Area Farm & Ag Headlines

Anticipated Corn Planting Dates Still in Range for High Yield Expectations


ST. PAUL, Minn.-- Weather conditions are delaying the onset of corn planting, but wide fluctuations in corn planting progress are not uncommon in Minnesota. By the end of April, about 50 percent or more of Minnesota’s corn acres were planted in 2009, 2010 and 2012, compared to less than 5 percent in 2008 and 2011.

While most growers prefer to get their crops off to an early start, early planting is not a requirement for high yields. In 2008 and 2011, when it was mid-May before half of Minnesota’s corn acres were planted, state-average grain yields ranked third and fifth among Corn...

Farm 40 On Us


4th Annual Farm 40 On Us is ON!

If you're an area farmer, we want to honor YOU!

Farm 40 on US95 and AM 730 KWOA just wrapped up Thursday night at Hickory Lodge in Worthington. Congratulations to the Farm 40 On Us grand prize corn winner: Vern Bosma!

Congratulations to the Farm 40 On Us runner-up bean winner: Jean Meester!

For area farmers...

Storm Damages Blue Mounds State Park Campground


Blue Mounds State Park, near Luverne in the southwestern corner of Minnesota, has closed its campground through Sunday, April 21, due to ice-storm damage.

Park Manager Craig Beckman said freezing rain and strong winds have taken down numerous trees and branches in the park’s campground. “With more rain, wind and snow predicted, I can only assume that branches will continue to fall,” he said.

No campers were in the park during the storm and no injuries occurred. No camping reservations had to be canceled.

Once it is safe for park staff to enter the campground area,...

2012 ISU F.A.R.M On-Farm Research Reuslts


The report of the NW Iowa on-farm research projects conducted during 2012 is available on the web. Find it here. This report not only summarizes data from our original 3 counties in the NW corner of Iowa, it also has data from other counties across Iowa that have started to look at replicated, field length trials on farms. This past year there were 130+ different comparisons! You can also find the report from the 2011 and 2010 trials at this web page.


Livestock Manure Management in Minnesota


Rapid snow melt and potential for flooding pose challenges for manure management among the more than 25,000 livestock farms in Minnesota. Many farmers who spread solid manure during winter must ensure that it doesn’t run off with rapid snowmelt flowing to ditches, streams and other waters. Manure-contaminated runoff not only threatens water quality, it reduces the value of manure as a crop nutrient. If possible, farmers should refrain from spreading manure during periods of rapid melt. Minnesota rules require a 300-foot setback from surface waters and open tile intakes for all manure...

New CME Hours


Less than a year after expanding the trading day from 17 to 21 hours per day, CME Group, Inc. reduced hours, after approval by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

Beginning April 8, trading hours on the CBOT, KC and MGEX exchanges changed to the following:

  • Sunday-Friday: Electronic Open from 7:00 p.m. to 7:45 a.m.
  • Closed: 7:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.
  • Pit and Electronic Open: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Marcel Smits New Cargill Chief Financial Officer


In a press release yesterday via its home website, Cargill revealed that former Sara Lee execuive, Marcel Smits, is its new chief financial officer, effective as of April 15th.

Smits, a native of the Netherlands, served in a variety of financial management positions for Unilever in Europe, Latin America and Asia throughout the mid-1980s and 1990s, lastly as senior vice president of finance for China. He subsequently served as CFO for two Dutch listed companies, first for Vendex KBB, a retail group, then for KPN, the country’s leading telecommunications service provider. Both Vendex...

USDA Prospective Plantings Report


Less than an hour past the 11:00 a.m. CST release of two of the largest USDA reports, we are seeing the three main grains taking big hits. The following is the USDA summary for prospective plantings:

Corn growers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn for all purposes in 2013, up slightly from last year and 6 percent higher than in 2011. If realized, this will represent the highest planted acreage in the United States since 1936 when an estimated 102 million acres were planted.

Soybean planted area for 2013 is estimated at 77.1 million acres, down slightly from last...

Smithfield to Break Off Operations?


Smithfield Foods, Inc, the nation's largest hog producer and processor is looking into the possibility of breaking off operations, according to a report by Reuters news service.

This change comes from an appeal of one of Smithfield's largest shareholders, Continental Grain Co., which has a .8 percent stake in Smithfield. Apparently Continental wrote a letter to Smithfield earlier in the month, urging it to change its strategy and structure into three individual companies with the spin of potential higher profits as a result of breaking off hog operations. It was later reported...

Monsanto and Pioneer Enter Licensing Agreement


For those who have been watching the Roundup Ready soybean patent lawsuit issues progress, you may remember last summer when a federal court ruled agriculture giant DuPont and its Pioneer subsidiary infringed on a Monsanto patent, consequently awarding Monsanto $1 billion in damage.

With that, DuPont Pioneer and Monsanto have announced today that they have come to a series of technology licensing agreements. Through these agreements, DuPont Pioneer will be able to offer Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans as early as 2014, and Genuity Roundup Ready 2 Xtend glyphosate and dicamba...