Below is a picture sent to us by one of our readers of a farmer combining soybeans in Michigan. Soybean harvest in the U.S. has progressed slowly this year. As of Monday, 23% of the soybeans in Michigan had been harvested. Michigan harvest should be over half way complete by now, according to the USDA five-year average.

POW 10-24-14

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U.S. corn and soybean sales increased for the week ending October 17th in the 2014/2015 marketing year, marking the sixth increase in the last seven weeks for both crops. Corn and soybeans have both experienced multi-year highs during that time period. Wheat sales decreased from last week. Soybean exports increased for the seventh consecutive week, reaching their highest level since November 2013. Corn and wheat exports both decreased from last week.

Harvest progress for soybeans has progressed nicely compared to corn harvests sluggish advancement. Some analysts are suggesting that the delay in harvest may be helping with the lack of storage for grains. The accelerated pace of exports this fall has allowed elevators to move grain. This in turn has created more space to store the record breaking corn and soybean crop coming off the fields. ...continue reading

(DTN) Twelve is the new nine, or so Kevin Roepke argues.

The U.S. Grains Council's southeast Asia regional director explained that a recent study suggested the world population could climb to 12 billion people by 2100, an even higher estimate of the number of mouths the world's farmers will need to feed in the future. The United Nation's Food and Agriculture Organization (FA) predicts global population will reach 9 billion people by the year 2050.

It's why he thinks four "I" words will be crucial to the future of agriculture: investment, information, infrastructure and integrity. ...continue reading

(Reuters) With more than half of the largest U.S. crop in history still to be harvested, and cash prices in some key demand markets plumbing their lowest levels in five years, most corn market participants hold bearish to neutral views on price prospects for the near to medium term.

But a growing contingent is placing bets in the options arena that corn prices will start to recover early in the new year once the impending harvest pressure has alleviated.

Since front-month corn prices posted their 2014 low of around $3.20 a bushel on Sept. 30, open positions in bullish call options tied to March futures have increased by 20 percent at the $3.80 per bushel strike, and by nearly 100 percent at the $3.70 strike. ...continue reading

In the biblical book of Genesis, the pharaoh of Egypt dreams of seven thin cows eating seven fat cows, which signifies seven years of famine to follow seven years of good crops. In 2014, we are seeing the reverse, as bumper crops globally have reversed the trend of rising food prices that led to riots in some countries in recent years.

This has not deterred the many institutional investors who are looking at farmland as an asset class that has hitherto been neglected. Many experts say this is just a blip in a longer-term trend that makes any weakness in prices a buying opportunity.

While agricultural land values in the central US corn belt did creep up by a percentage point in the past year, this compares with double digit rises in recent years. ...continue reading

Soybean harvest is catching up as the gap between current harvest progress and the five-year average begins to shrink. Farmers across the Corn Belt have reported significant soybean harvest progress and above average yields. Corn continues to lag, mainly because the corn in the field is still too wet to harvest. On average, farmers have been reporting corn moisture contents between 22-27%, well above the optimal 15%. The six to ten day forecasts are predicting drier weather in major corn growing regions, which should help dry the corn down.

The USDA estimated the corn harvested at 31%, a 7% increase from last week, but 22% behind the five-year average. Analysts estimated corn harvest at 31% ahead of today’s report. Of the top five corn producing states, Iowa and Minnesota remain the furthest behind their five-year average at 34% and 31%, respectively. ...continue reading

The rural economy continues to be lead downward by stubbornly low grain prices. Along with the rural economy, the farmland price index has fallen significantly. Low grain prices have led to decreased farm incomes which have stunted sales expectations for farm implements.

The Rural Mainstreet Index (RMI), an index which ranges from 0 to 100 with 50.0 representing growth neutral, decreased to 43.4 from 48.2 in September, the lowest level since February 2010. The expected decline in farm income, due to lower grain prices, is weighing heavily on agriculture dependent areas. ...continue reading

Corn sales exploded due to low corn prices and expectations of a record crop in the October World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates. Soybean and wheat sales also increased. Soybean exports continued their torrent rise increasing for the sixth consecutive week, their highest level since February. Corn and wheat exports decreased from last week.

Harvest has continued to fall behind the five-year average for corn, soybean, and wheat providing some price relief. The six to ten day forecast is reporting dry weather across the Corn Belt, which should provide farmers with their best opportunity to progress harvest thus far in October. ...continue reading

Have you ever wondered what soybean harvest looks like from the combines point-of-view? Below is an amazing video taken by Matt Boucher of Boucher Farms in North Central Illinois. With a Go-Pro camera mounted to the cutter bar of the combine, the video gives an inside look to how a combine removes soybeans from a field. For more of Matt’s videos visit his YouTube channel:

Remember, we are always looking for agricultural pictures from anywhere in the world. Submit your picture to

(Reuters) With the world population rising, demographers are grappling with one of the most pressing issues of the century - will there be enough food for an extra two to four billion people?

Projections of global population growth vary widely with the United Nations last month forecasting numbers rising to 9.6 billion in 2050 and around 10.9 billion by the end of the century from 7.2 billion currently.

That is about 1.5 billion more people than another estimate calculated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a Vienna-based research organisation, which predicts a world population peak of 9.4 billion in 2070.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that 60 percent more food is needed to feed a world population of nine billion people. ...continue reading