Minnesota Farmer


Another tenth
August 15, 2012, 7:58 am
Filed under: Corn, Farm, food, harvest, Minnesota, rain, Soybeans, summer, weather | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

We had another tenth of an inch of rain in the gauge this morning, the forecast is for cooler than normal temperatures for a few days and fall is approaching, what does all of this mean for area crops?

Our area of Minnesota was blessed with early rains, and then next to nothing for most of the summer.  We did get a few spotty showers like this mornings tenth of an inch, but it was never enough to help much.  Somehow, in spite of the hot temperatures, blast furnace winds, and lack of rain, we have a decent crop out in the field.  Yes, yields will be lower than we would like, but prices are much higher than we could have hoped for.

Most corn is now denting and yield is set.

As of now, I would say that the corn harvest yields are set.  With corn denting, there will not be much more weight set in each kernel of corn.  Soybeans are a different matter.  They are still blooming and setting pods.  Rain and cooler weather are just what they want to salvage something out of this summer.  I still do not expect anything like a normal yield out of the soybeans, but prospects are improving.

Soybeans have the potential to set more pods if the weather is right.

The rains are also helping those who have animals on pasture.  Many grasses in our area are cool season grasses and will benefit from rain and cooler temperatures.  Likewise alfalfa fields will get a bit of a boost, but alfalfa needs deep water so I do not see much of a boost there.

Prospects are still good.  Our area will harvest a crop.  With the demand for food and feed grains higher than expected prices will remain high for a while.  A better than average harvest of wheat, barley and rice could temper demand for corn.  Likewise, better harvests in the southern hemisphere would lower corn and soybean prices here.  Will prices go higher? Maybe, but the best cure for high prices is always high prices.  We will see increased production of all food stuffs around the world with these higher prices, and we need it.

Those farmers who have not yet priced this years crop have an opportunity to lock in some nice prices for their production.  The higher prices will also help those who take out revenue insurance on their crops to lock in higher prices for next years crops.  Livestock producers do not have the same options, but they did have the opportunity to lock in a much lower price for their feed needs earlier this year, and may again if southern hemisphere crops look good.

Prices on the farm are in transition.  For too many years prices have remained low as farmers were able to produce much more than the consumer demanded.  We have had the fat years, now it looks like we will have some lean years.  Consumers have become used to buying cheap grains, it looks as if that may be at an end for now.

Michael

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