For the Monthly Report Ending July 15, 2015

GENERAL WEATHER FOR THIS AREA: Weather conditions have been favorable in Southwestern Minnesota over the past 30 days. Daytime high temperatures have ranged from 72 to 92 degrees since June 16th and night time lows from 50-67 degrees according to the Southwestern Minnesota Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) in Lamberton, MN.

Rainfall totals over the past month have ranged from 2.58 to 4.87 inches. While very dry during planting, we have received regular moisture to date. We have moved from drought conditions early in the season, to being rated statewide as having 88% adequate topsoil moisture and 90% adequate subsoil moisture. A severe storm on the morning of June 22nd caused some significant tree damage in the area. Fortunately, crop damage was limited to some lodging in the corn caused by the high winds. The corn has grown out of this and looks very nice. Extremely wet weather has been occurring in much of the southern and eastern Corn Belt. Some parts of southeastern Illinois have received over 20 inches of rain since May 1st, and they still have not finished planting soybeans. There are also very wet conditions in portions of Indiana, Ohio, and also Missouri. This has caused corn and soybean prices to increase significantly in the past 30 days as a result of less potential acres being planted and less yield potential in these areas.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Climate Prediction Center's 8-14 day forecast calls for normal temperatures and slightly higher chances of precipitation.

Figure 1 - Spraying the soybeans has been a continuous occurrence during the past month.

SOYBEANS: The soybean crop continues to develop. Many of the plants are approximately "knee high" and in full bloom. Crop conditions in Minnesota are rated 78% good to excellent for the soybeans, compared to the national rating of 62%. In Minnesota, 63% of the soybeans have started blooming as compared to 25% last year. The five year average is 34%. After a dry start at planting, we have had regular rainfalls that have allowed the crop adequate moisture to thrive. A difference from last year is that we have avoided the heavy rainfalls that caused crop loss due to ponding in the fields.

Weed control has been good to date but we are concerned with some plant species tolerance to the current herbicides on the market. There have been a couple of instances where we have seen these "super weeds" be immune to herbicide application. After an absence of many years, farmers are pulling out the row crop cultivators as another tool in fighting resistant weeds. The soybeans are close to canopy at this point. This will help in the prevention of new weed generation and growth due to limiting sunlight for the plants.

We will finish with herbicide application in the next week and will shift our focus to scouting your fields for soybean aphids. If, and when, pest populations reach an economic threshold, we will be taking appropriate control actions.

Figure 2 - Giant Ragweed problems. This field was sprayed but some plants have developed resistance. I am happy to state that this is not one of our client's fields.

CORN: What a difference a month makes. On our June Crop and Weather Report, we indicated that the corn was 8-12 inches tall. The old adage of "knee high by the 4th of July" was clearly met and exceeded this year. Corn is currently shoulder high and taller. Some of the earliest planted corn is starting to push tassels and is close to beginning the pollination stage of the plant life cycle.

At this time, the corn crop in our area looks very good and we are anticipating higher than average yields. Herbicide and mid-season nitrogen application have been completed and the crop should not need any further inputs until harvest. Weed control in the corn has been excellent. We have a few more tools for combating weeds in corn over soybeans. There is some discussion of spraying tall corn (after ear silks are dry) as a defensive action for the following years soybean crop. This would also bring back a practice that has not been used for years. There may be a remote need for a fungicide/insecticide application on specific fields if necessary, but we are seeing no concerns at this time.

Crop conditions in Minnesota are rated as 85% good to excellent for the corn. Nationally, 69% of the corn crop is rated good to excellent. A little surprisingly, only 7% of the corn in Minnesota is in the silk stage, compared to the 5 year average of 18%. Overall, you can see that corn development is slightly behind development while soybeans are slightly ahead of schedule, which coincides with our cool conditions during corn planting and warmer conditions after soybean planting was complete.

As we roll into August, we will begin to do population stands and ear counts on your farms. Clearly not an exact science, it does however, give us indication of the size of the crop.

Figure 3 - Tassel emergence. This field was planted the third week of April.

REMARKS: After months of declining soybean and corn prices, the market has finally turned bullish. In mid-June, wet weather set in the southern and eastern Corn Belt. This created concerns to the markets with the risk of a few million acres of soybeans possibly not being planted and crop condition, thus yield potential, declining as well. Then on June 30th, the USDA released the acreage intention and planting progress report. USDA indicated that producers intend to plant about 88.9 million acres of corn and 85.14 million acres of soybeans in the U.S. in 2015. The biggest surprise on June 30th was the quarterly ending stocks report from the 2014 crop. Corn inventories were estimated to be 4.447 billion bushels and soybeans were at 625 million bushels, both below pre-report estimates. Soybean prices increased nearly 50 cents and corn prices 20 cents to close out June. Most traders/analysts believe that USDA overstated last year's soybean production.

During the first half of July, wet weather has continued in the eastern/southern Corn Belt which has hindered the corn crop and has prevented possibly a few million acres of soybeans from being planted. The USDA Monthly Supply and Demand Report was released on Friday, July 10th, and was actually considered somewhat bearish. Prices immediately fell after the report was released, but rebounded quickly on higher than expected usage. Soybean production for 2015-2016 increased from June estimates of 3.850 billion bushels to 3.885 billion bushels. USDA left the U.S. average bean yields unchanged at 46.0 bushels per acre. Corn production was lowered from the June estimate of 14.126 billion bushels to 13.530 billion bushels. Average corn yields were left unchanged from June at 166.8 bushels per acre.

USDA anticipates ending stocks for (2015-2016) corn crop to decline to 1.599 billion bushels from the estimate of 1.771 billion bushels from the June report. Soybean ending stocks for the 2015-2016 crop year were pegged at 425 million bushels in July down from 475 million bushels in the June report. This was received by the market as bullish information. Ending stocks estimates of corn and soybeans for the 2014-2015 crop year are 255 million bushels and 1.779 million bushels, respectively.

In the past 6 weeks, corn prices have increased from about $3.25 to $4.00 per bushel. Cash soybeans have increased from about $9 to $10 per bushel and new crop increased from about $8.40 to $9.65 per bushel during this time period. We have been aggressively selling grain during the rally this past month. Our clients have sold all of the 2014 crop and we have begun selling 2015 crop. It is nice to see these price levels, as it did not seem possible that we would reach these levels at all in 2015, let alone this early in the year. These prices coupled with the current crop conditions have given us a cautious level of renewed optimism here in SW Minnesota.

Figure 4 - A common sight in early July, baling road ditch hay.








July 15, 2015




July 15, 2015




Corn Growing Degree Days are calculated by subtracting a 50 degree base temperature from the average of the maximum and minimum temperature for the day. The daily maximum is limited to 86 degrees and the minimum is 50 degrees.


Grain Markets (July 15, 2015)


New Vision,


Poet Biorefining,
Bingham Lake
























Rainfall (inches)



 June 13-July 15, 2015

MARCH 15 to DATE-2015

MARCH 15 to DATE-2014

Cottonwood Jeffers            4.41              13.69              16.86
Cottonwood Windom            4.74              13.48              15.48
Jackson Heron Lake


             11.27              13.74
Jackson Jackson


             11.06              16.60
Martin Trimont            4.70              13.58              19.18
Murray Fulda            4.04              12.05


Murray Slayton            4.87              13.48              16.34
Nobles Round Lake



Nobles Rushmore            3.90



Redwood Redwood Falls            3.55              11.13              17.88
Rock Magnolia            2.72              12.76              22.20

Charles P. Dewanz
Farm Management Advisor
Real Estate Salesperson

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