Latest News From Michelle Rook

Allendale Survey Shows Increase in Corn and Soybean Acres for 2023 but Also Some Surprises

​​​​​​​USDA will release its estimates on farmers planting intensions at the end of March. Ahead of that, commodity firm Allendale has released its own acreage projections. 

Radical Changes Coming in USDA: FSA Administrator Talks About Marching Orders from Equity Commission Report

USDA's Equity Commission recently recommended sweeping changes across the entire government agency. What can farmers expect to see?

WASDE Bullish Beans, Slightly Negative for Corn, Neutral Wheat

WASDE Report was bullish for soybeans with a cut in U.S. ending stocks and 8 mmt cut in Argentina production, corn ending stocks bearish, raised 75 mb. Wheat balance sheet unchanged.  Jim McCormick of AgMarket.Net.

Acreage Battle Heats up in Northwestern Corn Belt: What will the Acreage Mix Look Like?

Farmers in the northwestern corn belt have had normal to above normal moisture this winter which will play into planting intensions, but so will commodity and input prices. So what will the acreage mix look like?

CHS Ag Industry Day Provide Optimistic Outlook for 2023 Growing Season in Northern Plains

Every year, farmers from the Northern Plains make their way to the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, ND...for the CHS Ag Services Ag Industry Day where they got an update on weather, agronomics and markets for 2023.

River Rebound: Is the Shipping Crisis on the Mississippi Ending?

With improved snowpack in areas such as Montana and precipitation through the midsection of the country late last fall and this winter, the Mississippi River and its tributaries could be back to normal by this spring. 

Ukraine Farmers See Crop Production and Exports Reduced a Year After the Russian Invasion Began

A year after Russia invaded Ukraine farmers continue to see reduced crop production and exports. Farming has been difficult in the middle of a war, but farmers such as Nick Gordiichuk have persevered.

U.S. Orange Production at Lowest Level Since Great Depression: Florida Growers and Orange Juice Prices Feel the Shock Waves

Orange production in Florida is projected to be down nearly two-thirds from last year and according to USDA at levels not seen since the Great Depression.  What does this mean for producers and consumers?

Is the Biden Administration's Finally Making Some Progress on Their Trade Agenda?

Is the Biden Administration's trade agenda finally making some progress? Farm groups are hopeful after key appointments are confirmed and some recent success stories on the trade front.

Market for Meal: Morocco Holds Promise As A Key Buyer for U.S. Soybean Products

As U.S. soybean processing expands, it's vital to create new outlets for all the additional soybean meal. One such outlet could be Morocco.

Destination Morocco: With Expanding U.S. Soybean Processing Industry it's a Growth Market for Meal

With the expansion of the U.S. soybean processing industry due to the push for green fuels farmers are looking for a new home for the extra meal...and they're finding it in Morocco.

Is the Shipping Crisis on the Mississippi River Coming to an End? What is the Outlook for Spring?

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been dredging the river 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since July but hopes to finish very soon.

Natural Gas Rebounds Monday after Hitting Lows Not Seen in A Year: Is the Bottom In?

Natural gas prices rebound Monday after hitting lows not seen in a year.  Is the bottom in?  John Wenzel, Senior Risk Management Consultant with StoneX has details.

Acreage Battle Heating Up: Farmers Indicating Cotton May Lose Out

The acreage battle will be a hot topic in 2023, especially for the cotton market. Early indication the nation's farmers will be planting less cotton.

Farm Groups React to EPA's New WOTUS Definition

We have a new definition for the Waters of the U.S. — at least for now. Some farm groups, including the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, are unhappy with the outcome.

Proposed Farmworker Labor Reforms Part of Omnibus Bill, Renewed Push for Immigration Reform

Proposed farmworker labor reforms from Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and others were left out of the omnibus spending package but farm groups are continuing to push for immigration reform.  

Foreign Land Ownership Debate Renewed As Chinese Agribusiness Allowed to Buy North Dakota Land for Corn Processing Plant

Fufeng USA is purchasing 370 acres in Grand Forks to build a $700 million project. A government review didn't raise enough red flags to block the proposal, which has refueled the debate about foreign land ownership.

USDA Only Adjusts U.S. Corn Ending Stock in WASDE, Punts on South American Corn and Beans

Grains mixed after WASDE. The only change USDA made to U.S. ending stocks was in corn by lowering exports. Brian Splitt of AgMarket.Net has analysis.  

Recipe for High Yields: NCGA Yield Contest Winner Says the Ingredient List is Long

​​​​​​​Every year farmers push the yield envelope on their farm.  The agronomic approach is different for every farmer, but an NCGA Yield Contest winner has some advice.

Congress Steps in to Avert Railroad Strike: House Passes Measure, Awaits Senate Approval

Congress is stepping in to avert a nationwide railroad strike, which was set to happen as early as December 9.

Crude Oil Hits 11-Month Low Monday Before Reversing Yet Diesel Sees No Relief: What's the Outlook for 2023?

West Texas intermediate crude oil prices hit an 11-month low of $73.60 per barrel Monday before rebounding to close higher.  So, what is driving the market and how long will these lower price levels last? 

USDA Announces Additional Disaster and Pandemic Assistance: Climate Smart Ag Programs to Follow

USDA has announced additional disaster and pandemic assistance for farmers, plus there is more funding for climate smart ag on the way.

I-80 Harvest Tour: Harvest Wraps up with Dry Conditions Resulting in Surprising Yields in Ohio and Missouri

From Ohio to Missouri dry conditions impacted this year's production. Farmers are finding some disappointments at harvest but also some welcome surprises considering the lack of moisture during the growing season.

Flip Your Soil: Farmers in Dry Climates use Holistic Approach to Soil Health Including Cover Crops

Farmers in dry climates are taking a holistic approach to flipping their soil to make it healthier and that includes cover crops.

An Added Headache for Producers This Fall: Vomitoxin Found in Corn in Eastern Corn Belt

Farmers and livestock producers are facing another headache this fall.  In parts of the eastern corn belt there are reports of vomitoxin in corn.  

Black Sea Grain Initiative Extended: What Does it Mean for U.S. Exports?

The Black Sea Grain Initiative has been extended for 120 days from Nov. 18, without any changes. The deal is bearish for U.S. corn and wheat exports, which are already lagging. 

I-80 Harvest Tour: Big Yields in Wisconsin Confirm USDA Projections

In USDA's November crop report the agency put soybean yields in Wisconsin at 54 bushels per acre with record corn yields at 182 bushels per acre. Yield results from the field are backing up that forecast.   

Diesel Supply Historically Tight: Will the U.S. Run Out?

Supplies of diesel in the United States are some of the tightest in history, down to a 25-day supply.  So, is there a chance of running out?

I-80 Harvest Tour: Illinois Farmers Find Surprising Yield Results on Corn and Soybeans

The harvest is quickly wrapping up in Illinois and it's produced some mixed and surprising yield results for farmers. 

Midterm Elections Could Have Big Impact on Next Farm Bill

The midterm elections are critical for agriculture because whichever party controls the House and Senate will trickle down to the leadership of the ag and budget committees as they write a new farm bill. 

Cotton Market Has Largest Weekly Gain In 12 Years — Is the Bottom In?

The cotton market hit a two-year low on Monday, Oct. 31, but the market ended 1,494 points higher for the week, up 21%.   

I-80 Harvest Tour: Indiana Corn and Soybean Yield Averages Look Below 2021

The harvest continues to roll at near record pace in Indiana and it looks like statewide yield averages will be down for both corn and soybeans. 

Trade Tiff Brewing Between U.S. and Mexico Over Ban on GMO Corn

Mexico has confirmed that the country does not plan to amend its ban on imports of GMO that is set to start in 2024.  

I-80 Harvest Tour: Eastern Iowa Yields May Not Make Up For Below Average Crop in West

In the October USDA projected a 200 bushel per acre corn yield in Iowa, with soybean yield at 58 bushels per acre.   However, yield reports are putting those estimates in question.  

New Demands by One Labor Union Renews Concerns about Possible Railroad Strike in November

Agriculture isn't out of the woods regarding rail transportation issues as new demands are being made by at least one union.  

Ag Bankers Pessimistic About Rural Economy Moving Into Recession in 2023: Lowest Confidence Since May 2020

The October Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index survey shows ag bankers are concerned about economic downturn in 2023.  

One Nebraska Farmer Says Improving Soil Health Helped Keep Her on the Land

In a moisture deficit area like southwest Nebraska conservation and regenerative practices have long been a staple for farmers.  That's important especially in drought years like 2022. 

Flip Your Soil: Planting Soybeans Into a Cover Crop Like Rye

For farmers trying to Flip their Soil and improve soil health one simple thing they can do this fall is plant cereal rye as a cover crop and plant soybeans into that stand. 

I-80 Harvest Tour: South Dakota is a Tale of Two Crops

In South Dakota the harvest is a tale of two crops with big differences in moisture from North to South. 

Flip Your Soil: Farmers Wanting to Improve Soil Health Need to Make it More Alive Through Microbial Activity

Farmers getting started on a path to improving soil health can only accomplish that if they Flip their Soil to make it more alive.  

Flip Your Soil: How Do Farmers Get Started Implementing Soil Health Practices on Their Farms?

Mitchell Hora, agronomist and CEO of Continuum Ag, advises farmers to implement soil health practices within the context of each field, which includes working with local experts and doing research.

Flip Your Soil: Climate Smart Agriculture New Name for Conservation Practices Designed to Promote Soil Health and Carbon Sequestration

Soli health practices can help Flip Your Soil from good to great.  These practices are also part of the new push for Climate Smart Agriculture practices to sequester carbon.  

Nebraska Farmers Harvest Disappointing Crop in a Season Plagued by Drought

Harvest results in Nebraska are understandably disappointing with some of the driest conditions during the season since the drought of 2012. 

Food Inflation and Higher Input Costs May Ease but Will Still Persist Through 2022

Rising prices are impacting every aspect of the food and agriculture supply chain and that may not change dramatically through the balance of 2022 according to the Federal Reserve Banks of Minneapolis and Kansas City.

Headwinds Start to Develop on U.S. Ag Export Front with Trade Deficit, Low Mississippi River Water Levels Add to Concern

The U.S. is projected to have record ag exports for the marketing year but is still posting a trade deficit.  Plus, headwinds such as slow water levels on the Mississippi River are adding to trade concerns.

Stand Uniformity a Huge Part of "Winning the Furrow": That Starts with the Planter

Agronomist Missy Bauer, of B&M Crop Consulting says when farmers think about winning the furrow it starts with stand uniformity.  "It's got to be uniform soil around there to make that happen. "

Major Weather Factors Combine to Put Fertilizer Prices and Availability in Question

Low Mississippi River water levels are a concern for moving inputs like fertilizer. The worry comes as Florida, a key fertilizer-producing state, cleans up after Hurricane Ian. What will the fertilizer price impact be?

Low Mississippi Water Levels a Growing Concern for U.S. Exports and Basis Levels at and After Harvest

As if agricultural shippers did not have enough supply chain challenges, there is concern related to the diminished water levels along the inland waterway system that will impact barge transportation.  

One Word Summarizes Yields in Drought-Hit Areas of the Western Corn Belt: Disappointing

Some South Dakota soybeans are coming up short this Fall, with parts of the Southeast experiencing their driest conditions since 2012.

Ethanol Production Drops to Levels Not Seen Since the Pandemic: What is the Cause?

United States ethanol production has slowed the last several weeks and is now at levels not seen since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.