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Gimpy girls

My wife and I recently went away for a few days simply because it was summertime and we felt the urge to “get out of Dodge” even though we hadn’t broken any local ordinances and Marshall Dillon wasn’t out to arrest us. As usual we left Sandy, our Golden Retriever, in charge of the ...

Crop watch

Now that we have past the July 4th holiday weekend and the crop forecasters think they have good feel for the crop size of the corn and bean crops. On the producer side we recognize that what we consider normal with weather is not occurring in much of the Midwest. On July 5th we took a tour of ...

Riding the metal wave left by my iron-bending uncle Honey

One job on the southern Illinois dairy farm of my youth was to walk just-cultivated corn or soybean fields to find the cultivator parts—disk blades, sweeps, even whole shanks—left broken and unseen by my quiet, iron-bending great Uncle Honey earlier in the day. Honey was a skilled ...

Cure for high prices

The cure for high prices is high prices as high prices typically destroy enough demand so that supply doesn’t run out while they encourage producers to add supply. End-users have to see margins shrink and go negative before they curtail usage. If they are making money than they have no reason ...

Midwest Marketing Solutions

Risk Manaement Agency In the past, the Risk Management Agency conducted an automatic audit when a crop insurance claim reached $200,000. RMA Acting Administrator Richard Flournoy told RRFN that was seen as a concern with the amount of drought-related claims this year. “Now, they’re not ...

Weekly review

The updated domestic corn balance sheets were mostly as expected in Monday’s release. The USDA incorporated the acreage figures from the June report, publishing corn acres at 92.7 million. As expected, the yield forecasts were left unchanged at 179.5 bushels per acre, for a production ...

It’s still a weather market

If you look the seasonal price charts for corn and soybeans, the month of July is typically a month where prices begin the retreat from the seasonal highs in May and June as weather premiums are slowly eased out of the markets. One could argue that seasonal retreat is happening again this year, ...

The ag politics of being agriculturally apolitical

It’s a widely held belief that if you want to get ahead in farm group politics, you can’t be political. Well, not overtly political, anyway. Quietly, sure; loud and you’re outa’ here. For example, according to OpenSecrets.org, the best tracker of campaign cash in American politics, ...

24 hours in Emmetsburg

My wife and I recently spent 24 hours in the bustling metropolis of Emmetsburg, Iowa. For those who aren’t “in the know,” Emmetsburg (population: 3,904) is located about a dozen miles north of Mallard, with Ayrshire roughly ten miles to the southwest. As such, Emmetsburg is easy to ...