WILLMAR -- Ballots for the 2010 Farm Service Agency county committee election were recently mailed to all eligible voters. The deadline to return completed ballots to the county office, either by mail or in person, is Dec. 6.
To be eligible to vote, a person must participate or cooperate in a program administered by the Farm Service Agency. Owners of land producing agricultural commodities or products, including spouses that are listed on the property deed, are considered eligible to vote.
A person who may not be of legal voting age, but who supervises or conducts the farming operations of an entire farm, is considered eligible to vote.
Eligible voters who did not receive a ballot in the mail can obtain one at their local office.
Under the committee election process, each county is divided into election districts known as local administrative areas. Each area has one representative serving on the committee.
USDA lowers U.S. crop production estimates
In its November crop production report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced further the estimated size of our nation's corn and soybean crops.
Corn production in the United States is now expected to total 12.5 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the October forecast and down 4 percent from last year's record high of 13.1 billion bushels.
Based on crop conditions as of Nov. 1, corn yields in the U.S. are expected to average 154.3 bushels per acre, down 1.5 bushels from the previous month and 10.4 bushels below last year's record of 164.7 bushels.
Corn yields were lowered throughout much of the Corn Belt, with the biggest declines reported in Missouri -- down 7 bushels; South Dakota -- down 5 bushels; and Nebraska -- down 4 bushels.
Soybean production in the United States is now expected to set a new record high of 3.38 billion bushels, down 1 percent from the October forecast, but up slightly from last year.
Based on crop conditions as of Nov. 1, soybean yields in the U.S. are expected to average 43.9 bushels per acre, down 0.5 bushel from the previous month and down 0.1 bushel from last year's record high.
When compared with October's report, the states with the largest declines in average yields were Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey and South Dakota, all reporting yields that were down two bushels.
Minnesota corn, sugar beet production to set new record highs
In the November crop production report, USDA left unchanged Minnesota's corn production estimate of 1.26 billion bushels. This production estimate is up 1 percent from 2009 and would set a new record high.
Based on crop conditions as of Nov. 1, corn yields in Minnesota are expected to average 175 bushels per acre. That's up one bushel from last year and would also be a new record high.
Minnesota soybean production is expected to total 322 million bushels, down 2 percent from USDA's October estimate, but up 13 percent from 2009.
Based on crop conditions as of Nov. 1, soybean yields in Minnesota are forecast to average 44 bushels per acre, down one bushel from last month, but up four bushels from 2009.
Sugar beet production in Minnesota is estimated at 11.9 million tons, down 1 percent from the October forecast, but up 12 percent from last year. Sugar beet yields are expected to average 27 tons per acre, down two tons from the previous report, but up 3.3 tons from last year.
Based on USDA's latest estimates, Minnesota's sugar beet producers will set new record highs for production and yield in 2010.
November interest rate is 1.25 percent
The interest rate on nine-month commodity loans disbursed during the month of November will be 1.25 percent, unchanged from October's rate.
At 1.25 percent, the interest cost for a nine-month corn loan is less than $0.02 per bushel. The cost for a nine-month soybean loan is less than $0.05 per bushel.
County loan rates vary slightly, but the loan rates for Kandiyohi County are $1.86 for corn, and $4.86 for soybeans.
Wes Nelson is executive director of the USDA Farm Service Agency in Kandiyohi County.