AgFax Grain Review: Longest Bear Streak in 8 Years; Watch Silage Moisture Levels


    • Luzi Ann Javier reports for Bloomberg that hedge funds continue the longest bear streak for soybeans in 8 years on expectations of a record U.S. crop. “Money managers have been betting on declines for five straight weeks, the most since October 2006,” while prices have already tumbled 18% this year, the second largest decline in the 22 commodities tracked by Bloomberg. U.S. corn production is also expected to set a record high this season, further dampening crop prices and ensuring that wide scale weather problems or some other equally negative news will be required to get investors interested in ag markets again.


    • Allan Vyhnalek reports on the Columbus Telegram that corn farmers should remember to watch moisture levels when harvesting for silage. Most hybrids are at the ideal moisture for silage between 60-70% moisture, with wetter moisture levels causing seepage and less palatable fermentation for livestock while drier moisture levels often result in reduced quality feed and increased spoilage. Covering sillage in storage is also important to reduce spoilage of the outer 3-4 feet. It is recommended to cover freshly chopped silage with black plastic with a solid cover over the plastic to hold it down.
    • Josh Coltrain of the Kansas State University Extension reports on the Farm Talk Newspaper that Kansas soybean farmers should be scouting fields for corn earworms, also called cotton bollworms, podworms, and a variety of other names depending on the crop it’s chosen to feed on. The larvae of this pest feeds on developing seeds within pods and can cause significant yield loss. Coltrain also warns growers to be on the lookout for green stinkbugs and several other soybean pests, providing descriptions, damage symptoms, and treatment recommendations.
    • Dan Martens of the University of Minnesota Extension warns growers not to spray too early for soybean aphids, cautioning to wait til they reach threshold levels at “an average of 250 aphids on 80 percent of plants checked at random locations in a field.” Spraying early increases the chance of requiring a second spray, helps select for a resistant insect population, and can put extra chemicals in the environment unnecessarily and increase the risk of stricter regulations that will make pests harder to control.

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