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Corn, soybean yields discussed at Riverland FBM meeting

By Janet Kubat Willette

Date Modified: 01/14/2014 1:09 PM

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ROCHESTER, Minn. — Riverland Farm Business Management instructor Barry Kurtz took farmers on a stroll through data of years past at the Dec. 5 Corn and Soybean Management day.

In 2013, there were 40.01 inches of precipitation recorded at the Albert Lea Waste Treatment Plant (minus November and December precip, which wasn't measured by press time). The last time that amount of precipitation was recorded was in 2007 when 41.68 inches was received. In 2004, 45.11 inches was received and in 1993, 50.65 inches were recorded at Albert Lea, including 10 inches in both June and August.

All that rainfall, most of which fell in April, May and June, made spring planting a challenge. It was a challenge, too, for getting plots in. One plot near Clarks Grove was planted solely to early season hybrids (102 day maturity or less) because it wasn't planted until June 2.

Another plot was picture-perfect and was planted on May 16. The average yield was 175 bushels per acre.

Kurtz ranked the hybrids by their average sale price and DKC 49-29 STXPRIB came out on top. The hybrid had a maturity of 99 days, average test weight of 54.2 and average moisture of 22 percent. It yielded 118 bushels per acre.

Producers Hybrids 5898 STXRIB was second, with average test weight of 52.6, average moisture of 24.4 and maturity of 98 days. It yielded 191 bushels per acre.

AgriGold's A6267STXRIB 102-day hybrid was third. It yielded 193 bushels per acre, had an average test weight of 51.4 and had an average moisture of 25.6.

Kurtz talked about prices per bushel. Back in 2005, the price was $2.03. In 2012, the average price was $6.49. The projection for 2014 hangs around $4.60.

In 2005, soybean prices were $5.71 per bushel. In 2012, the average was $13.74. The 2014 projection is around $12.75.

It will be a year to tighten belts, Kurtz said. Soybeans aren't going to pay the rent any better than the corn.

DuPont Pioneer field agronomist Brian Buck talked about strategies to manage input cost risk. Fertilizer is the largest crop production input for most producers, he said. It accounts for 20 percent to 25 percent of gross corn revenue per year.

He told farmers to be mindful that suppliers aren't the source of the product they buy, they simply are distributors. Also, consider the service provided when making a purchase.

Look at fertilizer as a commodity, Buck said. Suppliers purchase inputs year-round and farmers should consider doing the same.

Seed generally is farmers' second largest investment per acre. Buck told farmers to purchase seed early to lock in a good price and a good supply of the hybrids they want.

Also, be mindful of the financial stability of your suppliers, he said. If you're doing prepays, you want to be sure the company will be around when it's time to get your product.