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Among major growers, wheat yields in Germany were highest

Wheat yields per acre in Germany were twice as high as on comparable U.S. farms, according to an analysis that looked at production, costs, and profits for representative farms in major wheat-growing regions. "The typical farms in Australia, Germany, Poland, and North Dakota exhibited a positive average economic profit during the 2018 to 2022 period," wrote Purdue professor Michael Langemeier at the farmdoc daily blog.

More biodiesel plants may close in 2024, says ag analyst

Production of biodiesel, the original renewable fuel made from soybean oil, is being squeezed by the boom in renewable diesel, wrote agricultural economist Scott Irwin on Tuesday. "If the losses in 2024 to date continue, more biodiesel plant shutdowns may be in the offing," he said on the farmdoc daily blog.

Shipping disruptions may weigh heavily on U.S. ag exports

Delivery times are lengthening and shipping costs are rising for U.S. farm exports due to drought that has slowed traffic in the Panama Canal and attacks by militants on cargo ships in the Red Sea, said analysts on Tuesday. "These issues have not only underscored the fragility of key maritime routes but also have had a cascading effect on global agricultural supply chains, having the potential to disrupt 2024 U.S. agricultural exports severely," they said.

Lower commodity prices point to belt-tightening for corn and soy growers

Corn and soybean growers will operate in "a much tighter margin environment" this year than in recent years because of lower market prices for the crops, said two University of Illinois agricultural economists on Tuesday. They cited fertilizer and land rents as potential areas for cost cutting.

Corn and soybean returns sink as market prices fall

For the first time since 2015, Midwestern farmers face negative returns from corn and soybeans grown on rented land, three agricultural economists said Tuesday at the farmdoc daily blog. They estimated a loss of $99 an acre for corn and $13 a bushel on soybeans, based on rising production costs and a downturn in market prices.

Middling support for helping farmers adopt sustainable practices

Americans agree that federal aid to farmers during a disaster is important. They are less likely to support federal assistance to help producers adopt sustainable farming practices, according to the quarterly Gardiner Food and Agricultural Policy Survey.

Crop-insurance claims zoom for prevented planting

Crop-insurance claims by farmers for prevented planting are up by 48 percent this year, said Bloomberg, a reflection of the cold and rainy spring. Growers filed claims on 2.3 million acres of corn and nearly 2.2 million acres of soybeans, said the news agency, based on its review of federal data.

Cost control will be central issue for 2016 crops

The fall harvest will not begin for weeks but the USDA already forecasts a modest increase in costs of production for the major field crops in 2016, up 1 to 2 percent an acre compared to this year.

Analysts ask if crop insurance should be redesigned

The federally subsidized crop-insurance program grew dramatically over the past two decades. It covers 44 percent more acres and, with creation of revenue insurance, the average level of coverage climbed to 75 percent in 2014, a 17-point increase from 1996, according to economists Carl Zulauf of Ohio State and Dan Orden of Virginia Tech.

Grain-farm income to plummet this year in Midwest

A farmer with 1,500 acres of highly productive land in central Illinois could see net income this year that is a fraction of last year - around $7,500 versus more than $103,000 in 2014, says U-Illinois economist Gary Schnitkey.

After slow start, revenue support is a farm-program winner

When Congress first experimented with a revenue-support program for farmers, there were few takers. Only 8 percent of "base" acres were enrolled in the so-called ACRE program in 2013.

U.S. farmers increasingly specialize in corn and soybeans

Corn and soybeans are the two most widely grown crops in the nation, forecast at 174 million acres this year, or slightly more than half of the land devoted to the two dozen "principal" crops of the United States.

Economist predicts break-even farm revenue for years to come

After the fall-off from record-high corn, soybean and wheat prices in 2012, Purdue economist Mike Boehlje says growers can expect to "bounce along close to break-even for five to 10 years," reports DTN.

More belt-tightening by farmers is on the horizon

Corn and soybean growers will need to trim their cash flow again in 2016 if commodity prices repeat this year's comparatively low levels, says economist Gary Schnitkey of U-Illinois.

Bad weather may prevent planting of 1 million soybean acres

Growers may be prevented by bad weather from planting 1.1 million acres of their intended record 84.6 million acres of soybeans, says economist John Newton of U-Illinois.

Corn ethanol setback “is not expected” with EPA proposal

"The demand for corn for ethanol production appears to be on solid footing for the next 18 months," says economist Darrel Good of U-Illinois. "While growth may be limited, a setback is not expected."

Smaller corn, soy supplies but big harvests on horizon

Stockpiles of U.S. corn and soybeans are smaller than expected, giving a boost to futures prices in the near term, although massive harvests of the two most widely planted crops in the nation are on the horizon.

Growers reap one-fifth of winter wheat crop in one week

Farmers harvested 7.4 million acres of winter wheat in the past week, 19 percent of the total crop. The harvest is now 38 percent complete, according to the weekly Crop Progress report.

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