First-Half 2018 Forecasts for Milk Show Mostly Year-Over-Year Production Increases with Lower Prices

With recent price declines in dairy products and continued high stock levels, the all-milk price for the fourth quarter of 2017 is $17.75-$17.95 per cwt, a reduction from last month’s forecast of $17.85-$18.15. The 2018 all-milk price forecast is $16.65-$17.45 per cwt, a reduction from last month’s forecast of $16.90-$17.80. The 2018 forecast for domestic use on a milk-fat milk-equivalent basis has been lowered to 215.9 billion pounds, 0.8 billion less than last month’s forecast. On a skim-solids milk-equivalent basis, the forecast for 2018 commercial use is 183.2 billion pounds, 1.9 billion less than last month’s forecast. With lower expected prices, the 2018 milk production forecast has be

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017: No. 1 Same Song, Fifth Verse: Record Corn Crop Again

OMAHA (DTN) -- Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. We complete our countdown Friday with the No. 1 story of the year: defying expectations and weather extremes in various parts of the country, a fifth consecutive record corn crop emerged in the U.S. and sent prices diving. ** As we end 2017, it will be remembered as the year when record corn yields were achieved in the face of the driest Corn Belt conditions since 2012. The beginning of 2017 feels like it was about four years ago, but looking back, the year for ag started with excitement for the arrival of President Donald Trump and also harbored

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017: 3, 2 Weather Extremes, Trumps' Tough Trade Talk and Tactics

OMAHA (DTN) -- Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. We continue counting down with No. 3 being weather extremes and No. 2 highlighting the tough trade talk and tactics by President Donald Trump. No. 3: Wide Variability in 2017 Weather Extreme weather happenings populated 2017, but had little effect on final crop production. OMAHA (DTN) -- The descriptor word "extreme" was often used to describe weather events of 2017. There was indeed a wide gyration of such happenings in North America: heavy precipitation, dryness, temperature swings and storms. HEAVY PRECIPITATION Winter 2017 brought very heavy

This Week's Drought Summary (12/28)

A series of storm systems tracked across the lower 48 States, dropping light to moderate precipitation on the Northwest and northern half of the Rockies, which eventually entrained ample Gulf moisture into the system while over the lower Mississippi Valley. As a result, widespread moderate to heavy rains (2-6 inches, locally to 10 inches) fell from northeastern Texas northeastward into the southern and central Appalachians, with the greatest totals reported in central Arkansas and western Tennessee. As the systems trekked farther eastward, light to moderate precipitation also fell on the Northeast and the Carolinas as frigid conditions gradually replaced the mild air from earlier in the week

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017: 4 - Dicamba Drama Continues

DECATUR, Illinois (DTN) -- Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. No. 4 in the countdown is divisive dicamba decisions and the controversy continuing to drift on. The herbicide trait system that uses dicamba caused rifts within the agriculture community as injury from off-target movement showed up in millions of acres of soybeans in 2017. ** Farmers may have had dicamba in their weed arsenal for more than 50 years, but the agronomic tool took a divisive turn in 2017. Unprecedented complaints of injury to sensitive crops were recorded across the U.S. during the first full year of the Roundup Ready Xt

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017: No. 5 The Trump Factor: The President's First Year in Office

OMAHA (DTN) -- Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. In the No. 5 spot is the impact of President Donald Trump on ag in his first year in office. The first year of Donald Trump's presidency was anything but boring, even when it came to agriculture. Much like the country band Big & Rich, President Trump rode into Washington, D.C., "and this town ain't never gonna be the same." President Trump and his team started the year freezing regulations the outgoing Obama Administration sought to squeeze in as they walked out the door. The year ended with the president finally scoring his biggest legislative v

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017: 7, 6 Loftier Times for Livestock; Company Consolidation Continues

OMAHA (DTN) -- Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year, as selected by DTN analysts, editors and reporters. We continue counting down with No. 7 being loftier times for livestock, and No. 6 focusing on continuing consolidation of agricultural companies. ** No. 7: Rock Star Demand for Red Meat in 2017 DTN's No. 7 top ag news story of 2017 highlights how much brighter it was this year for livestock than it has been in a while, ranging from higher numbers of cattle, to pork industry expansion, to higher meat demand domestically and for export. HASTINGS, Neb. (DTN) -- Imagine this classic scene of annoyance and aggravation: You find yourself captive at wha

Climate Outlook - What's Next for the Pacific Northwest?

La Niña Conditions Weak La Niña conditions are present in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and are expected to continue through winter 2017-18. The latest weekly sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are below normal, continuing the pattern that has existed for the last several months. In addition, the atmosphere has been displaying signs of La Niña in the circulation as well. The "La Niña Advisory" is still in effect from the Climate Prediction Center. ENSO forecast models show weak La Niña conditions through the winter 2017-18 with the chances of the La Niña persisting through the February-April period at about 65%. What does this mean in the coming months? The Climate

Dairy prices wobble through holidays

Cash dairy prices weakened the week before Christmas though cheese and powder regained a little ground at week’s end. A somewhat bullish Milk Production report may have been partly responsible but traders were also anticipating the November Cold Storage report. CME block Cheddar fell to $1.4350 per pound last Wednesday, lowest price since March 21, 2017, but jumped a nickel Friday to close at $1.4925, down 3 3/4-cents on the week, down 22 1/4-cents since Nov. 3, and 19 3/4-cents below a year ago when they dropped 11 cents. The barrels dipped to $1.40 last Wednesday, the lowest price since July 10, 2017, but closed Friday at $1.41, down 25 cents on the week, 14 1/2-cents below a year ago when

Senators press U.S. Forest Service on greater sage-grouse review

Last month, agency signaled that it may be seeking potential changes to 2015 greater sage-grouse plans. A total of 13 Democrat senators wrote a letter to U.S. Forest Service chief Tony Tooke to request information about the agency’s role in the Trump Administration’s review of 2015 plans to protect the imperiled greater sage-grouse. In a Federal Register notice last month, the U.S. Forest Service signaled that the agency may be seeking potential changes to the 2015 plans. Because modifying the plans could have a significant economic impact on rural communities, the senators asked for details on the agency’s review and requested an extended comment period. The greater sage-grouse population t

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017 - Numbers 9 and 8: RFS Fights, Credit Crunch

OMAHA (DTN) -- Each year, DTN publishes our choices for the top 10 ag news stories of the year. In this story, we continue counting down, beginning with No. 9 that focuses on the battle over the Renewable Fuel Standard, then No. 8 sees how the credit crunch is creeping up on farmers. No. 9 RFS: Ethanol Faces RFS Fights, Growing Exports DTN's No. 9 top ag news story of 2017 was the battle -- and controversy -- surrounding the future of the Renewable Fuel Standard and its impact on ethanol production. OMAHA (DTN) -- When Donald Trump was elected president, much of his support came from ethanol-producing states where corn is king. The big question for biofuels interests entering 2017 was whethe

Top 10 Ag News Stories of 2017 - Counting Down the Most Influential Stories

OMAHA (DTN) -- The DTN countdown of the 10 most influential stories in agriculture is an annual ritual in the DTN newsroom. Like the mad dash for the last few Christmas presents or the threat from Senior Analyst Darin Newsom to bring scrapple to the newsroom holiday snack party, a year's end would not be the same without our review of the stories that our reporters and editors feel had the greatest effect on you, our readers and customers. Looking over the list of potential pieces, we were reminded of what a roller coaster 2017 was -- from deadly spring fires across the Southern Plains to the devastating floods spawned by harvest-time hurricanes. There were the threats of a loss of the Renew

10 agricultural improvements in new tax reform bill

The legislation was signed into law Friday before Christmas by President Trump. Congress delivered the historic 560-plus-page Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and President Donald Trump signed it into law on the Friday before Christmas. The changes will affect 2018 taxes, not those for 2017. Here are a few details offered by American Farm Bureau Federation of what’s wrapped up inside it for agriculture: 1. Property tax deductions. This business deduction continues for real estate and person property taxes on farm business assets. 2. Co-op dividends. The Domestic Production Activities (Section 199) Deduction is replaced with a new 20% maximum deduction on taxable income for qualified cooperative divide

This Week's Drought Summary (12/20)

Snow fell across most of the Northeast, but it was dry across most of the contiguous United States, with much of the country receiving less than 0.10 inch of precipitation and many areas receiving nothing at all. Part of the South, from eastern Texas to western Alabama, did receive more than an inch of rain, with locally heavier amounts, which helped improve dry conditions. Temperatures were generally below average across the eastern third of the U.S. and above average across most of the western two-thirds. Warmth was notable in eastern Montana and the Dakotas where temperatures were up to 20°F above normal. It was around 5-10°F above normal in the central U.S., an area that continued to see

Cash dairy markets break records

Records were broke in last week’s cash dairy markets. CME block Cheddar fell to $1.4450 per pound on Dec. 12 but then rallied and closed Friday at $1.53, up 5 1/2-cents on the week and reversed six weeks of decline, but was 27 cents below a year ago. The barrels closed at $1.66, down a penny, 4 cents below a year ago, and 13 cents above the blocks after setting a record inverted spread of 22 1/2-cents last Tuesday. They also set a record single day volume Monday, selling 36 cars, highest since daily trading started Sept. 1, 1998 and surpassed the previous high of 35 loads set June 18, 2010, according to FC Stone. A total of 97 cars were sold last week at the CME and just 7 of block. The bloc

La Nina will tighten chilly grip on NW

La Nina conditions, associated with cold and wet Northwest winters, have strengthened in the past month. La Nina conditions, a harbinger of a cold and wet winter in the Northwest, have strengthened over the past month in the Pacific Ocean, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported today, Below-average sea-surface temperatures along the equator in the central and eastern Pacific became increasingly prominent, according to NOAA’s monthly update on ocean conditions. Climatologists lean heavily on ocean temperatures to make seasonal forecasts. NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center is scheduled to issue a new three-month outlook Dec. 21. The center already was forecasting a relative

This Week's Drought Summary (12/12)

Conditions were dry and windy across much of the western United States over this past drought week, December 5-12. Wildfires, fueled by strong Santa Ana winds, destroyed hundreds of structures and burned well over 100,000 acres, enhancing the state’s deadliest and costliest wildfire year on record. An unprecedented purple flag (wind) warning was posted on the 8th. Red flag warnings were posted from Colorado to Illinois on the 11th. Daily temperatures were above average across the western two-thirds of the U.S., particularly notable across the Southwest stretching into the High Plains. Snow fell across the South and Southeast, a rarity in many places, including southern Texas eastward into Ge

Cash dairy market breaks volume records

CME block Cheddar fell to $1.47 per pound last Wednesday but closed Friday at $1.4750, down 8 3/4-cents on the week and the sixth consecutive week of decline, 23 1/2-cents below a year ago and 19 1/2-cents below the barrels. The barrels closed the week at $1.67, up 13 1/2-cents and 9 1/4-cents above a year ago, with 34 cars of block finding new homes last week and a whopping 56 of barrel. The blocks lost 1 3/4-cents Monday and 1 1/4-cents Tuesday, dipping to $1.4450, the lowest price since March 29, 2017. The barrels were unchanged Monday, despite 36 cars being sold, a record single-day volume since daily trading started Sept. 1, 1998 and eclipsing the previous high of 35 loads set June 18,

Dairy prices continue lower

CME dairy prices were mostly lower last week. Cheddar block cheese fell to $1.55 per pound the first day of trading following the Thanksgiving break, but closed Friday at $1.5625, down 4 3/4-cents on the week and 24 3/4-cents below a year ago. The barrels fell to $1.51 last Wednesday and finished Friday at $1.5350, down 14 cents on the week and 8 cents below a year ago. Twenty-two cars of block traded hands on the week and a whopping 62 of barrel. The blocks tumbled 4 1/4-cents Monday and slipped three-quarters Tuesday, to $1.5125, as traders analyzed the morning’s Global Dairy Trade auction and awaited Tuesday afternoon’s October Dairy Products report. That’s the lowest block price since Au

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