October Ag Prices Received Decrease 5.2%, Prices Paid Up .7%

October Prices Received Index Decreased 5.2 Percent The October Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 87.3, decreased 5.2 percent from September 2017. At 82.2, the Crop Production Index decreased 8.1 percent. At 94.1, the Livestock Production Index decreased 0.7 percent. Producers received lower prices for market eggs, broilers, apples, and potatoes but higher prices for cattle, lettuce, sweet corn, and hay. Compared with a year earlier, the Prices Received Index is up 8.3 percent. The Crop Production Index increased 3.8 percent. The Livestock Production Index increased 14 percent. In addition to prices, the indexes are influenced by the volume change of commodities producers m

This Week's Drought Summary (11/30)

This U.S. Drought Monitor week saw a series of storms impact the Pacific Northwest, northern California, and northern Rockies. The heaviest precipitation was observed across the Olympic Mountains and North Cascades of western Washington where precipitation accumulations (liquid) ranged from 4-to-12 inches. In the Puget Lowlands of western Washington, runoff from the storm event led to severe flooding on the Skagit River that peaked at 5 feet above flood stage on Friday. Elsewhere in the West, unseasonably warm temperatures were observed across parts of the region including record-breaking high temperatures reported across southern California, the Desert Southwest, western Great Basin, and al

Too much to digest at dairy markets

Capital Press Dairy traders had a lot to digest last week and it wasn’t just turkey. The menu also included the October Milk Production, Cold Storage and Slaughter reports, plus the Global Dairy Trade auction. They closed the Thanksgiving-holiday shortened week with CME block Cheddar at $1.61 per pound, down a penny on the week and 25 cents below a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.6750, up 4 3/4-cents, 1 1/2-cents below a year ago, and an inverted 6 1/2-cents above the blocks. The blocks fell 6 cents Monday only to get it back Tuesday, returning to $1.61. The barrels rolled 8 1/2-cents lower Monday and lost a nickel Tuesday, plunging to $1.54, the lowest price since Sept. 21, with 13 car

3 tips to enhance post-weaning heifer nutrition

A strong heifer nutrition program is a multi-phase process geared toward optimizing animal growth and development. While there’s no one-size-fits-all program every farm or calf ranch must adopt, the most successful heifer raisers have a few things in common, including: They feed high-quality feedstuffs. They feed to maximize productivity. They don’t feed too much forage too soon. They keep accurate health and growth records for each animal, especially cases of scours and pneumonia. In addition, successful operations monitor and measure performance throughout the heifer-rearing process. This enables them to make informed career decisions for each animal at points that enhance economic investm

Win the race to protect newborn calves

A fast time is crucial to winning a race. Newborn calf care is a lot like a race: The faster you get quality colostrum in calves, the sooner they’ll start to build immunity through antibodies known as immunoglobulins. “IgG” stands for immunoglobulin G, a protein produced mainly by plasma cells. The protein is used by the immune system to combat pathogenic bacteria and viruses. In cattle, they are transferred from the dam’s blood serum to colostrum in the mammary gland a few weeks before calving. This IgG “download” peaks one to three days before calving. We hear a lot about IgG because it is the predominant immunoglobulin in colostrum, making up about 85 percent of the total of these type of

Effective calf scours management involves more than replacing lost fluids

Calf scours is one of the most important and costly calf health issues affecting dairy operations in North America. According to the USDA, scours, diarrhea and other digestive problems are responsible for more than half of all pre-weaned heifer calf deaths. The National Animal Health Monitoring Survey attributes six in 10 deaths of calves under the age of 2 months to calf scours. Financial losses are not measured solely by calf mortality; veterinary care, medications and increased labor to treat sick dairy calves are also costly. More importantly, scours impairs growth and reduces performance and overall profitability throughout the lifetime of the animal. Calves that scour in the first 14 d

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Final Crop Progress Report of Year Shows Wheat Conditions Below Five-Yea

OMAHA (DTN) -- USDA's final Crop Progress report of 2017 showed winter wheat conditions below the five-year average. USDA estimated winter wheat conditions at 50% good to excellent as of Sunday, Nov. 26, down 2 percentage points from 52% good to excellent the previous week. That resulted in a DTN Winter Wheat Condition Index of 130, down 5 points from the previous week. "DTN's index is down from 147 a year ago and below the five-year average of 135. Monday's lower crop rating was slightly bullish for winter wheat prices," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. Winter wheat progress continued at an average pace with USDA estimating 92% of the crop emerged as of Sunday, the same as both a year ago and

Milk production growth continues

October 2017 U.S. milk production grew 1.4 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, picking up the pace after slowing somewhat in September, according to the USDA’s latest Milk Production report. At 1.5 percent, year-over-year growth in the 23 major dairy states was also higher, led by gains of 5 percent or more in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Utah. The increase came despite a 1,000-head decline in cow numbers from September. USDA: October recap Reviewing the USDA estimates for October 2017 compared with October 2016: • U.S. milk production: 17.81 billion pounds, up 1.4 percent • U.S. cow numbers: 9.4 million, up 65,000 head • U.S. average milk per cow per month: 1,894 pounds, up

This Week's Drought Summary (11/22)

With a few exceptions, dry weather dominated the contiguous 48 states this past week, particularly in areas already experiencing dryness and drought. Heavy precipitation fell on the orographically-favored areas in the West (specifically, the Sierra Nevada, windward slopes of the Cascades, and much of the coastline from northern California to the Canadian border). Anywhere from 4 to locally 12 inches doused much of these areas. Between 2 and 4 inches fell from central and eastern Illinois eastward across central and northern sections of Indian and Ohio, Michigan, and northwestern Pennsylvania, and similar amounts were more isolated across the higher elevations of the northern Idaho Panhandle,

Cheese, butter prices fall

Cash cheese and butter retreated last week. Traders anticipated a short three-day week this week, due to Thanksgiving, but with no lack of fodder. The October Milk Production report was issued Monday, the Global Dairy Trade auction was Tuesday, and the October Cold Storage and Slaughter reports are out Wednesday, the final day of trading for the week, plus announcement of 2017’s final Federal order Class I base milk price. CME block Cheddar closed Friday at $1.62 per pound, down 9 cents on the week and 29 cents below a year ago when it peaked for the year at $1.91. The barrels finished at $1.6275, down 12 1/2-cents, 12 1/4-cents below a year ago, and three-quarters above the blocks. Two cars

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Winter Wheat Conditions Down Slightly

OMAHA (DTN) -- Winter wheat conditions dropped again from the previous week, according to USDA's latest Crop Progress report released on Monday. With 88% of the crop emerged as of Sunday, USDA estimated that 52% of the winter wheat crop was in good-to-excellent condition, down slightly from 54% the previous week. That resulted in a DTN Winter Wheat Condition Index of 135, down 2 points from the previous week. "DTN's index is down from 147 a year ago and is a little below the five-year average of 138, but is close enough to be considered neutral for winter wheat prices," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. Corn harvest continued to lag slightly behind the average pace. USDA estimated that 90% of c

AFBF survey finds cost of Thanksgiving feast for 10 is $49.12

Cost for the feast is the lowest since 2013. Are you dreaming of stuffing, gravy and turkey? Your wait is almost over. In advance of the holiday, American Farm Bureau Federation has released its annual price survey of classic items found on the Thanksgiving Day dinner table. The 32nd annual price survey found the average cost of this year’s feast for 10 is $49.12, a 75-cent decrease from last year’s average of $49.87. The big ticket item – a 16-pound turkey – came in at a total of $22.38 this year. That’s roughly $1.40 per pound, a decrease of 2 cents per pound, or a total of 36 cents per whole turkey, compared to 2016. “For the second consecutive year, the overall cost of Thanksgiving dinne

Farm exports climb 8% for 2017

Exports hit third -highest level on record, with China finishing as largest export customer. U.S. agricultural exports totaled $140.5 billion in fiscal 2017, climbing nearly $10.9 billion from the previous year to the third-highest level on record. As it has done for well more than 50 years, the U.S. agriculture sector once again posted an annual trade surplus, which reached $21.3 billion, up almost 30% from last year’s $16.6 billion. “U.S. agriculture depends on trade. It is great to see an increase in exports, and we hope to open additional markets to build on this success,” Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue said. “I’m a grow-it-and-sell-it kind of guy. If American agricultural produce

Gut development predicts a calf's life

THE 2017 American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) annual meeting was held in Pittsburgh in June. Over 1,900 attendees from 48 countries participated. Four abstracts related to calves and heifers have been selected for brief review. Intestines cue Immunity This was part of a Ruminant Nutri­tion Symposium entitled "Ruminal Metagenomics in Dairy Cattle - Beyond Microbial Diversity." Because of little understanding of the preru­minant gut microbiome, this study characterized the small intestinal (jejunum and ileum) rnicrobiorne of preweaned calves. Its aim was to understand the dynamics of postna­tal microbial establishment within the first six weeks of life a potentially interacts with the hos

This Week's Drought Summary

It was a dry week for the Nation as a whole. Widespread heavy precipitation was restricted to the central and northern West Coast from the Cascades and northern Sierra Nevada westward. A few patches near the coast recorded 6 to 12 inches of precipitation. Across the remainder of the contiguous states, only a few small areas reported over 1.5 inches, with most locations observing little or none. As a result, short-term dryness continued to develop and expand across the south-central and southeastern U.S. as 30- to 90-day precipitation deficits continued to steadily increase, overcoming the wet weather that had squelched dryness impacts in much of these regions several months ago. Northeast Li

Dairy prices continue to undulate

CME dairy prices are on a roller coaster again. Block cheddar fell to $1.6025 per pound last Wednesday, the lowest price since Sept. 21, 2017, then jumped 11 1/4-cents Thursday, and closed Friday at $1.71, down a half-cent on the week and 17 1/2-cents below a year ago. The barrels dipped to $1.70 last Tuesday, then gained a nickel Thursday, and finished Friday at $1.7525, up 3 3/4-cents on the week, a quarter-cent below a year ago, and an inverted 4 1/4-cents above the blocks. The blocks inched up a quarter-cent Monday, only to give it back Tuesday, returning to $1.71. The barrels dropped 5 1/4-cents Monday and stayed there Tuesday, at $1.70. Midwestern cheese producers report that sales are

Cautious optimism seen on ag economic conditions

Academics and Federal Reserve bank surveys show improvements in farm incomes and stabilizing farmland values. With some improvements in 2017 in farm income and farm assets, optimism is slowing growing for finding the bottom in the current low agricultural economic cycle. The downturn in agriculture has been gradual over the last three years, with increases in farm incomes and farm assets forecasted for 2017. Strength in farmland markets has helped as cropland values and cash rents remain flat for the U.S. “Livestock cash receipts are expected to increase, and we do see strength in farmland markets, where declines are seeming to stabilize,” Ani Katchova, Ohio State University associate profes

2018 OUTLOOK - Rising milk production to pressure dairy sector

DEMAND sufficient enough to handle increasing glob-al milk production will be the largest challenge for he dairy sector in 2018, according to Nathan Payton, director of dairy services for Informa Economics IEG. Payton explained that there were some pretty nasty margins for the international market in 2016, which hampered milk production in the European Union. Poor weather in Oceania also affected production in New Zealand and Australia. “Margins were so bad that the government put in milk production reduction incentives in Europe, and producers responded,” he said. Global milk production declined pretty significantly in late 2016, which spooked the market and caused dairy product prices to r

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Winter Wheat Conditions Fall Slightly

OMAHA (DTN) -- Winter wheat conditions fell slightly from the previous week, according to USDA's latest Crop Progress report released on Monday. USDA estimated that 54% of the winter wheat crop was rated good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from 55% the previous week. That resulted in a DTN Winter Wheat Condition Index of 137, down 3 points from the previous week. DTN's index is down from 148 a year ago and is a little below the five-year average of 140, but is close enough to be considered neutral for winter wheat prices, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. Winter wheat progress was running at a near-average pace with USDA estimating 95% of the crop planted as of Sunday, up from 94% a year

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