Monthly Archives: November 2009

USDA November Crop Report

Chad Hart, ISU Extension Grain Marketing Specialist, provides a summary of the November 10th Crop Report.

97hartsmUSDA released updates on world and U.S. supply and demand for corn and soybeans on Nov. 10th.  These reports were based on crop conditions and movements at the start of the month.  They also reflected the impact of the late harvest and the mid-October freeze.  Projected national soybean yields came in at 43.3 bushels per acre, up 0.9 bushels from last month.  Despite the freeze, most states saw projected soybean yields increase and this put the national yield estimate at a record level.  Projected production rose slightly, to a record 3.32 billion bushels.  The projection for the national average corn yield was lowered to 162.9 bushels per acre, down 1.3 bushels from last month but still high enough to set a record.  That brings projected corn production to 12.92 billion bushels, the 2nd highest on record.  

On the demand side, USDA had relatively few adjustments.  Soybean crush demand was raised slightly, to 1.695 billion bushels.  Soybean exports were increased to 1.325 billion bushels, continuing to build on last year’s record export demand.  But as in the reports from the last couple of months, production increases exceeded demand increases and ending stocks were increased to 270 million bushels.  The 2009/10 season-average price was projected at $9.20/bushel, up 20 cents from last year and down 80 cents from last year.  For corn, feed and residual demand was held steady at 5.4 billion bushels.  Ethanol demand was also held steady at 4.2 billion bushels.  Export demand was lowered by 50 million bushels to 2.1 billion bushels, but this is still up 142 million bushels from last year.  With the supply estimates falling a bit faster than the demand estimates, 2009/10 ending stocks were lowered to 1.625 billion bushels.  USDA’s midpoint estimate for the 2009/10 national season-average corn price was increased to $3.55 per bushel, up 20 cents from last month.

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Grain storage, marketing, and end of year strategies

Contributed by Steve Johnson, ISU Extension Farm Management Field Specialist

A recorded webcast titled Grain Storage, Marketing & Year-end Strategies was recorded November 19th that highlights year‐end cash flow and income tax strategies, provides 2009 crop price estimates, reviews grain storage, marketing & cash flow decisions, 2009 Crop Marketing Strategies, 5 strategies for reducing input costs, 2010 cost of production & price forecasts, and summarizes 5 strategies & 5 websites for managing crop risk and revenue.

View the web cast at:


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ISU Extension offers financial planning assistance

Mike Duffy, ISU Extension Economist, provides information on the Farm Financial Planning Program.

duffysmFarm Financial Planning is Iowa State University Extension’s farm financial analysis program. It consists of one-on-one confidential financial counseling, a computerized analysis of the farm business, and referral to other extension programs or outside services that may be useful.

What does it do?
Farm Financial Planning helps you evaluate your farm business and determine whether or not a change is desirable. It provides an in-depth plan for the farm business so the operator and the lender can make decisions for the future.

The computer analysis looks at profitability, liquidity, solvency, and risk-bearing ability. This information is provided for three or more alternative plans at a time. Examples of alternative plans could be the addition, expansion or phasing out of a livestock operation, or buying, selling or renting land. Farm Financial Planning can help evaluate ways to correct negative cash flow and profitability problems.

A trained extension associate meets with the family to discuss the results of the analysis and the possible effects if changes are made. The extension worker may introduce other farm and family financial materials or information about outside sources of help.

How much does it cost?
The service is currently available at no charge through a grant made possible by CF Industries.

How do I make an appointment?
To set up an appointment, contact the associate in your area. For more information, contact your ISU Extension county office or the Beginning Farmer Center at 1-877-232-1999.

Find the Farm Financial Associate in your area and more information at:

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Client Corner: Where can I get help on estate planning?

Contributed by Kelvin Leibold, ISU Extension Farm Management Field Specialist

I was looking for some help with estate planning. Does Extension have any materials to help me figure out what to do?

Estate planning involves a lot more than just making out a will. It involves retirement planning, tax planning, asset distribution and often business planning. If you are looking for some general information on the topic you can download two articles from the ISU Publication web site at

You can find more in-depth information at the Center for Ag Law and Taxation at, search for “estate” in the upper right hand search box.

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What are the possible payments under the ACRE program?

Chad Hart, ISU Extension Grain Marketing Specialist, provides projections for ACRE payments in Iowa.

97hartsmThe 2008 Farm Bill created the Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE) program. This program provides payments to crop producers when state-level estimated revenues from crop production fall below guaranteed levels. For a detailed description of the program, please see Average Crop Revenue Election (ACRE). In the Crop Production and World Agricultural Supply & Demand Estimates reports, USDA provides projections for the season-average prices and crop yields that will determine ACRE payment rates. The accompanying spreadsheet calculates the projected ACRE payment rates, based on the latest price and yield projections. The spreadsheet also shows possible ACRE payment rates for given prices and yields around those projections. As the spreadsheet shows, ACRE payment rates can change quickly as prices and yields shift. This spreadsheet will be updated on a monthly basis, with the release of the USDA reports.

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Resources for calculating the cost of drying grain

The late fall and high moisture grains may certainly increase the cost of drying for the 2009 crop. The Grain Drying Cost Calculator is available to estimate costs for drying. The spreadsheet includes five different types of drying systems, and requires few inputs from the user. Inputs required are the cost of electricity, dryer capacity, bushels dried, labor rate and moisture levels. The results give the cost per year, bushel, and point. The spreadsheet is available for download at: As with all Ag Decision Maker spreadsheets, the Grain Drying Cost Calculator is free to download, and you have the option to save the file on your computer for later use.

More information on grain harvesting and drying information is on-line at:


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