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Follow the Fields Tour

July 2, 2020

Two photos of field progress as of July 2, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows a cornfield with corn in the V9 growth stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows a winter wheat field in the soft dough stage.
Figure 1. (A) Corn field progress and (B) winter wheat field progress as of July 2, 2020.

Crop Progress

Corn

  • Growth Stage: V9 growth stage (Figure 1-A)
  • Agronomic notes:
    • Some rain, growing well, will need timely moisture with anticipated heat and crop moisture requirements at this stage.
    • Positive 2020 Planted Acreage report this week. Producers may want to consider OLD and NEW crop sales on a portion of the corn crop.
    • Corn market rally in early July lasts on average 2 weeks due to weather, seasonal rally, and upcoming July WASDE report on July 10.

Winter Wheat

  • Growth Stage: Soft dough growth stage (Figure 1-B)
  • Agronomic notes: Looking forward to wheat ripening.
Two photos of field progress as of July 2, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows an oats field with oats in the early milk stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows soybeans in the R1 growth stage.
Figure 2. (A) Oats field progress and (B) soybean field progress as of July 2, 2020.

Oats

  • Growth Stage: Early milk growth stage (Figure 2-A)
  • Agronomic notes: Timely rains received. Looking for a good finish.

Soybeans

  • Growth Stage: R1 growth stage (Figure 2-B)
  • Agronomic notes: Sprayed for weed and grasses, received timely rains, doing well.
A line graph depicting the workin capital per acre in SD, ND, NE, and MN. 1-k to 2-k acres. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.
Figure 3. Working Capital per Acre SD, ND, NE, MN; 1k to 2k Acres. Source: SDSU Extension, FINBIN UMN.

Financial Review

Return to look at working capital:

  • Four state area SD, ND, NE, & MN
  • FINBIN, Center for Farm Management, UMN
  • 1,000 to 2,000 acres of cropland
  • Queried by net income
    • Look at 20 to 40% level
    • And 60 to 80% level

The average for the upper income level for the time period of 2010 to 2014 is $471,000 and for the lower income level is $430,000. The lower income level’s working capital average for 2015 to 2019 decreased $213,000 to an average of $217,000. The upper level’s average working capital increased $31,000 to $502,000 for this time period.

Current Assets

Current assets are considered "liquid"—those that are cash or can be turned into cash promptly, including:

  • Checking and savings accounts, mutual funds.
  • Stored production, such as grain.
  • Feed on hand.
  • Growing crops.
  • Market livestock.
  • Paid-for, but not yet used inputs and other supplies.
  • Accounts receivable.

Current Liabilities

Current liabilities are those that are due right away, within the next 12 months, including:

  • Accounts payable for inputs.
  • Land rent.
  • Farm taxes.
  • Current notes and credit lines.
  • Accrued interest on operating or term loans.
  • Current portion of principal due in 12 months.
  • Credit card debt.

      The change in average working capital 2010-14 versus 2015-19 for the upper income level was an increase of $31,000, the lower income level decreased $213,000.

      The upper income level increased current assets $122,000 and current liabilities increased $91,000 for an increase of $31,000 between the time periods. This is due to higher profit levels, more inventory, better priced inventory, and reduction of debt or current liabilities.

      The lower income level’s working capital decreased by $213,000, resulting in increased financial strain for the business and liquidity concerns on the ability to meet current obligations. This negative change was a result of a $77,000 decrease in current assets and a $136,000 increase in current liabilities. This is due to a combination of less profitability, less inventory, higher percentage of unpriced inventories, and increase in debt or current liabilities.

      Working capital is the first line of defense for businesses. It aids in working through downturns in margins and allows those in strong positons to take advantage of opportunities that arise.

      Enjoy the July 4th holiday!

      June 26, 2020

      Two photos of field progress as of June 26, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows a cornfield with corn in the 8-leaf stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows a winter wheat field in the late milk to early dough stage.
      Figure 1. (A) Corn field progress and (B) winter wheat field progress as of June 26, 2020.

      Crop Progress

      Corn

      • Growth Stage: 8-leaf stage (Figure 1-A)
      • Agronomic notes: Corn has good green color. PSNT samples exceeded 25 ppm nitrate-N sufficiency level and therefore no sidedress N applied. Field sprayed with Mesotrione (3 oz/a) + Atrazine (16 oz/a) + AMS/NIS ($7.40/a).

      Winter Wheat

      • Growth Stage: Late milk to early dough stage (Figure 1-B)
      • Agronomic notes: Good rains received. No fungicides applied. Scab threat is over because pollinations complete.
      Two photos of field progress as of June 26, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows an oats field with oats in milk stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows soybeans in the R-1 growth stage.
      Figure 2. (A) Oats field progress and (B) soybean field progress as of June 26, 2020.

      Oats

      • Growth Stage: Milk stage (Figure 2-A)
      • Agronomic notes: Fungicide did not get sprayed because of pressure to spray corn and beans in the area.

      Soybeans

      • Growth Stage: R1
      • Agronomic notes: Post emergence spray complete, but no details on compounds and cost.

      Soil Series Review

      Table 1. Corn field soil series.

      Soil Series % Slope % of Field
      MnB – Moody-Nora
      2-6
      75
      Trent – Trent-Moody
      0-2
      15
      NcC – Nora Crofton
      6-9
      10

      Table 2. Wheat field soil series.

      Soil Series % Slope % of Field
      MnB – Moody-Nora
      2-6
      18
      NcC – Nora-Crofton
      6-9
      8

      Table 3. Oats field soil types.

      Soil Series % Slope % of Field
      ChB - Clarno-Bonilla loams
      1-6
      60
      EeC – Ethan Clarno loams
      6-9
      36
      TcA – Tetonka-Davison-Clarno
      0-2
      4

      Table 4. Soybean field soil types.

      Soil Series % Slope % of Field
      AaA – Alwilda fine sandy loam
      0-2
      75
      AaB – Alwilda fine sandy loam
      2-6
      19
      Ab – Artesian-Farmsworth
      0-2
      3
      Td – Tetonka fine sandy loam
      0-2
      2
      A series of 5 photos depicting beneath-ground soil conditions from Trent, Moody, Clarno, Nora, and Ethan South Dakota. For a complete description of the soil, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.
      Figure 3. Soil series for Trent, Moody, Clarno, Nora, and Ethan.

      June 19, 2020

      Two photos of field progress as of June 19, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows a cornfield with corn in the 7-leaf stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows a winter wheat field with wheat filling the head.
      Figure 1. (A) Corn field progress and (B) winter wheat field progress as of June 19, 2020.

      Crop Progress

      Corn

      • Growth Stage: 7-leaf stage (Figure 1-A)
      • Agronomic notes: Winds and temperatures very high that prevented spraying of Mesotrione and glyphosate.

      Winter Wheat

      • Growth Stage: Filling the head (Figure 1-B)
      • Agronomic notes: Very hot temperatures probably hard on filling heads, but plenty of sub-soil moisture. No fungicides applied. Scab not a threat during pollination.
      Two photos of field progress as of June 19, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows an oats field with oats in late boot to early heading stages . The second is labeled “B” and shows soybeans with in the third to forth tri-foliate stage, V3-V4.
      Figure 2. (A) Oats field progress and (B) soybean field progress as of June 19, 2020.

      Oats

      • Growth Stage: Late boot to early heading stages (Figure 2-A)
      • Agronomic notes: Producer will try to apply fungicide for crown rust control as soon as possible.

      Soybeans

      • Growth Stage: Third to forth tri-foliate, V3-V4 (Figure 2-B)
      • Agronomic notes: Post emergence spray delayed because of high winds and temps.

      June 11, 2020

      Two photos of field progress as of June 11, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows a cornfield with corn in the 5-leaf stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows a winter wheat field with wheat just starting to head.
      Figure 1. Figure 1. (A) Corn field progress and (B) winter wheat field progress as of June 11, 2020.

      Crop Progress

      Corn

      • Growth Stage: 5-leaf stage (Figure 1-A)
      • Agronomic notes: Waiting for 6-leaf to spray post-herbicide application. 1 inch of rain received. Will take soil samples (0-1 ft) for the Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test from 3 management zones in the field.

      Winter Wheat

      • Growth Stage: Just starting to head (Figure 1-B)
      • Agronomic notes: Pollinating, no significant leaf diseases, decision not to spray fungicide at this time. Head Scab tool indicates low to no chances of head scab.
      Two photos of field progress as of June 11, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows an oats field with oats in the jointing growth stage, nearing flag leaf. The second is labeled “B” and shows soybeans with second trifoliate, third emerging.
      Figure 2. (A) Oats field progress and (B) soybean field progress as of June 11, 2020.

      Oats

      • Growth Stage: Jointing growth stage, nearing flag leaf (Figure 2-A)
      • Agronomic notes: No leaf diseases noted. Good rains received.

      Soybeans

      • Growth Stage: Second trifoliate, third emerging (Figure 2-B)
      • Agronomic notes: Some grass weeds noted, no insect leaf feeding.

      Financial Trends

      Look at working capital.

      • Four state area SD, ND, NE, & MN
      • FINBIN, Center for Farm Management, UMN
      • 1,000 to 2,000 acres of cropland
      • Queried by net income
        • Look at 20 to 40% level
        • And 60 to 80% level
      A line graph depicting Working Capital per Acre in SD, ND, NE, and MN. 1-k to 2-k acres. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.
      Figure 3. Working Capital per Acre SD, ND, NE, MN 1k to 2k Acres. Source: SDSU Extension, FINBIN UMN

      Liquidity

      Liquidity is a measure of business’s ability to cover:

      • It’s immediate and short-term (i.e. due within one year) debts and obligations.
      • Put another way, it's a way of describing how well you can cover your current liabilities using your current assets.

      Liquidity:

      • Helps business succeed during margin squeeze
      • First defense in downturn
      • Helps take advantage of opportunities
      • CASH is BEST
        • Revolving credit, line of credit, term loan, equity
        • Expense reduction, salaries, cutbacks, capital expenditures
      A line graph depicting Working capital to gross revenue in SD, ND, NE, and MN. 1-k to 2-k acres. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.
      Figure 4. Working capital to gross revenue SD, ND, NE, MN 1k to 2k Acres. Source: SDSU Extension, FINBIN UMN

      Working Capital

      One measure of liquidity is working capital. Working capital is defined as current assets minus current liabilities. It is often expressed as the following:

      • $ amount per acre
      • % of Gross Sales
      • Single $ amount
      • % of Total Expenses

      The average for the upper income level for the time period of 2010 to 2014 is $471,000 and for the lower income level is $430,000. The lower income level’s working capital average for 2015 to 2019 decreased $213,000 to an average of $217,000. The upper level’s average working capital increased $31,000 to $502,000 for this time period.

      Next week we will look at pre-sidedress nitrate test.

      June 4, 2020

      Two photos of field progress as of June 4, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows a cornfield with corn in the 3-leaf stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows a winter wheat field with wheat just starting to head.
      Figure 1. (A) Corn field progress and (B) winter wheat field progress as of June 4, 2020.

      Crop Progress

      Corn

      • Growth Stage: 3-leaf stage (Figure 1-A)
      • Agronomic Notes: Waiting for 6-leaf to spray post herbicide application. Plants look heat stressed during 95+ degree afternoons.

      Winter Wheat

      • Growth Stage: Just starting to head (Figure 1-B)
      • Agronomic Notes: No significant leaf diseases, decision not to spray fungicide at this time.
      Two photos of field progress as of June 4, 2020. The first is labeled “A” and shows an oats field with oats in the jointing growth stage. The second is labeled “B” and shows a soybeans with the first trifoliate emerging.
      Figure 2. (A) Oats field progress and (B) soybean field progress as of June 4, 2020.

      Oats

      • Growth Stage: Jointing growth stage (Figure 2-A)
      • Agronomic Notes: No leaf diseases noted. Some heat stress during 95+ degree afternoons.

      Soybeans

      • Growth Stage: First trifoliate emerging (Figure 2-B)
      • Agronomic Notes: Some grass weeds noted, no insect leaf feeding.

      Financial Trends

      This week we will start to look at financial trends of farms in the four-state area. The information is taken from farms enrolled in record keeping programs or associations in South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota. This data set is held at the Center for Farm Management, University of MN. The information we will track and use as examples is from farms with 1,000 to 2,000 acres of cropland.

      The information is sorted by quintals by net income. These examples are the lower 20 to 40% and upper 60 to 80%.

      A line graph depicting the gross sales in SD, ND, NE, and MN. 1-k to 2-k acres. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.
      Figure 3. Gross Sales SD, ND, NE, MN; 1k to2k Acres. Source: SDSU Extension, FINBIN UMN

      Gross Sales

      Gross sales averaged $1,076,000 from 2010 to 2014 for the upper net income farms, the average gross sales increased $166,000 for the years 2015 to 2019.

      Gross sales for the lower level net income averaged $675,000 from 2010 to 2014, the average increased $162,000 for the years 2015 to 2019.

      Now let’s look at the bottom line or median net income.

      A line graph depicting the median net income in SD, ND, NE, and MN. 1-k to 2-k acres. For a complete description, call SDSU Extension at 605-688-6729.
      Figure 4. Median Net Income SD, ND, NE, MN; 1k to2k Acres. Source: SDSU Extension, FINBIN UMN

      Median Net Income

      The upper level median net income averaged $244,000 from 2010 to 2014, then decreased $18,000 for the year’s 2015 to 2019 to a $226,000 average.

      The lower net income level saw wider swings. Moving from $199,000 to $79,000 for a decrease of $120,000 for the years 2015 to 2019.

      Next week we look at working capital and liquidity for the two sets.

      May 29, 2020

      Small corn plants emerging from a field. The plants are at 1-leaf stage.
      Figure 1. Corn field progress as of May 29, 2020.

      Crop Progress

      Corn

      Growth Stage: 1-leaf stage

      Agronomic Notes: Will take PSNT soil samples (0-12 inch) at V6 growth stage.

      Variable Costs to This Date (no equipment costs included):

      • Seed: 31,500 seeds/a ($98.81/a)

      • Fertilizer: (125-45-60-15S-1Zn) ($80.60)

      • Pre herbicide and burndown: 13 oz/a Verdict + 16 oz/a 2,4-D LVE + 32 oz/a glyphosate + AMS/NIS ($26.55/a)

      Winter wheat plants fully emerged from a field. The plants are in flag leaf stage.
      Figure 2. Winter wheat field progress as of May 29, 2020.

      Winter Wheat

      Growth Stage: Flag leaf stage

      Agronomic Notes: No significant leaf diseases, decision not to spray fungicide at this time.

      Variable Costs to This Date (no equipment costs included):

      • Seed: 120 lbs/a ($16.00/a)

      • Fertilizer: (70-40-40-10S) ($54.40)

      • Post Herbicide: Bromoxinyl 2EC 24 oz/a ($11.04/a)

      Oat plants fully emerged from a field. The plants are in the tillering growth stage.
      Figure 3. Oats field progress as of May 29, 2020.

      Oats

      Growth Stage: Tillering growth stage

      Agronomic Notes: No leaf diseases noted.

      Variable Costs to This Date (no equipment costs included):

      • Seed: 100 lbs/a ($20/a)

      • Fertilizer: (28-00-00) ($16.00)

      • Herbicide: 44 oz/a ($6.05/a)

      Small soybean plants emerging from a field. The plants are at the Unifoliate growth stage.
      Figure 4. Soybean field progress as of May 29, 2020.

      Soybeans

      Growth Stage: Unifoliate growth stage

      Agronomic notes: Weed control good, no leaf feeding.

      Variable Costs to This Date (no equipment costs included):

      • Seed: 150,000/a ($56/a)

      • Pre herbicide and burn down: Valor SX 3.0 oz. Dimetric Liquid 6.0 oz, Sterling Blue 8.0 oz. Class Act 16 oz. Interlock 2x2.5 2.00 oz. 33 oz/a glyphosate ($32.58/a)

      May 22, 2020

      Update: Last week was cooler and favored crop development of the cool season crops (oats and winter wheat). Both the oats and winter wheat were sprayed for emerged broadleaf weeds. Corn and soybeans are slow to emerge from the soil due to higher base growing temperatures in the soil of around 50 degrees F. The winter wheat is at the 6 leaf stage and has about 3 tillers per plant (Figure 1). The oats are currently at the 2 leaf stage and developing more tillers on each plant (Figure 2). Last week the oats were not emerged from the soil. No corn (Figure 3) and soybean (Figure 4) emergence was noticed.

      Next week: Follow the field tour next week as we review the variable input expenses for each crop.

      A winter wheat field with numerous rows of green wheat blades emerged and developing throughout.
      Figure 1. Winter wheat field progress as of May 22, 2020.
      An oats field with numerous small rows of green, oat grass emerged throughout.
      Figure 2. Oats field progress as of May 22, 2020.
      A planted, no-till corn field. Corn plants have yet to emerge.
      Figure 3. Corn field progress as of May 22, 2020.
      A planted, no-till soybean field. Soybean plants have yet to emerge.
      Figure 4. Soybean field progress as of May 22, 2020.

      Related Topics

      Crop Management, Wheat, Oats, Corn, Soybean