1. Published

    In August, my office phone lights up with calls from farmland owners wanting to know about the direction of cash rent values for farms here in east-central Illinois. This is never easy to answer because no one can accurately forecast the future. Currently, we are looking for average to above yields for the area’s corn and soybean crops. The price outlook for this fall's corn and soybean crops is better than was anticipated earlier in the year due to weather problems in other parts of the world as well as the United States.

  2. Published

    This is the third year in a row that I have seen tall waterhemp, over 6" tall, sprayed with a post-emergent herbicide combination containing dicamba. Last year, I noticed a few fields where it seemed that tall waterhemp had survived a late application of dicamba and appeared to have small seed heads.

  3. Published

    If you have been watching cornfields in Central Illinois, you may have noticed that the young corn plants have changed colors over the past couple of weeks. In late April, the small corn plants were green in color and two weeks later these same plants are pale yellow-green. On April 26, the 4-inch bare soil temperature was averaging 65°F. On May 12, the temperature was 49°F.

  4. Published

    The fall of the year is not only a time of harvest, but also of lease signing. For the past four years, rents in Illinois have been relatively stable with highly productive farmland average rental rates being in the $270 - $290 range. This trend looks to continue for 2021, since there has been an improvement in crop prices in the past six weeks.

  5. Published

    A recent article by Mike Stanton, soybean Extension educator at Michigan State University, does a nice job of discussing the possible effects of sub-freezing temperatures on early-planted soybeans. If the soybeans have not emerged, there will be not be damage from these low temperatures since the growing point is still below ground.

  6. Published

    Over the past couple of weeks, stock and commodity agriculture markets have been struggling.

  7. Published

    Stored grain should be kept at or near 35°F according to the experts. But over the past month in Central Illinois, the average daily temperature has varied 44°F – from a high daily average of 52° F to a low of 8°F.

    Moisture in a filled grain bin moves from the warmed grain near the outside wall to the cooler grain in the center.

  8. Published
    Two particularly troublesome pigweeds are Tall Waterhemp and Palmer Amaranth, which have and are continuing to develop resistance to herbicides. In Illinois, Tall Waterhemp is resistant to 6 different classes of herbicides and Palmer Amaranth is resistant to 3. If that is not bad enough, members of the pigweed or amaranth family can cross pollinate between species which aids in the rapid spread of resistance as well.
  9. Published
    It has been a wet April across parts of Illinois, and farmers are anxious about getting their crops planted.  Recent history since 2000, shows that late planting does not always lead to lower yields. Take for instance last year, when planting did not start till the very end of April and we had record corn and soybean yields or 2008 when planting did not start till May.
  10. Published

    According to university farm economists across the Midwest, 2019 is the year where farmers need to scrutinize their crop expenses, and see where they can cut costs to improve their net return per acre. Currently, the projected fall prices for corn and soybeans are mid-$3's and mid-$8's, respectively, is very close to the cost of production. In order to achieve profitability, production costs will need to be reduced.

  11. Published

    I recently attended one of the 2018 Farm Economic Summit meeting and heard a presentation given by Dr. Scott Irwin, Dept. of Agricultural & Consumer Economics at University of Illinois. In this talk, we were shown the similarities between the price trends of the past 70 years.

  12. Published
    A lot of this year's harvested corn is going into big grain bags on the ground for temporary storage till more permanent storage is available. Here are some helpful tips from Dr. Klein Ileleji at Purdue University on how to manage grain stored in the field in grain storage bags.
    1. Locate the bags on firm, well-drained ground that is smooth and level, that has plenty of room for loading and unloading equipment to maneuver.
  13. Published

    This is the title of an article authored by agricultural economists from the University of Illinois and the Ohio State University. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is an effort by the USDA to provide aid to farmers because of trade disputes with our major foreign grain buyers. It has been estimated that the escalating trade issues in the May to August 2018 period have led to an 11 percent ($1.10) decline in soybean prices and a 5 percent decline ($0.20) in corn prices (farmdoc Daily, Aug. 16, 2018).

  14. Published

    It must be August, because my office phone has been lighting up with calls from farmland owners wanting to know about the direction of cash rent values for lands here in east-central Illinois. This is never easy to answer, because no one can accurately forecast the future. Currently at this moment with the projected above average harvest of field corn and soybean, and the continuing trade disputes with our major foreign grain buyers, the outlook for cash grain income is not as "rosy" as it was 4 months ago.

  15. Published

    In agriculture, we heart a the term "soil health", which has been used for about five years, now. Yet what does it mean.

  16. Published
    In a recent article in University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily, a group of University of Illinois agricultural economists along with a colleague from the Ohio State University looked into the factors that play a role in explaining price movement in cropland prices.
  17. Published

    At the recent Illinois Farm Economic Summit (IFES) meetings, Drs. Nick Paulson and Dale Lattz of the farmdoc team shared the results of two studies that highlighted the differences in profitability between the top third and bottom third of farms in Illinois and the typical management practices of the top earners.

  18. Published

    Here in central Illinois, we have had over ten days of open, dry harvest weather. This has been great for farmers wanting to get their crops harvested. However, this is leading to overly dry crops, especially soybeans harvested at moistures less than 10 percent moisture. It is an unfortunate situation leading to yield reduction due to moisture shrink.

  19. Published

    2017 has provided this part of Illinois with another "interesting" growing season. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map from the USDA and NOAA, a portion of central Illinois stretching from southern Champaign County through parts of DeWitt, Piatt, Logan, Sangamon, Cass and Morgan to the Illinois River is in a "Moderate Drought". This has led to a story of two different growing conditions within the same county and across our region of Illinois.

  20. Published
    It is the time of the year when farmers and farmland owners begin the process of renegotiating cash rent leases for the next growing season. In Illinois, about 75% of all farmland is owned by non-farming land owners, and nearly 2/3's of those acres are cash rented in some form. This results in approximately half of all Illinois farmland being cash rented.

    A lot of factors will ultimately determine whether the final negotiated cash rent for 2018 is higher or lower than 2017.