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Esteemed Advisor
sw363535
Posts: 4,262
Registered: ‎07-18-2011
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Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

Marginal acres   and  corn trend line.

 

(Two worn out phrases on this marketing "chalk board")-------both got renewed life for me in clear lake thursday.  First, Hobby's pointed examples in southern Iowa and then Al spent some time on the general topic of "acres" and where growth seems to be or is expected to be.  Places mentioned were generally expansions west, northwest, and Canada.  Al had some interesting thoughts on the subject and we did not spend as much discussion as we could have--------lots of data/ little time.

But Al trimmed my disgust with usda(temporarily)-------- and I been having flashbacks of MT and Hobby comments that were validated by Al's points.

It was a discussion revisited and important.............................................not enough time at the time.

 

sw
Advisor
jrsiajdranch
Posts: 2,117
Registered: ‎05-03-2010
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

Dagnabit! I had a very long post on several of the things you and I talked about at the meeting. put together this morning and I lost it!  I will try again later.  BUt it took me two hours to put it together and I do not know when I will have that two hours again.  BUt this marginal acres thing is a big deal

 

Esteemed Advisor
Hobbyfarmer
Posts: 3,661
Registered: ‎01-10-2012
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

Marginal acres should have a conversion factor attached to them . Like 60% in a good year and 5% in a year like this.

 

The only good acres that could be brought into production are in one or the other of the misguided govt programs.

 

SW and I saw a few of them up in north central Iowa, CRP on 80%+ CSR rated ground, around the rest of the state it is 120feet up and down the rivers on Nodaway Silt type dirt...90+CSR rated ground. I am one of the very few with a little virgin bottom ground left to clear and farm. Not a cheap or easy undertaking. But blow your socks off productive for the next 25 years. (the picts of my beans up to my chest or over the hood of my Trail Blazer were taken on that type of ground that I cleared 8 years ago.)

 

The rest of the acres to be put into production are not in production because they are not profitable without Govt intervention (read this as crop ins). The class 1 farmland gobbled up by urban sprawl negates a large portion of marginal acre production.

 

I would have liked a little more time to have shown SW a little more of this train wreck in slow motion that is going on down here. Couple this with the water table mining in the west that is reducing irrigated acres every year and increases in production are only going to come from South America. Namely Brazil with their huge untapped land base.

 

This is at a slow down till they get their infrastructure lengthened into the new frontiers. A 100 to 500 mile drive on dirt trails will not get corn to this country. Just barely works with a higher value crop like beans.

 

This is mostly my opinion based on my back yard view from South Podunk Country, Iowa 

60% of the time, it works every time.

"Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and promoted by mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of dung by the clean end."
Senior Contributor
ray h.
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎05-14-2010
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

    I can not figure why any one wants to clear and expand any more land into production,or any other form of farming wall to wall,fence to fence unless they do not like price! Trend or above trend will eventualy correct price on its own.Give the badlands a break.

Esteemed Advisor
sw363535
Posts: 4,262
Registered: ‎07-18-2011
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

Ray,

Three issues, any one of which will get new ground broken out.  1--high priced grains.  2---High priced land buyers-(in some areas just breaking it out doubles the resale value).  3.  The promise of super seed and easy no til weed control.

We got them all.

 

I am still struggling with the "assumed" tech advancements to help marginal acres.  We got some winners on the front side of GMO development(insect control and herbicide tollerance).  Yes we got yield improvement, and we should with environmental improvements.  But that does not prove the plants have more production potential.  Yes we are developing more short season varieties, but it's still an X ounces H2O= 1 bushel of corn.  If it takes 12 oz rain per bushel of corn is gmo going to reduce it to 10. 

If ever there was a year( or 2 ) when we should be seeing it---------and selling it--------- this is it.

So far I have read about the "good" land being better (and the rainy spots),  but I have yet to read how someone's "drought tolerant" seed was xx bushels better.   I've been looking for it------- Our tests last year on our worst drought year,  we saw some plant health differences but no measurable yield result. 

With unfullfilled gmo promise, marginal drouthy areas are going to be very iffy.  -----------------Hobby said it simpler.

-------------------

Add 5 million more to the 5-10 million we already have and usda will need a dart board for corn.

 

 

sw
Veteran Advisor
Nebrfarmr
Posts: 6,808
Registered: ‎10-25-2010
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

If you really want to see marginal acres in row crops, come out this way. I can show you a field with washouts you can't cross with a combine, in the driest year since the 30s, most all of it washed out in a single 1.75 rain immediatley after planting. Or we can go to the field that had $60k in leveling costs, just so the pivot could go around, and even then, Valley would not guarantee it not to tip over on the steep parts. As for the drought tolerant corn, I only know of one guy who planted it side by side with regular corn. Increased his yield this year by 50%, from 10 to 15 BPA.
Veteran Advisor
Mizzou_Tiger
Posts: 2,204
Registered: ‎11-02-2010
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

One thing not mentioned here........marginal acres need more care and maintenance.......not many know how to do that, hence why the ground was in CRP, or hay, or pasture, or whatever..........it takes higher prices to offset the risk, maintenance, and such.........not to mention the weather factor......and as mentioned above, gullies and the like......

And most of these marginal acres will be cash rented and farmed by someone other than the owner...........and guess what, they don't care cause its marginal ground that will not return on their improvements except on the best of years and prices..........and that doesn't happen very often on marginal ground.....

The gullies get deeper, the OM and top soil get thinner, the nutrients get lower, etc.......

So the best case scenerio are a few of these acres maintain their capacity after a few years........more likely scenerio........you get a few good years and things go down hill........literally and figuratively........

We may very well be ready to cycle lower.......which means marginal acres will not make it, nor be cared for..........and then all of a sudden we are short on supply again and those marginal acres are in worse shape.......

"Peak corn" anyone........

Esteemed Advisor
sw363535
Posts: 4,262
Registered: ‎07-18-2011
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MT

MT, 

That discription follows the acres east and the ones Hobby pointed out.  Nebraska is a unique deal with ground water available but very rough ground.  Both of those are sad deals created by temporary profit possibilities, crop insurance, and a sleeping farm program.

Most of the areas Al mentioned are like western ks, eastern Colo., etc.  Decent to good ground that is in 12-16" rainfall areas--maybe a little better to the north--but then you face the short season problems.  Notil and rotation will work.  But we are talking about  needing three acres to produce one acre of crop per year(rotation--wht/fallow/corn at best)------and a highly variable 25-70 bushels per acre on the planted ground.  That destroys trend line ideas and we are spending more and more to raise less bushels.

 

IMO-------from my point of view we have been doing this for at least 3-4 years already.  That has been the basis for my feeling that Usda is not staying current on changes even though they have the acreage and insurance data in front of them.  When the heart of our lineup struggles like this year in the corn belt, it becomes a bigger factor because this was still a drought that began in the west and sw.  I drove the last 250 miles looking at failed dry land corn and just a little milo worth cutting.  

Looking at crop in Iowa has traditionally been like watching a beauty contest with the wife,  a little uncomfortable cause you know you gotta go home to something that isn't Iowa.------------------- This trip was just a reminder of how bad 2012 was, with many areas as bad as yours.  We may never know how poor this one was.  A jumpy, stressed market will be with us for a while.  

sw
Veteran Advisor
Jim Meade / Iowa City
Posts: 2,382
Registered: ‎04-30-2010
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

Maybe the main function of marginal acres is to increase volatility.

Esteemed Advisor
sw363535
Posts: 4,262
Registered: ‎07-18-2011
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Re: Meeting ------"Marginal Acres" thoughts

yes , Jim,  consistancy will suffer.  Thanks

sw