Last week I started discussing some of the things farmers need to be thinking about as harvest approaches. This week we will continue the discussion and talk about which fields you might want to harvest first and what the current market prices are.
I would encourage any farmer who is trying to decide which corn field to harvest first to take a walk in the fields. As you walk the fields, squeeze the base of a few of the stalks. If they are soft and pliable, then you may want to make that field the first one harvested. Pliable, soft stalks are a sign of weak or rotted stalks which can cause harvest difficulties. This year, the risk of weak and/or rotted stalks are higher because of the stress some of the fields were exposed to during grain fill. If you let stalks which are pliable stay in the field longer, there is an increased chance that those stalks will go flat to the ground due to weather related issues and cause harvest difficulties. For more information about this potential harvest problem, check out Stress During Grain Fill: A Harbinger of Stalk Health Problems, by Bob Nielson, Purdue University Agronomy Department, at: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/StalkHealth.html
Last week was the 2014 Indiana Agricultural Outlook webinar hosted by Purdue Extension featuring Corinne Alexander and Chris Hurt, Purdue University Agricultural Economics Department. During their annual outlook program they discussed their forecast for grain prices for this fall and the coming year along with what they think will occur in the livestock sectors as well.
When looking at their forecast for corn, they are forecasting total use of 12,676 million bushels of corn during 2013/2014 with US Farm Prices ranging from $4.40 to $5.20 a bushel. That is based off of total supply of corn (including carry in from last year) being 14,530 million bushels. Looking at local cash bid prices for corn on September 16th, you could find prices ranging from $4.45 to $4.75 per bushel.
When looking at their forecast for soybeans, they are forecasting total use of 3,140 million bushels of soybeans during 2013/2014 with US Farm Prices ranging from $11.50 to $13.50 a bushel. That is based off of total supply of soybeans (including carry in from last year) being 3,289 million bushels. The soybean market is under a lot of speculation right now given that no one knows for certain how the South American soybean crop will do. Looking at local cash bid prices for soybeans on September 16th, you could find prices hovering around $13.75 per bushel.
When it comes to livestock production, it appears that production of chicken, pork, turkey, and eggs are all up, however beef production is down. Lower production numbers should help increase the price farmers receive for choice steers and even feeder steers in 2014. However, there are some barriers to increasing production of cattle right now including the need for improved pasture (the western part of the United States has been in a long term drought) and high calf prices.
As always, if you have any questions or would like information on any agriculture, horticulture, or natural resource topic, then please contact your local Purdue Extension Office at 448-9041 in Clay Co. or 829-5020 in Owen Co. or reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Purdue University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution.
Upcoming opportunities available to you through Purdue Extension include:
September 26—Owen Co. Extension Board Meeting, Owen Co. Extension Office
September 28—Adventures in Gardening, Hendricks Co. Fairgrounds, $35 (early bird special)
September 30 – Clay Co. Ag Advisory Board Meeting, 6 pm, Clay Co. Extension Office
October 1 – Owen Co. Ag Advisory Board Meeting, 6 pm, Owen Co. Extension Office