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February' 2013


On February 8, USDA released the latest World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) Report, which showed slight increase in the expected U.S. corn ending stocks for 2012-13, compared to the January estimates. The projected 2012-13 corn ending stocks are now estimated at 632 million bushels, as compared to 602 million bushels in the January report. By comparison, corn ending stocks at the end of 2011-12 marketing year were 932 million bushels, and were just over 1.1 billion bushels at the end of the 2010-11 crop year. The all important corn “stocks-to-use” ratio for 2012-13 is estimated to be near 5.6 percent by the end of the current marketing year, which is slightly higher than the lowest ever stocks-to-use percentage of 5.0 percent in 1995-96. That will put the corn stocks down to slightly over 20 days of usage, which is still quite tight. [ read more ... ]



2013 Farm Program Sign-UP

In early January, Congress voted to extend the 2008 Farm Bill, which expired on September 30, 2012, for an additional year, with a new expiration date of September 30, 2013. This means that most existing programs in the 2008 Farm Bill will continue for the 2013 growing season. The USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) recently announced that sign-up for the 2013 farm program will begin on February 19, 2013, at local FSA Offices, and run through August 2, 2013. [ read more ... ]


Lessons Learned From The 2012 Drought

The 2012 crop year and the major drought that affected much of the United States is now behind us; however, many areas of the Western Corn Belt, including much of Southern and Western Minnesota continue to face drought concerns for the coming 2013 crop year. Anytime we have a major disaster, such as the 2012 drought, it is always good to review what happened or didn’t happen, and to use those findings to strategize for the future. Following are some key observations relative to the 2012 drought that can help farm operators and the agriculture industry plan for the coming years :  [ read more ... ]


Trend-Adjusted APH Yield Option

Now is the time to start planning crop insurance strategies for the 2013 crop year, even though the crop insurance enrollment deadline for corn, soybeans, and spring wheat in the Upper Midwest is not until March 15, 2013. For the first time in 2013, wheat producers in most of West Central and Northwest Minnesota, Northeast South Dakota, and most of North Dakota will be eligible for the TA-APH endorsement. The TA-APH will likely be quite attractive to many Midwest corn and soybean producers, as well as wheat producers in those selected areas. The coming crop year will likely feature a high level of price volatility, along with considerable drought risk in many areas of the Midwest. [ read more ... ]


Farm Bill Extension For 2013

As part of the Congressional agreement that was passed to avoid to so-called “fiscal cliff”, the 2008 Farm Bill was extended through the 2013 crop year, and will now expire on September 30, 2013. The extension of the current Farm Bill was viewed as a big disappointment to several members of Congress from both parties, as well as by many agricultural organizations and other groups that were hoping for reform in ag policy with a new Farm Bill. In late April, 2012, the U.S. Senate passed a version of the new Farm Bill, which was followed by the U.S. House Agriculture Committee passing a new Farm Bill out of Committee during the Summer of 2012. However, the U.S. House failed to take up the new Farm Bill on the House floor prior to the end of the 2012 Congressional session, resulting in the one-year extension of the current Farm Bill. [ read more ... ]