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By Staff | Nov 16, 2018

The reality that winter is upon us is soaking in. In the far out weather prediction by two noted meteorologists/climatologists foresaw major extreme cold air intrusions from either the Arctic or deep space proved to be correct. The -8 temps in North Dakota on Friday morning can only sink south and gradually flow further south. All we can do is pull out the insulated jackets, coveralls, and gloves and suck it up for the whole winter, buttercup.

The good side of this extreme cold will be that once muddy fields that held the threat of getting combines, semis and wagons stuck will now be solid. The bad news is that the ability to complete much more fall tillage or strip till fertilizer applications will be coming to any end. Whether or not any fall 82 percent can be applied will be in question. If everyone is frozen out of any injected fertilizer applications the pressure on spring time and delivery equipment will be greater than we have seen in any seasons we can remember.

Harvest news

The NASS surveys released this Monday will try to approximate the percentage of corn and bean acres still left to harvest by state. Because many areas received about 1.5 to 2.0 inches of rain last week, harvest progress was still slow.

While there are many fields of corn to harvest yet in northern half of the state the whole fields of soybeans have become fewer. There are still many replanted waterhole beans left to harvest.

One interesting note about last week’s NASS harvested acres by state, which we often doubt the accuracy of, is that in seven of the 18 major grain producing states the harvested percent actually went backwards. How might that be possible or accounted for?

So with all the late harvested acres and the problems associated with them, as corn kernels that have decayed or sprouted, or beans that sprouted or split and fell onto the ground, how many of the bushels that were produced were lost? That is something that will likely never be accounted for in any survey, as in total bushels produced and carryouts which will influence overall price.

2019 acreage

Most of the marketing projections for 2019 corn versus bean acres reflect a big shift to corn and fewer bean acres. They are not assuming any relief from the soybean exporting tariffs loss in bean exports to China. There could be major changes to those export numbers as several favorable events could be occurring.

The economy, stock market levels, and exports in and from China have all decreased by major amounts, enough that the Chinese government may have to recognize that IP laws recognized nearly in every other country is something that they, as an emerging superpower, need to adhere to.

Secondly any hiccups in South American bean production may happen. How many experts have downloaded and studied the fungicide trial results from the 2018 season? Now why might these figures be important?

There were complaints about added foreign material in U.S. beans headed to their ports. As was described in Dan Morgan’s 1970’s book titled “Merchants of Grain,” where it was a very questionable practice. As to comparing bean quality of beans coming off a newer combine in the Midwest going into a grain bin on most farmers versus in most of Brazil. In much of their growing season the beans are harvested wet and are dried down by heat and smoke generated by wood furnaces stoked by wet eucalyptus wood. A high percentage of the beans smell strongly of smoke.

Grain quality thoughts

The big topics a few weeks ago were grain quality issues in both corn and soybeans. While the headlines and immediacy of grain problems may have faded, the potential feeding problems with mycotoxin affected grain or marketing below grade soybeans exist for livestock people or growers who have damaged beans in the bin. This may be the time to get corn samples into testing labs where accurate tests could be run to see what toxins and levels may exist. The weather damaged beans may still face dockage to many grain outlets if they are not processing them into bean meal. The best answers may require local solutions and local usage.

Livestock people should consult with the local DVMs who may have kept themselves educated on the topic.

ISU ICM conferences

It is the time of year for CCAs and many agronomists to register and make plans to attend the big integrated crop management conference scheduled for late November in Ames. The agenda and list of speakers should be on line now. Check it out.

The fall meeting of the Iowa Crop Consultants is scheduled to be held in Ames the day before the conference starts. The focus at that meeting is typically getting updated as to new products and management systems for the 2019 season

A personal matter

I grew up on a farm in Mitchell Country, about six miles from Minnesota. There were nine kids in my family. That was about the normal number in the Catholic community as most families worked with lots of livestock and the many hands came in useful.

Those chores and activities such as in 4-H and school kept us busy. Because of 4-H and FFA most of us got exposed to Ames and Iowa State by our early teens. We just hoped and knew we would be going there. Eventually with summer jobs and our parent’s valuing education, six of us attended college there. One of them was my younger brother Duane, who was the last person who was admitted to the DVM college with only two years of college classes. He was a proud member of the AGR fraternity. He graduated with honors and ended up practicing in Fairmont, Minnesota and then in Carroll.

He loved the DVM work and the relationships he formed with the livestock operators he worked with. He ended up developing health problems and passed away from a heart attack about ten days ago. He leaves behind a wife and two sons now attending ISU. I guess I am okay with it. There is life and there is quality of life. He was not having any of the latter. RIP.

Bob Streit is an independent crop consultant and columnist for Farm News. He can be reached at (515) 709-0143 or www.CentralIowaAg.com.

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