Corn Acres are Lower but Weather is Key

In Farming, USDA, weather by Cindy

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is now estimating corn acreage planted is at 91.6 million acres, down 4 percent from last year, which represents the lowest planted acreage in the United States since 2010, but still the fifth-largest acreage planted since 1944. USDA chief economist Joe Glauber says with the numbers in, the attention shifts from acres to weather …

Ethanol Gives an Extra Boost Even as Temperatures Drop

In Biofuels, Ethanol, weather by Cathryn

With temperatures well below normal across much of the country, stories focused on how to best handle the problems that accompany an arctic blast dominate newspapers, radio and television alike. One from South Dakota, where they contend with this type of winter wonderland on a regular basis, points out how ethanol blends in automotive fuel actually helps keep drivers up …

ISU Climatologist Looks at 2013

In Audio, Farming, Livestock, weather by Cindy

Iowa State University professor Dr. Elwynn Taylor is one of the nation’s foremost extension climatologists, but even the best sometimes get the weather forecasts wrong. When asked this time last year what the drought possibilities were for Iowa he said “less than 50%.” Take those odds to the racetrack and you would have been a big winner last year if …

It’s Always Something – Again

In USDA, weather by Cindy

Once again, Roseanne Roseannadanna comes to mind this week as farmers manage to almost catch up to normal in planting, but many in Iowa are looking at having to re-plant due to flooded fields. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey posted this photo on his Facebook page yesterday of an Iowa corn field. “Lots of corn in Iowa is swimming …

Snow Slows Planting Progress

In Farming, USDA, weather by Cindy

Nothing like a little snow in May to really slow down a planter! This photo from Minnesota was posted last week on the Case IH Facebook page. Despite the snow, Minnesota farmers did manage to get two percent of their corn crop in the ground last week, but they should have over half of it planted by now. Nearly 50% …

It’s Always Something

In Farming, USDA, weather by Cindy

This spring is an example of what Gilda Radner’s character Roseanne Roseannadanna on the old Saturday Night Live shows used to say: “It just goes to show you, it’s always something! If it’s not one thing, it’s another!” That’s what farming is all about when it comes to the weather. Last spring’s weather was picture perfect for planting and fast …

How Drought Hit Trend Yields

In General, weather by Cindy

Most of us know where the drought hit the hardest last year, but it’s always more interesting to see it in living color. The University of Illinois’ FarmDoc Daily did just that by comparing state corn yields last year with trend yields, showing how much yields were reduced in the most drought-stricken areas. You can click on the map below …

Will Drought Continue in 2013?

In Farming, weather by Cindy

The good news is that the overall drought area in the U.S. is continuing to decline from week to week. The bad news is that 2013 may be even drier than 2012 was. The latest U.S. drought monitor shows less than 56% of the country in drought now, the lowest point since last July. “It’s also a decline of 5.36% …

2012 Was Officially the Hottest Ever

In USDA, weather by Cindy

It is now official that 2012 was the hottest year on record, according to the latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) State of the Climate report. 2012 marked the warmest year on record for the contiguous United States with the year consisting of a record warm spring, second warmest summer, fourth warmest winter and a warmer-than-average autumn. The average …