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Across the Corn Belt, warm, dry weather is promoting a rapid crop development pace. In addition, current conditions are helping to ease the effects of lingering wetness across the southern and eastern Corn Belt.

On the Plains, warm, dry weather prevails, aside from scattered showers in western Oklahoma and neighboring areas. Overall conditions remain mostly favorable for rangeland, pastures, and summer crops and—on the northern Plains—winter wheat harvesting.

In the South, warm, humid conditions persist. Scattered showers associated with a weak cold front dot the lower Southeast. Despite the showers, varying degrees of crop and pasture stress exist from the western Gulf Coast region to the Carolinas. On July 26, topsoil moisture in South Carolina was rated 73% very short to short.

In the West, isolated showers are confined to the southern half of the region. In contrast, very hot, dry weather covers the Northwest, promoting small grain harvesting but stressing rangeland, pastures, and immature crops. On July 26, topsoil moisture was rated 80% very short to short in Oregon and California—leading the nation.

Daily Weather Briefing Page

Morning Low Temperature Plot

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Forecast High Temperatures (National)

 

 

 

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BaileeAmstutz_Richwood_Ohio_2015 Grand Champion Market Lamb (3)_webOpening Day of the 2015 Ohio State Fair on Wednesday, July 29, ended with the selection of the Grand Champion market lamb.  

Judge Cade Wilson of Texas spent the day looking at 660 market lambs and in the end a crossbred wether exhibited by 10 year old Bailee Amstutz of Richwood was named Grand Champion. 

“He’s just a really, really good lamb and I love him,” Bailee said. 

Audio: Bailee Amstutz, Richwood, Ohio

The Reserve Grand Champion market lamb was shown by Logan Harvel of Mt. Sterling. 

“He came out of the second heavyweight cross class, he was in Class 31,” said Harvel. “From the start I knew he was pretty good.” 

Harvel exhibited the Grand Champion market lamb last year at the Ohio State Fair. This is Logan’s final year of showing.

Audio: Logan Harvel, Mt. Sterling, Ohio

 

 

 

 

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During the next 5-days, heavy showers (locally 1 to 3 inches) can be expected in parts of the Southwest and lower Southeast. Much higher totals (possibly 6 inches or more) may occur in portions of Florida. Some of the Southwestern showers will spill onto the southern Plains, primarily across western Oklahoma and the panhandle of Texas. In contrast, little or no rain will fall through Tuesday in the mid-South, interior Southeast, and Pacific Northwest. In the Midwest, occasional showers may total an inch or more in a few spots. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal temperatures will dominate the U.S. during the next several days, although cool air will arrive along and near the Pacific Coast, as well as the Midwest and Northeast, early next week.

Looking ahead, the 6- to 10-day outlook calls for the likelihood of hotter-than-normal weather in the South, while near- to below-normal temperatures can be expected across the northern half of the U.S. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal rainfall across the majority of the country will contrast with drier-than-normal conditions in the Great Lakes region and across the South from Texas to Georgia.

5-Day Precipitation Totals

NOAA’s 6- to 10- Day Outlook

NOAA’s 8- to 14- Day Outlook

 

 

 

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OSF General Manager Virgil Strickler_webThe 2015 Ohio State Fair began its 12 day run with record attendance.

The Wednesday, July 29 Opening Day attendance of 59,324, topped the previous Opening Day record of 58,897 set in 2013.

“We strive to enhance our Fair every year with diverse entertainment, activities and competitions,” said General Manager Virgil Strickler. “Ohioans have really noticed what we’ve been doing, and they are coming out every year to see us. We’re thrilled that so many patrons came out to kick off Ohio’s greatest family tradition, and are looking forward to seeing many more through next Sunday, August 9.”

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Michigan State University’s newest forestry research is tapping into its own resources for funding.

The MSU Department of Forestry is tapping 2,000 trees to compare the economic benefit of tapping sugar maples verses harvesting trees for timber. The project will also compare the growth of tapped and untapped trees at the Fred Russ Research Forest in Southwest Michigan.

Michigan is fifth in the U.S. for maple syrup production, but taps only one percent of maple forests. Researchers at MSU believe this project will help to grow the industry and encourage more landowners to tap. Spartan Pure Maple Syrup sales will be used to fund this and other MSU Forestry projects.

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funnel cakeWhy deprive yourself of fair food if you’re trying to eat healthy?  You can manage, or balance, that food so you’re not on fair food overload. No one wants to hear it but you just have to be careful.

HEALTHY LIVING PROGRAM – Fair food balance (1:30 mp3)

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corn field-western Iowa 7-23-13Corn futures prices increased about 90 cents per bushel from mid-June to mid-July. The increase was driven by a combination of a smaller-than-expected USDA estimate of June 1 stocks and production concerns stemming from record June rainfall in much of the eastern Corn Belt. But over the past couple of weeks, the corn market has given back most of those gains as production concerns have subsided.

So where do we go from here? University of Illinois ag economist Darrell Good says another rebound in prices in not likely before harvest—and he says the supply side of the market will continue to dictate prices.

AUDIO: Darrell Good

Brownfield’s Julie Harker contributed to this report.

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h2013_MIssouri_wheat_fieldDespite heavy rain and related disease pressures in wheat, yields have been good at most test sites in the University of Missouri Variety Testing Program. Southeast Missouri sites are showing the highest yields.

While yields varied from site to site, seven varieties yielded 100 bushels or more per acre in southeast Missouri’s Scott County. Plots at Trenton in Northern Missouri were the highest in that region at nearly 75 bushels per acre.

In southwest Missouri, the highest yields were at Hughesville plots, which tested 73-and-a-half bushels per acre.

New and older wheat varieties are tested at nine locations.

For full results go to variety click here

 

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Wisconsin Organic Farm

The Index of Prices Received by Farmers in June decreased 1.9 percent from May. Lower prices for cattle, broilers and hay more than offset higher prices for eggs, onions and lettuce.

The Crop Index was 2.2 percent lower; corn averaged $3.58 per bushel down 4 cents from May. Soybeans were 2 cents lower at $9.58, all wheat increased a dime to $5.43 per bushel while all hay was $13 lower at $162 per ton. Alfalfa hay was $14 cheaper at $178 per ton.

The Livestock Index decreased 0.8 percent in June; beef cattle averaged $155 per hundredweight down $5. Hogs increased a dollar to $59.90 per hundredweight. The June all-milk price gained 20 cents to $16.90 per hundredweight. Eggs gained 32 cents to $1.93 per dozen, broilers were 3 cents lower at 62 cents per pound while turkeys increased 5.3 cents to average 81.2 cents per pound.

The June Index of Prices Paid by Farmers unchanged from May. Lower prices for feeder pigs, complete feeds, hay and forages and LP was equal to higher prices for feeder cattle, supplements, gasoline and other services.

Compared to a year ago, the Index of Prices Received by Farmers is down 7.1 percent while prices paid are 3.5 percent lower.

Read the full NASS report here:

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The June all-milk price gained 20 cents to $16.90 per hundredweight. Prices range from $20.90 in Florida; up 40 cents from May to $15.72 in California up 60 cents from May. The June Milk-to-Feed Ratio is 2.06 compared to 1.96 in May and 2.20 in June of 2014.

The price of dairy cows increased in the last three months. NASS reports the average cow brought $2,030 in July compared to $1,970 in April and $1,970 a year ago. Prices ranged from $2,200 in California to $1,850 in Ohio. Wisconsin averaged $2,090 in July up $10 from April but $10 below June of last year.

Read the full NASS report here:

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Another good day in the cash cheese and butter markets on Thursday. Barrels increased 2 cents, blocks gained 4.5 cents and butter was 4.25 cents higher. Nonfat dry milk slipped 2.5 cents per pound.  Class III futures increased with the cheese market, August gained 8 cents, September added 24 cents and October increased 18 cents.

USDA Dairy Market News says milk volumes and components are declining in the Midwest and West. Surplus milk supplies are tightening, spot loads contracted for August are running 50 cents above Class and that price is expected to go up. Some cheese makers are reluctant to sell additional cheese in the coming months for fear they may not have enough milk to deliver the product. Besides declining volumes, fluid milk demand is about to pick up as schools reopen in a month.  Butter demand remains strong although some plants are choose to delay orders and sell cream to ice cream makers.

The June all-milk price gained 20 cents to $16.90 per hundredweight. Prices range from $20.90 in Florida; up 40 cents from May to $15.72 in California up 60 cents from May. The June Milk-to-Feed Ratio is 2.06 compared to 1.96 in May and 2.20 in June of 2014.

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MO State Fair Coliseum_EDITA couple of the oldest buildings on the Missouri State Fairgrounds in Sedalia are getting some much needed repairs.

Nearly 4-Million dollars has been appropriated to fix up the Coliseum, which will get electrical and roof and window repair…

“In the Women’s Building we’re talking about a new roof and window replacement in some of that facility and also some handicap upgrades to the restrooms and some renovations on the second and third floors of the building.”

Womens Building Missouri State FairState Fair director Mark Wolfe says the Coliseum was built in 1906 and the Women’s building, meant for women and children to come in out of the heat, was built in 1910.  Both are on the historic row of State Fair Boulevard.

The repairs will not begin until after the 2015 Missouri State Fair August 13th through 23rd.

AUDIO:  Interview with Mark Wolfe (7:30 mp3):

Governor Jay Nixon’s Office – State Fair building improvement funds

 

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Minnesota farmers made less money for most commodities in June.

According to USDA’s monthly Agricultural Prices report, the average price for corn in the state was $3.46 per bushel, a dime lower than May and nearly a dollar below 2014.

The average price of soybeans in June was also 10 cents below the previous month and $4.80 lower than a year ago at $9.40 a bushel.

The June oat price, at $2.88 per bushel, showed a 27 cent improvement from the May average, but was $1.06 under June 2014.

Hay prices in June were off $16 from May and $33 per ton less than last year.

And the average price of milk increased 10 cents from May, but was $5.50 below a year ago at $17.90 per cwt.

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corn kernelsMidwest farmers experiencing lower net incomes because of the drop in grain prices WILL have management options but an ag economist raises a red flag.

Gary Schnitkey, with the University of Illinois, says some farmers will use their financial strength built up during higher incomes between 2006 and 2013 to postpone making tough decisions for cutting 2016 production costs and cash rents.

Schnitkey says net incomes this year could drop lower than 1998 to 2002 levels, the last time commodity prices fell sharply after a period of higher prices.

Areas they need to look at cutting for next year, Schnitkey says, are: Machinery purchases, something he says most farms have already done; seed, fertilizer, and chemical costs; cash rents; and, family living withdrawals.

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Futures Markets copy

Soybeans were higher on commercial and technical buying. Weekly export numbers were neutral to a little supportive and unknown bought 140,000 tons of new crop U.S. beans. Crop weather forecasts for the Midwest are generally non-threatening. Soybean meal and oil were higher, following beans. Meal outgained oil by a significant margin due to commercial demand. Friday is the first notice day for August grain and oilseed contracts. Allendale reports Argentine soybean crush plants crushed 18.5 million tons of soybeans from January to June, nearly 1% ahead of the first half of 2014. Soybean oil and meal production were also above year ago levels.

Corn was higher on commercial and technical buying. Weekly export numbers for corn were neutral with sales at the high end of estimates and a slow week for shipments. Corn’s also watching the weather, with generally non-threatening conditions in the forecast. Contracts are oversold, but the market’s more focused on those non-threatening weather outlooks. Ethanol futures were higher.

The wheat complex was mixed, with Chicago mostly weak and Kansas City and Minneapolis modestly lower. September Chicago was firm on commercial buying. Weekly wheat sales were larger than what analysts were expecting, but physical shipments were below what’s needed to meet USDA projections. The winter wheat harvest is getting close to wrapping up and the spring wheat crop is in good shape. The International Grains Council estimates 2015/16 global wheat production at 710 million tons, down 1 million from the prior projection, and increased world ending stocks by 5 million tons. South Korea bought 93,100 tons of Australian wheat and Tunisia picked up 84,000 tons of optional origin.

 

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Boxed beef cutout values were steady to firm on moderate demand and light to moderate offerings. Choice beef was up 72 at 233.34, and select was .25 higher at 229.32.

Cattle trade was untested on Thursday afternoon with bids and asking prices separated by $4.00 to 5.00 on a live basis. Asking prices are generally 148.00 in the South, and 236.00 plus in the North. Significant trade volume will be delayed until sometime on Friday. The kill was estimated by USDA at 107,000 head, 2,000 below last week, and 7,000 smaller than last year.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange live cattle contracts settled mixed on Thursday. Early market support in the cattle complex in the early trade seemed to spark some additional market pressure as buy orders quickly ran low, allowing for markets to move to mixed price levels. The firming support in boxed beef values was viewed as moderately supportive, but unable to draw additional interest back into the market. August futures settled .30 higher at 145.22, but October was down .02 at 146.45.

Feeder cattle ended the session mostly lower except for some 2016 contracts. Markets moved lower as buyer support evident in the complex slowly but steadily eroded through the morning. There was a lack of underlying support and renewed buyer interest in the complex at the end of the week creating some concerns additional pressure may hold through the end of the month. August down .25 at 211.22, and September was .35 lower at 208.60.

Feeder cattle receipts at the Huss Platte Valley Auction in Nebraska totaled 2175 head on Wednesday. Compared to two weeks ago, steers over 800 pounds sold mostly steady, with comparable type heifers 5.00 lower. There was no recent test on spring calves so a trend was not given. Lower cattle futures did not dampen the buyer’s mood because they bid readily for all offerings. The majority of the cattle came off summer grass with a few cattle out of grow yards. Feeder steers medium and large 1 averaging 891 pounds traded at 211.25 per hundredweight. 816 pound heifers averaged 207.36.

Lean hogs were mostly lower on the combination of the cattle markets eroding from early session highs and the lack of support in the midday pork cutout report. It is uncertain just how much liquidation activity is under the surface and willing to quickly flood into the market before the end of the week. August settle .17 lower at 79.67 and October was down .37 at 65.70.

Barrows and gilts in the Iowa/Minnesota direct trade were not reported due to confidentiality. Western markets were .77 lower at 75.94, and the East was down 1.02 at 73.33.The Missouri direct base carcass meat price was steady from 70.00 to 72.00. Midwest hogs on a live basis closed fully steady from 46.00 to 58.00.

The pork carcass cutout value was up .26 at 86.23 FOB plant.

For the week ending July 25, Iowa barrows and gilts averaged 277.8 pounds, 0.5 pound heavier than the previous week, still 5.9 pounds lighter than 2014. Weight gain in the middle of extreme summer heat and relatively large slaughter totals is impressive.

Hog slaughter is estimated at 425,000 head, 7,000 more than last week, and 26,000 greater than last year.

 

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Grain truck

Congress has passed a three-month highway and transportation extension on Thursday.  This is the 34th extension since 2009.  National Corn Growers Association says they are disappointed that it wasn’t a long-term package.  NCGA President Chip Bowling says once again Congress kicked the can down the road. “Farmers rely on our nation’s infrastructure system every day. We need safe, reliable roads and bridges to get our products to market quickly, safely and efficiently. Instead, our roads and bridges are at best, in disrepair, and at worst, unsafe or unusable – and that hurts every farmer in America.”  Eighty percent of the domestic corn crop is trucked to market, according to USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service. 

The Senate passed a six-year bill earlier in the day but the House adjourned for the August recess before taking it up.  With highway funding set to expire on Friday, the Senate had no alternative but to pass the three-month package approved by the House before they left.  

The bill extends the government’s authority to process transportation aid payments to states through October 29th and provides $8 billion to the federal Highway Trust Fund through mid-December.  It also contains $3.4 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs to prevent closure of hospitals and clinics across the nation.

The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) says when Congress returns in September it is expected to take up a long-term bill. 

 

 

 

 

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Michigan Corn will be hosting the first statewide corn yield tour this summer.

The Between the Rows Tour will be making eight stops at farms across Michigan.  Angel Jenio with Michigan Corn says the events will run from August 17 through September 3.

“At each stop we’re going to perform some yield checks in the area and then we’ll host a meeting where we can give an update on the crop conditions and will also bring in some marketers to talk about the market outlook for this year’s crop.”

The Between the Rows Tour will be stopping in Breckenridge, Allenton, Lake Odessa, Allen, Saline, Deckerville, Pigeon and Vassar.

AUDIO: Michigan Ag Industry Update (1:59 mp3):

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Futures Markets copy

Sep. corn closed at $3.73 and 1/4, up 5 and 1/2 cents
Aug. soybeans closed at $9.90 and 1/4, up 7 and 1/4 cents
Aug. soybean meal closed at $357.10, up $7.10
Aug. soybean oil closed at 30.28, up 7 points
Sep. wheat closed at $4.96 and 1/2, up 1/4 cent
Aug. live cattle closed at $145.22, up 30 cents
Aug. lean hogs closed at $79.67, down 17 cents
Sep. crude oil closed at $48.52, down 27 cents
Oct. cotton closed at 63.66, down 23 points
Sep. rice closed at $11.43 and 1/2, up 23 and 1/2 cents
Aug. Class III milk closed at $16.38, up 8 cents
Aug. gold closed at $1,088.40, down $4.20
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 17,745.98, down 5.41 points

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More Minnesota turkey farms hit by avian influenza have birds back in their barns.

The Board of Animal Health says 43 farms now have restocking agreements in place and at least 31 have birds on the property.

The restocking process involves a complete cleaning and disinfecting, sample testing and a 21 day down-time period.

The Board also announced that all remaining A-I control areas have been released from quarantine and the carcass disposal process is complete on all but one of the 108 total farms affected by the virus.

There have been no new infected flocks in Minnesota since June fifth.

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