March Farm Prices Received And Paid Increase

March Prices Received Index Increased 4.5 Percent The March Prices Received Index (Agricultural Production), at 94.9, increased 4.5 percent from February 2018. At 87.5, the Crop Production Index increased 1.5 percent. The Livestock Production Index, at 99.8, increased 5.9 percent. Producers received higher prices for market eggs, broilers, lettuce, and milk but lower prices for oranges, hogs, lemons, and grapefruit. Compared with a year earlier, the Prices Received Index is up 0.9 percent. The Crop Production Index increased 2.2 percent but the Livestock Production Index decreased 0.7 percent. In addition to prices, the indexes are influenced by the volume change of commodities producers mar

This Week's Drought Summary (4/26)

The southern High Plains’ second wildfire outbreak in less than a week preceded the arrival of storm system that provided much-needed rainfall on April 20-21. Rainfall in the Plains’ drought-affected areas generally totaled around an inch or less. (Additional rain fell across portions of the central and southern Plains on April 24-25 but will be largely reflected next week.) The fires peaked in intensity on April 17, when southwesterly winds fanned flames amid soaring temperatures, but continued into the following day when winds shifted to a northwesterly direction. Oklahoma’s two largest April wildfires—the Rhea Fire (in Dewey County) and the 34 Complex (in Woodward County)—were nearly full

Spring flush pushes cheese production

Dairy prices were mostly higher last week as the Midwest dug out from an unusual Mid-April blizzard. Cheddar block cheese climbed to $1.6350 per pound Thursday but closed Friday at $1.6025, down a quarter-cent on the week and 5 3/4-cents above a year ago, as traders awaited the afternoon’s March Milk Production report. The barrels closed at $1.50, up 4 cents on the week and 7 1/4-cents above a year ago, with 55 cars selling on the week and just 5 of block. The blocks were up 2 3/4-cents Monday, as traders anticipated the afternoon’s March Cold Storage report, but inched back a quarter-cent Tuesday to $1.6275. The barrels were down a penny Monday and also lost a quarter-cent Tuesday, slipping

USDA Crop Progress - Soybean Planting Starts on Average Pace

OMAHA (DTN) -- Soybean planting is on an average pace nationwide, but corn planting remains well behind average in the week ended April 22, according to USDA's National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday. Soybeans are 2% planted, compared to 5% last year and a 2% average. Corn planting is 5% complete, compared to 3% last week, 15% last year and a 15% average. Winter wheat is 13% headed, compared to 9% last week, 30% last year and a 19% average. Winter wheat condition improved slightly to 6% excellent, compared to 5% last week. Here are some highlights from selected states: Colorado Several counties across the state received needed moisture in the form of rain

This Week's Drought Summary (4/19)

A powerful spring storm emerged from the West and brought extreme conditions to several regions. For example, historic, late-season snow blanketed portions of the northern Plains, upper Midwest, and Great Lakes region, snarling traffic and severely stressing livestock. Meanwhile, dry, windy weather contributed to a major wildfire outbreak, starting on April 12, and led to blowing dust and further reductions in rangeland, pasture, and crop conditions. Farther east, heavy showers and locally severe thunderstorms swept across portions of the southern and eastern U.S. Elsewhere, unsettled, showery weather lingered in the Northwest, extending as far south as northern California. Northeast A storm

Vote Clears House Farm Bill - House Ag Committee Advances Farm Bill With Few Farm Changes, Major SNA

WASHINGTON (DTN) -- After hours of criticism by Democrats on changes to food programs, the House Agriculture Committee passed a farm bill out of committee Wednesday on a strictly partisan 26-20 vote as every Republican voted for the bill and every Democrat opposed it. Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, told reporters afterward he hopes the bill can get to a full House vote during the first week of May. Conaway said in opening remarks he was determined to get the bill done on time, as the current farm bill expires Sept. 30, the end of the federal fiscal year. "My view on this has not changed," Conaway said. "The current farm bill is set to expire at the end of the year, so we have a duty to a

Dairy prices encounter ups and downs

Dairy prices saw more ups and downs the second week of April. The Cheddar blocks finished Friday the 13th at $1.6050 per pound, up a quarter-cent on the week and 13 cents above a year ago. The barrels closed at $1.46, up a penny and 3 1/4-cents above a year ago. Two cars of block were traded at the CME last week and 29 of barrel. The blocks were unchanged Monday, as the Midwest dug out from a mid-April blizzard, but they jumped 2 1/2-cents Tuesday, to $1.63, lifted perhaps by the morning’s Global Dairy Trade auction. The barrels were also unchanged Monday but gained 2 pennies Tuesday, hitting $1.48, a still too high 15 cents below the blocks. Cheese demand reports are generally positive from

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Corn Planting Progress Frozen

OMAHA (DTN) -- Cold, snowy weather across much of the Midwest and Northern Plains kept farmers from making much progress on corn planting last week, according to USDA's latest weekly Crop Progress report issued Monday. As of Sunday, April 15, only 3% of U.S. corn was planted, up just 1 percentage point from the previous week and behind the five-year average of 5%. Meanwhile, there was both good news and bad news for winter wheat in Monday's report. The good news was that the percentage of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition was up 1 percentage point from 30% the previous week to 31% last week. The bad news was that the percentage of the crop in very poor-to-poor condition increased

House Releases Farm Bill Draft - Outside of Dairy, Most Farm Programs Look Similar to Current Farm B

OMAHA (DTN) -- Congressmen have been quick to point out 2018 farm income is projected to be less than half of what it was five years ago, but the farm bill draft rolled out Thursday by House Agriculture Committee leadership makes few changes to the safety net for most commodity producers. Some key changes in the farm bill plan for farmers: -- The Agricultural Risk Coverage program would use crop insurance data to determine county yields. Price Loss Coverage would adjust reference prices when markets improve and allow farmers affected by droughts to update yields. Farmers would also be allowed to change elections for ARC or PLC. -- Marketing loans are maintained and the sugar policy remains t

This Week's Drought Summary (4/12)

A series of storms systems with varying amounts of precipitation swept across most of the lower 48 States this week, including the Far West which was mostly dry last week. After a very dry February, normally one of the wettest months of the year in California, repeated storms have brought welcome precipitation to most of the state, gradually increasing WYTD precipitation and Sierra snows closer to normal. Decent precipitation (2-6 inches, locally to 10 inches) also fell on western Oregon and Washington and in the Cascades. In the Southwest, however, storms have generally bypassed this region this winter (and this week), and after a disappointing 2017 summer monsoon, drought conditions expand

Dairy prices begin to climb

Dairy prices were mostly higher last week. Cheddar block cheese closed Friday at $1.6025 per pound, up 7 1/4-cents on the week and 14 1/4-cents above a year ago. The barrels finished at $1.45, up a penny and 1 1/2-cents above a year ago. Six cars of block were traded on the week at the CME and 32 of barrel. The blocks were unchanged Monday but jumped 3 3/4-cents Tuesday, to $1.64, highest price since Nov. 16, 2017. The barrels were up 2 3/4-cents Monday to narrow the gap, but stayed there Tuesday at $1.4775, a still too high 16 1/4-cent spread. Cheese demand is mixed, says Dairy Market News. Reversing a trend from previous weeks, Italian style cheesemakers report steady to increased sales. W

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Winter Wheat Condition Worsens

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. winter wheat condition worsened last week, according to USDA's latest weekly Crop Progress report issued Monday. For the week ended April 8, 2018, winter wheat was rated only 30% in good-to-excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from 32% the previous week and well below 53% at the same time last year. It is the crop's lowest good-to-excellent rating in over 20 years. Thirty-five percent of winter wheat was rated poor to very poor, up 5 percentage points from 30% the previous week and well above 13% last year. Based on USDA's condition ratings, DTN's Winter Wheat Index was 50, the lowest rating back to at least 1996-97, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. USDA also repor

Profit outlook mixed for Northwest agriculture

Most agricultural commodities in the Northwest are expected to show varying degrees of black ink in 2018, but milk producers can expect their share of negative margins. Most agricultural sectors in the Northwest will be slightly profitable in 2018, and some will be very profitable, but many will face challenges of one type or another, an analyst says. “There’s good and bad in the story. The economy is strong, but there are some concerns with trade risks,” Karen Witt, vice president of industry and portfolio insights with Northwest Farm Credit Services, said. Strong profits are expected in the fisheries and forestry industries based on strong demand for fish and lumber. Profitable returns are

This Week's Drought Summary (4/5)

With a blocking ridge of high pressure anchored over the Southwest, a series of cold fronts tracked across the eastern two-thirds of the Nation. The fronts, however, slowed their southeastward advance across the South and Southeast, and after picking up Gulf moisture, produced numerous and widespread showers and thunderstorms with heavy precipitation (more than 2 inches) from the southern Great Plains northeastward into the northern Appalachians. This was similar to the weather pattern back in mid- to late February when the lower Mississippi, Tennessee, and Ohio Valleys were deluged. Lighter precipitation also occurred across the northern halves of the Rockies and Plains, the upper Midwest,

Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer slips 5 points

The decline was attributable to ag producers’ weakening perceptions of current conditions and a decline in their expectations for the future. The Purdue/CME Group Ag Economy Barometer slipped 5 points in March, down to 135, which is the same as January’s result. The decline in the sentiment index, which is based upon a monthly a survey of 400 agricultural producers from across the U.S, was attributable to ag producers’ weakening perceptions of current conditions and a decline in their expectations for the future. The Index of Current Conditions fell to 134 in March, a 9-point drop from February, and the Index of Future Expectations slipped to 135, down 4 points compared to a month earlier. D

USDA Weekly Crop Progress - First Crop Progress Report of Season Shows Worst Winter Wheat Conditions

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. winter wheat appears to be starting off the 2018 growing season in the worst condition in over a decade, according to USDA's first weekly Crop Progress report issued Monday. For the week ended April 1, 2018, winter wheat was rated only 32% in good-to-excellent condition, well below 51% at the same time last year and the lowest good-to-excellent rating since 2002. Based on USDA's condition ratings, DTN's Winter Wheat Index was 65, also the lowest rating since 2002. Top winter-wheat-producing state Kansas reported only 10% of its crop in good-to-excellent condition. Meanwhile, for the crops USDA included in its report this week, planting was progressing at a near-average pa

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