For the Monthly Report Ending October 15, 2015

GENERAL WEATHER FOR THIS AREA: Dry weather over the last thirty days has made for ideal harvesting conditions. Most, if not all, soybeans have been harvested with yields exceeding historical averages on many fields. Corn harvest is in full swing and yields look promising. Warm, windy conditions during the first half of October have aided with dry down of the corn kernels. Most corn that has been combined to date is under 20 percent moisture, minimizing drying expenses for 2015. It is often a balancing act as to when to combine corn with regard to moisture; leaving the crop in the field to dry with ambient conditions increases the risk of stalk problems. Crops have been very even across fields this fall. We did not have to deal with the heavy rains of the previous two years that caused lost or greatly diminished production in the low areas. On the lighter soils, adequate and timely rainfall minimized drought impact.

High temperatures over the past thirty days have ranged from 59 to 87 degrees. Oddly enough, we recorded the high on October 11th. We have yet to have a killing frost, with lows ranging from 33 to 60 degrees over the same time period. The forecast over the next week indicates dry conditions continuing with seasonal highs and lows and the potential for frost on Saturday, October 17th.

Over the past 30 days, the area has received minimal precipitation. A range of 0.32 inches to 2.37 inches of precipitation has been recorded. This has been beneficial for harvest but the dry, windy conditions have decreased soil moisture levels. The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) reports that topsoil moisture levels have declined to 74% adequate as compared to last month's 87% adequate. Subsoil moisture levels are deemed 78% adequate as compared to last month at 86%.

Figure 1 - A large John Deere combine harvesting soybeans.

SOYBEANS: For all practical purposes, soybean harvest in the area is complete. We were anticipating above average yields, and for the most part, soybean yields have exceeded our expectations as many new individual farm record yields were set. Yield averages between 50-60+ bushels per acre are common with a few outliers on both ends of the range. The abundance of late summer rain this year greatly helped with pod development and size.

According to the Minnesota Ag Statistics Service (MASS), 91% of the soybeans in Minnesota have been harvested as compared to 56% last year. This equates to being 13 days ahead of last year's pace. The 5-year average is 75%. Crop condition is no longer monitored.

Unfortunately, we continue to fight weed issues in the soybeans. Escapes of waterhemp, giant ragweed, and lambsquarter were all too common as we moved into harvest. This weed pressure was not significant to yields this year but the problem continues to manifest and we are anticipating increased weed pressure in the 2016 crop season.

Our focus now in the bean stubble is on soil sampling, applying fertilizer, and fall tillage.

Figure 2 - Injecting liquid manure after soybean harvest.

CORN: Corn harvest is in full swing and with the nice conditions it is progressing rapidly. Yields have been solid and 195-210+ bushels per acre will capture most fields this year. Again, there will be many individual field records set this fall. Yields might have been even higher, but a hot streak during pollination appears to have taken the very top end off the crop.

As of October 13th, 29% of Minnesota's corn crop has been harvested. This compares to 7% last year and 1% behind the five year average. It appears that with the harvest pace this week, we will certainly exceed historical averages next week. We would assume most of the corn in Southwestern Minnesota will be harvested within the next couple of weeks. Average harvest moisture is 19%. 89% of the Minnesota crop is in the good to excellent category.

Nationally, the corn crop is rated at 68% good to excellent. This compares to 74% at this time last year. Corn harvest pace in the U.S. is at 42%, which is almost right at the 5-year average.

Figure 3 - Corn combining - Unloading in the field using a grain cart.

REMARKS: The USDA Monthly Supply and Demand Report on October 9th, was marginally positive to the corn and soybean markets. USDA slightly increased projected national corn yields to an average of 168.0 bushels per acre. Expected soybean yields were increased by a tenth of a bushel to 47.2 bushels per acre. The report indicated a slight decrease in total production and actual harvested acres. Corn production in the United States is pegged at 13.6 million bushels. Soybean production is estimated at 3.9 million bushels.

While the USDA has trimmed harvest corn acres by 500,000 acres, they still anticipate this will be the third largest crop on record. Support by record production in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin seems to have offset lower production numbers in the balance of the Corn Belt.

Global ending stocks for corn are estimated at 187.8 million metric ton. This is less than last year's estimate of 197.2 million metric tons. The global stocks-to-use ratio is 19.2% indicating there are abundant corn supplies throughout the world. Ending global stocks of soybeans are predicted to increase to 85.1 million metric tons from last year's level of 78.7 million metric tons.

The grain markets have been choppy over the past months with corn prices trending lower with harvest pressure. Soybeans have trended slightly upward over the same period.

Farm program payments for the 2014 crop year will be paid in October. As you may recall, most producers have enrolled in the Ag Risk Coverage-County (ARC-CO) program. 2014 Market Year Average Prices were established at the end of the 2014 marketing year, September 30th, and are $3.70 and $10.10 for corn and soybeans respectively. These prices are then compared to the five year average (2009-2013) benchmark prices. For the 2014 crop, the benchmark prices are $5.29 and $12.27 for corn and soybeans respectively. Since the benchmark prices are higher than the 2014 market year average price it increases the likelihood ARC-CO. While farm program payments can vary from county to county, payments for southern Minnesota should range from $70.00 to $80.00 dollars per base acre for corn. Payments for soybeans will range from $0.00 to $50.00 per base acre depending on the benchmark yield for the county. The payments will be subject to the federal government's mandatory sequestration (reduction) of approximately 7%.

Figure 4 - Unloading soybeans into the grain bin.








October 13, 2015




October 13, 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 (October 14, 2015)


New Vision,


Poet Biorefining,
Bingham Lake
























Rainfall (inches)



 September 15-October 15, 2015

MARCH 15 to DATE-2015

MARCH 15 to DATE-2014

Cottonwood Jeffers            1.83              24.15              22.70
Cottonwood Windom            1.56              24.22              25.03
Jackson Heron Lake


             22.48              19.96
Jackson Jackson


             22.91              24.64
Martin Trimont            1.30              23.62              28.45
Murray Fulda            1.91              24.31


Murray Slayton            1.72              25.43              28.44
Nobles Round Lake



Nobles Rushmore            2.31



Redwood Redwood Falls            1.10              20.86              23.44
Rock Magnolia            2.37              25.25              29.61

Charles P. Dewanz
Farm Management Advisor
Real Estate Salesperson

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