In the last couple of weeks I’ve received a number of questions surrounding no-till seeding systems, specifically residue management and ground openers. One of the biggest concerns is seeding into heavy crop residues and how it affects seedling emergence, crop maturity and yield. Instead of discussing residue management from a harvest perspective, I’ll draw attention to residue managers from a seeding perspective.
On the retail front, I’ve heard a number of producers taking home their phosphate and potash blends to secure the product. Threats of a product shortage are in the air with phosphate, glyphosate and canola seed. I have confirmed with a few product manufacturers that glyphosate will be in short supply this spring so it may not be a bad idea to secure your product now. The shortage could be a result of the dramatic decrease in ClearOut 41 glyphosate imports this year.
Residue Management Strategies For Direct Seeding
Residue management can have a significant effect on direct seeded crop stand establishment, plant growth and yield. The results of this study indicate that use of the residue management wheel improves stand establishment and yield for a variety of crops in a wide range of residue densities and stubble conditions. For small seeded crops, such as mustard and winter canola, use of the residue management wheel was found to increase stand counts by more that 40 percent. The study also showed that for larger seeded crops, such as wheat and barley, use of the residue management wheel significantly increased stand counts by approximately 17 percent.
Effectiveness of Residue Managers and Wheels
Direct seeding into high amounts of residue is a problem for most types of seeding equipment. Residue managers or wheels are designed to either push residue away from the opener or hold straw and chaff in place so that the hoe or disk opener can better slice through it, allowing for proper seed and fertilizer placement. The Agricultural Technology Centre (ATC) conducted a series of studies from 2003 to 2005 to determine the effect on emergence and yield of barley, canola, mustard, peas and wheat when using residue managers and wheels with disk and hoe openers.
Residue Manager Devices
Experienced growers tend to agree that there is no perfect answer for residue manager devices, but that they do help. While stubble tubes and polymer coil wrap can cheaply improve any seeder, residue manager wheels should not be seen as a substitute for a good frame layout. They take up space under the seeder frame and if that space is not adequate, they can simply add to the congestion. As they may cost $350 or more per row, a better idea may be to invest in a better seeder bar. As they move residue, consideration must be given to where the residue will be put. Operating speed may have to be managed to get the best performance.
Maximizing Crop Yields From No-tillage
Crop residues are the lifeblood of no-tillage. Indeed they are the lifeblood of sustainable agriculture itself. In the past, debates about surface residues have mostly centred on their macro-management; the percentage of ground that is covered by residues in relation to erosion control, surface sealing, shading and the ability of machines to physically handle them. Micro-management of residues centres on the influence that residues have on seed, seedling and plant performance in individual rows, all of which ultimately affect crop yield.
Wheat: The short term trend is breaking upwards while the long term trend remains down. Seasonally, this market tends to rally into March.
Barley: The short term trend is turning upwards while the long term trend remains sideways.
Canola: The short term trend has moved to sideways while the long term trend remains higher.
Corn: The short term trend has turned upwards while the long term trend remains up.
Soybeans: The short and long term trends remain up.
Live Cattle: The short and long term trends remain up.
Lean Hogs: The short and long term trends are up.
Diesel: The short term trend remains down.
Natural Gas: The short and long term trends have turned sideways
World Needs Large ‘07 Wheat Crop To Rebuild Stocks -HGCA The world needs to harvest an above-average wheat crop this coming season to replenish tight supplies, David Mathias, Economist for the UK’s Home-Grown Cereals Authority, said Tuesday. He said even if 2007-08 world wheat production is up 5.4% on the year, as currently projected by the International Grains Council, that only a slight recovery in stocks will be seen. “We really do need a good crop,” said Mathias. “The problem is that production estimate assumes yields will be above the five-year average, but if yields come in closer to the five-year average or below, production will fall short of consumption again and further deplete stocks.”
Source: CBOT News
Funds Now Fixture In Commodities
Fund investors are a firmly-established fixture in the commodity markets with the sector’s bull run expected to keep them there, according to Paul Adrian, fund manager WexTrust Capital, LLC. “The funds are participating in commodities in a much larger capacity and affecting these markets in a big way - and they don’t tend to go in selling,” he said. “This won’t change. I think we’re in a long, long cycle of a move up for commodities, a secular bull market, worldwide.” But Adrian said that despite a sell off in commodity prices over the last several weeks, with many of the hard and soft markets well away from their 2006 highs, the world “hasn’t fundamentally changed.”
“In 2006, the investment community recognized the attraction of commodities and jumped on board. The last to jump on, were the first to bail,” he said. “Look at the facts. China, India, the emerging market economies - they haven’t suddenly decided not to consume. The trading situation is that the markets got overbought, and should have corrected. Price corrections are part of any cycle, and that’s what we’re seeing at the moment,” he said. For Adrian, grains are the hot market going forward. “We’re in for 10 years of volatility, at least; the whole alternative fuel situation is driving this,” he said. “Corn is obviously the forerunner but that’s not to say a usage for soya won’t be found. It’s a matter of technology and who has the biggest lobby.”
Source: CBOT News
Understanding Cash Flow Analysis
A cash flow statement is one of the most important financial statements for a project or business. The statement can be as simple as a one-page analysis or may involve several schedules that feed information into a central statement. By creating a cash flow budget you can project your sources and applications of funds for the upcoming time periods. You will identify any cash deficit periods in advance so you can take corrective actions now to alleviate the deficit. This may involve shifting the timing of certain transactions. It may also determine when money will be borrowed. If borrowing is involved, it will also determine the amount of cash that needs to be borrowed.
Full article: http://www.topmanagers.ca/TopicSubDetail.aspx?DocId=208
Positive Price Trend in Peas
Prices for edible peas have steadily risen through the fall and into the winter season with no indication yet that the current trend is running out of momentum. In the past week, Alberta-based prices for yellow peas were as high as $6 per bushel in the spot market and upwards of $6.25 per bushel for deferred spring delivery. On the new crop market, yellows have topped $5 per bushel for fall delivery. Lethbridge-based prices have hit $5.10 per bushel for August-September delivery, $5.15 for October and $5.25 for November.
Weather and Climate Impact
My weather sources continue to suggest wetter than normal conditions across the Canadian prairies from May through July 2007. They also predict above normal temperatures in June and July. I've been made a believer in sunspot activity and it's prediction strength. What's important is the price of wheat during periods of low sunspot activity. Higher wheat prices have occurred 100% of the time during periods of low sunspot activity going all the way back from 1249 to the year 2000!
Source: Steve Larocque
La Nina Could Mean Dry Summer in US Midwest and Plains
A La Nina weather pattern could be in store for spring and summer, which could make it a dry growing season for grains and soybeans in the US Midwest and Plains, a private forecaster predicted Friday. The CFS forecasting model, a leading indicator of long-term weather, on Friday showed that La Nina (an abnormal weather pattern of cooling sea surface waters in the Pacific Ocean) would begin in April.
- The CWB has announced acceptance of 100 per cent of all grades and protein levels of wheat (non-durum) offered on Series B delivery contracts.
- The CWB will release its monthly Pool Return Outlook (PRO) for 2006-07 wheat, durum, feed barley and designated barley on Thursday, Feb. 22 after 1:30 p.m.
- The first new-crop PRO for 2007-08 will be released on Monday, Feb. 26 at the 16th annual GrainWorld, Canada’s premiere grains, oilseeds and livestock outlook conference, which takes place on Feb. 25 to 27 at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg.
- Sign-up for 2007-08 CWB Fixed Price Contract (FPCs) and the full range of Basis Payment Contract (BPC) options begins Feb. 26. Feed barley is now fully eligible for both programs.