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Acres of Knowledge

All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.
ILPlantingProgress-2WksApril
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Too Wet to Plant, Be Patient

It has been a wet April across parts of Illinois, and farmers are anxious about getting their crops planted.  Recent history since 2000, shows that late planting does not always lead to lower yields. Take for instance last year, when planting d...

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Tillage-Corn-Returns
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Cutting Crop Costs, Not Profits

According to university farm economists across the Midwest, 2019 is the year where farmers need to scrutinize their crop expenses, and see where they can cut costs to improve their net return per acre. Currently, the projected fall prices for corn and soybeans are mid-$3's and mid-$8's, respectively, is very close to the cost of production. In order to achieve profitability, production costs wi...

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Prices-New Corn
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New, New Era of Grain Prices

I recently attended one of the 2018 Farm Economic Summit meeting and heard a presentation given by Dr. Scott Irwin, Dept. of Agricultural & Consumer Economics at University of Illinois. In this talk, we were shown the similarities between the price trends of the past 70 years....

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Bag Grain Storage

Tips for Temporary Corn Storage in Grain (Silo) Bags

A lot of this year's harvested corn is going into big grain bags on the ground for temporary storage till more permanent storage is available. Here are some helpful tips from Dr. Klein Ileleji at Purdue University on how to manage grain stored in the field in grain storage bags. Locate the bags on firm, well-drained ground that is smooth and level, that has plenty of roo...

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MFC PaymentRate

Market Facilitation Program: Impacts and Initial Analysis

This is the title of an article authored by agricultural economists from the University of Illinois and the Ohio State University. The Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is an effort by the USDA to provide aid to farmers because of trade disputes with our major foreign grain buyers. It has been estimated that the escalating trade issues in the May to August 2018 period have led to an 11 percent...

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2019 Cash Rent Trends

What about a Flexible Cash Rent Lease

It must be August, because my office phone has been lighting up with calls from farmland owners wanting to know about the direction of cash rent values for lands here in east-central Illinois. This is never easy to answer, because no one can accurately forecast the future. Currently at this moment with the projected above average harvest of field corn and soybean, and the continuing trade dispu...

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FactorsAffectingCroplandPrices

Interest Rates and Cropland Land Values

In a recent article in University of Illinois Farmdoc Daily, a group of University of Illinois agricultural economists along with a colleague from the Ohio State University looked into the factors that play a role in explaining price movement in cropland prices. In summarizing the results of their research, the group pointed out that "...

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