Tag Archives: corn

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Crop scientists at three federal labs – including one near Manhattan – have released results of a two-year evaluation of 56 commercially-available cover crop varieties to help farmers pick the best ones for their business.

K-State Research and Extension soil management specialist Deann Presley calls the publication – Evaluation of Cool Season Crops in the North Central Region – an “excellent piece of research” conducted by scientists employed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

“There is a lot of effort that farmers put in to selecting their cash crop hybrids (such as wheat, corn and soybeans),” Presley said. “But as far as cover crops go, we just don’t have that same level of information.

“The scientists at the (NRCS) plant material center have put in the work to do real evaluations of multiple types of cover crops to give them ratings for various properties.”

The publication is available online, and was one of the topics addressed in a recent issue of the K-State Agronomy eUpdate.

Presley notes the publication covers such important topics as how quickly a given fall cover crop will establish, its ability to survive the winter, maturity date, and insect and disease ratings.

“It’s all important information to have,” she said, “but in particular, I think winter survival is a pretty important one. The big question is how quickly can you get it seeded and how well does that establish.”

Among the varieties evaluated so far, “each has its pros and cons,” Presley said.

“Kansas growing conditions are varied; there is not one or two cover crops that are suitable for the entire state,” she said. “In addition to information in this publication, it’s important to work with local seed dealers, coops and other agricultural retailers to fine-tune cover crop selections to determine which one’s have been doing well in your local area.”

Presley has specialized in growing cover crops for 13 years and said this is the first time she has known in which a publication is available that provides key characteristics of a wide variety of fall crops.

“The questions never stop and we just keep exploring different ways and new things to research,” she said.

To keep up on this and many other crop-related topics, interested persons are urged to subscribe to the free Agronomy eUpdate, which is available weekly from Kansas State University.

  • Officially entered the pre-election madness which will bring market volatility
  • We will get more wait & see to sell until this is all over
  • We are moving into the core weather worry for South America
  • Winter wheat issues in Russia…any issues here in the states? They are #1 exporter
  • Dairy update-there is some worries about post-election
  • Cattle on Feed Report-reaction
  • Hogs & Pigs Report-reaction



The final week of September and the 3rd quarter had dawned and actually the market is feeling optimistic. From last week’s doom and gloom, Monday’s tune has changed to the bright side. Congress is working on getting back to fiscal stimulus talks, economic data is still looking decent in the US and some states are opening back almost to pre-covid levels. Now there is still the looming European lockdowns, a hostile federal government worrying about Supreme Court Nominee’s and possible negative economic data to come.

The Dallas Fed manufacturing survey produced a general activity index of 13.6 for September, up from 8.0 in July and up from the average analyst estimate of 8.5. The region’s production index rose to 22.3 for September, up from 13.1 in July. The Dallas Fed’s report indicates that factory activity within Texas expanded for the fourth consecutive month following a record contraction earlier in the year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The grain market split into camps on Monday. The bulls went with corn and wheat. While the bears went with soybeans. Wheat was able to benefit from a slide in the US dollar on Monday. Meanwhile the Russian Ruble rallied to start the week moving towards multi month highs against the dollar. Wheat inspected for export by USDA was also strong at 563,000 MT up 60,000 MT from last week. Year to date wheat exports are about 700,000 MT ahead of 2019. Dry weather conditions also look to persist across the hard red winter wheat belt in the US. Corn was helped higher by wheat, but corn traders will be hesitant to build to much of a long position ahead of Wednesday’s quarterly stocks report. Arlan Suderman, Stone X, made mention in his commodity commentary that the third quarter stocks report has been known to hold surprises. As for soybeans after several weeks of a strong run up the sellers have finally moved into the market. Likely the selling is a combination of managed money lightening their long position which has neared record numbers. China is also going into their Golden Week Holiday starting Thursday and will likely be out of the market for the next week to two weeks.

USDA export sales started strong this week with unknown purchasing 207,140 MT of corn and 218,300 MT of soybeans. Japan purchased 110,800 MT of corn on Monday.

In the livestock following a bearish cattle on feed report cattle were actually able to move mostly higher. A higher stock market probably assisted live cattle futures and that could have helped stabilize the feeder cattle complex. Strong cash for both feeders and fed cattle also helped to support the bulls. Last week’s livestock auction summary for Nebraska noted that the fall run of calves has started and yearling cattle are becoming scarce. The report also noted that being dry and dusty pre-conditioning will likely bring a premium this fall.

As for the lean hogs they ended mixed on Monday. The midday carcass cutout was strong though with the carcass in spitting distance of $100. That should support cash which in turn should support futures.


In the country on on Friday there were scattered bids, but it appeared that the majority of business had concluded for the week. Cash developed different this week than what it has over the past couple of months. Feeders held until Thursday when cash finally developed at $105 live $165 dressed. Both $2 higher than last week’s weighted averages.

For the week ending September 19, 2020, Imported Beef Passed for Entry in the U.S. totaled 43,255, 118.87% of the previous week and 101.14% of the 4-week average.


Expected Slaughter numbers Tuesday


120,000 hd today 119,000 hd wk ago 117,604 hd yr ago


486,000 hd today 484,000 hd wk ago 489,034 hd yr ago


Midday Carcass Value Monday


Choice dn 1.67 217.67

Select dn 0.58 206.40

C/S Spread 11.27

Loads  89


Carcass up 5.72 97.04

Bellies up 21.12 171.28

Loads 157

Grain Settlements

  • Corn unch up 2 1/2
  • Soybeans dn 1 3/4 – 6 1/4
  • Chicago Wht up 5 1/2 – 6 1/2
  • Kansas City Wht up 6 3/4 – 7 1/2

Livestock Settlements

  • Live Cattle dn 0.45 up  0.60
  • Feeder Cattle dn 0.25 up 0.95
  • Lean Hogs dn 0.77 up 0.95
  • Class III Milk dn 0.02 – 0.17

Pre-Opening Market Broker Commentary

Ed Dugan, Top Third Ag Marketing, discusses overnight grains and what the trade may see today. Grains may trade sideways ahead of the USDA stocks report.

Jerry Stowell, Country Futures,  looks at what may impact the livestock futures today. Livestock

Mike Zuzolo, Global Commodity Analytics, takes a look at the midday trade. The broader market is seeing increased volatility as the US gets closer to election day.

John Payne, Daniel’s Ag Marketing, takes a closer look at today’s grain close. Soybeans finally hit the sellers wall, but it could just be harvest pressure.

Jack Fenske, York Commodities, looks at the closing market numbers. Fenske wonders if the Wednesday stocks report can be friendly.

MANHATTAN, Kan. — Feed cost is often one of the most expensive inputs when trying to balance the beef cattle budget. To help reduce that expense, midwestern producers will sometimes look to alternative feed products such as wet corn gluten, corn dried distillers’ grain with solubles (DDGS) or soy hulls, to name a few.

“Often alternative feeds are a by-product of some other production system,” said Brad White, Kansas State University veterinarian and director of the Beef Cattle Institute. Factors to consider when looking to feed by-products was the topic of discussion on a recent BCI Cattle Chat podcast.

In the spring, some ethanol plants changed their production to COVID-19-related work such as producing industrial alcohol for hand-sanitizer leading, to a concern that typical feed alternatives for the fall would not be available or price competitive, according to Bob Weaber, K-State beef cattle extension specialist.

“Ethanol production has come back and it appears that there is availability and a reasonable cost structure in the marketplace for DDGS, so that is good news for cattle producers,” Weaber said.

When selecting the co-product to feed, veterinarian Bob Larson recommends producers look at their feeding mechanisms.

“A lot of these by-product feeds don’t flow well through the augers and chutes because some can be really dusty while others are wet,” Larson said. “They can also be harder to handle because wet products will have a shorter storage life and dry products tend to blow away more easily.”

Weaber added there can also be differences in the quality of the alternative feed depending on where it is sourced.

“Some plants will separate the oil fraction off the distillers’ products, impacting the energy content of the feedstuff, while there can also be a variation in the dry matter content,” Weaber said. For that reason, he advises producers obtain or conduct a nutrient analysis of the feedstuffs when possible.

Larson cautioned producers to look at their total feeding system or risk severe consequences.

“Some products have potential toxicities associated with them such as a high amount of sulfur in some distillers’ grains or corn gluten feed,” Larson said.

The experts agreed that the main motivation for considering alternative feed sources is price.

“Feeding co-products can be extra work and producers need to be aware of the potential for negative health outcomes, but if they can manage for those factors, alternative feeds can offer a price advantage helping to increase the profit margins,” White said.

To hear the full discussion on alternative feeds, listen to the BCI Cattle Chat podcast.

  • We can start out with a brief market recap.
  • Why were the corn and soybean markets down so much this week?
  • What impact are the funds having on the markets at this time?
  • How does the weather look in South America?
  • What Impact do you think the La Nina will have on South American Production?
  • How is the harvest progress?
  • What are the yields like so far?
  • What will the corn and soybean markets be focused on going forward?
  • Where could the corn and soybean prices be different yields.


  • Right in the middle of soybean harvest
  • Export information on corn & beans
  • South America…where are they at with their crops
  • Quarterly stocks report…how does that affect the markets & compare to the October WASDE
  • US Weather & harvest



  • Change in the tone of the soybean trade…what does that mean for producers
  • Dollar trade
  • Equity indices what should we be looking for?
  • Volatility could set in as we get closer to the election
  • Where are the funds in soybeans?
  • The macro economics & how it will have an effect on grains
  • Double tops…how will that effect the cattle?

While the markets took a wild ride on Monday the NASS crop progress report looks fairly uneventful. Row crop harvest is getting started somewhat ahead of the five year average. That has been expected by many though given the early and swift planting that occurred. After big double digit increases in the soil moisture profile last week dry conditions have set back in and are slowly taking the soil moisture down.

In a full breakdown of the report we start with corn in the dent stage. It’s essientially complete across the country this week at 95%. That is up 6% from last week and still 5% ahead of the five year average. 97% of Nebraska corn is in the dent stage, 96% of Kansas corn is in the dent stage and 94% of Iowa corn is in the dent stage. All just a few points ahead of the five year average.

Corn maturity is also moving along swiftly with a nationwide rating of 59%. That is an 18% increase in the mature corn from a week ago. It’s also perfectly 10% ahead of the five year average. In the Midwest; 93% of the Nebraska corn crop is mature, 81% of the Kansas corn crop is mature and 66% of the Iowa corn crop is mature. All of these are ahead of their respective five year average, except Kansas which is 1% behind the five year average.

Corn harvest slowly moves along in the country up 3% nationwide from last week to 8% complete. Unlike the rest of the corn stages harvest is actually behind the five year average of 10%. Texas is by far the farthest along in corn harvest with 69% of the crop out of the field. Nebraska has 10% of the corn harvested. Iowa has 4% of the corn harvested. All these states are still ahead of their five year average. Kansas on the other hand has harvested 16% of their corn crop is 6% behind the five year average.

Finally with corn the overall condition of the crop remains little changed from last week. Nationwide the crop ticked up 1% to 61% good to excellent. Nebraska corn increased 3% to 63% good to excellent. Kansas corn remains unchanged week to week at 54% good to excellent. Iowa corn also remains unchanged week to week at 42% good to excellent.  Illinois corn follows the Nebraska plan with corn conditions rising 3% to 73% good to excellent.

Staying with row crops soybean dropping leaves is now considered 59% complete across the country. That helps it stay 9% ahead of the five year average. 82% of the Nebraska soybean crop has dropped leaves, 48% of the Kansas soybean crop has dropped leaves and 66% of the Iowa soybean crop has dropped leaves. All of these are well ahead of their five year average.

Soybean harvest is also now far enough along to be recognized by crop progress. Nationwide 6% of the soybean crop has been harvested. That is fully steady with the 5 year average. In Nebraska 10% of the soybean crop has been harvested. Iowa, 7% of the soybean crop has been harvested and in Kansas 2% of the soybean crop has been harvested. All of these are well ahead of the five year average of Kansas takes the cake doubling their five year average for soybean harvest.

Just as corn soybean condition rating is relatively unchanged week to week. Nationally the soybean crop is rated 63% good to excellent, unchanged week to week. Also remaining unchanged week to week is Illinois soybeans at 71% good to excellent and Iowa soybeans at 48% good to excellent.  Nebraska soybeans actually increased 2% week to week at 66% good to excellent. Kansas was one of the few states to see an actual decrease in soybean conditions with a drop of 6% to 45% good to excellent.

Now to sorghum. Sorghum maturity continues to be ahead of the  five year average with a national rating of 51% mature, 3% ahead of the five year average. Nebraska sorghum has reached 49% maturity. A solid 13% ahead of the five year average.

Sorghum harvest is starting to get underway. Nationwide 27% of the sorghum crop is out of the field. That is 2% behind the five year average. In Nebraska 2% of the sorghum crop is harvested. 1% behind the five year average.

Nationwide the sorghum crop is rated 51% good to excellent, down 1% from last week. In Nebraska the sorghum crop is rated 66% good to excellent. A sharp 6% decline from last week.

Winter wheat continues to go into the ground with 20% of the national crop planted. Just 1% ahead of five year average. Nebraska is well ahead of the Kansas at 40% planted. Kansas is 14% planted.

Winter wheat is also starting to emerge with 3% of the national crop above ground. 1% of the Kansas crop has emerged and 0% of the Nebraska crop has emerged.

After big gains last week pasture and range conditions fall this week. Kansas range condition fell 4% to 37% good to excellent. Nebraska pasture condition fell 1% to 40% good to excellent.

Soil moisture was also tightened this week due to dry conditions re-emerging. In Nebraska the topsoil rating dropped 6% to 48% adequate to surplus and the subsoil rating dropped 3% to 44% adequate to surplus. In Kansas topsoil moisture was unchanged week to week at 63% adequate to surplus, subsoil moisture actually increased 2% to 62% good to excellent.

You can see the USDA report here: https://downloads.usda.library.cornell.edu/usda-esmis/files/8336h188j/2227nd802/h415q0669/prog3920.pdf 

Clay Patton recaps the report here: