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April' 2014

2014 Farm Custom Rates

Due to the high cost of investment in farm machinery, an ever-increasing number of farm operators are hiring other farm operators to provide some or all of their machinery resources for their farm operation. this is especially true with new and younger farm operators, and with children that decide to start farming with their parents. Also, some land investors are choosing to operate the farm themselves rather than cash renting the land another farm operator. In that case, the landowner is generally hiring a farm operator to provide necessary tillage, planting and harvesting crop operations under a custom farming agreement. Some farm operators also hire specific farm operations through a custom arrangement with another farm operator, such as combining or hay baling. Many farm operators negotiate these types of custom rate and custom farming arrangements in the Spring of the year.  [ read more ... ]

 

2014 Likely To Be A Late Spring

It appears that 2014 will likely be similar to 2013, with a later than normal initiation of Spring fieldwork in many areas of the Upper Midwest. This year, we are not likely to see much full-scale field work in much of Southern Minnesota until after April 20, and it will probably be late April or early May before a significant amount of corn is planted. Soil temperatures are still well below minimal acceptable levels for planting corn, and there is still a considerable amount of frost in the ground in most areas. Some portions of Central Minnesota still have significant snow cover to melt. As recently as 2012, most farmers in Southern Minnesota and Iowa began full-scale field work during the week of April 10-17, with most of the corn being planted by the end of April.  [ read more ... ]

 

USDA Reports For 3-31-14

On March 31, 2014, USDA released its “Prospective Plantings Report” and its “Quarterly Grain Stocks Report”.  These were very highly anticipated USDA Reports, due to the uncertainty in grain prices in recent months, as well as with the potential for large increases in USDA estimated grain stocks in the coming year. Typically, these late March USDA Reports are very critical to farm operators and grain traders because these reports tend to have a high impact on grain market prices in the Spring and early Summer. This is the time of the year when many farm operators try to sell remaining grain inventories from the previous growing season, as well as look for opportunities to forward price a portion of the anticipated crop for the current year. In a majority of years, corn and soybean prices usually reach their peak price in the Spring months, from April until June.  [ read more ... ]

 

2014 National Ag Week

“National Ag Week” is being celebrated March 23-30 all across the United States, as well as in Minnesota, with Tuesday, March 25, being designated as “National Ag Day”.  As we celebrate “National Ag Week”, it is a good time to reflect on all the traditions and advancements that help make the U.S. agriculture industry second to none !  [ read more ... ]

 

PED Virus Affecting The Swine Industry

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is a newer swine disease that first entered the United States in May, 2013, and is now causing major economic loss to some hog producers, as well as impacting several other aspects of the swine industry. PEDV is deadly to baby pigs from birth until about three weeks of age, and infected swine herds can suffer a 75-100 percent loss of baby pigs for a four to five week period. PEDV poses no threat to humans, or has no food safety impact on retail pork supplies. [ read more ... ]

 

New Farm Bill Offers Choices

The new Farm Bill, which will govern farm commodity programs for the next five years (2014-2018) will offer several new farm program choices for producers to consider. Direct payments will be eliminated, as will potential counter-cyclical payments, the average crop revenue (ACRE) program, and the permanent disaster program for crops (SURE), which were all part of the last Farm Bill. These programs will be replaced by either a new revenue-based Ag Risk Coverage (ARC) program, or a Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. [ read more ... ]