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December' 2013

Looking Ahead To 2014

2014 is setting up to be another interesting year in the agriculture industry, following a fairly profitable year in 2013 for many crop producers in the upper Midwest, as well as for many livestock producers later in the year. 2013 will end without a new Farm Bill passed to replace the current Farm Bill that officially expired on September 30, 2013, and with some deep concerns relative to the future of the renewable fuels industry. Following are some items that are likely to be on the forefront in the agriculture industry for 2014 :  [ read more ... ]


2013 Ag Review (Part 2)

This is the second of a two-part article highlighting what happened agriculturally in 2013. Last week’s  article provided a review of 2013 crop production and weather conditions. This week we will focus on some highlights regarding livestock production, input costs, grain prices, and the overall farm economy for 2013 ……  [ read more ... ]


2013 Ag Review (Part 1)

As we reach the end of the year, it is a good time to reflect on what happened agriculturally in the region and across the United States in 2013. This will be the first of a two-part article, with a review of 2013 crop production and weather conditions this week, and a review of livestock production, input costs, grain prices and the overall farm economy next week. Following are some highlights regarding crop production and weather conditions for 2013 ……  [ read more ... ]


Proposed Changes To The RFS Requirements

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced a proposal to reduce the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) for 2014 from the previous requirement of 18.15 billion gallons to a revised level of 15.21 billion gallons. The EPA proposal represents a reduction of approximately 16 percent from the original RFS fuel volume for 2014, which was originally established by the “Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007. The overall goal of this legislation was to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil to meet our energy needs, and to expand the production of renewable fuels domestically in the U.S.     [ read more ... ]


2013 Rural Legislative Forum

“Keeping Rural Minnesota Relevant during the Next Decade” is the theme of the 31st annual Rural Legislative Forum on Thursday, December 12, from 3:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the South Central College, 1920 Lee Blvd., North Mankato. Registration cost for the Forum is $10.00 per person, which includes a pork chop dinner prepared by the Nicollet County Pork Producers, and all printed materials. Advance registration is requested prior to December 12.  [ read more ... ]


High Land Rental Rates

Cash corn and soybean prices have dropped significantly in the past few months, and the projected forward prices for the Fall of 2014 do not show much improvement, or could be even lower. This is causing some concern among farm operators, as they negotiate land rental rates for the 2014 crop year. Most of the Upper Midwest experienced some rather large increases in cash rental rates in recent years, reflecting the much higher levels of crop prices that existed in the past 2-3 years, prior to the last half of 2013. Some 2014 land rental rates may be set at levels that do not offer much opportunity for profit potential from crop production in 2014, or could even result in a net loss to the farm operator. [ read more ... ]


2013 Grain Bin Management

Many corn and soybean producers across the Midwest completed harvest by mid-November, and now need to pay close attention to grain that is stored in on-farm grain bins for potential storage problems. Much of the corn and soybeans in 2013 were harvested and placed into grain bins at fairly warm temperatures; however, we have had a wide range of temperatures in the past several weeks. [ read more ... ]


Update On Farm Custom Rates

An increased number of farm operators are now providing some type of custom work to other farmers during the growing season. Many times, the farmers involved in custom work arrangements wonder what a fair custom rate is for the various faming practices that were performed. Iowa State University releases the annual “Iowa Farm Custom Rate Survey” each year in February, which is based on a survey of custom operators, farm managers, and ag lenders on what they expect custom farm rates to be for various farm operations to be for the coming year. This is probably the most widely used and updated custom rate information that is available in the Upper Midwest. [ read more ... ]