 points and S&P futures 3.75 points. March crude oil lost 79 cents to $52.43, Brent crude shed 65 cents to $54.84 and February gold gained $9.80 to $1,214.70. March corn was down 0.3%, March soybeans off 0.5%, March Chicago wheat up 0.1% and March Kansas City wheat down 0.5%. Earlier, Asian stock markets were mixed, down 1.3% in Japan’s Nikkei 225 but up 0.4% in China’s Shanghai Composite Index, unchanged in Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and flat in South Korea’s Kospi. India’s Sensex was steady. In Europe, Germany’s DAX fell 0.4% and France’s CAC dropped 0.3%. Britain’s FTSE 100 slipped 0.4%. China’s Zhengzhou cotton futures settled higher and prices on China’s National Cotton Exchange ended mixed. Meanwhile, trend-following funds reduced their net longs 6,987 lots or 6.3% to 103,910 lots in cotton futures-options combined in the week ended Jan. 17, according to traders-commitments data reported by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission after the close Friday. They had built a record high net long position the prior reporting week. Index funds shaved their net longs 144 lots to 63,104, while traders with non-reportable positions cut theirs 1,752 lots to 9,682. Commercials bought 8,882 lots, covering 8,006 shorts and adding 876 longs to reduce their net shorts to 176,696 lots. In futures only, non-commercials reduced their net longs 1.7 percentage points to 42.8% of the open interest. They sold 5,543 lots, liquidating 4,073 longs and adding 1,470 shorts to cut their net longs to 111,931 lots. In cotton futures Friday, March settled with a modest gain for the day and up 77 points for the week, regaining some of the prior week’s loss and finishing back above its nine-day moving average. The March-May spread traded from 53 to 64 points carry and widened six points to settle at 63 points on a volume of 4,760 lots. May-July traded from 48 to 58 points carry and widened three points to close on the low at 58 points on 1,243 lots. July-December’s inversion widened 38 points to a settlement difference of 306 points on 564 lots. In cash online trading, grower-to-business sales fell to 16,574 bales from 36,363 bales on The Seam. Prices averaged 68.46 cents, up from 67.93 cents, reflecting a two-point gain to 14.40 cents in premiums over loan repayment rates. Business-to-business trading was inactive. The Cotlook A Index of world values gained 55 points to 82.05 cents, widening the premium over the prior-day March futures settlement 12 points to 9.36 cents. Source: Duane Howell, DTN
The 16 Questions Facing Production Agriculture in 2017
One of our most popular and favorite post to write is an annual look at the key questions facing production agriculture in the coming year. There are always a number of important issues to consider ahead of any year, but 2017 seems to have lots of unknowns. More importantly, the questions facing production agriculture in 2017 seem to be more critical than years earlier. With that said, here is our list of the 16 key questions facing production agriculture in 2017. 1.) Are farm financial conditions stabilizing… or just getting serious? Thinking about the challenges explicitly facing the agricultural economy, this lingering question is the 10-ton elephant in the room. While the agricultural economy started the downturn in a strong financial condition, conditions have begun to deteriorate. Earlier this year Brent examined how recent conditions compare to historic conditions. Farm incomes have now fallen for 3 years in a row and we rarely see any evidence that leads us to believe that working capital and financial conditions in agriculture are getting better. The biggest issue will be whether farm financial conditions continue to deteriorate or get a lot worse in 2017. 2.) Will the jump in producer sentiment meet reality? Recently, the Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer posted a significant jump in producer sentiment. The DTN/Progressive Farmer Agriculture Confidence Index also captured similar results. Both of these indices give formal credibility to the anecdotal improvements in producer sentiment that we have noticed in the last month and a half when talking with farmers around the country. It seems producer attitudes are improving. Perhaps it is a coincidence, but we tend to think, this improved sentiment is related to the November presidential election results. How this forward-looking excitement meets current realities will be a key question in 2017. Specifically, will producer optimism translate into strong buying intentions? For whatever it’s worth, the mood of ag lenders doesn’t seem to have improved yet (Chart 11). 3.) Another Year of Above-Trend Yields? Commodity markets have been plagued with expanding inventories as a multiple-year run of above-trend U.S. yields have been strung together. Another year of above-trend yields will only add to inventories and further pressure grain markets. Or will U.S. producers catch a break in 2017 and see inventories shrink? There are lots of different views on the likelihood of another year of above-trend yields; and we’re not weather forecasters so we won’t offer our view on it. However, as Scott Irwin at farmdoc daily recently pointed out, it seems pretty clear that we have had an unusually good run of weather in the last 20 years. 4.) Will La Nina Make a Splash? Last year at this time there was a lot of talk about a summer La Nina and the possibility of much higher corn prices. In 2017 – with a weak La Nina in force- the mega-drought chatter has been subdued. This is a little surprising when comparing the drought conditions in January 2016 (figure 1) to January 2017 (figure 2). Large portions of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri and the South will enter the Spring with dry soils. 5.) Demand and grain exports have been strong…will it continue? One of the positive stories in agriculture has been the strong demand and exports of U.S. grains. Corn, soybeans, and wheat exports have been ahead of last year’s pace. Continued strong demand for grains will be an important source of support in the markets. Given current stockpiles, strong exports and demand will be critical. 6.) Planting Intentions? A look at 2017 planting intentions came early in January when the USDA released its expectation of nearly 4 million fewer acres of U.S. winter wheat. What will these acres get planted to? This sets the tone for producers in wheat producing regions to seek out alternative crops – mainly corn and soybeans. Currently, the corn/soybean price ratio favors soybeans. Will this continue through planting? Finally, how many acres of cotton will be planted? Cotton prices have quietly trended higher and will likely be competitive in 2017. With current grain stocks, close attention will be paid to whether producers end up with too many acres of any crop, but particular attention will be paid to planted acres of corn and soybeans. As was the case last year, one of the key things to think about is how these decisions play out at the local level and across the different regions of the country. 7.) Is wheat the canary in the coal mine? Or don’t worry about it? The agricultural outlook is bleak with wheat production, and farm financial conditions are most strained in these regions of the country. Many areas are seeing very low wheat prices. Is this a harbinger of what might be to come for other commodities or are the special circumstances of lots of low quality wheat make it nothing to be concerned about? 8.) Will there be a positive commodity surprise? Will Farmers get a (another) chance to sell at profitable levels? In 2015 and 2016, concerns about the U.S. growing season sent commodity prices higher. These rallies were short-lived, but some producers were able to market their crop near or above break-even. Many will be watching and hoping for another rally in 2017. 9.) How long can farmers hold back on capital expenditures? Producers made significant cuts to their capital expenditures in the last two years and this helped stabilize profitability. In percentage terms, the cutback in 2015 was second only to those during the Farm Financial Crisis in the 1980s. Looking to 2017, questions about producer capital purchases and how long producers are able to hold-off replacing equipment will be important. 10.) Will farmland values and cash rents continue to fall? Most of the data show both farmland values and cash rents started to decline in 2016. For instance, data from Indiana showed that cash rents fell by nearly 11% on average quality farmland in 2016 and Purdue University experts expect another decline in 2017. As we pointed out last year, the current level of profitability in production agriculture makes further declines likely. How much further rents decline will go a long way in determining whether farm profits stabilize and whether working capital levels begin to stabilize. Land values will play a key role in the financial condition of the sector as well. Today’s relatively strong farmland values currently provide a significant amount of credit reserves, as farmland values decline those potential credit reserves start to contract. 11.) What Input Expenses will fall in 2017? In 2016, fertilizer and cash rents led production costs lower. Fertilizer looks to be again lower in 2017. Will fertilizer price fall more before planting? Will other costs start to adjust lower? Perhaps the most relevant question is “will seed expense ever (significantly) fall?” 12.) How does policy under the Trump Administration shape out? Just months ago it seemed the only question ag policy gurus were debating is when to start the upcoming Farm Bill discussion. Now there seems to be an unending line-up of policy issues that could impact agriculture surfacing in the near term. Trade, labor, and the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) have been sent to a purgatory status while the Trump Administration ponders their fates. Even NAFTA – which hasn’t been on anyone radar screen for years – has been facing rumblings. In short, it’s basically the wild west for policy and policy makers. Hold onto your hats; things are likely to get bumpy. 13.) How much will interest rates rise (if any)? The Fed announced a small hike in interest rates in December- it’s first for the year. Many thought a hike would come earlier in 2016. What do interest rates have in store for the 2017? Given that the economy is at (or near) “full employment” (or a healthy level unemployment), keep an eye on inflation, especially growth in wages. Overall, interest rates are currently near historic lows and have been an important – often overlooked – aspect of the recent agricultural boom. Furthermore, low interest rates have cushioned the impact of the agriculture’s margin squeeze. Looking ahead, small interest rate hikes will likely have small impacts on producers operating expenses. Long-term, significant adjustments to interest rates could significantly impact farmland values. 14.) What happens with Ag Trade? There are short and long-run implications to this question. Specifically for 2017, will U.S. grain exports clip-along fast enough to help reduce the burdensome inventory levels? Further down the road, what does U.S. trade policy look like and what are the implications for agriculture? The top-three international buyers of U.S ag exports, Canada, China, and Mexico, collectively account for 44% of all ag exports. In 2017 we will get a glimpse of the tone and policies that will direct how our trade relations – especially the top-three- will begin to unfold. Will ag exports grow, contract, or remain about the same with these countries? Will new buyers emerge? 15.) Where do exchange rates go? A stronger U.S. economy – relative to the other global economies – means a stronger (or more expensive) dollar. This can create a headwind for U.S. ag exports. Not only is the strength of the dollar important, it’s important to keep an eye on the relative exchange rates with major buyer and competitors. For example, in 2016 the Brazilian Real strengthened relative to the U.S. In early 2016, the exchange rate was 4.1 Brazilian Reals to 1 U.S. Dollar. In early 2017, the rate has gone to 3.2 Reals to 1 U.S. Dollar. This has been good news for soybean exports. 16.) How does the broad economy perform in 2017? When thinking about the macro economy issues – interest rates, exchange rates, inflation, etc. – the overall performance of the U.S. economy in 2017 will be a key driver for all these factors. This is especially true if the U.S. economy grows at rates much faster than other developed counties. Final Thoughts In our opinion, the macro-economy and government policy are set up to play a much larger role in the agricultural economy in 2017 (and beyond). Many unknowns exist. While many are optimistic about the future, it’s important to note that many of the unknowns and moving pieces can play out in unpredictable ways. More directly, given the macro-economy and government policy unknowns it is extremely difficult to understand how the impacts might affect agriculture. Furthermore, it’s extremely difficult to conclude – at this point- that these to-be-determined factors will be unequivocally positive for the U.S agriculture. Interested in learning more? Follow the Agricultural Economic Insights’ Blog as we track and monitors these trends throughout the years. Also, follow AEI on Twitter and Facebook Source: Brent Gloy and David Widmar, Ag Economics Insights
Scouting for Palmer Pigweed in January
I’ve been asked several times at meetings this winter if it would be possible to identify Palmer amaranth in conservation plantings at this time of year. My response has been ‘I think so, but I’ve never tried’. To avoid having to use that answer in the future, I went to a field planted to pollinator habitat in 2016 that was known to be infested with Palmer amaranth. I hadn’t been to the field previously, so I didn’t know what to expect. In the first ten minutes I failed to find anything that looked like a pigweed species, and started to question why I was out in a ‘swamp’ on this damp, dreary day. I finally found a pigweed, but the flowers would best be described as ‘mush’, and I had no idea if it was Palmer amaranth, waterhemp, or some other pigweed. I continued treading through the mud, puddles and ice until I eventually encountered several plants that I was confident were remnants of female Palmer amaranth plants. So yes, Palmer amaranth can be identified in January, but it will take some time to find recognizable plants. It was clear that this field had been mowed in late summer, thus, the plants were only two feet tall. In fields where mowing wasn’t done I think Palmer amaranth would be much easier to find (but that would probably depend on density of other vegetation). As with living plants, looking for the large bracts on the seedheads is the key for confident identification. Source: Bob Hartzler, Iowa State University 
How Low A Dose Does It Take To Trigger Herbicide Drift Symptoms?
People involved in weed management for at least 20 years probably remember corn being damaged by glyphosate drift when Roundup Ready soybean were first introduced. The extensive damage was due to the high susceptibility of corn to glyphosate; equipping sprayers with low-drift nozzles and the adoption of Roundup Ready corn hybrids has minimized problems associated with glyphosate drift. The potential for off-target herbicide injury is affected by both how much herbicide leaves the field and the sensitivity of plants in adjacent areas. The relative sensitivity of ‘highly susceptible’ plants to three herbicides is shown in Figure 1. For comparison purposes, I expressed the dosage in terms of percentage of normal use rate (glyphosate = 0.75 lb/A; dicamba = 0.5 lb/A; 2,4-D = 1.0 lb/A). I searched the literature for studies that evaluated crop response to low doses of the herbicides, and selected the lowest dose that induced significant crop injury (visible injury symptoms, not yield loss). Soybean were 200 times more sensitive to dicamba as corn was to glyphosate, whereas cotton and soybean were at least 10 times more susceptible. Some people think the risk for off-target movement of dicamba is largely due to volatilization, and that the new formulations will minimize/eliminate those problems. The high sensitivity of soybean to dicamba makes them prone to injury, whether the exposure is due to vapor drift, particle drift or sprayer contamination. A new level of stewardship will be required to minimize problems caused by the large increase in use of dicamba and 2,4-D associated with the new herbicide resistant traits. Source: Bob Hartzler, Iowa State University 
Nebraska Ag Update - January 20, 2017
Nebraska Ag Updates
Herbicide Resistance-Farmers Talk, Weed Scientists Listen
The group of farmers, ag retailers, crop consultants, company reps and scientists that met Wednesday in southeastern Pennsylvania represent a special slice of agriculture. They spoke of the benefit of rotating grains with lima beans and other specialty crops. They traded tips on growing vegetables for fresh market sales versus processing. They voiced the challenges of farming in an area where crop fields can change hands and sprout suburban condos in a matter of months. Yet what brought these mid-Atlantic ag stakeholders together — the growing scourge of herbicide-resistant weeds — aligns them with every farmer in the country from the Western fruit grower to the Midwestern row cropper and the Southern peanut farmer. That’s why the Weed Science Society of America has decided to host a series of seven regional Herbicide Resistance Listening Sessions around the country this year. The meetings are designed to help agricultural leaders drill down on the most effective ways to combat the spread of weeds resistant to an array of herbicides, including glyphosate, ALS herbicides, and PPO herbicides. The Lancaster, Pennsylvania, meeting was the second of seven such events scheduled this winter. (See DTN’s story on the first, held in Starkville, Mississippi, here: http://bit.ly/…). This meeting drew stakeholders from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Penn State weed scientist Bill Curran and other meeting leaders stood up and introduced themselves. Then, as the name of the meetings suggests, they put down the mike and listened to their guests. “This is not your typical meeting,” Curran explained. “Today you’re going to be the teachers and we’re the students. We want information from you … The goals for the day are to leave with more knowledge about the barriers to managing herbicide-resistant weeds and what the opportunities are for doing a better job and how we can work together to realize this.” Some of the challenges raised by the meeting attendees included: A scarcity of herbicide options for vegetable and specialty crop growers. “For vegetable growers, this is really tough to deal with because there is just no good chemistry to fight this,” noted Luke McConnell, a crop consultant for the Delmarva and New Jersey region. Many growers in the mid-Atlantic region rotate to grains like corn and soybeans partly for access to a broader array of herbicide options to clean up fields, added Richard Wilkins, the president of the American Soybean Association and a grain and specialty crop farmer from Greenwood, Delaware. Lost stewardship values when it comes to weed management. “We’ve forgotten what our grandfathers knew: Never let a weed go to seed on your farm,” McConnell said. Wilkins recalled summers spent pulling weeds in lima bean fields as a child. “Every year we have glyphosate-resistant marestail germinate, even in a field with no weeds there last year,” he said. “Because a marestail weed seed can travel up to 10 miles.” A Monsanto representative talked of the difficulty of re-educating farmers on intensive weed management, which means not only applying residual herbicides, but scouting fields two weeks later to destroy weed escapes and killing weeds when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Low commodity prices, which make growers less willing and able to spend more on weed control. “You’re asking guys to spend $25 to $30 an acre where they used to spend $10,” said Ron Manley, a regional crop consultant and cattle feeder. “That’s going to be a challenge.” The addition of the most aggressive weed in the country, Palmer amaranth, to the regional mix of resistant weeds. There was a time when Todd Davis, the noxious weed specialist for the Delaware Department of Agriculture, knew the location of every patch of herbicide-resistant weed in the region — mainly Johnsongrass, burcucumber or giant ragweed. “Then Palmer came around,” he said. “I went from knowing the location of the problem to every field, every roadside being susceptible. I went from a job that is manageable to a job putting out fires. You can’t be proactive — it’s too massive.” The growing complexity of herbicide labels and regulation, particularly with new herbicide-tolerant crop systems such as Dow AgroSciences’ Enlist system and Monsanto’s Xtend system. One ag retailer noted that his company isn’t certain it even wants to offer the newly labeled dicamba herbicides (for Xtend soybeans) because of the challenging labyrinth of label requirements governing each application. The notes and lessons learned from these meetings will ultimately be combined, refined and published this summer. For more information on the next five regional Herbicide Resistance Learning Sessions, which will take place in the Southeast, North-Central, West, Southwest and Northwest regions, contact your regional WSSA office. Source: Emily Unglesbee, DTN
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have ...
We offer this program all over our footprint area, but we also have an exclusive partnership in Aurora and out of our Sedan grain locations.>
A Lot of Uncertainty Surrounding U.S. Trade Outlook
U.S. agriculture faces 2017 with uncertainty surrounding trade, and trade policy in disarray. After years of bipartisan support for trade agreements and record-breaking agricultural exports and imports, there are many unknowns for the coming year. Several factors are causing concern — the strengthening U.S. dollar, and economic woes among trading partners, to name a couple. However, the U.S. presidential campaign has highlighted, more than other events, the frustration of many Americans who blame trade and trade agreements for their declining economic situations and diminished quality of life. Canada, China, and Mexico will continue to be the top markets for U.S. agricultural products in 2017. As President Trump settles in, markets await implementation of his promises to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and backing out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). NAFTA has been very positive for U.S. agriculture and most other sectors. Any attempt to change NAFTA, which has been fully implemented for nine years at the beginning of 2017, would likely be met with stiff bi-partisan resistance on Capitol Hill. RECORD EXPORTS TPP countries have been key components in record-breaking U.S. agricultural exports in the past few years. East Asia and China account for about half of all U.S. agricultural exports. Trade leadership in the Asian-Pacific countries could go to China if the U.S. backs out. To further highlight this, three-fourths of U.S. cotton is exported, and its top five markets include China, Vietnam, Mexico, and Indonesia. Nearly half of U.S. wheat is exported, and its top five markets include Japan, Mexico, Philippines, and South Korea. One-fifth of U.S. pork is exported and the top five markets are Mexico, Japan, China, Canada, and South Korea. Thus, tinkering with both NAFTA and TPP, or placing barriers on imports from China as Trump promised during the presidential campaign, could have serious implications for U.S. agriculture. Corn exports remain relatively strong, while there are declines in soybeans, wheat, and cotton. Pork remains relatively strong, with some decline in beef, and more serious declines in poultry and dairy. Fruits and vegetable exports are down slightly, while imports remain strong. The USDA forecasts 2017 volume gains for soybeans, corn, cotton, and most livestock and poultry. TRADE: LITTLE RELIEF Macroeconomic policy also looms large for U.S. trade. The Federal Reserve will likely increase interest rates, while the federal government will reduce taxes and increase spending. The U.S. dollar will likely remain relatively strong in 2017, limiting resurgence of U.S. exports, or even decreasing exports. The general U.S trade deficit has fluctuated over the past five years, and saw a multi-month low in late 2016. However, the general trade deficit is likely to increase in 2017, with little relief from agricultural trade. While U.S. agricultural trade is down from record-breaking 2014, it remains higher than in most of the previous decades. By the end of 2017, U.S. farmers and ranchers will have a better sense of the benefits and costs of likely gains from reduced regulations and the losses from reduced trade. (Dr. Larry D. Sanders is Professor and Economist, Policy and Public Affairs, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater. Dr. Luis Ribera is an Associate Professor and Extension economist in the Department of Agricultural Economic at Texas A&M University, College Station.. He also serves as the Program Director for International Projects for the Agricultural and Food Policy Center.) Source: Dr. Luis Ribera, Larry Sanders, Southwest Farm Press
Drought Monitor-Heavy Rains Bring Improvements
Several areas of heavy precipitation brought drought improvement to parts of the Northeast, Midwest, Plains, and Far West while drought conditions were essentially unchanged elsewhere. Nowhere in the country did dryness intensify enough to worsen the Drought Monitor depiction from last week. The Southeast Moderate to locally heavy precipitation (generally 1.5 to nearly 4.0 inches) fell across most of Kentucky and adjacent northwestern Tennessee, with light to moderate totals reported over the rest of Tennessee and in southwestern Virginia. Farther south and east, little or no precipitation fell. As a result, the small areas of dryness in southwestern Kentucky and adjacent Tennessee were removed, and conditions improved to D0 in a small part of southwestern Virginia and adjacent North Carolina, based in part on a re-assessment of the effects of prior weeks’ precipitation. Conditions were unchanged elsewhere, including through the areas of Severe to Extreme Drought from northern and central Alabama northeastward through the western Carolinas. Conditions across the southern half of Georgia will be monitored for additional potential improvement resulting from earlier rainfall as well, but no changes were made this week. Over the past 90 days, precipitation totals are 4 to 7 inches below normal in the most seriously affected areas. View current Drought Monitor map here. Midwest Substantial precipitation brought improvement to many of the dry areas from Iowa and northern Missouri eastward through Ohio, and enough fell elsewhere to prevent any deterioration. Generally 1.5 to locally over 3.0 inches dampened much of northern and southern Illinois, most of Indiana, and northern Ohio, prompting removal of D0 from Ohio and Indiana, with smaller areas of improvement noted farther west. Central Illinois, northern Missouri, and most of southeastern Iowa remained in D0 to D1. Less than half of normal precipitation fell during the last 30 days across much of northern Missouri and parts of central and southern Illinois. The Plains Light precipitation at best was reported from Nebraska and eastern Colorado northward to the Canadian border, leaving dryness and drought unchanged. In contrast, moderate to heavy precipitation pelted most areas from the southern half of Kansas and southwestern Missouri southward across much of Oklahoma and into parts of the Texas Panhandle and northeastern Texas. Between 3.5 and 5.0 inches fell along some areas near the Kansas-Oklahoma border. This brought improvement from D3 to D2 to a small part of southeastern Oklahoma, and broader improvements to many former areas of D0 to D2 elsewhere. Still, 90-day precipitation was generally 4 to 8 inches below normal from eastern Oklahoma and parts of eastern Texas eastward across southern Missouri, the northern half of Arkansas, and areas in and near northern Louisiana. The West Near to above normal precipitation on time scales ranging from 30 to 90 days or more prompted removal of the D2 areas in north-central and southeastern Colorado. Across the remaining areas of dryness and drought from the Rockies through the Intermountain West and Southwest, scattered to isolated areas of moderate to heavy precipitation weren’t enough to prompt any changes from last week. In contrast, very heavy precipitation ranging from 4 to 8 inches was recorded throughout the Sierra Nevada and isolated parts of the higher elevations in west-central and southwestern California. Elsewhere, 1.5 to 3.5 inches of precipitation fell in a swath from San Francisco southward to Monterey and eastward to the Sierra Nevada, and on areas along and near the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada, including part of western Nevada. Given the protracted nature of conditions from much of the San Joaquin Valley southward to Mexico, no improvement was introduced there, including the persistence of D4 conditions in part of southwestern California. In sharp contrast, all D0 to D3 areas in the central Sierra Nevada and adjacent west-central Nevada were improved this week as a pattern of well-above-normal precipitation continued. Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico Conditions remained unchanged in these areas, keeping much of southeastern mainland Alaska in D0 and maintaining the small patchy areas of D0 to D1 intact along the western sides of Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. A drying trend, including reduced mountain snowpack, has been noted in south-central Alaska and through the Panhandle. No changes were introduced this week, but these regions need to be monitored for intensification in the near future. There is currently no dryness or drought in Puerto Rico. Looking Ahead During the next five days (January 19-23), above-normal precipitation (2-5 inches) is expected across most of the Gulf Coast states from far eastern Texas to and including northern Florida, most of the southern Atlantic Coast region, the Tennessee Valley, and southwestern portions of Kentucky and Virginia. Excessive precipitation amounts (liquid equivalents of 9-13 inches) are forecast for coastal California and most of the Sierras. These anticipated areas of heavy precipitation are likely to result in additional improvements to next week’s U.S. Drought Monitor depiction. Little if any relief, however, is forecast for most of the Great Plains and Northeast. For the ensuing five-day period (January 24-28), there are elevated chances for above-median precipitation across much of the contiguous U.S. However, odds favor below-median precipitation across the south-central states. Taking the two periods as a whole, Oklahoma and most of Texas are the least likely areas to receive beneficial precipitation. Source: Ernst Undesser, AgFax
Expect Fertilizer Prices Flat to Slightly Lower
In 2016, fertilizer prices were a bright spot for producers facing falling commodity prices. The question now is whether prices will hold, or even fall further in 2017. In answering that question it is helpful to take a look at the big picture. After decades of relative stability, the prices of all fertilizer products spiked dramatically in 2008. Increasing global fertilizer use in Asia and U.S. biofuel demand caused global demand to outrun production. The resulting price spike led to investments in new production facilities across the globe. Related: Cattle markets adjust to larger supplies: Outlook During the last five years, global fertilizer consumption has been increasing at 1.5 percent to 2 percent per year, while production capacity has been increasing more than 3 percent. U.S. fertilizer production, particularly nitrogen, has been in line with the global trend. Domestic market share of nitrogen fertilizer production fell below 50 percent in 1990, but has now grown to 70 percent due to plant expansion projects and new startups. With a dozen expansion projects still in the development or construction stage, some 6 million tons of ammonia capacity could come online in the next three years, increasing domestic market share to a level not seen in 20 years. PLENTY WILD CARDS That supply picture underlies our farm level price trends. While the magnitude varies across product forms, fertilizer prices have been trending lower since mid-2013. By the fall of 2016, most retail prices were at their lowest point since 2010. Retail prices for NH3, DAP, and phosphate all fell 20 percent during 2016, and were 25 percent to 40 percent off their peak levels. As we hope for more of the same in 2017, it is good to remember how far we have come. While the supply situation is cause for moderate optimism, there are still plenty of wild cards. The North American fertilizer industry has become very concentrated. Two firms control nearly 75 percent of the NH3 and UAN delivered to the central U.S. The phosphate and phosphate manufacturing industries are also concentrated. None of the major players are eager to idle capacity. However, supply discipline is much easier to achieve in a concentrated industry. Several potash mines were idled during 2016, reminding us that fertilizer manufacturers will adjust supply. While the U.S. is now more self-sufficient in fertilizer production, changes in consumption or exports by major players such as China, India, or Russia can still generate a seasonal spike. POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES The current consensus is for flat to weakening fertilizer prices for 2017 with the typical possibilities for seasonal rallies. Many producers will be tempted to play a cat-and-mouse game with retailers, hoping for small breaks in prices. Fertilizer dealers will be cautious about holding inventories, and are keeping a close eye on accounts receivable. This could present opportunities for well-capitalized farmers to pre-book at favorable prices or negotiate for higher than normal cash discounts. Some farmers may be willing to take on more risk by delaying fertilizer purchases in hopes that prices will continue to decline. That strategy might yield some gains in 2017, but trying to outguess the market can also be costly. In terms of other inputs, seed and chemical manufacturers won’t be pushing many price increases, but are unlikely to do much to decrease the producer’s burden. Before the advent of biotech traits, seed prices tended to follow commodity prices. Since then, seed prices have gone up virtually every year as companies attempt to recoup their multi-million dollar investments. RELATIONSHIPS IMPORTANT Despite low commodity prices, seed dealers are likely to try the hold the line on prices in 2017. Mergers in the crop protection industries have dealers worried about a reduction of rebates. That may limit their interest in pushing prices lower. Both seed and crop protection wholesalers are actively trying to bypass retailers and sell direct to the larger producers. That could create pricing opportunities for larger scale operations, but producers will want to consider the downside of upsetting long-term relationships. In tough times, retail relationships can become increasingly important. (Dr. Phil Kenkel is Regents Professor at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, and holds the Bill Fitzwater Cooperative Chair. Dr. Steven Klose is Professor and Extension Economist-Farm Management, Texas A&M University, College Station.) Source: Phil Kenkel, Steven Klose, Southwest Farm Press
National
Death Tax repeal legislation introduced
Bipartisan legislation has been reintroduced into the House and Senate that would permanently repeal the federal estate tax.? Representatives Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Sanford Bishop of Georgia introduced the legislation in the House and Senator John Thune introduced the companion bill in the Senate. A Joint Economic Committee report shows the death tax has removed more than $1.1 trillion in capital from the economy. Congresswoman Noem says following her father?s tragic death in a farming accident her family received a letter from the IRS and no family should have to go through a similar situation. Continue reading Death Tax repeal legislation introduced at Brownfield Ag News.      
Farmers do effective lobbying
Corn growers hope they?ve left an impression on Missouri lawmakers.? Missouri Corn Growers CEO Gary Marshall frequently talks to state lawmakers urging passage of one piece of legislation or another, but he tells Brownfield Ag News there are more effective lobbyists. ?What the governors office and what the legislature are looking for are farmers and their opinions and what works for them, what doesn?t work as far as state government goes,? said Marshall, at the Missouri Corn Growers Association Annual Meeting and Lobbying Day in Jefferson City.? Continue reading Farmers do effective lobbying at Brownfield Ag News.      
Missouri ag impact study revealed to ag committees
The new leader of the Missouri Department of Agriculture tells lawmakers agriculture has a more than 88-Billion dollar impact in the state.? Acting Ag Director Chris Chinn presented a new report to a joint Senate/House Committee, ?We spend $55-Billion dollars to add $33-Billion dollars to the state of Missouri for a total of $88-point-4-Billion. This number does not include grocery stores, restaurants or retail outlets.? Chinn testified that Missouri has close to 100-thousand farms, 90 percent of which are family-owned. Continue reading Missouri ag impact study revealed to ag committees at Brownfield Ag News.      
Mycoplasma hyopneumonia a threat to swine
Research continues as the swine industry attempts to mitigate economic losses from a common respiratory pathogen. Dr. Amanda Sponheim, technical specialist veterinarian with Boehringer Ingelheim, says mycoplasma hyopneumonia is a unique threat to pork producers. “It likes to live in the surface of the pig’s lung.? So it kind of makes it challenging for us to get antibiotics to work, and also for some of our diagnostics to work.? Continue reading Mycoplasma hyopneumonia a threat to swine at Brownfield Ag News.      
Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: January 24, 2017
Mar. corn closed at $3.63 and 1/4,?down?6 and 1/4 cents Mar. soybeans closed at $10.58 and 1/2,?up 3/4?cent Mar. soybean meal closed at $343.00,?down 50 cents Mar. soybean oil closed at 35.28,?up 15?points Mar. wheat closed at $4.26 and 3/4,?down 6 and 1/2?cents Feb. live cattle closed at $119.67,?down 57 cents Feb.?lean hogs closed at $65.22,?up 22?cents Mar. Continue reading Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: January 24, 2017 at Brownfield Ag News.      
December milk production up 2.4%
The USDA says milk production in the top 23 U.S. states during December was 16.779 billion pounds, up 2.4% on the year. Production per cow was the highest on record for the month at 1,931 pounds, up 35 pounds on the year, and the head count increased by 53,000 to 8.691 million head. California was the biggest producer at 3.380 billion pounds, followed by Wisconsin at 2.520 billion. Total U.S. Continue reading December milk production up 2.4% at Brownfield Ag News.      
Milk futures mixed, cash cheese lower
Class III milk futures at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange were mixed in consolidation trade. January was unchanged at $16.76, February was up $.04 at $16.70, March was down $.01 at $17.14, and April was $.01 higher at $17.50. Cash cheese blocks were down $.01 at $1.64. The last uncovered offer was for one load at $1.64. Barrels were $.02 lower at $1.48. There were six loads sold, including two at $1.48. Continue reading Milk futures mixed, cash cheese lower at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soil Health Summit 2017: Mike Long (Video)
Brownfield’s Tom Steever speaks with Indiana farmer Mike Long at the 2017 Soil Health Summit. Continue reading Soil Health Summit 2017: Mike Long (Video) at Brownfield Ag News.      
Cover crops suppress weeds in extreme environments
A southwest Minnesota farmer says cover crops are an effective weed management tool, even under extreme weather conditions. Jerry Ackerman of Lakefield first experimented with cover crops eight years ago, and participated in an NRCS study that began during the 2012 drought. “Some seed companies were saying don’t waste your money on cover crops because they’re not going to grow.? Well, since it was a grant through the watershed, (NRCS) said they wanted to see the results, good or bad.? Continue reading Cover crops suppress weeds in extreme environments at Brownfield Ag News.      
Klobuchar hosts series of Farm Bill discussion meetings
A member of the Senate Agriculture Committee is gathering input from rural Minnesotans as interest in the next Farm Bill intensifies. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar says her staff is hosting a series of meetings this week aimed at identifying what works and what doesn?t in the current Farm Bill. “Some of the things in the Farm Bill have been excellent.? We’ve had a very strong decade for farmers.? However, there’s been issues.? Continue reading Klobuchar hosts series of Farm Bill discussion meetings at Brownfield Ag News.      
Midday cash livestock markets
It is a typical Tuesday in feedlot country with bids and asking prices scarce. A few showlists have been priced around 124.00 to 125.00 in the South and 200.00 in the North. The January 1 cattle on feed report will be released on Friday afternoon. Many early birds are betting it will contain further evidence of greater placement activity. Boxed beef cutouts are higher in the morning report. Choice beef 193.27, up 1.50, and select 2.36 higher at 189.19. Continue reading Midday cash livestock markets at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soil Health Summit 2017: Bret Seipold (Video)
Brownfield’s Tom Steever speaks with Iowa farmer Bret Seipold at the 2017 Soil Health Summit. Continue reading Soil Health Summit 2017: Bret Seipold (Video) at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soil Health Summit 2017: Roger Zylstra (Video)
Brownfield’s Tom Steever speaks with Iowa farmer Roger Zylstra at the 2017 Soil Health Summit. Continue reading Soil Health Summit 2017: Roger Zylstra (Video) at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soil Health Summit 2017: Karen Seipold (Video)
Brownfield’s Tom Steever speaks with Iowa farmer Karen Seipold at the 2017 Soil Health Summit. Continue reading Soil Health Summit 2017: Karen Seipold (Video) at Brownfield Ag News.      
NPPC president discusses TPP, regulations, new administration
At the annual meeting of the Iowa Pork Producers Association in Des Moines, we visited with John Weber of Dysart, Iowa,?president of the National Pork Producers Council.? Weber discussed several issues related to the?Trump administration, including TPP, NAFTA, China, regulations, GIPSA and VFD. AUDIO: John Weber Continue reading NPPC president discusses TPP, regulations, new administration at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
Iowa Pork to Distribute Discount Pork Coupons on Jan. 25
Lucky consumers will get have the chance to get a “Dine on Us” coupon from the Iowa Pork Producers Association this week.
Corn sells off on Mexico trade worries
Cold Storage Report: Strong Pork Demand, Slack Beef Demand Last Month
Frozen beef stocks hit a record high for the month of December.
DuPont Delays Expected Closing of Merger With Dow Chemical
Updated timetable calls for deal to be done by mid-year 2017.
9 Ways Seeds Effect Input Decisions
Whether you’re buying your first bag of seed or finishing up 2017’s order, hasty decisions can result in less than desirable yields. 
Importance of Pulling Out Charts to Map Market Potential
On AgDay Tuesday, Craig VanDyke of Top Third Ag Marketing told host Clinton Griffiths it is important to see where the markets have been and where the potential could be ahead.
Profit-Taking Weighs on Corn; Cattle Higher
LimelightPlayerUtil.initEmbed('limelight_player_171268'); Pro Farmer's Julianne Johnston provides mid-morning market commentary on AgriTalk Radio.
India?s Registration Committee Invetigates Biostimulants
The 371st Meeting of Registration Committee (RC) was held under the Chairmanship of Dr. J.S. Sandhu, Deputy Director General (Crops Science) & Chairman of RC. The committee considered a number of issues including how plant health products are viewed in the country. It was presented and explained that how biostimulants are different from pesticides or PGR through their Mode of Action. It was pointed out that due to absence of Regulatory System to control these biostimulants, the following problems are created and could negatively affect farmers: 1. Biostimulant products are mixed with unregistered pesticides to make it more bioefficacious. 2. Promoted by unscrupulous dealers as Bio Products, as they get high margins on such products 3. Can contain toxic impurities of the active ingredient whose safety profile are not established 4. Manufactured by companies with dubious credibility. 5. No registration by the Central Insecticide Board & Registration Committee 6. Operate pretending that they are not covered under the Insecticides Act 1968. The presentation and ground realities explained by Dr. Sudhir kumar Bhargawa was deliberated in detail and it was decided that the Department of Agriculture Cooperation & Farmers Welfare and the government of India may be requested to include biostimulants under the Insecticides Act 1968 or to place them in the domain of Pesticides Management Bill 2008 to save the farmers from unscrupulous suppliers. Dr. Bhargawa was requested to submit a detailed formal proposal in this regard.
Dakota Pipeline: Back On?
President Donald Trump intends to take action today to advance construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Ethanol Left Short of Allies in Trump Cabinet Full of Detractors
Ethanol Left Short of Allies in Trump Cabinet Full of Detractors
Inspiring International Interest in Micronutrients
Steven Beckley The Micronutrient Manufacturers Association (MMA) formed in 2009 represents manufacturers and formulators of products that provide micronutrients that are essential for plant growth. The purpose of the association is to promote, educate, and sponsor research on the agronomic use of micronutrients. MMA also engages in legislative and regulatory activities and facilitates industry communications. Continuing as current officers and directors of the association are: Joel Bzura, Old Bridge Chemicals, Chairman; Paul Fink, U.S. Borax, Vice Chairman; and Dale Edgington, Advanced Micronutrient Products, Secretary/Treasurer. Steve Beckley, S. Beckley and Associates serves as President/Administrator. Additionally John Bowen, Cameron Chemical; Richard Camp, Kronos Micronutrients; Paul Reising, Compass Minerals; and Jim Scott, Winfield Solutions serve on the board of directors. It is the association?s goal to increase the domestic use of micronutrient fertilizer. Micronutrients play an important role in fertilizer efficiency and can help plants grow with less, which reduces costs and helps protect the environment. MMA was a sponsor of the Argus FMB Europe Fertilizer 2016 Micronutrient Forum.?Speakers from the United States included Dale Edgington of Advanced Micronutrient Products and Cameron Chemicals along with Kent Lambden of Compass Minerals.?Each speaker was asked to develop a presentation that focused on identifying micronutrient deficiencies in the field and in the crop along with the technologies available for the efficacious treatment to enhance yields and to biofortify crops with elements essential to human nutrition.?Twelve manufacturers participated in a roundtable discussion focused on significant accomplishments and the continuing obstacles faced by the industry.?The European producers were keenly interested in the MMA?s role in providing a common voice for the industry when faced with a growing regulatory burden and expressed an interest in forming an organization for the same benefit. The association is also an associate member of the International Zinc Association (IZA). The IZA, through the Zinc Nutrient Initiative, promotes the use of zinc in crop production. Deficiencies in soils limit crop yields and nutritional quality, which, in turn, negatively affects human health. It is a serious issue especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Micronutrient fertilizer, according to research, has the potential to play a major role in the biofortification of food. Not only does zinc have an important role, but selenium and iron also have roles. This year will continue to be a challenge in marketing micronutrients as growers continue to look closely at input costs due to soft corn and soybean markets. It is our goal to educate them and their crop advisers on the importance of soil testing and micronutrients in a total plant nutrition program. Today?s high-yield crops remove large amounts of nutrients from the ground, which must be replaced. The need for a balanced nutrition program remains no matter what the market is for commodities. Education of Certified Crop Advisers on micronutrients is an ongoing effort of the association. Representatives of member companies speak at various educational seminars and also members hold individual education programs. A primary tool in helping accomplish this education goal is the development of online courses for Certified Crop Advisers (CCAs) to educate them on the various micronutrients. Currently courses on zinc, boron, copper, and iron are online. These courses allow CCAs to learn the basics regarding these nutrients and receive Continuing Education Units (CEU). The CCA Self Study CEU courses are available at certifiedcropadviser.org/certifications/self-study#Nutrient+Management. ? Beckley is President and Administrator of the Micronutrient Manufacturers Association. On the web at: micronutrientfertilizer.com/ or email micronutrientassociation@gmail.com
Environmental Inspections to Bolster Chinese Glyphosate Prices in 2017
  Chemical industry research firm CCM predicts that that the price of glyphosate technical will fluctuate between $3,309 and $4,748/t in China in 2017, bolstered by ongoing environmental inspections that will keep the price of raw materials and glyphosate technical itself high in the new year. The production limitations and environment protection systems implementations are not limited to the pesticides industry, but to many high-polluting industries in China. Hence, the overseas market is likely to accept overall higher prices from China, which can keep the price high in general, CCM said. OPEC members’ limiting of oil production by raising the price of oil will also have its effect on pesticide production worldwide. Higher oil prices cause higher production costs of pesticides, including glyphosate technical. So, an international price increase of glyphosate technical can be the result, in which case the Chinese producers are very likely to follow the price rise with their own products. According to CCM, output of glyphosate in China is not going to be expanded in 2017. Glyphosate is part of the restricted list of the NDRC, which will not allow new participants to join the market. Environmental inspections will continue, which also leads to a stable output of glyphosate technical with a rise in the short term. Finally, bad news about glyphosate leads to decent demand for this pesticide worldwide. Within China, the ban of paraquat AS prompts a search for substitutes, including glyphosate technical. What?s more, glyphosate producers have to be aware of other herbicide-tolerant systems, which can be a substitute for glyphosate in 2017. Dicamba is one of the main competitive products to glyphosate, mainly used in the USA for example.
Morning Market Audio 1/24/17
An Invitation to Be Rewarded for Environmental Excellence
Dear Crop Protection Professional, As an AgriBusiness Global? reader, you?re no doubt aware we organize the Environmental Respect Awards each year in conjunction with DuPont Crop Protection and our U.S.-based sister publication, CropLife? magazine. If you operate or know of someone who operates a retail farm supply business that devotes particular care and attention to environmentally sound business practices ? we?d like to hear from you. Global recognition, regional and local publicity and ?bragging rights,? and ? oh, yes ? a fun and action-packed Celebration Week in the United States in July all await this year?s winners. And all we require of each entry is a comprehensive but straightforward self-audit that the company itself completes, at its own pace. The international portion of the Environmental Respect Awards is rapidly growing, with last year?s winners originating from Australia, Argentina, Brazil, China, Hungary, India, Greece, and Italy. In just a few months we?ll assemble a select group of judges among industry leaders and crop protection experts as we choose another class of winners. We hope to see your entry ? or the entry of a retailer you hold in particularly high regard ? among those we review. Entry is simple: Just go to EnvironmentalRespect.com. Deadline is March 13, 2017. Thank you, James C. Sulecki Corporate Content Director Meister Media Worldwide
Eurofins Agroscience Services Adds Belgium to its European Locations
Dutch Agronomist Sam de Vlieger will serve as manager of Eurofins Agroscience Services Belgium SPRL. Eurofins Agroscience Services adds Belgium to its European locations Eurofins Agroscience Services, the leading global service provider for agrochemical testing, is pleased to announce the addition of a new entity in Belgium from Feb 2017. The company name will be Eurofins Agroscience Services Belgium SPRL and will be located on a farm close to Antwerp. The site will be managed by Sam de Vlieger, a Dutch agronomist with many years? experience. Prior to joining Eurofins Agroscience Services, Sam was General Manager of a Dutch CRO. In 2017, the new facility will primarily offer efficacy and demo trials and plans to apply for the Belgium GEP accreditation in Spring.