With the extreme weather in the Corn Belt this spring, there has been a lot of concern that crops weren’t going to have enough time before the killing frost hit. Typically the first frost occurs from the end of September through the first half of October in much of the Corn Belt. Sometimes that frost can be toward the middle of September, which had a lot of growers nervous. Fortunately the unseasonably hot September mitigated most of the frost concerns I’ve heard from growers even in Wisconsin. That’s not to say it doesn’t exist.

Agricultural producers now can enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage programs – two U.S. Department of Agriculture safety-net programs for the 2020 crop year. Meanwhile producers who enrolled farms for the 2018 crop year have started receiving payments for covered commodities if payments were triggered under such programs.

    Pork exports continued to strengthen during August. Data from the USDA indicates pork exports grew by 22% from a year ago, with export value increasing 19%. According to an analysis from the U.S. Meat Export Federation, overall numbers from January through August are up 4% from a year ago.

    Despite a prolonged decrease in the price of many farm commodities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s state-level estimates of cash rents for cropland and pasture in 2019 revealed an increase. The national average rental rate for all cropland was at $140 per acre, an increase of $2 per acre or 1.4 percent from prior-year levels.

      We had about an inch of rain in the last week. We started picking corn last Wednesday. Yield for the field we were in was almost 75 bushels less than when it was in corn two years ago. That field is creek bottom ground, and the creek came out a few times and drowned the corn on the bottom out in a few places.

      OPINION  Sonny Perdue, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary, visited Oct. 1 the World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin to see the best of our dairy industry. During his visit he participated in a town-hall discussion with dairy farmers, agriculture advocates and members of the media. He heard that farms of all sizes matter in Wisconsin. When asked about the survival of small farms during a press briefing following the discussion, he surprised many by saying, “In America, the big get bigger and the small go out.”

        Harvest was a slow go this week as some polished up the combines to try some corn and soybeans. I couldn’t be outdone, so I hitched the New Idea 314 picker sheller to the International 766 and grabbed a small wagon to capture 10 bushels that was used to fill the corn box for kids’ activities at the state Cornhusking State Contest. The fodder was a bit green and smelled like silage, but I couldn’t spare any corn from the 6-acre patch of contest corn, as much of it would be needed for huskers.

          Somebody needs to turn the warp speed off on the clock. This last seven days buzzed past fast. This has been a very successful week. We had awesome weather to hammer on soybeans. We successfully harvested two of three seed varieties we are raising this year. I did harvest the first few acres of the next variety, but we have decided to hold off a couple days to allow some green pods to dry. Were about two-thirds done soybeans, give or take a little. We have run quite a bit of corn, too, but still have a long ways to go there.

            It’s raining. After another week of record-breaking heat and humidity, we have finally seen temperatures below 90 degrees. I even opened windows on Friday. Soybean harvest continued in earnest this week. We had a semi radiator go out midweek, but should have it back by Monday. We hauled to the elevator and filled cribs. We should be finished with bean harvest by the end of the week, and if we don’t get more rain than what is predicted for the next 24 hours, we could be completely done with all of harvest in two weeks.

              MANHATTAN, Kan. — When conversations turn to the world’s climate and natural resources, they often also go to livestock production. That was the idea behind a session at the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock international meeting hosted by Kansas State University Sept. 9-13.

                The high number of prevented-planting fields in some areas, the late start to harvest and the inability to apply P and K fertilizer as planned last fall or this past spring combine to raise a number of questions about fall application of P, K and lime over the next few months.

                  Recovery in the dairy market will be among topics addressed at the Central Plains Dairy Women’s Conference. Sarina Sharp, a dairy-market analyst and risk manager for Ag Business Solutions of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will discuss her outlooks for feed, milk and livestock prices. The conference will feature several other presentations.

                    Firefighters and farmers are working nationwide to improve agricultural safety and health. The Rural Firefighters Delivering Agricultural Safety and Health project trains emergency responders to provide resources to farmers in their service areas.

                    FOND Du LAC, Wis. – Kelley Country Creamery has shown that a farm can use the beauty of a sunflower field to help others. The ice cream parlor – supported by the farm’s dairy – uses full-bloom sunflowers to help a noble cause – northeast Wisconsin’s Old Glory Honor Flights.

                    I’m not a big Grateful Dead fan but the lyrics from their song “Truckin’” came to mind as I stared out the window this past weekend, watching large flakes of snow fall from the sky.

                    When people think about farm-related injuries, there are several dramatic examples that immediately come to mind: grain bin engulfments, tractor rollovers or deadly manure gas exposure.

                      Variability in corn and fed cattle prices has certainly been the norm in the last few months.

                      Corn futures prices for the nearby contract were approximately $3.70 in mid-May, $4.35 in mid-July and $3.50 in mid-September. Average fed cattle prices in Kansas for the first and second quarters of 2019 were $125.06 and $117.32, respectively, and are expected to average only $106.21 in the third quarter.

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