CORN  
Delivery Date Cash Price Basis Futures Change Futures Price
History Sep17 3.08 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.45
 -0'4
353'2
History Oct17 3.08 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.45
 -0'4
353'2
History Nov17 3.08 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.45
 -0'4
353'2
History Dec17 3.15 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.38
 -0'4
353'2
History Jan18 3.19 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.47
 -0'6
365'6
History Feb18 3.21 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.45
 -0'6
365'6
History Mar18 3.23 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.43
 -0'6
365'6
History Apr18 3.28 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.46
 -0'4
374'2
History May18 3.30 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.44
 -0'4
374'2
History Oct18 3.57 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.40
 -0'2
396'6
History Nov18 3.57 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.40
 -0'2
396'6
 
SOYBEANS  
Delivery Date Cash Price Basis Futures Change Futures Price
History Sep17 8.71 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.93
 -7'2
964'0
History Oct17 8.69 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.95
 -7'2
964'0
History Nov17 8.69 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -0.95
 -7'2
964'0
History Dec17 8.75 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -1.00
 -7'2
974'4
History Jan18 8.79 09/26/2017 11:08:00 AM CST -1.05
 -6'6
984'0
History Oct18 8.89 09/26/2017 11:05:00 AM CST -0.95
 -4'6
984'0
Local
Farmers Surprised with Better-Than-Expected Yields
As combines roll through the countryside farmers are seeing the fruits of their labor pay off—or the pain of Mother Nature and management’s final sting. For many farmers, however, the pain is minimal as yields exceed expectations. “We’ve been really fortunate,” says Dale Hadden, corn and soybean farmer in Illinois. “We’ve harvested about 350 acres of corn and [yield] stayed in the low 200 range.” Read the entire story here.
National
Soil study could help defeat Soybean SDS
Amhad Fakhoury at Southern Illinois State University explains his study of the communities of soil organisms and how that might help soil fight plant diseases like Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome. Continue reading Soil study could help defeat Soybean SDS at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
The ?Perfect Storm? for Distribution Channel Change
You don?t have to be the ultimate observer to realize the U.S. ag retail marketplace is undergoing some massive changes in 2017. Dozens of retailers, particularly cooperatives, have recently exited the industry via sale or acquisition. The number of product suppliers, likewise, is shrinking. Perhaps worst of all, the price of goods handled in the ag retail supply chain continues to rise while commodity prices and margins seem to be stuck in continuing downward spirals. All-in-all, says Dave Coppess, Exe?cutive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, for Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, Iowa, this is adding up to make life ?a bit difficult? for today?s average ag retailer. ?We are definitely in a period of change in the market,? says Coppess. ?There are new business models beginning to pop up and they are threatening to destroy, or at least radically alter, the old ones. Everyone in this business will need to adapt to these new market realities ? or they probably won?t be around for very much longer.? As for how the U.S. ag retail industry has found itself in this ?new market reality,? the list of impactful variables is a fairly long one. Yet, it all starts at the same place as it traditionally has ? commodity prices. For several years between 2009 and 2013, commodity prices for corn and soybeans stood at all-time highs. For corn, this meant growers were getting more than $8 per bushel; for soybeans, the number stood at approximately $16 per bushel. As many market observers have noted for this time period, ?making money with these prices being that high wasn?t very hard to do.? Then, starting in 2014, record crop plantings/harvests for corn and soybeans began to depress prices. By the end of 2016, growers were only receiving $3 per bushel of corn and less than $9 per bushel of soybeans ? essentially the same prices they had been getting for their crops at the start of the 21st century. Jim DeLisi of Fanwood Chemical speaking at the AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit — Americas. According to V.M. (Jim) DeLisi, Owner of Fanwood Chemical, the impact of this decline was keenly felt by the nation?s growers. ?The agricultural market lost $15 billion in value between 2008 and 2016,? says DeLisi. Naturally, with their chief source of income dropping, grower-customer revenues also fell during this same time frame. According to USDA data, grower incomes fell more than 50%, from slightly more than $100 billion in 2013 to slightly less than $50 billion by the end of 2016. (Somewhat on the bright side, the early data for 2017 shows grower income should rebound a bit to just over $63 billion). Perhaps more significantly, USDA says farm profits are down nearly 50% since 2013. At the same time, their expenses have only fallen 1.4%. Pressure on Suppliers With revenues in decline for their end-users, agricultural suppliers have increasingly looked to merge their operations to grow market share while decreasing costs. During the past few years, this trend has been particularly pronounced within the crop protection products/seed supplier sector. Here, multiple large companies have entered into merger agreements, including Syngenta/ChemChina, Dow and DuPont, and Bayer and Monsanto. As DeLisi points out, the reason for all these mega-mergers ties back to one overriding factor ? money. ?New product development costs for both seeds and chemicals are in the range of $300 million to $500 million in development and registration globally,? he says. ?Only the largest companies have the resources and leverage to both finance and then recapture this level of investment.? For example, the newly merged DowDuPont is hoping to be able to cut $1.3 billion from the company?s combined agricultural operations within the next year or so through staff reductions and eliminating redundant costs. At the same time, a recent Texas A&M university study found that companies such as DowDuPont and Bayer-Monsanto might be able to charge higher prices for their seed brands after combining, with an average 2% increase for both corn and soybean seeds. And it is little wonder why larger crop protection product/seed companies are looking at seeds to boost their profits. According to most market watchers, crop protection products are increasingly seeing pressure from new producers/suppliers as more and more active ingredients (a.i.s) come off-patent. ?In 2016-17, the number of generic products in the crop protection products marketplace will be exploding, both in terms of the chemistries available to produce and the number of companies that will likely start making their own versions of these popular products,? says Kevin Fry, Co-Owner of Fry Brothers, a Nebraska-based products wholesaler. ?There are at least one dozen such a.i.s getting ready to come off-patent, including mesotrione, flumioxazin, and imazamox, to name a few. ?By the same token, there are fewer new molecules coming out to replace the older ones,? he continues. ?This aligning low crop prices with lower priced off-patent products means we are seeing all kind of factors favoring some kind of alternative market distribution.? Even the industry?s most popular a.i., glyphosate, is seeing more competition to attract customers. For instance, Xingfa Group ? China?s largest producer of glyphosate ? is setting up shop in the U.S. with the opening of Xingfa USA Corp. in Schaumburg, IL, just outside of Chicago. According to J. Bryan Kitchen, President, North America, Xingfa USA will begin offering its brand of glyphosate to the U.S. marketplace ?shortly.? The Alternative Distribution Chain Of course, all this pressure on crop protection product prices from the supplier level has found its way down to the ag retail level. In fact, according to Heartland Co-op?s Coppess, profit margins for retailers on these inputs have dropped from 2% to 3% ?into negative territory? since the end of 2013. ?When you are working with a less than 1% profit margin on something, there?s not much room for error on the seller?s part,? he says. ?That?s why you are seeing more retailers using their rebates from the crop protection companies to make their numbers add up.? Putting all these market trends together, and agricultural market watchers say the time is right for some form of an alternative distribution model to take hold in the U.S. Already such models have been employed by growers in such places as India and Canada. According to Jason Mann, President/CEO of AgraCity in Saskatchewan, his company was viewed by many observers as a ?market disruptor? in its early years for selling products directly to growers and by-passing the traditional ag retail distribution chain. ?With increased pressure on farmgate net revenues caused by weather, higher cost land and rents, equipment and technology costs, labor, and tightening of credit for farmers, our low-cost and efficient product offering and business model has bolstered our market position as a leading generic crop protection supplier,? says Mann. ?We have been successful because our model resonates well with our stakeholders, the farmers, and the manufacturers looking for market access.? In the U.S., recent start-ups such as Farm Trade and Farmers Business Network (FBN) are following a similar business model as AgraCity ? selling products directly to growers at a set cost via the Internet. According to some market analysts, there are approximately 15% to 20% of growers who might be looking ?only for the lowest cost on products? that could embrace this way of getting crop protection inputs. ?Firms like this could flatten the supply chain and might be the beginning of the ?Amazoning? for grower suppliers,? says Fanwood Chemical?s DeLisi, alluding to the Internet-centered retail giant and how its growth has impacted traditional ?brick-and-mortar? retailers in recent years. ?These companies have proven they can not only get these products, but move them all over the country to where they need to be, which hasn?t been the case for crop protection products over the past 25 years. There?s no doubt the Internet is coming to agricultural chemicals in a much bigger way.? However, Fry Brothers? Fry doesn?t believe the FBNs of the world will have the same effect on traditional ag retailers that Amazon did in the consumer retail space. ?I see another viable alternative to the retail distribution for farmers developing and growing, but it will be difficult for this to succeed on a large scale because of the localization of the market,? he says. ?Sure, there will be some market penetration by these companies, but there?s still a certain amount of knowledge and trust in agriculture that will be needed, and that can only come from established ag retailers. For many of these, a ?slam, bam, thank you, ma?am? approach with product suppliers that offer no guarantees on performance and won?t accept returns if there?s a problem just won?t cut it.? Despite this fact, other market watchers believe that companies such as FBN have ?opened a door into the retail marketplace based on low prices/little support that will never be closed again.? Furthermore, ag retailers will need to ?do their part? to keep grower-customers firmly in their corners. ?The market is 100% the ag retailers? to lose at this point,? says one analyst. ?And if they don?t defend it, outfits like FBN will definitely make some inroads.?
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CME grain futures resumed trade last evening at 7 p.m. and came under ...
CME grain futures resumed trade last evening at 7 p.m. and came under pressure as corn and soybean harvest is expected to be full steam ahead this week. This afternoon the USDA will report crop progress, nationally, corn harvest was 7% last week and trade is expecting to see 16% this week. Soybean harvest last week was 4% complete and we should see 12-15% done this week. We?ll get to see the quarterly stocks report on Friday. On the open at 8:30 a.m., Corn unchanged, Soybeans off 7 cents, KC Wheat up a penny. Crude Oil trading 70 cents higher at $51.34/barrel.>
Our employees are even contributing to the photo contest! Great ...
Our employees are even contributing to the photo contest! Great picture Danielle!>
Come visit us today at the tailgate!! Our Animal Nutrition team is ...
Come visit us today at the tailgate!! Our Animal Nutrition team is putting on a great event!>
So cute! Thanks for sharing Paige!
So cute! Thanks for sharing Paige!>
It's that time of year!
It's that time of year!>
Great pic!! Thanks for sharing with us!
Great pic!! Thanks for sharing with us!>
Your weekly update from Dawn Caldwell, Head of Government Affairs at ...
Your weekly update from Dawn Caldwell, Head of Government Affairs at Aurora Cooperative. http://auroracooperative.blog/2017/09/22/government-affairs-update-september-22-2017/>
What a fun lunch hour today celebrating the kickoff of the Sutton ...
What a fun lunch hour today celebrating the kickoff of the Sutton Public School Beef In Schools Program! Thank you for a great burger!>
Got our first picture in! Thanks for sharing!
Got our first picture in! Thanks for sharing!>
Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for a full-time with ...
Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for a full-time with benefits Grain Hedge Desk Coordinator. This position coordinates all activities effected by grain commodity hedging. Will lead analysis and execution of daily trading activities, support development, updating, interpretation, and auditing of daily grain reports, and interact with grain trading, origination, and back office operations to support daily activities. Requires a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and experience with commodity futures market is preferred. Apply here: http://auroracoop.com/ContactUs. Resume can also be sent to Aurora Cooperative, PO Box 209, Aurora, NE 68818, Attn: Human Resources. Aurora Cooperative is an equal opportunity employer.>
Harvest is here and it's time for another photo contest! We did this ...
Harvest is here and it's time for another photo contest! We did this during planting season and we want to do it again! Send us your best harvest pictures throughout the season, whether it be from the cab, during the night, or with your favorite combine riders we want to see them! All you have to do is submit your picture and like our page! A winner will be picked every Friday and they will receive a $50 gift card to Cabela's. We are going to do this the entire harvest season! We wish you a safe harvest!>
Yesterday?s price action was neutral but futures overnight were ...
Yesterday?s price action was neutral but futures overnight were supported with continued talk of strong bean demand. Chinese soybean, meal, and corn values have been higher this week supporting the demand outlook here in the US. The US Dollar is also lower this morning helping support CME grains. Continued dryness in Australia has traders continuing to lower wheat production estimates. On the open at 8:30 a.m., corn trading 2 cents higher, soybeans up a dime, KC wheat a penny higher.>
Harvest is underway! Our Sedan terminal was busy today and into the ...
Harvest is underway! Our Sedan terminal was busy today and into the night! Our lights are on until yours are off! #harvest17>
Local
Farmers Surprised with Better-Than-Expected Yields
As combines roll through the countryside farmers are seeing the fruits of their labor pay off—or the pain of Mother Nature and management’s final sting. For many farmers, however, the pain is minimal as yields exceed expectations. “We’ve been really fortunate,” says Dale Hadden, corn and soybean farmer in Illinois. “We’ve harvested about 350 acres of corn and [yield] stayed in the low 200 range.” Read the entire story here.
Corn Prices Unlikely to Find Support from Stocks Report
Corn prices continue to reflect the presence of a large old crop ending stock and higher than expected corn production. The USDA will release the Quarterly Grain Stocks report on September 29. The report will provide an indication of corn use during the fourth quarter of the 2016-17 marketing year. Corn prices are unlikely to find any support with the release of the report on Friday. An estimate of corn exports for the fourth quarter is based on the cumulative weekly export inspections estimate available for the entire quarter. Cumulative marketing year export inspections through August totaled approximately 2,240 million bushels. During the first eleven months of the marketing year, total Census Bureau corn exports were greater than cumulative export inspections by 49 million bushels. Assuming the margin is maintained through August, corn exports through the marketing year equaled 2,290 million bushels. Since exports in the first three-quarters of the marketing year totaled 1,771 million bushels, the estimate for third quarter corn exports equals 519 million bushels. The Grain Crushing and Co-Products Production report released on September 1 estimated corn used for ethanol and co-product production during June and July of 2017 at 889 million bushels. Weekly estimates of ethanol production provided by the Energy Information Administration indicates ethanol production increased by 2.7 percent in August 2017 from the preceding year. By calculating the amount of corn used to produce ethanol from these August numbers, corn used for ethanol production in August was approximately 470 million bushels. Total use for the quarter is estimated at 1,360 million bushels. Corn used to produce other food and industrial products during the 2016-17 marketing year is estimated at 1,435 million bushels by the USDA. Using historical corn use data, typically around 25 percent of the final marketing year food and industrial products use occurs in the last quarter of the marketing year. If this historical pattern holds and the USDA projection is correct, corn use for the fourth quarter of the marketing year totaled 359 million bushels. The current USDA projection for feed and residual use sits at 5,425 million bushels. The projection for feed and residual use declined by 250 million bushels during the current marketing year. Use during the first three-quarters of the marketing year totaled 4,780 million bushels. To reach the projection for the year, fourth quarter feed and residual use must equal 645 million bushels. The historical pattern of feed and residual use in corn may provide some indication of the fourth quarter use. For the five previous marketing years, use during the fourth quarter of the marketing year ranged from 5.7 – 12.5 percent of the marketing year total with an average of 8.4 percent. Due to expansion in the livestock sector, an increase of corn used in feed is expected during this quarter. For this analysis, a percentage in the higher end of the range during the previous five marketing years is used to calculate expected feed and residual use during the fourth quarter. Feed and residual use during the fourth quarter of the 2016-17 marketing year is calculated at 653 million bushels. The supply of corn available on June 1 of the 2016-17 marketing year is the base for estimating September 1 stocks. Corn stocks at the beginning of the quarter were estimated at 5,225 million bushels in the June Grain Stocks report. Currently, the Census Bureau estimates for corn imports are only available through July. In the first three-quarters of the marketing year, corn imports totaled 39.4 million bushels. Imports for the fourth quarter might have been around 11 million bushels. By combining imports with the beginning stocks, total available supply for the fourth quarter comes in at 5,236 million bushels. By adding the estimates for exports and domestic uses, the total use of corn during the fourth quarter is estimated at 2,891 million bushels. The total use estimate for the fourth quarter places September 1 corn stocks at 2,345 million bushels. At this level, September 1 stocks come in five million bushels smaller than the projected September 1 corn stocks. A September 1 corn stocks estimate that supports the USDA projection of 5,425 million bushels of feed and residual use during the 2016-17 marketing year is considered neutral for corn prices. This analysis indicates a September 1 corn stocks estimate near 2,345 million bushels should not change expectations that feed and residual use is on track to meet the marketing year projection and provides support for the current 2016-17 corn ending stock produced by USDA. For corn prices to find strength, either a change in current corn production forecasts or a new source of demand must occur to change the fundamentals associated with current corn prices in the near term. References USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Grain Stocks (Quarterly). http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do?documentID=1079 USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production (September 2017). http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/usda/nass/GrnCrush//2010s/2017/GrnCrush-09-01-2017.pdf Source: Todd Hubbs, Farmdocdaily
12 Tips to Reduce Risk of a Combine Fire
I have seen several photos and even some video clips of harvest 2017 combine fires come across my twitter feed. On our recent CORN newsletter conference call, several Extension Educators mentioned seeing or hearing about combine fires in the past week. Crop residue accumulation near a direct heat source such as the engine or exhaust system, or on and around bearings, belts and chains where heat can be generated, accounts for the majority of combine fires. I recently read an article from a Michigan State University Extension web page as well as an article from Dick Nicolai, a South Dakota Extension specialist that both provided advice regarding how to prevent and how to be prepared for combine fires. Some of their safety recommendations include: Keep the combine as clean as possible. During harvest, frequently blow dry chaff, leaves and other crop materials off the machine. Remove any materials that have wrapped around bearings, belts and other moving parts. Be sure to check those pockets that house wires or lights and where chaff accumulates. Keep wiring and fuses in proper working condition. Check wiring and insulation for rodent damage and replace as needed. Keep fittings greased and watch for overheated bearings. Use a ground chain attached to the combine frame to prevent static charges from igniting dry chaff and harvest residue, letting the chain drag on the ground while in the field.(Click here to see photo) Prior to fueling a hot combine, wait 15 minutes to reduce the risk of a spill volatilizing and igniting. Don’t park a hot combine in the shed or shop. After a long day of harvesting, smoldering hot spots may be present in the combine. If those spots suddenly flare up, at least you won’t lose the building! Keep at least one fully-charged, 10-pound ABC dry chemical fire extinguisher with an Underwriter’s Laboratory approval in the combine cab. Mount a second, larger fire extinguisher on the outside of the machine at a height easily reached from ground level. Have a plan if a fire starts. Turn off the engine; get the fire extinguisher and your phone. Get out and get help. Stay a safe distance away. Call 911 before beginning to extinguish the fire. Approach the fire with extreme caution. Small fires can flare up quickly with the addition of air (by opening doors or hatches). Source: Rory Lewandowski, Ohio State University Extension
Using Cover Crops With Fall Manure Application
Fall manure application is underway across the state. Livestock producers and commercial manure applicators are applying manure to fields following corn silage harvest and will soon be applying to harvested soybean and corn fields. To best capture the nutrients in manure, livestock producers should incorporate fall applied manure and also consider using cover crops. Most swine finishing manure contains more than 40 pounds of ammonium (NH4) nitrogen per 1,000 gallons. Dairy manure, from facilities bedded with sand, can contain more than 15 pounds of ammonium nitrogen per 1,000 gallons. When Ohio experiences a warm winter or delayed wet spring planting season, much of this nitrogen is converted to the nitrate form (NO3) by soil bacteria and lost through leaching or denitrification before the following crop season begins. Fall cover crops have been planted in Ohio for many years. While primarily used to help control soil erosion, cover crops can also recapture nutrients in livestock manure and keep these nutrients from escaping into lakes, streams and rivers. In one study, OSU Extension researchers found a cover crop de?creased the nitrate nitrogen NO3 concentration in manure amended soil compared with the control soil by more than 70% before the field froze in the fall. This would have primarily been nitrogen that soil bacteria converted from the ammonium form to the nitrate form after it was land applied. Cereal ryegrass is the best cool-season grass for capturing excess nitrogen. Because rye over-winters, research has shown it can capture and hold 25 to 50 pounds of nitrogen (organic form) per acre. It germinates at temperatures as low as 34 degrees so can be seeded later than oats. However, less nitrogen will be captured the later the rye is seeded. It will grow later in the fall and begin growth earlier in the spring than wheat. The organic nitrogen stored in the plant will eventually be released as ammonium nitrogen when the plant dies. Farmers have also used radishes, wheat, clover, annual ryegrass, or almost anything they are comfortable growing. Oats are sometimes used as a cover crop in the fall and need to be planted soon after silage harvest. Drilling oats improves germination and growth before frost. Some farmers in northwest Ohio have had great success surface seeding oats and incorporating with shallow tillage or even with land leveling the fields in August. Oats winter-kill and are not a problem in the spring for no till or minimum tillage systems. Cover crops can help livestock farmers recapture manure nutrients and conserve soil by reducing erosion. Cover crop seedings do not have to be perfect. The goal is to combine nutrient recovery and protecting the environment. Source: Glen Arnold, Ohio State University Extension
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Kick Ass Character Award August & September
Aphid Populations Being Observed in South Dakota Corn
While scouting corn the last few weeks, we have been noticing several fields containing small populations of aphids. At this point in the season, such aphid populations do not pose a threat to yield. However, this presents an opportunity to discuss when to worry about aphids in corn. The 2017 growing season has been a dry one, which sometimes results in aphid populations having a greater impact on corn. The two species of aphids being observed in corn this season were not present until late August, and have more noticeable populations this month. Aphid populations in corn pose a greater risk prior to hard dent. Species Observed The two species of aphids that are being observed are bird cherry oat aphids (Figure 1) and the English grain aphids (Figure 2). Another aphid that may be found in corn is the corn leaf aphid (Figure 3); however, this species has yet to be observed in South Dakota this year. Bird Cherry Oat Aphid The bird cherry oat aphid is a dark olive colored aphid that has a burnt orange patch on the end of its abdomen. These aphids tend to colonize the ear, shank, and occasionally the stalk of the plant. Typically, the bird cherry oat aphid doesn’t colonize corn until later in the season. It is possible that these populations are moving in from small grain crops after harvest. English Grain Aphid The English grain aphid is a large, bright green aphid that has black antennae, black cornicles (tailpipes), and black patches on its legs. English grain aphids can be observed in corn throughout much of the season, but their peak numbers now may also be a result of small grain harvest. Damage to Crops Both of these aphids may pose threats to winter wheat crops as they are able to vector Barley yellow dwarf virus. If these aphids are observed in corn fields that are adjacent to fields that will be planted to winter wheat, extra attention should be paid to the wheat after emergence. Scouting & Management Although there are not experimentally based thresholds for aphids in corn, recommendations are to manage the populations using insecticides if they exceed 100 aphids per plant. To scout for aphids in corn, a total of 100 plants should be examined throughout the field. Often, the infestations of these aphids are greatest in the end rows of the field. For each plant, examine the leaves, ears, stalk, and shanks for signs of aphids. Source: Adam Varenhorst, South Dakota State University Extension
Soybean Stem Borer May Cause Problems During Harvest
The adult Dectes stem borer, Dectes texanus texanus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae), is a long horned beetle approximately 3/8 inch long and gray in color. It has long, slender antennae that can be one and a half times longer than the length of its body (Figure 1). In Kentucky, adults can emerge from June to August. After mating, a female beetle chews a small hole in a leaf petiole or stem and then typically lays a single egg inside. The oviposition period can be up to 45 days. Both adult and larval stages of Dectes are known to feed on soybean, with the larval stage the most damaging. A Dectes larva takes on the appearance of an accordion (Figure 2a) with deep segments; it is creamy white with an orange-red head. The larva hatches and makes a tunnel in the stem while feeding. Only one stem borer larva is typically found on a single soybean plant due the stem borer’s cannibalistic behavior towards other larvae. Later in the season, the Dectes larva can move to the lower part of the stem and girdle the plant; it can even move near roots (Figures 2b and 2c). The Dectes stem borer overwinters as a larva and pupates by March to April. Dectes stem borers only have one generation per year. Occurrences in Commercial Fields In 2017 Brenda Kennedy (Plant Disease Diagnostician located at the Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Princeton) reported the presence of the soybean stem borer or Dectes stem borer on soybean samples from Webster and Henderson counties from August 18 to September 5, 2017. On September 8, during a visit to a commercial soybean farm in McLean County, we found plants with tunnels in their stems caused by the Dectes stem borer. Dectes tunnels were found on 40% of border plants and 55% of inner plants (greater than 250 feet from the field edge). Also, live larvae were found on 25% (border) and 40% (inner) plants (Figure 3). Similarly, Dectes infestations were found on 50% of border plants in a commercial field in Trigg County on September 15. However, in a commercial field in Caldwell County and in an experimental plot in the University of Kentucky’s Research and Education Center at Princeton, 10% and 0% of plants were infested, respectively (Figure 3). Soybean fields with large infestations of Dectes can run into problems during harvest. Larvae overwinter in stems and can girdle and lodge them (Figure 2c). Lodging specially occurs under drought conditions and when soil moisture is lower than 70%. Scouting & Management Adult stem borers can be scouted in soybean fields with sweep nets in late June or early July. Signs of larvae infestation can often be mistaken for sudden death syndrome caused by the fungus Fusarium solani. When scouting for larvae, cut open stems and petioles of plants in order to determine if any feeding damage has occurred. With no currently available resistant varieties of soybean or state regulated insecticides, the best method to avoid yield losses is cultural control. Early harvesting of soybean once it has matured is recommended in order to avoid girdling and lodging when fields show a high number of larvae infestation. Fall tillage and crop rotation can also limit the occurrences of Dectes since these beetles are not strong fliers. Management of Dectes weed hosts, such as cocklebur and giant ragweed, in and around soybean fields can also decrease their populations. Insecticide control for larval populations is not recommended as this insect makes tunnels in stems where insecticides cannot penetrate. Control of adults is not recommended because their presence in fields is for a long period and previous studies haven’t show a positive relationship between the control of adult Dectes and infestation of plants. Source: University of Kentucky Extension
What Causes Low Corn Grain Test Weight
Among the top 10 most discussed (and cussed) topics at the Chat 'n Chew Cafe during corn harvest season is the grain test weight being reported from corn fields in the neighborhood. Test weight is measured in the U.S. in terms of pounds of grain per volumetric bushel. In practice, test weight measurements are based on the weight of grain that fills a quart container (32 qts to a bushel) that meets the specifications of the USDA-FGIS (GIPSA) for official inspection. Certain electronic moisture meters, like the Dickey-John GAC, estimate test weight based on a smaller-volume cup. These test weight estimates are reasonably accurate but are not accepted for official grain trading purposes. The official minimum allowable test weight in the U.S. for No. 1 yellow corn is 56 lbs/bu and for No. 2 yellow corn is 54 lbs/bu (USDA-GIPSA, 1996). Corn grain in the U.S. is marketed on the basis of a 56-lb "bushel" regardless of test weight. Even though grain moisture is not part of the U.S. standards for corn, grain buyers pay on the basis of "dry" bushels (15 to 15.5% grain moisture content) or discount the market price to account for the drying expenses they expect to incur handling wetter corn grain. Growers worry about low test weight because local grain buyers often discount the market price offered for low test weight grain. In addition, growers are naturally disappointed when they deliver a 1000 bushel (volumetric bushels, that is) semi-load of grain that averages 52-lb test weight because they only get paid for 929 56-lb "market" bushels (52,000 lbs ÷ 56 lbs/bu) PLUS they receive a discounted price for the low test weight grain. On the other hand, high test weight grain makes growers feel good when they deliver a 1000 bushel semi-load of grain that averages 60 lb test weight because they will get paid for 1071 56-lb "market" bushels (60,000 lbs ÷ 56 lbs/bu). These emotions encourage the belief that high test weight grain (lbs of dry matter per volumetric bushel) is associated with high grain yields (lbs. of dry matter per acre) and vice versa. However, there is little evidence in the research literature that grain test weight is strongly related to grain yield. Hybrid variability exists for grain test weight, but does not automatically correspond to differences in genetic yield potential. Grain test weight for a given hybrid often varies from field to field or year to year, but does not automatically correspond to the overall yield level of an environment. Similarly, grain from high yielding fields does not necessarily have higher test weight than that from lower yielding fields. In fact, test weight of grain harvested from severely stressed fields is occasionally higher than that of grain from non-stressed fields, as evidenced by yields for 27 corn hybrids grown at 3 locations with widely varying yield levels in Kansas in 2011. Another example from Ohio with 22 hybrids grown in common in the drought year of 2012 and the much better yielding year of 2013 also indicated no relationship between yield level and grain test weight. Conventional dogma suggests that low test weight corn grain decreases the processing efficiency and quality of processed end-use products like corn starch (U.S. Grains Council, 2017), although the research literature does not consistently support this belief. Similarly, low test corn grain is often thought to be inferior for animal feed quality, although again the research literature does not support this belief (Rusche, 2012, Simpson, 2000, Wiechenthal Pas et al., 1998). Whether or not low test weight grain is inferior to higher test weight grain may depend on the cause of the low test weight in the first place. Common Causes of Low Grain Test Weight During the 2009 corn harvest season in Indiana, there were more reports of low test weight corn grain than good or above average test weights. There were primarily six factors that accounted for most of the low test weight grain in 2009 and four shared a common overarching effect. Grain Moisture First and foremost, growers should understand that test weight and grain moisture are inversely related. The higher the grain moisture, the lower the test weight AT THAT POINT IN TIME. As grain dries in the field or in the dryer, test weight naturally increases as long as kernel integrity remains intact. Test weight increases as grain dries partly because kernel volume tends to shrink with drying and so more kernels pack into a volume bushel and partly because drier grain is slicker which tends to encourage kernels to pack more tightly in a volume bushel. Therefore in a year like 2009 with many of the initial harvest reports of grain moisture ranging from 25 to 30% instead of the usual starting moisture levels of about 20 to 23%, it should not be surprising that test weights were lower than expected. Hellevang (1995) offered a simple formula for estimating the increase in test weight with grain drying. In its simplest form, the equation is (A / B) x C; where A = 100 - dry moisture content, B = 100 - wet moisture content, and C = test weight at wet moisture content. The author does not say, but I suspect this simple formula is most applicable within a "normal" range of harvest moistures; up to moistures in the mid- to high 20's. Example: Dry moisture = 15%, Wet moisture = 25%, Test weight at 25% = 52 lbs/bu. Estimated test weight at 15% moisture = ((100 - 15) / (100 - 25)) x 52 = (85/75) x 52 = 58.9 lbs/bu An older reference (Hall & Hill, 1974) offers an alternative suggestion for adjusting test weight for harvest moisture that also accounts for the level of kernel damage in the harvested grain (Table 1). The table values are based on the premise that kernel damage itself lowers test weight to begin with and that further drying of damaged grain results in less of an increase in test weight that what occurs in undamaged grain. Compared to the results from using Hellevang's simple formula, adjustments to test weight using these tabular values tend to result in smaller adjustments to test weight for high moisture grain at harvest, but larger adjustments for drier grain at harvest. Stress During Grain Fill Secondly, thirdly, and fourthly; drought stress, late-season foliar leaf diseases (primarily gray leaf spot and northern corn leaf blight), and below normal temperatures throughout September of 2009 all resulted in a significant deterioration of the crop's photosynthetic machinery beginning in early to mid-September that "pulled the rug out from beneath" the successful completion of the grain filling period in some fields; resulting in less than optimum starch deposition in the kernels. Fifthly, early October frost/freeze damage to late-developing, immature fields resulted in leaf or whole plant death that effectively put an end to the grain-filling process with the same negative effect on test weight. Ear Rots Finally, ear rots (diplodia, gibberella, etc.) were widespread throughout many areas of Indiana in 2009. Kernel damage by these fungal pathogens results in light-weight, chaffy grain that also results in low test weight diseased grain, broken kernels, and excessive levels of foreign material. This cause of low test weight grain obviously results in inferior (if not toxic) animal feed quality grain, unacceptable end-use processing consequences (ethanol yield, DDGS quality, starch yield and quality, etc.), and difficulties in storing the damaged grain without further deterioration. Source: Bob Nielsen, Purdue University Extension
CME grain futures resumed trade last evening at 7 p.m. and came under ...
CME grain futures resumed trade last evening at 7 p.m. and came under pressure as corn and soybean harvest is expected to be full steam ahead this week. This afternoon the USDA will report crop progress, nationally, corn harvest was 7% last week and trade is expecting to see 16% this week. Soybean harvest last week was 4% complete and we should see 12-15% done this week. We?ll get to see the quarterly stocks report on Friday. On the open at 8:30 a.m., Corn unchanged, Soybeans off 7 cents, KC Wheat up a penny. Crude Oil trading 70 cents higher at $51.34/barrel.>
A Check-up Using Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms
When the uptake of any of the essential nutrients is inadequate, the plant metabolism becomes disrupted and distinctive symptoms often begin to appear, according to Robert Mikkelsen, Director, International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) North America Program. Since nutrients are involved in specific growth processes, deficiency symptoms provide clues to what nutrient might be lacking. However, most nutrient deficiencies begin to interfere with plant productivity long before the symptoms become visible. Advertisement Plant tissue testing is needed to verify that a visual symptom is caused by a specific nutrient deficiency. This differs from soil analysis, which verifies a sufficient reserve of nutrients in the soil, but does not account for conditions that may be interfering with nutrient uptake by roots (such as cold, dry, or compacted soils). When the cause of deficiency symptoms is known, it still must be determined if a prompt nutrient application will correct the problem. There may be economic constraints or difficulties getting equipment into the field to alleviate the deficiency. Foliar sprays of soluble nutrients are often useful to treat deficiencies as they appear during the growing season. Some nutrients may be added to irrigation water and applied via fertigation to correct plant shortages. However, nutrient deficiencies result in permanent loss of growth and plants may fail to recover from severe deficiencies even after corrective measures. In general, leaf nutrient deficiency symptoms fall into general categories: • Chlorosis (yellowing) may appear between the leaf veins or impact the entire leaf • Necrosis (leaf death) usually begins at the leaf tip or edges, or appears between the leaf veins • Lack of new plant growth as a result of the growing points dying and failure of new leaves to develop • Accumulation of plant pigments (especially purple-colored anthocyanin) • Overall plant stunting with normal or abnormal coloring A shortage of a nutrient does not immediately result in visible deficiency symptoms. Overall plant growth and metabolism is usually hindered for some time before visual symptoms are present. This so-called “hidden hunger” occurs with low levels of chronic nutrient deficiency, and is far more common than visible deficiency symptoms. By the time obvious visual symptoms first appear, the plant can no longer function properly. Nutrient deficiency symptoms are most useful for diagnostic purposes (and correction) when they are identified as early as possible. Even when supplemental nutrients are applied to correct deficiencies, irreversible damage to yield or crop quality has likely already occurred. Environmental stresses also cause abnormal symptoms to appear on plant leaves that may not be directly related to nutrient deficiency. Additionally plant disease, insect damage, herbicide impacts, or excessive salinity are examples of non-nutrient factors that cause leaf disorders and stunting. Nutrient deficiency can cause secondary plant damage that is not readily visible. For example, potassium shortages have been shown to reduce plant resistance to various diseases and insects. Many turfgrass diseases are more common under nitrogen-deficient conditions. Maintaining an adequate supply of phosphorus reduces the severity of diseases such as root rot in wheat and barley, and minimizes various infections of corn and soybean. Source: CropLife
Our employees are even contributing to the photo contest! Great ...
Our employees are even contributing to the photo contest! Great picture Danielle!>
China May Import Six Times Its Current Level of Corn
China could import up to 20 million tonnes of corn a year, more than six times the current level, to meet a switch to greater use of ethanol in fuel, an analyst predicted on Thursday. Beijing plans to roll out a gasoline known as ‘E10’ – containing 10 percent ethanol – across the world’s largest car market by 2020, state media reported last week. As much as 15 million tonnes of ethanol would be needed when the policy is implemented, according to Reuters calculations, or about 45 million tonnes of corn, the major raw material its production. More corn is already being consumed closer to cornfields in the top growing region in the north-east, after a series of measures introduced last year to use up state stocks. Meanwhile ongoing expansion of the corn processing sector will leave less available for sale to feedmakers in other parts of the country, Cherry Zhang, a senior corn analyst with Shanghai JC Intelligence Co, said. “This will cause a supply gap in the south, and we might need imports to fill it,” Zhang told a conference in Hangzhou. Corn transported out of northeast China will fall to less than 30 million tonnes in the coming 3-5 years from current levels of around 50-60 million tonnes, she added. China may need to import between 10 million and 20 million tonnes in average harvest years to fill the gap, said Zhang. The forecast is significantly higher than projections by the United States agriculture department, which expects corn imports to reach just 3.8 million tonnes in the 2019/20 crop year. Imports are forecast at 1.5 million tonnes in the 2017/18 crop year, China’s agriculture ministry says. China’s corn consumption in 2017/18 is expected to increase 8.4 percent to 221.97 million tonnes, according to the China National Grain and Oils Information Center (CNGOIC). Of that, industrial demand from producers of sweeteners, starch and ethanol is expected to rise 14.1 percent to 73 million tonnes in 2017/18, CGNOIC forecasted. “There will be more processed products transported from the northeast instead,” said Zhang Guogang, business development manager at SDIC Biotech Investment, the ethanol division of state-owned conglomerate SDIC. The company is building a 300,000-tonne fuel ethanol plant in Liaoning province, which is expected to go online in August next year. Source: AgriMarketing
Herculex I Bt Won't Control Western Bean Cutworm
DuPont Pioneer says its Cry1F trait, Herculex I Bt, no longer protects corn against the western bean cutworm. Cry1F was a corn borer toxin to begin with, not a western bean cutworm toxin, according to Chris DiFonzo, an extension entomologist at Michigan State University. "The control was never excellent," DiFonzo told Brownfield Ag News Friday, "and the wide-spread planting allowed for the rapid development of resistance." DuPont Pioneer Scientific Affairs Director Clint Pilcher acknowledges a decrease in susceptibility among western bean cutworm populations. In a statement emailed to Brownfield, he said that farmers should not depend on the Cry1F trait for control and that they need to scout. That's echoed by Michigan State's DiFonzo. "In that type of situation you do have to scout and you have to realize that you may have to treat," DiFonzo said, "Not just for these other insects, but maybe even for European corn borer, which is still out there hanging around waiting for bad things to happen." Syngenta's Vip trait controls western bean cutworm, but not corn borer, according to Difonzo. "And it does provide very good control up until now, excellent control, I would say, of western bean cutworm," said DiFonzo, "that trait is not as common in the hybrids in the Northern Tier." Pioneer removed from its website all references to control or suppression of western bean cutworm for products that include the Herculex I trait. DiFonzo says she struggles for an answer to what precautions to take to preserve traits that offer control of insect pests. "I'm sort of just waiting for another shoe to drop, and that other shoe may be something like corn borer," said DiFonzo. "The populations of corn borer are still there and, in fact, are trending up as people grow a lot of non-Bt. And we're putting a lot of pressure on these toxins, so that, I think, will be interesting to see in the next 3 to 5 years what happens with that pest." Source: AgriMarketing
National
Soil study could help defeat Soybean SDS
Amhad Fakhoury at Southern Illinois State University explains his study of the communities of soil organisms and how that might help soil fight plant diseases like Soybean Sudden Death Syndrome. Continue reading Soil study could help defeat Soybean SDS at Brownfield Ag News.      
Harvest is underway in Iowa
The harvest is underway in Iowa. ?Combines are just starting to get rolling with?five percent of soybeans now harvested,” says Iowa ag secretary Bill Northey, “and I would expect more farmers will be getting in the field this week.” Some combining of corn was also taking place, but not enough as of yet to register in the weekly crop progress report. Other activities during the past?week included planting of cover crops, spreading manure, hauling grain. Continue reading Harvest is underway in Iowa at Brownfield Ag News.      
Rains slow harvest activity in Nebraska
Recent rains have slowed early harvest activity in Nebraska. As of Sunday, seven percent of corn was harvested, compared to the five-year average of 13 percent. Ten percent of soybeans were harvested, equal to the average pace. Winter wheat planting stood at 47 percent, behind the 59 average. Thirteen percent of wheat had emerged compared to 21 average. Continue reading Rains slow harvest activity in Nebraska at Brownfield Ag News.      
Wisconsin heat wave helps crops
Wisconsin had the second week of hot and dry weather in a row, helping crops mature.? The USDA?s National Ag Statistics Service reporters say that heat helped dry down some crops.? They also report more corn silage harvest activity last week. Some southern Wisconsin soybeans were harvested last week, and observers expect most farmers will start combining beans later this week.? Counties near Lake Superior report maturity is still way behind normal. Continue reading Wisconsin heat wave helps crops at Brownfield Ag News.      
Goodlatte worker visa bill refined, closer to introduction
The top official of the American Dairy Coalition says there?s progress on Representative Bob Goodlatte?s proposal for foreign labor visas. ?CEO?Laurie Fischer tells Brownfield, “Progress on the Goodlatte bill is going well. ?We’re still hearing that we may be able to see something introduced and then shortly after that, it will be going to conference committee.? Fischer tells Brownfield there has been some concern and confusion about the 500-thousand worker limits in Goodlatte?s bill but says farmers and workers will like the newer draft of the bill. ? Continue reading Goodlatte worker visa bill refined, closer to introduction at Brownfield Ag News.      
More mycotoxins expected in new crop feed
An expert on mycotoxins says farmers will likely have more problems with new crop feed. ?Alexandra Weaver with Alltech says for corn, “I would still expect the DON?(Deoxynivalenol)?mycotoxin, vomitoxin, and aflatoxin.” ?She’s also concerned about the impact of white mold in soybeans. Weaver says the weather was a big factor in many regions. ?“We saw a lot of drought in some areas, a lot of extreme weather stress in others, and then now there’s some late-season rains and the hurricanes and all of these different weather patterns play into?these mycotoxins.? Weaver advises farmers to test every part of the ration, both when ensiling and when feeding it out.? Continue reading More mycotoxins expected in new crop feed at Brownfield Ag News.      
Conflicting reports of NAFTA progress
There are conflicting reports of progress with the third round of NAFTA negotiations underway in Canada. While the renegotiation process has been described as slow-moving and largely uneventful by some, Canada?s chief negotiator Steve Verheul calls the pace of recent talks with U.S. and Mexican trade officials ?very fast? and says solid progress is being made. However, Verhuel acknowledges the U.S. has yet to clarify objectives on some of the more contentious issues, including the agreement?s independent dispute settlement process. Continue reading Conflicting reports of NAFTA progress at Brownfield Ag News.      
Applying manure on cover crop acres a good idea
A soil health expert does not think farmers should wait until AFTER applying manure to seed in a cover crop this fall. TJ Kartes with Saddle Butte Ag says damaging the newly established cover following the harvest of canning crops or silage is worth it. “When you have that actively growing green carpet out there that you’re applying into, the green tissue takes up a lot of your sulfur smell.? Continue reading Applying manure on cover crop acres a good idea at Brownfield Ag News.      
National Rail Safety Week a good reminder during harvest
Officials are using the first ever national Rail Safety Week to remind farmers to be careful at crossings during harvest. Sheryl Cummings, director of the Minnesota chapter of Operation Lifesaver, says four out of every ten collisions between a vehicle and a train involve equipment commonly used on the farm. “A large truck, a truck/trailer, tractor, or other large equipment.? It just really gets to the heart of why it’s so important for us to be speaking to everybody, regardless of what their age is or what vehicles they’re driving because it’s really important.” Minnesota Department of Ag Commissioner Dave Frederickson tells Brownfield as harvest activity picks up, he has a simple message for anyone on the road. Continue reading National Rail Safety Week a good reminder during harvest at Brownfield Ag News.      
AFBF: Goal is to get farmers a lower tax rate
American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) tax policy specialist Pat Wolff says tax reform proposals being rolled out this week could have implications for farmers.? Details are being worked on by House and Senate leadership, tax-writing committee leaders and administration officials.? Wolff tells Brownfield the goal is to make sure farmers have a lower tax rate. ?There?s concern that if Congress decides to do away with a lot of deductions and credits that farmers find valuable; if they eliminate them in order to reduce the corporate tax rate, it could end up being a tax increase for farmers and ranchers,? Wolff told Brownfield Ag News Monday. Continue reading AFBF: Goal is to get farmers a lower tax rate at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soybeans down on weather, profit taking
Soybeans were lower on profit taking and technical selling after last week?s run to new multi-week highs. The trade?s expecting generally good late development and early harvest weather, with a record or near record crop. The USDA reports 10% of U.S. soybeans are harvested, compared to the five year average of 12%, and 63% are dropping leaves, matching the normal pace. 60% of U.S. beans are in good to excellent condition, up 1% on the week. Continue reading Soybeans down on weather, profit taking at Brownfield Ag News.      
Record heat helps Michigan crops mature
Dry conditions and record high temperatures helped crops mature in Michigan, but moisture is needed to replenish soil moisture. The latest weekly report from USDA says nearly the entire week was suitable for fieldwork, allowing farmers to continue chopping corn for silage, harvest sugar beets, and begin seeding winter wheat. Hay cutting progressed, but reporters say some fields are stagnant because of a lack of rain. Michigan pastures are beginning to turn brown, and some producers have started feeding hay to livestock. Continue reading Record heat helps Michigan crops mature at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soybean harvest begins in Minnesota
Warm and mostly dry weather helped Minnesota farmers begin soybean harvest last week. The latest USDA crop progress report says seven percent of the bean acreage in the state has been combined, and more than 60 percent are dropping leaves. Corn for silage harvest, at 60 percent complete, is a week behind average. There were also scattered reports of corn being harvested for grain. Harvest also continues for dry beans, potatoes, sugar beets, and alfalfa hay. Continue reading Soybean harvest begins in Minnesota at Brownfield Ag News.      
Warm, dry conditions help Ohio crops
Warm and dry conditions helped corn and soybean crops in Ohio mature this week. According to the latest USDA Crop and Weather report, 3 percent of the corn crop has been harvested for grain, 90 percent of the corn crop is dented, and 39 percent is mature. Seventy-three percent of the corn has been harvested for silage. Soybean harvest is 5 percent complete and 58 percent of the soybean crop is dropping leaves. Continue reading Warm, dry conditions help Ohio crops at Brownfield Ag News.      
USDA trade mission in Brazil this week
The USDA?s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) is hosting a trade mission in Brazil this week ? taking two dozen U.S. agribusiness and trade group representatives. Brazil bought almost $1.4-Billion dollars in ag and related products from the U.S. last year, with ethanol, wheat, dairy products and prepared foods leading the way. The trade mission introduces U.S. sellers to potential Brazilian buyers. Some of the groups represented on the trip are: American Coalition for Ethanol, Sioux Falls, S.D. Continue reading USDA trade mission in Brazil this week at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
The ?Perfect Storm? for Distribution Channel Change
You don?t have to be the ultimate observer to realize the U.S. ag retail marketplace is undergoing some massive changes in 2017. Dozens of retailers, particularly cooperatives, have recently exited the industry via sale or acquisition. The number of product suppliers, likewise, is shrinking. Perhaps worst of all, the price of goods handled in the ag retail supply chain continues to rise while commodity prices and margins seem to be stuck in continuing downward spirals. All-in-all, says Dave Coppess, Exe?cutive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, for Heartland Co-op, West Des Moines, Iowa, this is adding up to make life ?a bit difficult? for today?s average ag retailer. ?We are definitely in a period of change in the market,? says Coppess. ?There are new business models beginning to pop up and they are threatening to destroy, or at least radically alter, the old ones. Everyone in this business will need to adapt to these new market realities ? or they probably won?t be around for very much longer.? As for how the U.S. ag retail industry has found itself in this ?new market reality,? the list of impactful variables is a fairly long one. Yet, it all starts at the same place as it traditionally has ? commodity prices. For several years between 2009 and 2013, commodity prices for corn and soybeans stood at all-time highs. For corn, this meant growers were getting more than $8 per bushel; for soybeans, the number stood at approximately $16 per bushel. As many market observers have noted for this time period, ?making money with these prices being that high wasn?t very hard to do.? Then, starting in 2014, record crop plantings/harvests for corn and soybeans began to depress prices. By the end of 2016, growers were only receiving $3 per bushel of corn and less than $9 per bushel of soybeans ? essentially the same prices they had been getting for their crops at the start of the 21st century. Jim DeLisi of Fanwood Chemical speaking at the AgriBusiness Global Trade Summit — Americas. According to V.M. (Jim) DeLisi, Owner of Fanwood Chemical, the impact of this decline was keenly felt by the nation?s growers. ?The agricultural market lost $15 billion in value between 2008 and 2016,? says DeLisi. Naturally, with their chief source of income dropping, grower-customer revenues also fell during this same time frame. According to USDA data, grower incomes fell more than 50%, from slightly more than $100 billion in 2013 to slightly less than $50 billion by the end of 2016. (Somewhat on the bright side, the early data for 2017 shows grower income should rebound a bit to just over $63 billion). Perhaps more significantly, USDA says farm profits are down nearly 50% since 2013. At the same time, their expenses have only fallen 1.4%. Pressure on Suppliers With revenues in decline for their end-users, agricultural suppliers have increasingly looked to merge their operations to grow market share while decreasing costs. During the past few years, this trend has been particularly pronounced within the crop protection products/seed supplier sector. Here, multiple large companies have entered into merger agreements, including Syngenta/ChemChina, Dow and DuPont, and Bayer and Monsanto. As DeLisi points out, the reason for all these mega-mergers ties back to one overriding factor ? money. ?New product development costs for both seeds and chemicals are in the range of $300 million to $500 million in development and registration globally,? he says. ?Only the largest companies have the resources and leverage to both finance and then recapture this level of investment.? For example, the newly merged DowDuPont is hoping to be able to cut $1.3 billion from the company?s combined agricultural operations within the next year or so through staff reductions and eliminating redundant costs. At the same time, a recent Texas A&M university study found that companies such as DowDuPont and Bayer-Monsanto might be able to charge higher prices for their seed brands after combining, with an average 2% increase for both corn and soybean seeds. And it is little wonder why larger crop protection product/seed companies are looking at seeds to boost their profits. According to most market watchers, crop protection products are increasingly seeing pressure from new producers/suppliers as more and more active ingredients (a.i.s) come off-patent. ?In 2016-17, the number of generic products in the crop protection products marketplace will be exploding, both in terms of the chemistries available to produce and the number of companies that will likely start making their own versions of these popular products,? says Kevin Fry, Co-Owner of Fry Brothers, a Nebraska-based products wholesaler. ?There are at least one dozen such a.i.s getting ready to come off-patent, including mesotrione, flumioxazin, and imazamox, to name a few. ?By the same token, there are fewer new molecules coming out to replace the older ones,? he continues. ?This aligning low crop prices with lower priced off-patent products means we are seeing all kind of factors favoring some kind of alternative market distribution.? Even the industry?s most popular a.i., glyphosate, is seeing more competition to attract customers. For instance, Xingfa Group ? China?s largest producer of glyphosate ? is setting up shop in the U.S. with the opening of Xingfa USA Corp. in Schaumburg, IL, just outside of Chicago. According to J. Bryan Kitchen, President, North America, Xingfa USA will begin offering its brand of glyphosate to the U.S. marketplace ?shortly.? The Alternative Distribution Chain Of course, all this pressure on crop protection product prices from the supplier level has found its way down to the ag retail level. In fact, according to Heartland Co-op?s Coppess, profit margins for retailers on these inputs have dropped from 2% to 3% ?into negative territory? since the end of 2013. ?When you are working with a less than 1% profit margin on something, there?s not much room for error on the seller?s part,? he says. ?That?s why you are seeing more retailers using their rebates from the crop protection companies to make their numbers add up.? Putting all these market trends together, and agricultural market watchers say the time is right for some form of an alternative distribution model to take hold in the U.S. Already such models have been employed by growers in such places as India and Canada. According to Jason Mann, President/CEO of AgraCity in Saskatchewan, his company was viewed by many observers as a ?market disruptor? in its early years for selling products directly to growers and by-passing the traditional ag retail distribution chain. ?With increased pressure on farmgate net revenues caused by weather, higher cost land and rents, equipment and technology costs, labor, and tightening of credit for farmers, our low-cost and efficient product offering and business model has bolstered our market position as a leading generic crop protection supplier,? says Mann. ?We have been successful because our model resonates well with our stakeholders, the farmers, and the manufacturers looking for market access.? In the U.S., recent start-ups such as Farm Trade and Farmers Business Network (FBN) are following a similar business model as AgraCity ? selling products directly to growers at a set cost via the Internet. According to some market analysts, there are approximately 15% to 20% of growers who might be looking ?only for the lowest cost on products? that could embrace this way of getting crop protection inputs. ?Firms like this could flatten the supply chain and might be the beginning of the ?Amazoning? for grower suppliers,? says Fanwood Chemical?s DeLisi, alluding to the Internet-centered retail giant and how its growth has impacted traditional ?brick-and-mortar? retailers in recent years. ?These companies have proven they can not only get these products, but move them all over the country to where they need to be, which hasn?t been the case for crop protection products over the past 25 years. There?s no doubt the Internet is coming to agricultural chemicals in a much bigger way.? However, Fry Brothers? Fry doesn?t believe the FBNs of the world will have the same effect on traditional ag retailers that Amazon did in the consumer retail space. ?I see another viable alternative to the retail distribution for farmers developing and growing, but it will be difficult for this to succeed on a large scale because of the localization of the market,? he says. ?Sure, there will be some market penetration by these companies, but there?s still a certain amount of knowledge and trust in agriculture that will be needed, and that can only come from established ag retailers. For many of these, a ?slam, bam, thank you, ma?am? approach with product suppliers that offer no guarantees on performance and won?t accept returns if there?s a problem just won?t cut it.? Despite this fact, other market watchers believe that companies such as FBN have ?opened a door into the retail marketplace based on low prices/little support that will never be closed again.? Furthermore, ag retailers will need to ?do their part? to keep grower-customers firmly in their corners. ?The market is 100% the ag retailers? to lose at this point,? says one analyst. ?And if they don?t defend it, outfits like FBN will definitely make some inroads.?
FMC Receives Final Clearance to Gain DuPont Crop Protection Assets
After receiving final antitrust approval from the Competition Commission of India, FMC has the all-clear to acquire a portion of DuPont’s crop protection business. 
Indigo Ag Announces Series D Funding
Indigo Ag, Inc., a company dedicated to harnessing nature to help farmers sustainably feed the planet, announces the first closing of $156 million in its Series D financing, doubling the company?s total capital raised to over $300 million. New investors, including Baillie Gifford and Activant Capital, join the company?s?founder and first investor, Flagship Pioneering, and existing investor, the Alaska Permanent Fund,?in this closing. J.P. Morgan acted as sole placement agent to Indigo on this transaction. This latest round will support Indigo?s commitment to building a new kind of agriculture company ? one that is focused on improving farmer profitability, environmental sustainability, and consumer health. This follows news last July that Indigo raised $100M in Series C funding, which was a record for agtech. It also comes after preliminary data released last month revealed Indigo?s microbial seed treatment product for wheat,?Indigo Wheat, shows an average yield improvement of 15.7% in expected conditions and 8.3% across all conditions in water-stressed target region of Kanas. The latest round now has Indigo valued at $1.4 billion. ?At Indigo, we?re working to connect agricultural practice to consumer preference,? said David Perry, President and CEO of Indigo. ?This essential connection will dramatically accelerate the adoption of new sustainable technologies in agriculture, allowing for healthier people and a healthier planet.? Last month, Indigo announced its intention to contract with leading farmers to produce 10.5 million bushels of Indigo Wheat for a 43 cent per bushel premium. This significant premium represents buyer willingness to pay more for high-quality and transparently sourced wheat. In addition to the premium price, growers can also expect yield improvements of up to 16% based on recently announced data. ?As consumer-focused brands and retailers seek out ways to meet their sustainability goals and produce premium goods, Indigo provides a source of agricultural products that meets those needs,? continued Perry. Indigo is a leader in the study and application of the plant microbiome in agriculture. Identifying beneficial microbes that naturally reside within plants, Indigo applies these to modern seeds to increase crop productivity and resilience in the face of stress. While Indigo?s initial work focused on water stress, the company is building out a broad product portfolio to address a range of environmental stresses, as well as pests and disease. Addressing nitrogen use is a top priority for Indigo research and development. Harnessing natural microbes and leveraging data-based agronomic practices, Indigo is working to improve nitrogen uptake and efficiency in row crops, with the goal of dramatically reducing nitrogen use in agriculture. Indigo?s cutting edge microbiology, combined with its data-based agronomic support, benefits growers by allowing them to sustainably increase production while decreasing input costs ? getting them more for every bushel. In the coming months, Indigo will begin production of Indigo CornTM?and Indigo SoybeansTM?across the United States. With these crops, Indigo will also provide growers a premium at harvest. ?With climate change an active threat, consumers are calling for a new environmental standard in the agriculture industry and beyond,? said Dr. Mehmood Khan, Indigo?s Board Director. ?Indigo is responding to this call by developing a paradigm in which growers are able to respond to these consumer demands while increasing their profits.? Adding to Indigo?s momentum, the company has recently opened its first international offices in Argentina and Australia. As growers around the world increasingly turn to Indigo?s seed treatments and digital technologies, the company intends to establish itself in key agricultural regions, acting as an in-market resource. In the coming months, Indigo will grow these teams, developing local expertise and accelerating overseas business. ?Together with growers across the globe, we have the potential to not only impact an industry, but to fulfill a larger vision of a world where nutritious food is transparently sourced and resources are conserved for future generations,? said Perry. ?Indigo?s offer to growers is key to our path forward because it focuses on their own profitability, the foundation on which this vision rests.?
Indonesia in Sugar, Pesticide Deal with Australia
The Indonesian government announced it will reduce tariffs on the import of Australian raw sugar, in exchange for Australia eliminating import duties on Indonesian herbicides and pesticides. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce, said the reduction in tariffs would increase the competiveness of Australian sugar exports into the important Indonesian market.?? “Indonesia will lower the tariff on our sugar exports to the same concessional rate enjoyed by Thailand — around 5% currently — which will level the playing field for our exporters,” Joyce said in a press statement. In exchange for the sugar deal Australia will eliminate import duties on Indonesian herbicides and pesticides. “This is great news for our sugar industry, but it also demonstrates the strong trade relationship we share with Indonesia. “It will ensure better returns for our exporters through improved market access, while also ensuring Indonesia can continue to have access to the world-class produce we are known for,” Joyce said. The move follows the February 2017 deal Prime Ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Joko Widodo struck to each reduce tariffs on a key commodity as a mark of progress towards the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) currently under negotiation. The estimated value of Australian sugar exports to the world was $2.2 billion in 2016-17, while the total agricultural, food, fishery and forestry exports to Indonesia were worth $3.2 billion in 2016, and imports from Indonesia were worth $843 million.  
Back to the woodshed
Jay Vroom Announces CropLife America Retirement
Jay Vroom announced today during the general session at the 2017 CLA Annual Meeting in Dana Point, California, that he would be retiring from his position as president and CEO at the end of 2018. After nearly thirty years at the helm, Vroom reflected on his tenure and plans moving forward. ?When I stepped into this role in 1988, I don?t think I could have foreseen the challenges and triumphs the industry would encounter over the past three decades,? Vroom stated. ?I?m proud to have represented the industry as we addressed important issues ranging from Farm Bills to the Food Quality Protection Act and ?ESA to PREA. No matter which of the six presidential administrations or sixteen congresses were in office, CLA only grew its reputation as a resource in the agriculture sector.? Vroom continued, ?After I retire as CLA CEO, I plan to stay involved in agriculture and work on the critical issues of growing agriculture technology and improving profitability for American farmers. I am also looking forward to spending more time on our family farms in Illinois.? After talking about his future plans, Jay took a moment to reflect, ?I cannot begin to express in words all the pride and gratitude I have for the many friends, co-workers and professional allies I have had the privilege to work with at CLA and in my earlier career. My wife, Jamie, and I appreciate the support you have given us over the years and we look forward to staying in touch.? Diane Allemang, FMC ?Global Director for Global Portfolio Strategy and outgoing CLA board chair recognized Jay?s work, ?Jay is a passionate supporter of American agriculture and advocate for the crop protection industry.? He has worked tirelessly for almost 30 years guiding CropLife America to become a leading voice for modern agriculture, benefiting all in the agriculture community. Jay has left a lasting mark on the association, its members and Washington D.C.? Jim Blome, Bayer North America president and CEO of the crop science division and incoming CLA board chair added, ?Under Jay?s leadership, CropLife America has been a steady and credible voice championing the need for modern tools in agriculture to help farmers raise safe, affordable and nutritious food. The mission Jay stewarded for almost three decades is even more important and relevant for the future of our industry. We wish him well following his retirement as our CEO and look forward to building upon his important work in the years ahead.? Mr. Vroom will continue to serve as president and CEO of CLA over the next twelve months and will assist with the transition through the end of 2018. During that time, the CLA Board of Directors will work with a search firm to identify potential candidates for the next CEO of CropLife America. Prior to the announcement of the selected search firm, please direct all inquiries and expression of interest to William Kuckuck, COO, CropLife America.
Morning Market Audio 9/26/17
Hoffman's AgDay Forecast: When Does Fall Start?
AgDay meteorologist Mike Hoffman's forecast for Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017.
Calculations Versus Analysis
A CFO can help your farm get to the next level financially.
My Plan If Corn Doesn?t Go To 4 Dollars
The Next Job for U.S. Corn? Protecting Military Guns
A formulation made from corn sweeteners may soon be the U.S. military’s bio-renewable solution for gun lubrication and protection. 
American Soybean Association Speaks Out on Dicamba
Dicamba damage has swept the U.S.—to the tune of about 3.1 million acres in two-thirds of the soybean growing states. As complaints pour in, EPA, manufacturing companies, state government and non-profits are scrambling to find a solution.
Girlfriend Getaway, Farm Business Style
Looking for a way to spend some quality time with your girlfriends for a fun weekend and right it off on your taxes?