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The Latest Fed Beige Book Accurately Reflects Cornbelt Crops and Livestock

The Federal Reserve has released its latest Beige Book, the summary of economic conditions in the 12 Fed Districts, including an analysis of agriculture.  For the Cornbelt states that are scattered among 5 Federal Reserve Districts, the Fed economists indicated challenges in crop production and better times ahead for livestock producers, but did not include much in this edition about land values.

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Posted by Stu Ellis on 01/15 at 10:13 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink

Crop Insurance Choice For 2014: Low Premium Costs Or Higher Coverage Levels

In three more weeks, the calculations will begin to determine the spring guarantees for crop insurance.  Unfortunately, this year it will not even be close to the $5.65 for corn that it was last year, which many farmers thought was too low.  When it was $6.01 in 2011, those were “the good old days.”  This year, the crop insurance guarantees may be closer to $4.60, which is the value of December futures contract prices.  Regardless of the guarantee, your first decision will be to determine a coverage level for your crop.  Will you stay at 85%, or will you cut back on coverage to reduce your outlay for premiums in a year when margins are going to be tight?

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Posted by Stu Ellis on 01/14 at 10:34 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink

January 10th USDA Reports, As They Reflect The Cornbelt

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a series of important, market-moving reports on January 10th.  Among them were the Final Production Report for 2013 crops, the January update of the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimate, and the December 1 Quarterly Grain Stocks Report.

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Posted by Stu Ellis on 01/13 at 11:26 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink

Make Way for the 2014 Farm Bill

It is hard to believe, but the next Farm Bill may be less than 10 days away from becoming law, even though only four and maybe only two lawmakers know what really is in it. In what has been the strangest approach ever to writing farm policy, many of the details could be revealed within hours, if the House-Senate Conference Committee members are given a copy of what they will be voting on Thursday, or more likely on Friday.  Actually, the delivery of the copies of the proposed Farm Bill to the members could be under guard with directions to not share the information until the committee leaders have the opportunity to reveal their handiwork.

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Posted by Stu Ellis on 01/08 at 11:13 PM | (0) Comments | Permalink

Agricultural Exports Will Be Up For Many Commodities in 2014, But Down Overall From 2013

In the week of December 19th, 36 million bushels of corn were shipped, pushing the total to 70% above year ago levels. New export sales included 58 million bushels for the old crop and 20 million for the new crop with China continuing to take shipments and place new orders for US corn.  Export inspections for soybeans were 55 million bushels in the week of December 19th, the 10th successive week with more than 55 million bushels of shipments recorded.  New export sales were 27 million bushels for the old crop and 29 million bushels for the new crop.  821 million bushels have been shipped out so far from the 2013 crop, dominating corn shipments at many ports and the river system.  The current pace puts soybean exports at 180 million bushels above USDA’s target.  China is taking two of every three bushels shipped, with Dalian Exchange prices back above the $20 mark.  While global importers, and particularly China, have had a penchant for US grains and other commodities, the export trade volume and value will drop compared to fiscal 2013.

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Posted by Stu Ellis on 12/31 at 06:32 AM | (1) Comments | Permalink

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