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December 2011


What to Expect for next Year?????


After surviving the horrible growing season we just went through we all are trying to shake off the blues and begin to figure out how to manage the extreme volatility that lies ahead for next year.  There are some positives going into 2012.  We have had more fall moisture than we did last year and the wheat is going into dormancy in good shape.  The crop prices have fallen somewhat, but are still at a profitable level for next year.  The other positive shaping up is some long range models are showing the drought to start to ease up in this part of the world as we get into next summer.  The winter and spring are supposed to be drier but not to the degree of last winter, spring, and summer.  The real kicker was the heat.  55 days of 100 degree temps! No crops will withstand that much heat no matter how much it rains.  Let’s hope those forecasters are right and the forecast will be better for next year. 


We also we be adjusting our crop rotations this next year to battle the input costs and lack of subsoil moisture.  We will be planting more wheat and soybeans to hedge against lack of moisture and timing of the moisture.  Beans and wheat gives us the best shot for income while keeping the input costs in line. Wheat misses the heat of the summer and the beans seem to be able to handle the heat as well as any of our dryland crops. There won’t be any dryland corn this year due to higher costs to put in the crop. We still will be planting irrigated corn but those acres will be down a little also.  


            Fertilizer costs will once again increase this year.  A large percentage of the country had good crops this year and the price of grain is at a fairly high level so fertilizer will continue to be strong headed into next year.  We will continue to do grid sampling and variable rate application to only apply nutrients when they are needed and try to save anywhere we can.  The cost of putting out a crop continues to go up and so does the risk.  We are trying to manage the risk as best as possible for us and you but as you well know Mother Nature is in charge. 



Wheat Condition Report


As of late November the wheat was in great shape.  At planting time we were short on moisture but we have received beneficial slow rains since then.  The rain in November and December set the wheat up in great shape going into winter.  The wheat has had adequate tillering in the fall and looks as good.  The subsoil is still fairly dry so timely rains will be needed to raise a wheat crop.  We have taken 2 foot subsoil nitrate tests on the wheat to get a better idea on the amount of nitrogen leftover from last year’s poor crop so we can adjust our nitrogen rates on the wheat accordingly. We will also hold off topdressing until later this spring to see what the weather pattern is doing to us and make fertilizer adjustments at that time based on yield potential and moisture available. 



Jacob Farms Wins Conservation Legacy Award


            The American Soybean Association announced in September that Jacob Farms won the 2012 Midwest Region Conservation Legacy Award.  Ryan, on behalf of Jacob Farms, will be presented an award on March 2nd, 2012 at the ASA Awards Banquet at the Commodity Classic in Nashville, Tenn.

The Conservation Legacy Awards Program is a national program designed to recognize outstanding environmental and conservation achievements by U.S. soybean growers.  Selection is based on each farmer’s environmental and economic efforts on their farm.  Judges look for dedication to the land through cropland management practices, farmstead protection, and conservation and environmental management.  There are three regional winners, from which a national winner will be chosen and announced at the Awards banquet in March 2012. 



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Thanks, we look forward to hearing from you!  ~Steve, Terry, and Ryan



Jacob Farms Mission Statement

As stewards of this farm, our mission is to produce high quality grain and livestock for our customers that will assure:

  • A fair rate of return for us and our landowners
  • A safe and rewarding working environment
  • A farm capable producing sustained income for future generations

Jacob Farms Vision and Goals

Our mission will be accomplished when:

  • Those employed in the business complete their careers with financial security and value our family and business associations.

The business grows, adapts, remains financially viable, and is successfully passed to successors with qualifications and interests that will assure continuation of the heritage