KIMBERLY — Marissa Steiner and Tyler Mangum have been looking through microscopes for hours, scanning hand-sized, yellow sticky cards studded with dead insects.

We had nice weather for the crops and county fairs this past week. Temperatures were warm, but not overly hot. The rain came this week on Saturday night and Sunday morning. We received about 0.75” at our place. This rain was good for the cover crops seeded down the end of July into prevent plant acres. I did notice a couple isolated pockets of what looked like green snap from a distance as I was driving down the road after the storms passed through.

We got some rain over the past week, about 0.4” on our south fields and almost an inch around my house. As I’m writing this, there is a nice storm headed our way that should give us a good amount of rain. The rains around here have been hit or miss. Friday night, a farmer northeast of Monmouth received 1.8” of rain and we got nothing.

It’s amazing how the U.S. Department of Agriculture crop report can predict the corn and soybean forecast before it’s even in the ground. I’ve seen many fields around northern Indiana. Some look very good to excellent, others not so much. Many made multiple attempts to plant corn or soybeans despite the later planting window. Others planted cover crops of radishes, oats or wheat. And some simply disked it up or let it grow up in weeds.

Well, am I the only one that believes we might see almost every weather extreme in 12 months? We saw bitter cold and almost blizzard-like conditions in the winter. Monsoon-like rains with record flooding and devastation through the spring. We now have run into what seems like a major drought system setting in on us with little end in sight. As I type this, we are in for major storms tonight, which I welcome to hopefully bring us some very much needed rain.

China announced Aug. 23 that it will impose additional tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. goods in retaliation for President Donald Trump’s latest planned levies on Chinese imports. The measures include an added 5% tariff on soybeans and an extra 10% on American pork as of Sept. 1. Corn and cotton products were also on the list.

For the second week in a row, it has been fairly quiet on the farm, just more work in the shop getting ready for our coming harvest. Mark and I spent the week promoting soybeans at the state fair. It was a great opportunity to share our knowledge of a crop that provides over 17,000 jobs in Indiana. We had a few questions regarding GMOs and Roundup, but the majority of our nearly 4,500 tasters loved our roasted and lightly salted soybeans. A special thanks to the Indiana Soybean Alliance for donating the soybeans.

    DES MOINES – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig today commented on the Iowa Crop Progress and Conditions report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. The report is released weekly from April through November.

      PRINCETON, Ill. — Youth ages 5 through 12 joined University of Illinois Extension 4-H in a fun, educational Nature Detective Camp on Aug. 7 in Princeton. This half-day camp offered hands-on activities for youth to learn about habitats, birds, monarchs, and animal tracks. Youth created nature journals, went on a nature scavenger hunt, made butterfly life cycles, and took home milk jug birdhouses.

        This past Christmas, Curt Mottet did not spend his nights celebrating. The Richland, Iowa, location manager for Farmer’s Coop Association was instead dealing with the crunch of making sure farmers received anhydrous ammonia before a price increase went into effect at the beginning of 2019.

          “We don’t ever think it’s going to happen to us, but it happened to me… because it happened to him.” Marion County farmer Lacey Miller’s emotion-filled words about her father, Ralph Griesbaum, are enough to bring anyone to tears.

          Kevin Oppermann grazes cattle on 28 acres of pasture at his home farm near Fitchburg, Wisconsin. To accommodate his expanding herd he also began in 2017 converting 24 acres of cropland to permanent pasture at the Fitchburg-area farm his grandparents once owned. The farm is now owned by Oppermann’s parents.

            So far in the Pro Farmer’s crop tour (where they’ve gone thorugh Indiana, Nebraska and Illinois), yields are being pegged all over the place. Indiana is being put around a 161 bushels per acre mark, while Nebraska is showing around 173 bushels per acre.

              Steve Hyde of CHS Hedging said choppy trade is “likely to continue” with trade looking at crop results and weather.

                The lean hog market is technically oversold, holding a larger than normal discount to the cash market, The Hightower Report said.

                  The upcoming days will feature a pair of livestock reports, as we will get the Cold Storage report on Thursday. Allendale is projecting 633.631 mln pounds of pork for the end of July, an 11 mln pound increase. Beef is estimated at 397.410 mln pounds, which would be 18% below last year’s mark, but a 3 mln increase from last month.

                    “Lower prices may be needed to spur demand,” John Payne of Daniel’s Trading said. “The world has an abundance of exportable wheat and the competition between the EU/Ukraine and Russia is likely to keep prices low for the foreseeable future.”

                      Packers “appear poised to make up for the lost production” with strong profit margins, in the wake of the closed packing house, The Hightower Report said. “This opens the door for a more normal trade and a more normal relationship between cash and futures.”

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