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home : ag & business : ag February 5, 2016

Solid demand, short-term technicals push markets higher
TAYLORVILLE —Grain trade has been higher in mixed trade this week due to some position squaring, short covering, light chart buying, and solid, though unspectacular, demand items. For the week, March corn is up a penny, though it managed to finish out last week on a strong note, up six cents on Friday. March soybeans are up four cents on the week, but they too had an impressive day on Friday, finishing 14 cents higher.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016


No new horse virus cases reported in Illinois
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Department of Agriculture officials say they haven't received any new reports of equine herpes virus which sickened eight horses last week at Bartlett's Sunset Hill Farm.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

U of I: updated online crop insurance decision tools
URBANA, Ill. - A completely revamped crop insurance section of the University of Illinois farmdoc website is being released today along with two new web-based decision tools. The ifarm Premium Calculator provides farmer-paid premiums for insurance products on a per acre basis. The ifarm Insurance Evaluator provides performance evaluations of alternative crop insurance products for a case farm within a county.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Christian County Farm Bureau announces annual scholarships
TAYLORVILLE — The Christian County Farm Bureau (CCFB) Foundation Board of Trustees and the Christian County Young Ag Leaders (YAL) continued its commitment to supporting young agriculturists by approving to continue sponsoring scholarship allotments for 2016 at their January Board of Trustees Meeting.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016

US soybean meal has greater energy values when fed to pigs than previously estimated
URBANA, Ill. – Differences in soil type, variety of soybeans, climate, or processing conditions can cause the same crop to have different nutritional value when produced in different locations. However, feed composition tables combine values from crops grown all over the world. Results of recent research at the University of Illinois indicate that book values for energy in soybean meal underestimate the energy value of soybean meal produced in the United States.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Markets bracing for South American harvest
TAYLORVILLE —Grains have been lower in mixed trade this week. Fund positions and a general lack of fundamental news have put the emphasis on outside-macro markets as the primary market mover. For the week, March corn is down a penny, and March soybeans are down four cents.
Wednesday, January 27, 2016

California marijuana growers face new crop of local bans
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — When the California Legislature passed the state’s first comprehensive medical marijuana regulations in September, pot advocates hoped the move heralded a new era of trust in their often-tumultuous relationship with wary local officials and police.
Saturday, January 23, 2016

Short-covering continues, new acre projections released
TAYLORVILLE — Fundamental news is seasonally light, especially with the market closed on Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day; markets, though, have managed to trade higher on short-covering this week. 
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

USDA expands microloans to help farmers purchase, improve property
WASHINGTON — Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden announced Tuesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will begin offering farm ownership microloans, creating a new financing avenue for farmers to buy and improve property.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

U of I agricultural economist: Smaller winter wheat crop in 2016?
URBANA, Ill. – The USDA’s December 2015 survey of winter wheat seedings, released on Jan. 12 revealed that producers seeded only 36.609 million acres of winter wheat last fall.
Wednesday, January 20, 2016

USDA 2016 Agricultural Outlook Forum Plenary Panel announced
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2016 — The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the members of this year's Agricultural Outlook Forum Plenary Panel on "Providing Leadership for Present and Future Generations in the Transformation of Agriculture."
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Weak export demand continues to contribute to low corn prices
URBANA, Ill. — The high corn prices of late 2010 through mid-2014 were associated with a combination of strong demand resulting from growing ethanol production, high livestock prices, and reduced supply resulting from the small U.S. corn crops of 2010, 2011, and especially 2012.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

USDA report prompts light short covering rally
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been higher in mixed trade this week following the release of the final 2015 yield and production data from the USDA on Tuesday. For the week, corn is even, though it did finish five higher on Tuesday as a result of the report. January soybeans, on the other hand, are up 11 cents for the week.
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Monsanto eliminates 1,000 more jobs to cut costs
WASHINGTON (AP) — Monsanto said Wednesday it will eliminate another 1,000 jobs as it expands a cost-cutting plan designed to deal with falling sales of biotech-corn seeds and other financial headwinds.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

U of I Economist: Pork industry faces tight margin year
URBANA, Ill. — Pork producers are expected to experience another year of tight margins in 2016, similar to the year just completed. According to Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt, pork production is expected to rise by about 1 percent, but beef production will rise by 4 percent and poultry by about 3 percent.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Grain markets ring in the new year on a down note
TAYLORVILLE — Corn and Soybean prices opened the first session of the new year on the defensive Monday after several macro-market influences battered market bulls from the onset.
Wednesday, January 6, 2016

DuPont moves ahead on job cuts
AP — DuPont will cut 1,700 jobs in its home state of Delaware and thousands more globally as it prepares for its merger with Dow Chemical.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Western Illinois village looks for clarity on hog farm
CLAYTON, Ill. (AP) — Officials in a western Illinois village are attempting to determine whether local zoning rules prevent construction of a large hog breeding operation that's already won state approval.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Trade grinds to a halt in holiday shortened week
TAYLORVILLE — Fundamental inputs have been slow to develop amid the holiday lull, which has left market analysts turning to the charts and outside markets.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Taylorville FFA Competes at State Meat Evaluation Contest
TAYLORVILLE — The Taylorville FFA Chapter represented Section 16 and Taylorville at the State FFA Meats Evaluation Contest. On Saturday, December 6 four students took part in this competition at the University of Illinois Meat Science Lab in Champaign, Ill.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Central A&M FFA attends National FFA Convention
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The Central A&M FFA traveled to Louisville, Ky. to participate in the 88th National FFA Convention and Expo. The top seven members with the most FFA activity points had the opportunity to attend this year’s convention.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Postcards depict corn the size of tree trunks, 'Jackelopes'
MUSKEGON, Mich. (AP) — Images depicting a collection of assorted oddities are on display at the Lakeshore Museum Center in downtown Muskegon.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Anticipating the Dec.1 corn stocks estimate
URBANA, Ill. — On Jan.12, the USDA will release the final estimate of the size of the 2015 corn crop and an estimate of the magnitude of corn stocks that were being held on Dec. 1.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Markets look to Fed, South America in thin holiday trade
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been lower this week due in large part to thin volume and position squaring ahead of the holiday. Corn benefited slightly after the December contract expired on Friday, but a rally in the U.S. dollar ahead of today’s impending decision by the Fed on whether or not to raise interest rates has created some selling interest.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ethanol production and corn consumption prospects for 2016
URBANA, Ill. — Estimates from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicate that U.S. production of fuel ethanol totaled 14.313 billion gallons during the 2014 calendar year. That quantity is 1.02 billion gallons more than produced in 2013 and about 384 million gallons more than the previous record production in 2011.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

New agriculture exhibit planned for St. Louis Science Center
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A new $7.3 million permanent exhibit meant to teach how food is produced is coming next summer to the St. Louis Science Center, featuring a flock of chickens and a do-it-yourself farming area.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

December USDA report expected to be a no-frills report
TAYLORVILLE — Light volume continues to be typical in the grain markets as trade continues to maneuver its familiar range. For the week, December corn is two cents higher while January beans are down thirty cents. In general, speculative funds have been looking to even up ahead of today’s USDA report while commercials are looking to secure a little extra coverage on the dip in beans.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monsanto pledges to be carbon neutral by 2021
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Monsanto Co. plans to make its operations carbon neutral by 2021, in part by working with farmers who use its products to help them reduce carbon emissions, the company's CEO told The Associated Press.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Grains trade higher on positive technicals, RFS announcement
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been higher this week due to some positive technical indicators and short-covering. Both corn and soybeans posted an outside-up day on the charts on Monday, which could help fuel some bullish momentum. Soybeans, in fact, have traded more than 45 cents off the recent contract lows, established just last week.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

U of I Economist Good: How long will low corn prices persist?
URBANA, Ill. – Corn prices declined following the USDA’s Crop Production report released on Nov. 10 and continue to trade just above marketing-year lows. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, the rate of corn consumption has increased in recent weeks, but the market is skeptical that consumption will increase enough to alter the prospects for abundant year-ending stocks.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hog prices drop to six-year low
URBANA, Ill. — Live hog prices fell below $40 per hundredweight last week. According to Purdue University Extension economist Chris Hurt, this means hog prices are at their lowest level since November 2009. The source of the current downturn in prices has components from both supply and demand.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Argentine elections could reshape global export scene
TAYLORVILLE —The upcoming holiday has made it’s presence felt in the markets this week with light interest and limited price movements. Both corn and beans did feature an upward reversal on Monday, which was encouraging from a technical standpoint. The inability for that move to spark any buying interest, does, however, diminish its impact some.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Price at the Pump printed November 18, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monsanto Fund sponsors scholarship program
TAYLORVILLE — America’s Farmers Grow Ag Leaders, in conjunction with the Monsanto fund, will be awarding $1,500 scholarships to more than 350 students nationwide.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Study: Crop prices and climate variables affect yield and acreage
URBANA, Ill. — When corn prices increase farmers reap higher yields by making changes. According to a recent University of Illinois study, about one-third of the yield increase derives from more intensive management practices and two-thirds from cropping additional acreage. Agricultural economist Madhu Khanna says the findings dampen the ongoing debate about the food price and land use changes due to corn ethanol.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Big export sales to Mexico featured in slow week of trade
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been higher in two-sided trade this week. Fundamental news has been slow to develop and bull spreading has dictated much of the action despite some spill over pressure from the wheat market and some bearish weather items in South America. For the week, December corn is trading four cents higher while January beans are up nine cents.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

LLCC to hold Agriculture Career Expo Nov. 23
SPRINGFIELD — Lincoln Land Community College is holding an Agriculture Career Expo Monday, Nov. 23. The event is being held in the Trutter Center at the Springfield campus, 5250 Shepherd Road.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Price at the Pump printed November 17, 2015
Tuesday, November 17, 2015

U of I economist Good: Waiting for higher corn and soybean prices
URBANA, Ill. – Corn and soybean producers have not priced a relatively large portion of 2015 crops. These crops are being held in open storage, either on the farm or in commercial facilities or in the form of basis contracts or delayed pricing contracts. According to a University of Illinois agricultural economist, producers have judged that there is potential for higher prices, or at least a small risk of lower prices, as the marketing year progresses.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Champaign County farmer sets new state soybean yield record
BLOOMINGTON, ILL. — If outstanding soybean yields are the mission, it’s “mission accomplished” for Champaign County farmer Jason Lakey and his father Robert, who set a new verified state soybean record with 108.3 bushel yield as part of the Illinois Soybean Association's (ISA's) checkoff-funded 100 Bushel Yield Challenge program.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015

USDA report finds twenty-four million tons of Chinese corn
TAYLORVILLE — Grain trade has been lower this week in response to a bearish USDA report on Tuesday. Corn trade is 14 lower on the December contract, and November beans are 7 lower for the week.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015












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