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View from the Cab: Beyond the field

Have you ever wondered what happens to all of the soybeans out in the field once they are harvested?

Some of those beans will be made into soybean meal and fed to Illinois livestock, which are the top customer for soybean producers. A few of the beans will end up being exported to China as they try to fulfill the first phase of a trade agreement and rebuild their hog herd. A few more of those beans will be crushed with the oil extracted to make soy bio-diesel which is often used in engines on the farm.

“I filled my tank with B-20, which is a 20 percent blend of bio-diesel, last week and the price was about $1.74 per gallon which is reasonable,” District Six Illinois Soybean Association director Jim Martin told me recently.

Keep in mind, if you use a blend of 11 percent or higher, there is no sales tax on your purchase. The good news is that beans got up over $10.00 a bushel recently so there is an extra spring in every farmer’s step these days.

Thanks to Jim for sharing some valuable information with me as we continue with the 2020 harvest season.

It looks like there is a glimmer of hope for soybeans especially after last week’s bullish Sept. 30 USDA report which had soybeans at 523 million bushels compared to the average trade guess of 576 million. Prices shot up almost 30 cents once the report was issued on Wednesday.

The report also resulted in higher corn and wheat prices as corn was at 2.0 billion bushels with the average trade guess at 2.25 billion. Wheat was at 2.16 billion with the average trade guess coming in at 2.242 billion.

Harvest rolls on for the Cassons as we have a decent start. It truly feels like fall now that we have the cooler temperatures and shorter days. Just wait until the time change in a few weeks – then it will start feeling like winter! Some early corn yields coming in are surprisingly decent despite some of the weather conditions the crops experienced over the summer. I am hearing mixed results on soybeans so far but it is still early.


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