Around the County Frequent information updates for agricultural audiences Sun, 15 May 2005 13:02:08 -0500 Estimated 2017 ARC-CO Payments Released Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:06:00 +0000 Quick Stats website. With these NASS yields, fairly accurate estimates of 2017 Agricultural Risk Coverage at the county level (ARC-CO) payments can be made. Visit the link below to see U.S. maps showing estimated payments per base acre for corn, soybeans, and wheat. A table showing estimated payments per county in Illinois also is given.

Fewer counties are receiving 2017 payments than in 2016 (see farmdoc daily, October 6, 2017). ARC-CO uses five-year Olympic averages in calculating benchmark prices and benchmark yields. By design, benchmark prices will decline in periods of low MYA prices. As a result, benchmark prices used to set guarantees for corn have been coming down, resulting in fewer payments. The 2016 benchmark price was $4.79 compared to a $3.95 price in 2017. Moreover, yields were above average over much of the United States in 2017.

Source: Schnitkey, G., J. Coppess, C. Zulauf, and N. Paulson. "Estimated 2017 ARC-CO Payments." farmdoc daily (8):34, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, February 27, 2018.]]>
Can soybean prices maintain recent strength through 2018? Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:12:00 +0000 According to University of Illinois agricultural economist Todd Hubbs, the development of soybean prices over the next year depends on the size of the 2018 U.S. crop and a more robust pace of consumption than produced thus far this marketing year.

"For soybeans, monitoring the pace of consumption occurs on a weekly basis for exports and a monthly basis for the domestic crush," Hubbs explains. "Current projections for domestic soybean crush during this marketing year sit at 1.95 billion bushels, up 51 million bushels from last year's crush total. The pace of soybean crush is currently running approximately 2.7 percent above last year's pace through December.

"Weather issues in Argentina and recent increases in soybean meal prices create the potential for increased crush profitability throughout the rest of the marketing year. This scenario indicates a crush total for this marketing year near or above the USDA projection."

USDA projections for marketing-year soybean exports decreased 60 million bushels to 2.1 billion bushels. Soybean export projections declined 125 million bushels over the last two World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates reports. Using Census Bureau export estimates through December, and cumulative export inspection totals through Feb. 8, soybean exports for the current marketing year total 1.350 billion bushels. "For the rest of the current marketing year, 25.8 million bushels of soybean exports are required each week to meet the USDA projection," Hubbs says.

As of Feb. 8, total outstanding sales for the current marketing year totaled 322.4 million bushels, which is below the estimated 749 million bushels required to meet the USDA projection.

"Current data suggest soybean exports need to pick up the pace to reach the recently lowered USDA projection for this marketing year. The ability to attain the existing projection hinges on the size of the crop in South America and U.S. competitiveness in export markets. Brazil appears set to produce a crop larger than 4.1 billion bushels and continues to get a healthy share of the export business to China. Overall, weak exports and a slightly stronger crush place 2017-18 ending stocks at or slightly higher than the current forecast," Hubbs says.

Building expectations about 2018 U.S. soybean production starts with planted acreage. Presently, an expectation for an increase in soybean planted acreage exists, Hubbs says. U.S. soybean plantings in 2017 came in at a record 90.1 million acres, a 6.7 million acre increase over 2016. Current USDA long-term baseline projections place 2018 planted acreage at 91.0 million acres. "The lower cost of producing soybeans and the perceived profitability advantage of soybeans over many alternative crops drive expectations of an increase in soybean acreage," Hubbs adds. "Planted acreage near 91.3 million is projected for 2018. The USDA will survey producers' planting intentions next month and release an estimate of those intentions in the March 29Prospective Plantingsreport."

Since 1996, the difference between planted and harvested acreage of soybeans ranged between 587,000 to 1.858 million acres and averaged 1.01 million acres. Under a normal weather scenario, the record level of planted acreage may see the abandonment of approximately 700,000 acres in 2018. Planted acreage of 91.3 million acres leads to a harvested acreage of about 90.6 million acres.

"Yield expectations for the next crop year usually rely on trend yield analysis," Hubbs says. "Current USDA baseline projections place 2018 soybean yields at 48.4 bushels per acre. Using a conditional trend yield analysis, normal weather during 2018 indicates a trend yield for average U.S. soybeans near 48.5 bushels per acre. Yield at that level would create a 2018 soybean crop of 4.398 billion bushels," Hubbs says.

A 2018 soybean crop of 4.398 billion bushels combined with the current USDA soybean stock projection of 530 million bushels and imports of 25 million bushels leads to a marketing-year supply of 4.954 billion bushels, 236 million bushels larger than the supply for the current year. To prevent 2018-19 ending stocks from increasing under this scenario, Hubbs says soybean consumption needs to exceed 4.424 billion bushels, 176 million bushels greater than current marketing-year projections. "Increased soybean consumption at this level does require a significant expansion in soybean exports and strength in soybean crush levels. A larger planted acreage or higher yield creates a scenario for greatly expanded ending stocks in the 2018-19 marketing year," he adds.

"Expectations for the next marketing year include increased soybean acreage, an increase in ending stocks, and lower prices when compared to the current prices witnessed in the market. The mitigation of a major price decline requires a substantial increase in consumption or lower production in 2018. Neither alternative seems likely at this point. Using the current 2017-18 consumption projection and increased production in 2018, average farm price in the United States for soybeans could fall in a range of $9-$9.20 for the 2018-19 marketing year," Hubbs says.

Source: Todd Hubbs, 217-300-4688,

News writer: Stephanie Henry, 217-244-1183,

Soil and Water Management Seminar February 20 Offers CCA Continuing Education Fri, 09 Feb 2018 08:53:00 +0000

Soil and water interactions will be the focus of a Soil and Water Management Webinar sponsored by University of Illinois Extension on February 20, 2018. The workshop will be held at the Logan County Extension office in Lincoln. Presentations will be delivered via PowerPoint and web conferencing from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

"Those attending will hear about the latest University of Illinois research on soil erosion and how extreme weather affects nutrient transport. Other presenters from Purdue, Georgia, and Missouri will discuss cover crop selection, soil microbes, and soil health tests," says Duane Friend, U of I Extension educator. Certified Crop Advisors will receive 4.5 continuing education units in Soil and Water Management by attending this seminar.

Registration is $45 per person, which includes lunch. Pre-registration is required. The deadline to register is February 16. Registration made be made online at or by calling the Logan County Extension office at 217-732-8289.

For more information, email Duane Friend at or contact Terri Miller, County Director,, 217-732-8289.


2017 Machinery Cost Estimates (Custom Rates) Wed, 20 Dec 2017 05:29:00 +0000 here!]]> Anticipating Dec.1 corn stocks - from Todd Hubbs Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:53:00 +0000 "Anticipating the Dec.1 corn inventories is difficult because the final estimate of the size of the 2017 crop and the scale of consumption during the first quarter of the marketing year are unknown," Hubbs says. "Given the November forecast for corn production is correct at 14.58 billion bushels and the consumption level for feed and residual use is on pace to meet the USDA's current projection during the 2017-18 marketing year, a Dec.1 stocks estimate can be calculated using currently known consumption data. A Dec.1 stocks estimate near the calculated value can be considered neutral for corn prices. An estimate substantially different from the calculated value may result in price movements."

Export totals are readily available during the first quarter of the marketing year, Hubbs says. Official Census Bureau export estimates are available for September and October. USDA cumulative weekly export inspection estimates are available through the week ended Dec.10. Cumulative export inspections for September, October, and November totaled 246 million bushels. Census Bureau estimates through October exceeded cumulative export inspections by 32.5 million bushels.

"Assuming the same difference continued through November, corn exports during the first quarter of the marketing year were likely very close to 342 million bushels," Hubbs says. "This level of exports would be about 206 million bushels less than during the first quarter last year."

Based on estimates in the USDA Grain Crushings and Co-Products Production reports, 915.6 million bushels of corn were used for ethanol and co-product production in September and October of 2017. Use of corn for the production of those products during November can be estimated based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) ethanol production estimate for November.

"The production estimate for November is based on weekly EIA estimates which sometimes differ from the subsequent monthly estimates," Hubbs says. "Weekly estimates pointed to November 2017 ethanol production of 1.352 billion gallons, 6 percent larger than production in November 2016 when 451.9 million bushels of corn were used for ethanol and co-product production. A 6 percent increase would put November 2017 corn use at 479 million bushels and use during the first quarter of the marketing year at 1.395 billion bushels. Thus far this marketing year, less sorghum has been used for ethanol production and this appears to have continued into November. Corn use during the quarter is estimated at 1.4 billion bushels."

For the 2017-18 marketing year, the USDA projects domestic corn consumption for the production of food, seed, and industrial products other than ethanol at 1.46 billion bushels. Hubbs says the projection is 0.5 percent larger than consumption during the previous year. Quarterly consumption for those products is relatively consistent in most marketing years. "A 0.5 percent year-over-year increase in the first quarter this year would have resulted in a use level of about 350 million bushels."

The Dec.1 stocks estimate reveals the size of the feed and residual use category for the first quarter of the marketing year. For the year, the USDA has projected feed and residual use of corn at 5.575 billion bushels, up substantially from the estimate of 5.463 billion bushels used in the 2016-17 marketing year. An estimate of 2.274 billion bushels of corn was used in the feed and residual category during the first quarter of the marketing year last year.

"Given the growth in the livestock sector over the last year, feed and residual use should be proceeding more rapidly than last year," Hubbs says. "If the USDA projection is correct, feed and residual use in the first quarter is projected at 2.342 billion bushels."

Corn consumption during the first quarter of the marketing year is estimated to be near 4.64 billion bushels. Stocks of corn at the beginning the marketing year totaled 2.295 billion bushels and imports during the quarter were likely near 4 million bushels. With a crop of 14.578 billion bushels, the corn supply totaled 16.877 billion bushels. The calculation for the Dec.1 stocks estimate is 12.223 billion bushels, around 163 million bushels lower than last year.

"Because the current supply is quite large, a substantial deviation from this estimate may be necessary to generate a price reaction this marketing year," Hubbs says.

Source: Todd Hubbs, 217-300-4688,

News writer: Debra Levey Larson, 217-244-2880,

Soil and Water Management Seminar for Certified Crop Advisors Coming February 20 Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:31:00 +0000 Soil and Water Management Seminar for Certified Crop Advisors is coming to the Logan County Extension office in Lincoln, IL. (February 20 - 9:00 am to 2:30 pm).

Registration is $45.00 per person, which includes materials and lunch.

4.5 hours of Certified Crop Advisor Credit in soil and water management available. For presentation at multiple locations, web conferencing and PowerPoints will be used.

Webinar Location

Logan County Extension Office
980 N. Postville Dr.
Lincoln, IL 62656
Phone: 217-732-8289

Topics and Speakers:

· Where does eroded soil come from and where does it go? Implications for soil and stream management. - Dr. Bruce L. Rhoads & Dr. Thanos Papanicolaou, UIUC & University of Tennessee

· How extreme weather controls nutrient exports from the agricultural Midwest to the Gulf, and what we can do about it. - Dr. Adam Ward and Laura Keefer, University of Indiana and UIUC

· Managing Microbes: AMF in Cropping Systems - Dr. Wendy Taheri, Terra Nimbus LLC

· Cover crops: Benefits and Selection - Dr. Eileen Kladivko, Purdue University

· Soil health tests and how they can be used in a crop management program. - Donna Brandt, University of Missouri

REGISTRATION: Space is limited and registration must be received by February 19.


Hog price prospects strengthen - From Chris Hurt Thu, 07 Dec 2017 11:15:00 +0000 "It is always enjoyable to exceed expectations, but what is the source of the better hog prices and will those factors continue in 2018? The answer to the last question appears to be yes," Hurt says.

Hurt attributes the better hog prices to consumer demand. "The U.S. economic growth in the third quarter reached 3.3 percent with the unemployment rate at 4.1 percent, the lowest since 2000. Strong income growth and more people working improves the consumption of meats including pork. The 2018 outlook is for continued income growth and even lower unemployment. In addition, higher stock and housing values tend to cause consumers to spend more freely as well," Hurt says.

International impact is another factor, Hurt says. "Pork is growing in popularity with our foreign customers, and the world economy in 2018 is expected to have its strongest year since the 2008-2009 recession."

A little additional information on how pork trade is helping to enhance hog prices is important.

So far this year, pork exports are up 8 percent and net trade (exports minus imports) is up 10 percent. U.S. pork production is up about 2.5 percent this year but the more positive trade balance means that U.S. consumers have only 1 percent more pork available. With domestic population expanding by near 1 percent, this means that pork availability per person this year is about the same as 2016.

"Mexico is the biggest reason for increased exports so far this year," Hurt says. "Mexican pork purchases surged above Japan in 2015 to become our number one export destination. Since then, Mexico has continued to put Japan in the rearview mirror. In 2017, Mexican pork purchases have exceeded Japan by 45 percent. South Korea, our fourth largest buyer, has increased the volume of pork purchases from the U.S. this year by 18 percent."

What about pork exports in 2018? USDA analysts are suggesting an additional 6 percent rise for 2018.

Finally, Hurt says increased packer capacity has begun to reduce packer margins and is likely contributing to higher farm-level hog prices this fall. Packer margins began to drop sharply beginning in August 2017 as new capacity began to come on-line. By October, the packer margin, as reported by USDA, fell to 48 cents per retail pound compared to 79 cents per retail pound one year earlier. These new plants are expected to continue to expand numbers in 2018 as they work toward full capacity.

"A year ago we were talking about higher pork supplies in 2017 and higher hog prices," Hurt says. "That prediction has turned to reality. Live hog prices in 2016 averaged about $46 per live hundredweight. That price will be near $51 for 2017.

"The lean futures market is currently optimistic for the same outcome in 2018 suggesting that live prices may average about $53 in 2018," Hurt adds. "My estimates are for pork supplies to rise around 2.5 percent in 2018 and, if hog prices do rise again, it will most likely be due to the demand factors outlined earlier."

Hurt estimates feed costs to rise modestly in the 2018 calendar year with corn prices up about 15 cents per bushel and meal up about $15 per ton compared to the 2017 calendar year.

"My estimated total costs of production increases from around $49 in 2017 to a bit over $50 for 2018," Hurt says. "With moderate feed costs and a low general inflation rate, my estimated total production costs have been near $50 for the most recent four calendar years from 2015 through 2018. What a different world it was in the nine years from 2005 through 2013 when my estimated annual costs ranged from $35 per live hundredweight to $67."

For 2018, Hurt says the current outlook is for positive returns above all costs. The level of positive returns is expected to be in the range of $6 to $8 per head for both 2017 and 2018.

Source: Chris Hurt, 765-494-4273,