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Acres of Knowledge

All issues concerning Small Farms, Agriculture, Local Food Systems, and the Natural Resources.
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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Soil Organisms-Teaspoon healthy Soil-NRCS
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What is Soil Health?

In agriculture, we heart a the term "soil health", which has been used for about five years, now. Yet what does it mean. the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) defines soil health as "the continued capacity of soil to function as a vital living ecosystem t...

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Operator-Land Returns-Paulson
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Habits of the Most Profitable Central Illinois Farmers

At the recent Illinois Farm Economic Summit (IFES) meetings, Drs. Nick Paulson and Dale Lattz of the farmdoc team shared the results of two studies that highlighted the differences in profitability between the topĀ third and bottomĀ third of farms in Illinois and the typical management practice...

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LateSeasonPodFeeders
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Harvest Crop Conditions - September 28, 2018

Here in central Illinois, we have had over ten days of open, dry harvest weather. This has been great for farmers wanting to get their crops harvested. However, this is leading to overly dry crops, especially soybeans harvested at moistures less than 10 percent moisture. It is an unfortunate situation leading to yield reduction due to moisture shrink. Another issue popping up is "weak"...

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DroughtMonitor-20170912 IL
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Crops, Weather and Low Prices

2017 has provided this part of Illinois with another "interesting" growing season. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor map from the USDA and NOAA, a portion of central Illinois stretching from southern Champaign County through parts of DeWitt, Piatt, Logan, Sangamon, Cass and Morgan to the Illinois River is in a "Moderate Drought". This has led to a story of two different growing condi...

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2017 Cash Rent Projections

It is the time of the year when farmers and farmland owners begin the process of renegotiating cash rent leases for the next growing season. In Illinois, about 75% of all farmland is owned by non-farming land owners, and nearly 2/3's of those acres are cash rented in some form. This results in approximately half of all Illinois farmland being cash rented. A lot of factors will ultimately deter...

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