CORN  
Delivery Date Cash Price Basis Futures Change Futures Price
History Feb18 3.34 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.32
 -0'4
366'2s
History Mar18 3.36 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.30
 -0'4
366'2s
History Apr18 3.38 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.37
 -0'2
374'4s
History May18 3.40 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.35
 -0'2
374'4s
History Oct18 3.57 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.40
 0'0
397'2s
History Nov18 3.57 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.40
 0'0
397'2s
 
SOYBEANS  
Delivery Date Cash Price Basis Futures Change Futures Price
History Feb18 9.60 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.76
 4'2
1036'2s
History Mar18 9.62 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.86
 4'2
1047'4s
History Apr18 9.64 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.84
 4'2
1047'4s
History Oct18 9.43 02/23/2018 1:19:00 PM CST -0.85
 0'2
1028'0s
Local
Specialty Growers, Pesticide Applicators Can Protect Sensitive Crops By Working Together
LINCOLN ? Specialty crops add diversity and value to Nebraska?s agricultural industry, which is why the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) encourages growers and outdoor pesticide applicators to work together to protect sensitive commercial specialty crops and pollinators from pesticide use. Pesticides include all categories of pest control products such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
National
On-farm child safety checklist for parents
A checklist for parents to help safeguard their kids from injury on the farm has been released. The list, by the National Children?s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, poses 32 questions for farm parents and suggests remedies when risks are identified. ?A lot of those things don?t cost any money for them to do them. So, it?s a great way for them to be able to check their farm over and check some of their practices on the farm to safeguard the kids,? says Marsha Salzwedel, a youth safety specialist with the center. Continue reading On-farm child safety checklist for parents at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
The price of biofuel blending credits tumbled Friday on mounting specu
The price of biofuel blending credits tumbled Friday on mounting speculation that the fight by independent oil refiners to change U.S. laws mandating the use of ethanol will lead to rule changes.
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It's not too late! Get registered today for our 2-Day Annual Meeting ...
It's not too late! Get registered today for our 2-Day Annual Meeting event on Feb. 26th and 27th! You don't want to miss out on these great workshop sessions on Day 1! Register here: http://events.auroracoop.com/annualmeeting18>
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On Day 2 of our Annual Meeting event we will have a special keynote ...
On Day 2 of our Annual Meeting event we will have a special keynote speaker. Robert O'Neill, former SEAL Team Six leader, will be joining us. O'Neill is a highly decorated combat veteran and the author of the memoir "The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior." You won't want to miss out! Get registered for both days, February 26th & 27th, at the link below.>
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Day 1 of our Annual Meeting will feature a Focus on Farm Safety with ...
Day 1 of our Annual Meeting will feature a Focus on Farm Safety with guest speaker Arick Baker. Baker, an Iowa farmer, survived being buried alive underneath 23,000 bushels of corn. He will be sharing with us his unique view on continuous ag safety. Be sure to get registered today for the event on February 26 & 27!>
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AGRONOMY SERVICE -- MINDEN Aurora Cooperative is accepting ...
AGRONOMY SERVICE -- MINDEN Aurora Cooperative is accepting applications for a full-time agronomy service position with benefits at the Minden location. CDL preferred. Apply online at the link below, or contact Cory Mescher at 402-694-1102, or send application to 1185 33 Road, PO Box 7, Minden, NE 68959. Aurora Cooperative is an Equal Opportunity Employer.>
Our 2-Day Annual Meeting event is only 3 weeks away! Day 1 will ...
Our 2-Day Annual Meeting event is only 3 weeks away! Day 1 will feature a Focus on Farm Safety in the morning with our Owner Profitability Workshops that afternoon. Day 2 will be our Annual Business Meeting. Our keynote speaker after the business meeting is Robert O'Neill, former SEAL Team Six Leader. Click on the link below for more information and to get registered today!>
We had a great turnout this morning in Henderson for a meeting on in ...
We had a great turnout this morning in Henderson for a meeting on in furrow! #plan18>
Join us for breakfast as we evaluate current market trends and ...
Join us for breakfast as we evaluate current market trends and methods of maximizing profitability on your farm.>
Join us as we evaluate current market trends and methods for ...
Join us as we evaluate current market trends and methods for maximizing profitability on your farm. Breakfast starts at 7 a.m. with the meeting to follow.>
Join us as we evaluate current market trends and methods for ...
Join us as we evaluate current market trends and methods for maximizing profitability on your farm. A beer and wine tasting with hors d'oeuvres will be held prior to the meeting, which will begin at 7 p.m.>
Just us for lunch as we evaluate current market trends and methods ...
Just us for lunch as we evaluate current market trends and methods for maximizing profitability on your farm.>
Join us for lunch as we evaluate current market trends and methods ...
Join us for lunch as we evaluate current market trends and methods for maximizing profitability on your farm.>
Local
Specialty Growers, Pesticide Applicators Can Protect Sensitive Crops By Working Together
LINCOLN ? Specialty crops add diversity and value to Nebraska?s agricultural industry, which is why the Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) encourages growers and outdoor pesticide applicators to work together to protect sensitive commercial specialty crops and pollinators from pesticide use. Pesticides include all categories of pest control products such as herbicides, insecticides and fungicides.
Nebraska Ag Update - February 23, 2018
Nebraska Ag Updates
How Much Can Soil Organic Matter Increase in a Year?
Soil organic matter is a primary measure of soil health. The source of soil organic matter is photosynthesis resulting in plant growth – either root or aboveground. Therefore, the organic matter content cannot increase more than the amount of plant growth that can be produced in a year. Let’s just do some basic math assuming all the plant matter gets converted into soil organic matter. First, we need to know what one acre of soil can produce. Let’s assume a highly productive corn crop – producing 200 bushels per acre. That is 200 bushels per acre x 56 lbs/bushel x 0.845 (to correct for 15.5% moisture in grain) = 9,464 lbs of dry grain per acre. Typically, the harvest index of corn (the proportion of stover to grain) is 1, so the amount of residue produced is also 9,464 lbs/A. The root mass produced by corn is on average 20% of the above ground, so if we add that it makes 11,357 lbs/A. Let’s assume you also grow a cover crop of rye and that it is terminated with 5,000 lbs of above-ground dry matter per acre and 1000 lbs of below-ground root mass. The total is 17,357 lbs of plant matter from roots and stover from corn and rye. Let’s convert all that to carbon for greater accuracy. The carbon content of stover is typically 40%, so that is 6,943 lbs of carbon produced per acre in roots and stover. Is that enough carbon to increase soil organic matter 1%? Let’s calculate how much carbon is in 1% of soil organic matter. We assume one acre slice of soil (to a depth of 6.7”) weighs 2,000,000 lbs. So 1% of 2,000,000 is 20,000 lbs. Soil organic matter contains roughly 58% carbon. So one percent organic matter in soil to 6.7 inch depth equals 11,600 lbs of carbon. That is a lot more than the amount of carbon that is produced by a highly productive corn crop plus rye cover crop! I hope you agree that this calculation shows that it is not possible to increase soil organic matter at a rate of 1% per year with current production constraints. And we didn’t include the conversion of plant residue in soil organic matter yet! That conversion has been shown to be only 10-20%. So if you add 6,943 lbs of carbon in plant roots and stover, that would end up in only 1,388 lbs of soil organic carbon, or 2393 lbs of soil organic matter. That is 0.1% of 2,000,000 lbs of soil. Therefore, if you increase organic matter content by 0.1% per year you are doing a superb job with your management. To expect 1% increase is unrealistic. This discussion assumes there is no input of organic matter from other fields or farms. If manure or compost have been applied that would change the story. Fred Magdoff and Harold van Es include a calculation of the effect of dairy manure application on soil organic matter in the book “Building Soils for Better Crops (2nd Ed)”. They calculate that applying 20 T/A/yr of solid dairy manure would increase organic matter content 0.065% per year. So if we add relatively high applications of manure to the equation it might be possible to increase organic matter content 0.17% per year. Incorporating a combination of no-till, cover crops, residues and manure can improve soil organic matter over time. We have to be patient. Source: Corn & Soybean Digest
Software Drives Grain-Cart Tractor
Harvest time is labor-intensive. But Smart Ag aims to help farmers save labor using software that fully automates a grain-cart tractor regardless of make and model. Colin Hurd, founder and CEO of Smart Ag, launched the company in 2015 after researching farmers’ labor challenges as well as autonomous tractor technology. The company recently introduced AutoCart, a plug-and-play system that automates existing grain-cart tractors. A control box is installed on a combine, enabling the combine and a grain-cart tractor to communicate. The combine operator can connect to the internet and access an app on a tablet or iPad. The app enables the operator to control the grain-cart tractor. The operator can drag pins to field locations where he or she wants the grain cart to travel. The operator also can set loading and unloading locations in a field, and command the grain cart to synchronize to the combine’s speed and direction. After loading is complete, the AutoCart automatically returns to an unloading point elsewhere in the field. Safety systems are incorporated into AutoCart technology, Hurd said. Using the software, the combine operator must define a boundary within which the tractor stays. The operator also can define inner boundaries by drawing a shape around an obstacle such as a tree. “We never allow the grain-cart tractor to travel where the combine hasn’t already been,” Hurd said. “That prevents the tractor from driving over crops.” An obstacle-avoidance system uses radar, camera and proximity-sensor technology to determine if a person or an animal is near the tractor. “A vision system sees 360 degrees around the tractor,” Hurd said. The combine operator can use an emergency stop button to disable the tractor. Kyle Mehmen of MBS Family Farms in Plainfield, Iowa, beta-tested the AutoCart technology on about 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans. “It took a little time to learn, but the technology is user-friendly,” Mehmen said. For farmers having difficulties finding qualified equipment operators, the AutoCart system could offer a solution to labor scarcity, he said. “I see this as a first step in automation,” he said. “There are a lot of places to go with this. I could see where it could be used by a lot of different operators.” Dennis Redington and his son, Neal Redington, farm about 2,000 acres near Galena, Illinois, as well as Shullsburg, Wisconsin. They also provide custom-farming services. They beta-tested the AutoCart system in fall 2017 and plan to do so again in 2018. “Overall it did a good job,” Neal Redington said. There were problems with losing a cellular signal in hilly areas. But after obtaining a cellular-phone signal booster, the system worked well, he said. The Redingtons also switched their cellular-service provider. The Redingtons entered field boundaries and waterway obstacles into a Map View system. With the boundaries and obstacles defined, the grain-cart tractor avoided those areas, he said. Smart Ag is making AutoCart technology available on a first-come, first-served basis in 2018. The cost of the system is comparable to retrofitting a sprayer or planter with precision technology, Hurd said. Visit www.smart-ag.com for more information. Source: AgUpdate
Don't Count on La Nina to Rally Corn
The good news is Rich Morrison believes there may be opportunities to sell corn at reasonable levels this year. “I’m cautiously optimistic,” Morrison says. He is a risk adviser for Diversified Services and a specialist in price risk management. He believes the most realistic news, however, is that you will need a marketing plan — and you will need to execute it to cash in on small marketing opportunities that may develop during the year. Chances to price your crop are likely to come along in terms of capturing nickels here and dimes there, rather than on a big rally, Morrison says. Carryout stocks are just too large for factors that may cause wide swings in other years to move the needle very far this year, he says. You may have to look for smaller opportunities and use different strategies, perhaps involving options, to take advantage of price movement. La Niña question A few events might provide somewhat bigger price rallies if they were to occur, Morrison says. He refers to them as “black swan” events, indicating how likely they are. How many black swans have you seen? Topping the list would be a weather event, perhaps dry weather triggered by La Niña. This part of the El Niño-La Niña cycle typically produces dry conditions over portions of the U.S., especially in the Great Plains and western Corn Belt. Some private forecasters have suggested the current La Niña might persist into summer. Don’t get your hopes too high. Ken Scheeringa, with the Indiana State Climate Office, says as of Feb. 5, the National Weather Service is forecasting the current La Niña to end by spring. Originally, NWS expected it to end in February. “Now they’re talking about it extending into March and maybe April, but then dying out,” Scheeringa says. “The National Weather Service long-term forecast calls for a neutral phase in the ENSO cycle beginning in April or May, and extending at least through September,” he says. “That’s as far as the forecast goes.” Other ‘black swan’ possibilities Morrison offers some other events that would have an impact, if they occurred. • China buys more corn than expected. This would be a positive step toward eating into large stocks, Morrison says. Consider it a long shot. • Managed funds divert money to agriculture. If the stock market remains volatile, funds may look for somewhere else to put money, Morrison says. If they put enough back into grain markets, it could help support prices. • Crude oil or other commodities see a substantial rally. The corn market tends to follow the crude oil market. Crude oil prices are worth watching. • The Russian wheat crop has a bad year. The last time that happened was 2011, and it helped drive an increase in wheat and corn prices, Morrison says. Russia has enjoyed good production years recently. • A natural disaster occurs. An unforeseen natural disaster of some sort could produce impacts on markets that it’s not possible to anticipate now, Morrison concludes. Source: PrairieFarmer
Sorghum Market Expected to Grow
Sorghum may be one of the country’s lesser grain commodities, but it certainly is a powerhouse as a superfood when exploring the crop’s market potential. Researchers and business stakeholders gathered in late January for the Sorghum Improvement Conference of North America at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St. Louis. Besides learning about innovations in genetics, disease control and yield improvement, about 150 conferees also explored viable market opportunities for sorghum use. Cancer Prevention While plenty of foods offer dietary intervention against health issue, including resveratrol in wine, curcumin in tumeric or fiber in grains and fruits, sorghum does, too, from its bran. U.S. Department of Agriculture researcher Dmitriy Smolensky has been working in Kansas to learn more about how high polyphenol sorghum bran inhibits cancer cell growth. He’s already identified which sorghum varieties perform the best, with many of his studies focusing on black sorghum bran. He has concluded that phenolics in sorghum bran are wroth studying for cancer therapeutic and preventive properties. In the future, Smolensky plans to further study it in colorectal cancer prevention, as well as improved methods to extract the phenols. “We need to get more cell biologists, cancer scientists, nutritionists and animal scientists excited to conduct sorghum research so the hard work done by the breeders and grain scientists pays off,” he said.  Food and Drink Food science and product development of sorghum is what drives Nu Life Market, a unique functional foods company in Kansas. Nu Life President Earl Roemer said his company works with Kellogg’s, General Mills, Frito Lay, Nestle and others nationally and internationally with “great demand” for the sorghum products along every step of the food production process. “Trait identification is really, really important to us. We have the ability to communicate with all of the food companies in the U.S. Sorghum has all of these great attributes that have consumer demand,” Roemer said. The U.S. is a top sorghum exporter by far at 5.8 million metric tons in 2016-2017, over Argentina and Australia. Out of the U.S. production in 2016, 55 percent was exported, 21 percent went to ethanol production, 16 percent to livestock feed, 3 percent to food products, 2 percent to pet food and 3 percent to other. Top sorghum states are Kansas, Texas and Louisiana. Roemer has a literal shopping list of sorghum’s assets as a food: gluten free, non-genetically modified, ancient grain, unique chemistry, sustainability, environmentally responsibility, U.S. grown, identity preservation and traceability. He also enjoys calling it the “camel of crops” for its unusual water-saving abilities from its long root system, waxy leave coating and pigmented grain. Another noteworthy fact about sorghum is its cancer-fighting, anti-oxidant capacity from its Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity rating. Sumac sorghum bran at 3,790 and black sorghum bran at 1,840 far outrank blueberries at 233 and pomegranates at 224, Roemer pointed out. Nu Market also has secured a number of certifications to further improve its marketability that includes NonGMO Project Verification, Food Safety System Certification 22000 and USDA Organic certifications. Pet Food Nutritive value of pet food has a similar potential as it does with human consumables, and within the $30 billion pet food industry, there’s also available market share. “Although the pet food market is much different, we steal a lot of the trends and concepts from human markets,” said Kansas State University’s Greg Aldrich. “I’m claiming that sorghum is a superfood for pets.” “Cats and dogs outnumber children in U.S. households, and they are becoming the fur kids,” Aldrich said. What this means for sorghum is that dog and cat owners are using the same discernment in feeding pets as they do their children, he added. “They are looking for new ideas, new things to give them health benefits. One of things being thrown around out there is superfoods,” he said. He’s trying to create a platform on what sorghum can do in the pet food industry. One of the first selling points is the nutrient composition — 75 percent starch, higher protein than corn at 9 percent, 3 percent fat and 2 percent to 3 percent crude fiber. This also means it’s slower to digest and has a slower and longer glucose release, an important factor in diabetes-sensitive pets, such as cats. Source: AgriNews
Cloud-based Irrigation Could Double India?s Crop Yield and Halve Water Use
A cloud-based, micro-irrigation system tested on a farm in India has cut water use by up to 80% and doubled the crop yield, and could relieve the environmental stress that agriculture places on India’s natural resources. The system, which was developed by scientists at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, combines a highly localized weather forecast with local know-how on irrigation needs and soil conditions and has been trialed as part of the Innovate UK-funded Smart Control of Rural Renewable Energy and Storage (SCORRES) project. Reducing water consumption and improving irrigation techniques in India is vital: currently, 600 million people are at high risk of surface water supply disruption. Agriculture accounts for 90% of India’s freshwater withdrawal, 18% of total electricity, and 15% of total diesel use. Fifty four percent of India faces extremely high water stress, and farmers are increasingly indebted due to the volatility of crop yields and prices. At the trial farm in Tamil Nadu, eight vegetable crops have been farmed using the SCORRES precision irrigation system: lady’s fingers, lettuce, basil, basella, pumpkin, corn, rocket, and long beans. Local farmers’ knowledge on irrigation and soil conditions for each of these crops are scheduled onto the cloud-based system. SCORRES refines the irrigation schedule by using its highly accurate local weather forecast, soil moisture conditions, evaporation modelling and grid outage information to continually adapt the schedule and ensure the crops receive exactly the right volume of water, at the exact time that they need it. Source: PrecisionAg
Lower Corn and Soybean Price Volatility Means Lower Crop Insurance Premiums
Amid tough circumstances farmers have faced the past couple of years with weaker crop prices and lower farmland values, a bit of potentially good news came to light in early February. Indications are that crop insurance premiums on corn and soybeans will be lower for farms in lower risk production counties for the coming year based on information released in early February by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, according to Kansas State University agricultural economics professor Art Barnaby. RMA has started posting February prices and volatilities that will set corn and soybean insurance coverages and premiums in Kansas and other Corn Belt-area states. The February average price for December 2018 CME corn futures will set the base price for crop insurance. The current estimated base price is about the same as last year’s base price and will provide about the same dollars of coverage, Barnaby said. However, current volatility is four points lower for corn and three points lower for soybeans. The lower volatility will discount corn rates over 20 percent in low risk counties so these farmers will be able to buy about the same level of coverage as they did a year ago, but pay 20 percent less in premiums. In high-risk production counties, the discount is small; less than 3 percent. Current volatility could change because it is not set until the last five trading days in February for December CME corn options. The current volatility for corn is the lowest since 1999 and soybean volatility is also at historic lows. “Because the lower volatility will lower premiums, farmers might want to consider buying higher levels of crop insurance,” Barnaby said, noting however that it’s still possible for volatility to increase by the end of February, so most farmers will want to wait until March 1 to make a final decision. Barnaby outlined details in a Feb. 2 web posting at http://bit.ly/2nERBVx. He will also provide more detailed information in a presentation at a series of upcoming meetings on the 2018 farm bill planned in locations across Kansas and Nebraska. More information is available at www.agmanager.info. Source: High Plains Journal
Hettle thrives in leadership role for Hampton FFA
It doesn?t take very long for Hampton FFA President Dalton Hettle to get that outdoor itch, especially now in the middle stages of February. He always prefers being outside doing something, sun-up to sundown, and maybe even longer. ?I?m not one to sit around, by any means,? he described. ?I would rather be out working from when the sun comes up to when it goes down, and work after that. I?m sort of as a workaholic, in a way.? Read more in this week's print or e-editions. ? Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Hettle thrives in leadership role for Hampton FFA 1/5Give Hettle thrives in leadership role for Hampton FFA 2/5Give Hettle thrives in leadership role for Hampton FFA 3/5Give Hettle thrives in leadership role for Hampton FFA 4/5Give Hettle thrives in leadership role for Hampton FFA 5/5 No votes yet
Aurora Cooperative expands State Fair partnership
The Aurora Cooperative expanded its relationship with the Nebraska State Fair this week by announcing a new partnership that includes renaming the swine barn and swine arena to Aurora Cooperative Pavilion. Representatives with the Aurora-based company, the State Fair and Fonner Park applauded the new arrangement during a press conference Feb. 14. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. ? Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Aurora Cooperative expands State Fair partnership 1/5Give Aurora Cooperative expands State Fair partnership 2/5Give Aurora Cooperative expands State Fair partnership 3/5Give Aurora Cooperative expands State Fair partnership 4/5Give Aurora Cooperative expands State Fair partnership 5/5 No votes yet
Carlson continues High Plains FFA tradition
High school programs are always in an ever-changing mindset to evolve and improve upon the previous year?s achievements. For High Plains the group that has been at the forefront of doing just that is their FFA program, which is headed this year by president Alyse Carlson. ?Since my freshman year I felt that it was something I wanted to achieve,? Carlson said about her initial reasons for wanting to serve as FFA president her senior year. Read more in this week's print or e-editions. Rate this article:  Select ratingGive Carlson continues High Plains FFA tradition 1/5Give Carlson continues High Plains FFA tradition 2/5Give Carlson continues High Plains FFA tradition 3/5Give Carlson continues High Plains FFA tradition 4/5Give Carlson continues High Plains FFA tradition 5/5 No votes yet
It's not too late! Get registered today for our 2-Day Annual Meeting ...
It's not too late! Get registered today for our 2-Day Annual Meeting event on Feb. 26th and 27th! You don't want to miss out on these great workshop sessions on Day 1! Register here: http://events.auroracoop.com/annualmeeting18>
Tips to Keep Stored Grain Cool During Spring and Summer
Keeping stored grain cool is important as outdoor temperatures fluctuate and eventually start to warm this spring, a North Dakota State University Extension Service grain storage expert advises. “Not only will daytime temperatures be increasing, but the bin works as a solar collector,” Extension agricultural engineer Ken Hellevang says. More heating occurs on the south wall of a grain bin on March 1 than during the middle of the summer. “This heats the grain next to the bin wall to temperatures exceeding average outside temperatures,” Hellevang says. “This is of more concern if the grain exceeds recommended storage moisture contents.” He recommends producers run the aeration fans periodically during the spring to keep the grain temperature cool, preferably near 30 F in the northern part of the country during March and April, and below 40 F in southern regions. Nighttime temperatures typically are near or below 30 F in March and below 40 F in April across the north-central region of the U.S. Temperature monitoring “Temperature sensors are an excellent tool, but remember that they only measure the temperature of the grain next to the sensor,” Hellevang says. “Because grain is an excellent insulator, the grain temperature may be much different just a few feet from the sensor and not affect the measured temperature.” He encourages placing a temperature cable a few feet from the south wall of a bin. Aeration fans or ducts should be covered when not operating. The wind and a natural chimney effect will push warm, moist spring air through the grain. If the wind blows primarily during the daytime, the grain will be warmed to the daily maximum temperature. Typical maximum temperatures, even in northern states in late March, are in the mid-40s and increase in late April to around 60 F. Also, grain moisture will increase as the grain is warmed. “The goal for summer storage should be to keep the grain as cool as possible to limit insect activity,” Hellevang says. “Insect reproduction is reduced at temperatures below about 60 F.” Ventilation Provide an air inlet near the bin roof eave and an outlet near the peak to reduce the hot air in the top of the bin. Similar to venting an attic, the heated air rises and is exhausted at the peak. A ventilation fan to exhaust the hot air is another option. Hot air under the bin roof will heat several feet of grain at the top of the bin to temperatures conducive for insect infestations. Running the aeration fan for a few hours to push air up through the cool stored grain will cool grain near the top. Pick a cool morning every two to three weeks during the summer to run the aeration fan, and only run the fan a few hours to minimize heating grain at the bottom of the bin. Cover the fan when it is not operating to prevent additional heating of the grain. Moisture content Having grain at an appropriate warm-season storage moisture content is very important to store grain safely during the summer, according to Hellevang. The maximum moisture content for warm-season storage is 13 to 14 percent for corn, 11 percent for soybeans, 13.5 percent for wheat, 12 percent for barley and 8 percent for oil sunflowers. Mold growth will occur at summer temperatures if the grain exceeds the recommended moisture content. The allowable storage time for 15 percent moisture corn is only about four months at 70 degrees and two months at 80 degrees. Checking the grain moisture content is important because moisture measurements at harvest may have been in error due to moisture gradients in the kernel, grain temperature and other factors. In addition, the moisture may have changed while the grain was in storage due to moisture migration or moisture entering the bin. When checking the moisture content, follow the moisture meter manufacturer’s procedure for obtaining an accurate moisture measurement. Temperature adjustments, cold grain, inaccurate sample quantity and moisture variations across the kernel frequently cause substantial measurement errors. Verify the accuracy of the measurement by warming the grain sample to room temperature in a sealed plastic bag before measuring the moisture content. A period of six to 12 hours in a sealed container also permits grain moisture to reach equilibrium across the kernels. Also, compare the on-farm measured value to that of the sample using a meter at the elevator or other market location. Grain checks Hellevang suggests checking the stored grain at least every two weeks. While checking on the grain, measure and record the grain temperature and moisture content. Rising grain temperature may indicate insect or mold problems. Insect infestations can increase from being barely noticeable to major infestations in three to four weeks when the grain is warm. “Grain temperature cables are a wonderful tool, but do not rely on them to replace inspecting for insects or crusting and detecting odors or other indicators of storage problems,” he says. Visit NDSU’s grain drying and storage website for more information. Source: Corn & Soybean Digest
Russia is Exporting More Wheat Than Any Country in 25 Years
It’s been a long time since any country shipped out as much wheat as Russia. As estimates for the Black Sea nation’s harvest keep growing, so does the outlook for exports. The world’s top exporter is now expected to sell 36.6 million metric tons overseas, according to consultants SovEcon and the Institute for Agricultural Market Studies, or IKAR. The U.S. was the last nation to ship out more, a quarter century ago. Helped by fertile soil and more farm investment, Russian wheat output has boomed in recent years and allowed the country to grab market share from major exporters like the U.S. and Canada. Russia’s ever-growing harvests have also added to a global glut of the grain that pushed benchmark futures in Chicago down 50 percent since mid-2012. Russia’s most recent harvest turned out bigger than expected as favorable spring and summer weather boosted yields. The record crop and relatively weak ruble has kept Russian grain competitive, while ports have coped with bigger supplies as mild winter conditions kept shipping lanes open later than usual. New markets for the country’s grain “allows Russia to maintain a record pace of wheat exports,” SovEcon said on its website. One example is Venezuela, where Russia has been sending cargoes every month since starting shipments to the country in August, it said. SovEcon and IKAR’s estimate for Russian shipments are bigger than the forecast from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which pegs this season’s amount at 36 million tons. That would still be the most since America exported 36.8 million tons in the 1992-93 season, U.S. government data show. However, the amount is still way below the 48.2 million tons that U.S. exports peaked at in the early 1980s. American shipments remained high for much of that decade, partly as the former Soviet Union relied on overseas purchases. Source: AgUpdate
New Tool for In-Furrow Application at Planting
There’s a growing interest in placing product in the furrow at planting. Fertilizer as a starter may have pioneered the idea, but the rise of new products designed to be used in-furrow offers new opportunities for growers. Yet how do you precisely place that material in the furrow at planting? Raven has an answer with the Sidekick Pro, a turnkey system you can tie into your planter to inject products into the stream as needed. This precision system works well with fertilizer as a carrier since it can inject other products into the stream without the need to mix. “The system used the Raven Control Module, which can control up to five products, and increasing precision is important,” says Gary Esselink, Raven. “We’re placing products more precisely than ever.” He points to products that are applied at 8 ounces per acre, and with this system, that means the tank would cover 560 acres on a fill. The system also has its own full-rinse setup that helps prep it for the next product to use. “If a farmer is placing fertilizer at planting, this system will work great to add fungicide, for example,” Esselink says. Raven has already been involved in precision in-furrow systems like the tools used to apply Force insecticide, and he adds that the Sidekick Pro works with insecticides, too. That RCM from Raven is an ISO controller that can tie into the planter monitor and help accurately apply a range of products. The unit works with up to five products, precisely placing each as needed. The system has an automatic calibration feature for easier setup so users can get moving faster, and the calibration system is closed, so there’s no need for catch tests or chemical exposure. Injection systems for planting offer the ability to avoid mixing and get into the field faster. Learn more at ravenprecision.com. Ramping up support Ryan Molitor, director of customer experience, Raven, made an interesting comment during a conversation recently. “Someday we want to have more precision ag specialists than we do salespeople in the field.” It’s a bold statement, but the company is investing in a PAS team that has two roles — train dealers and train end users in the use of Raven equipment. “We found that the calls we were getting into our support center were often simple issues,” he said. “We realized that there was an opportunity to invest in training.” He had customers noting that Raven knew how products worked, and that the information wasn’t getting into the field. “That’s when we doubled down on training, and that has reduced support calls to our ag group,” Molitor said. Added Esselink: “We’re able to touch more people with training with these specialists in the field.” He shares that when training was only at the home office in Sioux Falls, S.D., a dealer might send two or three people; but with PAS regional training events, that same dealer will send 10 people. A common lament from farmers is that all this new tech needs added support, and that companies need to step up. Molitor nodded at that sentiment, noting that not only is Raven investing with the PAS group, but the company also recently announced a $5 million investment in the four-year precision ag degree program at South Dakota State University. “That’s part of our commitment to training,” Molitor explained. “The No. 1 problem we’re hearing about is the challenge of finding and developing talent in the precision ag industry. There’s a growing need for people to support, sell and implement these tools.” Molitor noted that Raven has 12 PAS folks at work globally, and the company will continue adding to this team going forward. Source: PrairieFarmer
National
On-farm child safety checklist for parents
A checklist for parents to help safeguard their kids from injury on the farm has been released. The list, by the National Children?s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety, poses 32 questions for farm parents and suggests remedies when risks are identified. ?A lot of those things don?t cost any money for them to do them. So, it?s a great way for them to be able to check their farm over and check some of their practices on the farm to safeguard the kids,? says Marsha Salzwedel, a youth safety specialist with the center. Continue reading On-farm child safety checklist for parents at Brownfield Ag News.      
Cattle placements up 4% on year
  Placements of cattle into U.S. feedlots have increased for the 11th month in a row. The USDA says placements during January 2018 were up 4% on the year 2.068 million head as cow-calf operations continue to expand and the industry tries to meet domestic and export demand for beef. Ahead of the report, some analysts expected a year to year decline because of tighter margins, higher feed costs and drought or near drought conditions in many of the major U.S. Continue reading Cattle placements up 4% on year at Brownfield Ag News.      
Missouri FFA Proficiency Award Judging
Brownfield?s Shannon Yokley will participate in the Missouri FFA Proficiency Award Judging in Jefferson City ?on March 22,2018. Continue reading Missouri FFA Proficiency Award Judging at Brownfield Ag News.      
Soybeans up on continued commercial support
  Soybeans were modestly higher on commercial and technical buying. Forecasts for Argentina and parts of southern Brazil generally remain dry, while the trade expects another big total crop out of Brazil, with the harvest pace close to average. The Buenos Aires Grain Exchange lowered its estimate for Argentina by 3 million tons to 50 million. Beans were up on the week, with nearby contracts outgaining deferred months, reflecting the current commercial situation. Continue reading Soybeans up on continued commercial support at Brownfield Ag News.      
Michigan ag director steps down for USDA job
  The director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture is leaving her post for a new position with the USDA. Jamie Clover Adams tells Brownfield she?s planning on taking Michigan?s customer service approach to the country?s farm, conservation and risk management programs.? ?I do have some ideas on customer service and how we can better serve farmers out at the county office level, and how we can better organize across the states and provide better service.?? In March, Clover Adams will join USDA as an advisor in the office of the secretary. Continue reading Michigan ag director steps down for USDA job at Brownfield Ag News.      
Warmer and wetter the new normal
  An ag meteorologist says there has been a noticeable change for most of the Midwest toward warmer and wetter weather. ?Much of the Upper Midwest, much of the Midwest and eastward even into New England and the Mid-Atlantic?all of that areas has become wetter.? Jeff Andresen with Michigan State University tells Brownfield the shift is based on weather conditions over the past 50 years.? ?We?re seeing less frequent and less severe drought than in the past.? Continue reading Warmer and wetter the new normal at Brownfield Ag News.      
IL Farmers Union focus on competition concerns
The recent Illinois Farmers Union convention focused on growing consolidation and concerns about competition in the U.S. ag industry. IFU president Norbert Brauer tells Brownfield one of their speakers discussed the growing LACK of competition, ?The corn market is pretty well concentrated at a level of about 80%. And the soybean marketplace controlled by just a few companies that control 70% of it. And the beef industry, I think there?s four companies that control about 84% of that. Continue reading IL Farmers Union focus on competition concerns at Brownfield Ag News.      
Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: February 23, 2018
Mar. corn closed at $3.66 and 1/4,?down 1/2?cent Mar. soybeans closed at $10.36 and 1/4,?up 4?and 1/4?cents Mar. soybean meal closed at $375.50,?down $1.40 Mar. soybean oil closed at 32.36,?up 32?points Mar. wheat closed at $4.52 and 1/4,?up?1?cent Feb. live cattle closed at $128.00,?down?35 cents Apr. lean hogs closed at $71.37,?up?10 cents Apr. Continue reading Closing Grain and Livestock Futures: February 23, 2018 at Brownfield Ag News.      
OSU professor named international certified crop advisor of the year
Ohio State associate professor and field specialist Harold Watters has been named the International Certified Crop Advisor of the Year. Watters works directly with farmers, crop advisors, and extension educators to research and determine best crop production practices. He tells Brownfield he was honored, and a little surprised, to learn he had received the award. “It’s a great honor and I think this reflects well on the program we have here in Ohio, not just because of me, but because of a whole big team we have here,” he says. Continue reading OSU professor named international certified crop advisor of the year at Brownfield Ag News.      
Organic farmers seeing conventional counterparts show interest in transitioning
Organic farmers are seeing their counterparts in conventional production show more interest in transitioning to organic. At the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin, north central Illinois organic farmer Dave Campbell says he?ll be joined by a neighboring farmer who grows 2,000 acres of conventional corn and soybeans. “He said his kids come home from school everyday and they talk about organics.? He’s got four kids to put through college.? Continue reading Organic farmers seeing conventional counterparts show interest in transitioning at Brownfield Ag News.      
Ridge tillage an effective weed control system
The 2018 MOSES Organic Farmer of the Year has achieved good weed control by using a ridge tillage system. Ron Rosmann of Harlan in western Iowa says the practice is almost entirely no-till and has been thoroughly tested on his farm. “We’ve done the trial on our farm in soybeans where we compared ridge till soybeans to conventionally disc-planted or field cultivator-planted soybeans.? Then we hand-counted the weeds in these strips.” Speaking to Brownfield at the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in La Crosse, Wisconsin Friday, he says they?ve done four trials over 25 years. Continue reading Ridge tillage an effective weed control system at Brownfield Ag News.      
New take on marketing pork
The pork checkoff is shifting marketing efforts to increase pork demand in the U.S. John Heins with the National Pork Board says the organization is shifting their domestic marketing strategy to work more closely with retailers and food service.? ?What we found is that a lot of packer/processor friends and friends in the retail and food service industry already have a good, thorough understanding of their consumer base but they really look at us at being the expert on the pigs.? He says the National Pork Board is currently working on a demand landscape to identify ways to promote pork consumption.? Continue reading New take on marketing pork at Brownfield Ag News.      
Trump, Cruz Grassley ? RFS Duel of the Titans
Weighing whether it’s less dangerous to irritate the Midwestern Corn Belt and its ethanol empire than aggravate Rust Belt oil refinery union members, President Trump has set for early next week a second meeting between dueling corn and petroleum state senators and cabinet members, including Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, in hopes of finding that elusive middle ground on how to somehow modify the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and its Renewable Identification Number (RIN) program, Reuters reports this week. Continue reading Trump, Cruz Grassley – RFS Duel of the Titans at Brownfield Ag News.      
Edge Cooperative President dies in plane crash
The President of Edge Cooperative, and a key player in manure management education, and helping farmers manage the Grassland milk crisis has died. Indiana officials say John Pagel, his son-in-law Steve Witcpalek, and pilot Nathan Saari died in a plane crash northwest of Indianapolis Thursday night. Pagel along with family members and more than 100 employees operated Pagel?s Ponderosa Dairy, a 53-hundred cow operation in Kewaunee County, Wisconsin.? He was the President of Edge Cooperative, formerly called the Dairy Business Milk Marketing Cooperative, which is the 6th largest dairy co-op in the country. ? Continue reading Edge Cooperative President dies in plane crash at Brownfield Ag News.      
Corn in Nebraska saw fewer nutrient deficiencies in 2017
According to a WinField United news release, “Nebraska farmers submitted over 950 corn tissue samples for evaluation by the company?in 2017, which is far fewer samples taken than in the previous year. Based on sampling data, corn across Nebraska was less likely to be deficient in several key nutrients compared to the previous year. Nitrogen, sulfur, magnesium and manganese trended in the right direction in 2017 versus the previous year. However, the majority of corn samples were still lacking these nutrients that contribute to yield potential. Continue reading Corn in Nebraska saw fewer nutrient deficiencies in 2017 at Brownfield Ag News.      
World
The price of biofuel blending credits tumbled Friday on mounting specu
The price of biofuel blending credits tumbled Friday on mounting speculation that the fight by independent oil refiners to change U.S. laws mandating the use of ethanol will lead to rule changes.
Like U.S. producers, British farmers are increasingly worried about a
Like U.S. producers, British farmers are increasingly worried about a labor shortage.
Feb 18 Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage Recap
Feb 18 Cattle on Feed and Cold Storage Recap
On Feb. 22, AgFunder announced the first three startups in its portfol
On Feb. 22, AgFunder announced the first three startups in its portfolio and over the next few months will be ramping up its investment pace to one or two investments per month.
Pete's Pick of the Week: 1991 John Deere 4455 In Missouri
This tractor sold at a farm auction on Tuesday.
The USDA released its annual Farm and Land in Farms Summary.
The USDA released its annual Farm and Land in Farms Summary.
Top Trump administration officials are planning two summits to discuss
Top Trump administration officials are planning two summits to discuss possible changes to the U.S. biofuel mandate.
Is the cow running dry?
5 Strategies For A Low-Income Environment
Consider these money-saving tips to help you manage today's challenging financial situation.
USDA Outlooks Released Today
Grain market traders are waiting for USDA?s grain and oilseed outlooks to pore over the ending stocks estimates which will be included. Outside markets do not have any economic reports out today, but will look to the stock market to see if the volatility continues.
White House Meetings Said to Be Planned on Clash Over Ethanol
White House Meetings Said to Be Planned on Clash Over Ethanol
What's in store for cattle futures?
Cattle future have been in retreat mode the past few sessions which sets up a nice opportunity for value seekers.
Learning to Love Regenerative Agriculture
What is the regenerative agriculture? There are many different practices that can combine to help restore the health and structure of the soil and thereby, enable less dependency on outside inputs while also reducing the impact of climate change. My company is helping food companies and farmers get experience with this Noble Market right now, because the best learning comes from doing.