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October' 2013

Harvest Progressing Nicely

The Fall harvest season started a bit later than normal in 2013, but has been progressing at a fairly nice pace in recent weeks across the region. Following above normal temperatures through most of September and early October, it appears that late October will feature much cooler temperatures, which should not impact harvest progress. Many areas have also received some beneficial rainfall in recent weeks, which has only caused minor delays in harvest progress, due to the very dry soil conditions that existed prior to harvest. [ read more ... ]


Government Shutdown Impacts Farmers

As of October 1st, the Federal government officially went into a “shutdown” mode, meaning that all government services deemed as “non-essential” were temporarily discontinued. Federal offices were closed and Federal employees were placed on indefinite “furlough”. There have been 17 Federal government shutdowns since 1976, with the longest lasting 21 days in 1995-96. As of this writing, there is still no resolution forthcoming on the Federal government shutdown. [ read more ]


2013 Crop Insurance Payments

Some farm operators in Minnesota, Iowa, and surrounding States will be facing reduced yields on some farm units in 2013, due to very late planting, severe storms, and very hot and dry weather late in the growing season. With Federal Crop Insurance, every year is different, and with the multiple options available to producers, there are many variable results from crop insurance coverage at harvest time. 2013 will be no different, with some producers choosing Yield Protection (YP) policies (yield only) versus Revenue Protection (RP) policies (yield and price), and also having differences in the level of coverage chosen, “optional units” or “enterprise units”, etc. that affect final insurance payments. [ read more ]


Harvest Season Underway

Above normal temperatures during the month of September in most of Minnesota has allowed the 2013 corn and soybean crop in many areas to either reach maturity, or be very close to maturity, by month’s end. Most of the early-planted corn hybrids have now reached physiological maturity and are drying down, while some later planted corn may need a bit more time to reach desired kernel moisture content for harvest. Most soybeans are now turning color and dropping leaves, with full-scale soybean harvest beginning in portions of Southern and Western Minnesota. [ read more ]


Farm Safety During Harvest Season

As we enter full-scale Fall harvest for the 2013 growing season, it is a good time for farm families to review the farm safety procedures in their farming operation. More farm accidents occur during the Fall than at any other time of the year, and usually involve one or more farm family members. Special care should be taken with children and senior citizens around farm and grain handling equipment, as these groups are the most vulnerable to farm accidents. The week of September 15-21 was designated as “National Farm Safety Week”, which is intended to bring extra focus on farm safety issues and priorities during the Fall harvest season. [ read more ... ]


Sept. 12 USDA Crop Report

The USDA Crop Production Report released on September 12 made a slight increase in the expected U.S. corn production for 2013, as compared to the August USDA Report, while making a 3 percent reduction in estimated 2013 U.S. soybean production. USDA is now estimating total 2013 corn production at 13.8 billion bushels, which if realized, would result a new record for annual U.S. corn production. Total U.S. corn production was 10.8 billion bushels in the drought year of 2012, 12.3 billion bushels in 2011, and 12.5 billion bushels in 2010. USDA left the anticipated harvested corn acres at 89.1 million acres, which is unchanged from the August 1 estimate. [ read more ... ]


Support For Crop Insurance

Many farm operators across the upper Midwest are facing some crop loss in 2013, due to late and prevented planting this past Spring, and now from very hot, dry weather late in the growing season in some areas. There will undoubtedly be large financial losses to some farm operators in many areas, as well as with associated businesses, and in local communities. The drop in corn and soybean market prices, compared to recent years, will also lead to further financial loss for affected farm operators. The financial losses to corn and soybean producers in 2013 will be somewhat mitigated for farm operators that carry Federal Crop Insurance coverage. [ read more ... ]