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May 18, 2014     Sidney Herald
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May 18, 2014
 

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SIDNEYHERALD .00GRICULTURE SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014  Not easy to decide what to do with winter wheat fields I realize that most deci- sions regarding whether or not to tear up an existing winter wheat stand and start over with spring wheat have already been made. However, maybe you are still on the fence or you decided to let your winter wheat stand grow and are having second thoughts. I should probably start with some background information about why these decisions are even being considered. Winter wheat fields across the county are difficult to judge in regards to their future productivity at this time of year, espe- cially this year. Typically, by now, one would have a fairly good estimate of what to expect in regards to the survival of a field of winter wheat and potential for a success- ful harvest. We are not that fortunate this year. Our cold winter, lack of snow cover and slow to warm spring have combined to give agron- omists headaches when de- termining the future success of a field of winter wheat. I have received calls from producers looking to re-seed with spring wheat and crop insurance adjusters try- ing to determine whether the winter wheat crop will "come out of it" and still produce a respectable har-  vest. So if you are evaluat- ing a stand of winter wheat and are still on the fence in regards |xtensJon to what to do next, Tim Fine here are a few options from Joel Ransom who is an Extension agronomist for cereal crops at North Dakota State University. 1. A half stand of winter wheat can produce a reason- able crop. If your poorest areas of the field have 10 or more plants per square foot, the likelihood of a successful crop is quite good. Given the lateness of the spring and the likelihood that anything else that is planted will be planted later than optimum would suggest sticking with your winter wheat crop. 2. If your poor areas are patchy and comprise less than a quarter of the field, you might consider keep- ing stands as low as 5-10 plants per square foot. For these types of fields, add- ing some spring nitrogen as soon as you can get into the field may be beneficial. Controlling weeds early will be important in these fields so that weeds don't fill any voids. 3. For fields with a few very large patches with few or no plants, planting some- thing to reduce weed growth and soil erosion is recom- mended. Some farmers have reported good results from planting spring wheat to fill in such gaps but be prepared for the fact that spring wheat matures later than winter wheat so harvest will be problematic. Further- more, mixing wheat classes can cause problems at the elevator. Planting winter wheat into large gaps can also be an option. Winter wheat planted in the spring will not vernalize so it will not produce a head (or there will be fewer late heads), but will provide ground cover until harvest. So maybe it is not too late and if you have taken the "wait and see" approach in regards to your winter wheat fields, you may still be alright. As with most things in the agriculture produc- tion world, "time will tell," and unfortunately that is about as good of a predic- tion as I can give in regards to what the growing season will be like. As always, if you have questions, feel free to give me a call at 406-433-1206 or send an email to timothy. fine@montana.edu. The big sugar dump could get bigger BY THE AMERICAN SUGAR ALLIANCE dumped sugar, depressing prices and jeop- Here are a few attention grabbers about the record amount of subsidized sugar Mexico dumped onto the U.S. market last year. Mexico sent an all-time high 2.1 million tons of sugar to America in FY 2013. For perspective, that's enough to supply every person in the U.S. with 13 pounds of sugar. This was up from 1.1 mil- lion tons the year earlier and marked a doubling of Mexico's share of the U.S. market from 9 percent to 18 percent. The resulting price decline -- U.S. prices have fallen 50 percent since the end of 2011 -- will cost U.S. producers $1 billion this year. The USDA was forced to spend $278 million in taxpayer money to keep the market from collapsing un- der the weight of Mexico's PRODUCTS For Stainless Steel & Glass i $,St.00ont Ente00rises, (Tholesale Distributors 608 E. Main St. Sidney 433-2910 Mexico's government, which owns and operates 20 percent of the Mexican sugar industry, is the coun- try's biggest producer and exporter of sugar. The fat that an inef- ficient industry largely controlled by the govern- ment strengthened its foothold in America at the expense of U.S. farmers and U.S. taxpayers is alarming. But apparently, it's just the beginning. New USDA data shows Mexico is dumping sugar at an even faster pace this year than last. In fact, the 1.3 million tons that has arrived in the first seven months of FY 2014 is 48 per- cent higher than over the same period the year prior. Unless this pace sud- denly cools, Mexico will break last year's record and flood the U.S. with 2.3 million tons of dumped and subsidized sugar, further ardizing 142,000 U.S. jobs. U.S. laws were written to keep unfair foreign trading practices like these from bankrupting U.S. busi- nesses. The time to enforce these laws has come, ard the De- partment of Commerce and International Trade Com- mission recently took im- portant steps by launching investigations into Mexican dumping and subsidies. If corrective action isn't taken soon, expect the problem to get worse, not just for sugar producers, but taxpayers too. The Con- gressional Budget Office predicts another $390 mil- lion in total taxpayer costs from FY 2015 to FY 2024 due to an oversaturated sugar market. That's an awfully steep price to pay to support an inefficient, foreign-govern- ment-run industry that refuses to play by the rules. 406.433.7586 Office I 406.433.7596 Fax I Sidney, MT Sidney, MT ........ I $15 Per Game $20 Field Umps per game Behind-The-Plate Umps Call Deb Rassier 480-9236 If Interested t00/tleat markets t)u,:kle in nation BY LOUISE GARTNER SPECTRUM COMMODITIES Wheat markets buckled as rains moved in across the eastern half of the plains. Concerns were also raised about the high price of U.S. wheat cutting into export prospects as the rest of the world continues to have lower prices. Another round of frost and freezing occurred in the Western Plains, but it was on wheat that was already drought stressed and yields likely wouldn't hurt the crop much more. Corn was also lower as the weather allowed a solid week of planting to get done across much of the country, taking the planting progress from way behind just a week ago to slightly ahead of the average. Soybeans managed to bounce off their lows and take a run at contract highs even as imports increase. Domestic stocks remain tight enough to keep cash prices elevated and support- ing futures contracts. Cattle prices were mixed with live cattle stalling while feeders continued to push higher. Cash fed cattle were steady with the prior week but beef prices slipped as retail buying for Memorial Day looked to be slowing down. Calf prices at local auctions held strong as buyers scrambled for the last supplies of calves for Commodities Report Commodity This week Chg/Lst Wk 8.06 -0.35 Kansas City Wheat Minneapolis Wheat Chicago Wheat Corn 7.78 -0.28 6.9 -0.48 4.95 -0.19 Soybeans 14.87 0.41 Soybean Meal 486.5 11.60 Soybean Oil 41.38 0.55 Live Cattle 137.45 -0.12 Feeder Cattle 185.40 2.38 Sugar 18.25 0.99 Crude Oil 102.37 1.60 Heating Oil 2.9626 0.0351 Unleaded Gas 2.9693 0.0511 Natural Gas 4.36 -0.38 Silver ]9.77 0.43 Gold 1305.9 17.00 US $ 80.13 0.89. Canadian $ 0.9186 0.0016 Euro 1.3705 -0.0210 Dow Jones 16587 119 Brought S(s_E__.o. CoM.oo,T,s ............. to y.ou by ............................... .......  ..................... .9:)0 888.98,3 summer pasture grazing. Energies were stron- ger as the market slowly resumed its upward trend. The summer driving season is expected to keep prices well supported at least for the near term. Metals were higher as they appear to be settling into a wide and choppy trading range. The U.S. dollar found strong support as the Dow pushed into new all-time highs and economic reports showed the economy im- proving faster than expecta- tions. Spectrum Commodities 800-888-9843 Rebar Redi-Rod I AII Thread Sucker Rod Used Steel Pipe Used Steel Tanks Used Guard Rail  /-Beam Wide Flange Beam Steel Culvert Steel Pipe Galvanized Pipe ;.::; Black Pipe ] Meadowlark Brewery, in conjunction with the Foundation For Community Care is offering a limited, exclusive tour of their eagerly anticipated location opening!! A $100 donation to the Foundation's Endowment fund will secure your spot in a tour of Sidney's first eatery and brew house on Wednesday May 21st, 10 days prior to the public opening. The tour will be led by the brewery's owner, Travis Peterson, orating interesting stories and )ieces unearthed during.the building remodel. In addition to a sampling of the ticket will also allow you access into an insider look at the The chief chef of Meadowlark enu choices. be be taken on a first come basis, don't delay!! Purchase tickets at the Foundation for Community Care 221 2nd Street NW, Sidney, MT 59270 or call Gina at 406.488.2699 J FOUNDATION