Tag Archives: crops

WASHINGTON – In the final Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today relaxed fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for model year 2021-2026 passenger vehicles.

 

When the rule was initially proposed a year and a half ago, National Farmers Union (NFU) urged EPA to incorporate greater access mid-level ethanol blends as a way to boost octane and increase vehicle efficiency. Despite widespread support from automakers and retailers for a higher minimum octane level for gasoline, the agency ultimately decided against the change.  Additionally, EPA declined to adopt new incentives for the production of flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) because such incentives were deemed outside the scope of the rulemaking.

 

NFU President Rob Larew issued the following statement in response to the rule:

“This news could not come at a worse time for American farmers and rural communities. Over the last several years, demand for billions of gallons of homegrown biofuels has been obliterated by the misappropriation of small refinery exemptions to oil corporations. And now a global pandemic has decreased demand further, bringing ethanol prices down to a record low. As a result, some ethanol plants stopped buying corn, while others have halted production altogether, costing family farmers millions of dollars and rural communities hundreds of good jobs. In the midst of these difficulties, the EPA’s lack of support for the American biofuels industry is a huge disappointment.

 

“But farmers aren’t the only losers here. Mid-level blends of ethanol offer a variety of benefits, including air emissions reductions, improved vehicle efficiency, and greater energy security. By failing to support such blends in the final rule, the EPA is doing a great disservice to American drivers as well as undermining efforts to improve air quality and mitigate climate change.“

 

OMAHA (DTN) — USDA on Tuesday released its annual Planting Intentions and quarterly March 1 Grain Stocks reports.

Because DTN and other news outlets no longer have pre-release access to the reports, instead of one story, we are now sending a series of updates with each including more information as our analysts and reporters digest and analyze the new numbers.

According to DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman, Tuesday’s Grain Stocks report was bullish for corn, and neutral for soybeans and wheat. USDA’s planting intentions are bearish for new-crop corn, bullish for new-crop soybeans and neutral for new-crop wheat.

PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS

USDA expects farmers to plant 97 million acres to corn, above the range of pre-report expectations. If realized, it will the highest acreage since 2012. Planted acreage is expected to be higher than last year in 38 or the 48 reporting states. USDA surveyed farmers in the first two weeks of March, during which Saudi Arabia and Russia’s oil dispute shook global markets including ethanol.

Soybean acreage is estimated at 83.5 million acres, toward the low end of pre-report expectations. Compared to last year, planting intentions are up or unchanged in 22 or the 29 reporting states, with large increases anticipated in Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Ohio and South Dakota.

All wheat acreage is estimated at 44.7 million acres, 1% below last year’s levels and the lowest since recordkeeping began in 1919. Winter wheat area, at 30.8 million acres is down from last year but even with pre-report expectations. Of that total, 21.7 ma will be planted to hard red winter, 5.69 to soft red winter, 3.42 ma to white winter. Spring wheat acreage is expected to decline 1% from last year to 12.6 million acres.

All cotton area is estimated at 13.7 ma, down less than 1% from last year.

USDA MARCH 1 GRAIN STOCKS

CORN

Corn stocks on March 1 totaled 7.95 billion bushels (bb), down 8% from stocks a year ago and lower than the average pre-report analyst estimates. Of those corn stocks, farmers were holding 4.45 bb on the farm, which is 13% lower than a year ago. Off-farm stocks were at 3.5 bb, up just slightly from the same period in 2019.

Disappearance, or use, from December 2019 to February 2020 was 3.45 bb, compared to 3.32 bb for the same period last year.

SOYBEANS

As of March 1, soybean grain stocks were pegged at 2.25 bb, down 17% from last year and within the range analysts expected. Of those, USDA estimated 1.01 bb were stored on farm, down 20% from last year, and 1.24 bbwere stored off-farm, down 15% from last year.

The agency estimated that soybean usage for this past quarter (December 2019-February 2020) totaled 1 bb, down 1% from the same time period last year.

WHEAT

Total wheat stocks were estimated at 1.41 bb on March 1, down 11% from a year ago and within analysts’ pre-report range of estimates. On-farm stocks were pegged at 339 million bushels (mb), down 8% from last year, while off-farm stocks came in at 1.07 bb, down 12% from last year.

Usage from December 2019 through February 2020 was estimated at 428 mb, 3% up from the same period last year.

QUARTERLY STOCKS (million bushels)
3/1/20 Avg High Low 12/1/19 3/1/19
Corn 7,953 8,162 8,492 7,892 11,389 8,613
Soybeans 2,253 2,237 2,701 2,075 3,252 2,727
Wheat 1,412 1,437 1,572 1,385 1,834 1,593
PROSPECTIVE PLANTINGS
ACREAGE (million acres) USDA USDA
3/31/19 Avg High Low 2018-19 3/29/19
Corn 97.0 94.3 96.4 92.5 89.7 92.8
Soybeans 83.5 84.7 87.0 82.7 76.1 84.6
Cotton 13.7 13.8
Grain Sorghum 5.8 5.1
All Wheat 44.7 44.9 46.0 42.3 45.2 45.8
Winter 30.8 30.8 31.7 30.1 31.2 31.5
Spring 12.6 12.6 13.4 12.0 12.7 12.8
Durum 1.3 1.5 2.4 1.1 1.3 1.4

American Seed Trade Association President Andy LaVigne says the U.S. seed industry is committed to meeting farmer and consumer demand for food. The association says its top commitment is ultimately ensuring that America’s families have ongoing access to a healthy, safe, and affordable food supply as America continues to deal with the impacts of COVID-19.

“The seed industry plays a foundational role in the production of the food, feed, forage, clothing, fuel, and other agricultural products to help sustain a sound and balanced economy,” LaVigne says. “As we head into spring planting season right in the middle of the global pandemic, America’s seed companies are working hard to make sure farmers, ranchers, and homeowners, will have access to the quality seed they need to ensure a successful year.”

He also says U.S. seed companies have put into place the necessary practices to comply with COVID-19 recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they continue to deliver seed during this challenging time. “We appreciate the tireless efforts of American producers who are on the frontlines every day,” LaVigne adds. “We’re also grateful for the strong support and communication from Secretary Perdue and his team to ensure America’s families have ready access to nutritious food, both now and into the future.”

OMAHA, Neb.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Valmont Industries, Inc. (NYSE: VMI), a leading global provider of engineered products and services for infrastructure development and irrigation equipment and services for agriculture, has prepared an update pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, which can be found at investors.valmont.com. These perspectives and observations are based on current information and may change as the pandemic evolves.

The ultimate magnitude of COVID-19, including the extent of its impact on the Company’s financial and operational results will be determined by the length of time the pandemic continues, its effect on the demand for the Company’s products and services and supply chain, as well as the effect of governmental regulations imposed in response to the pandemic.

Above all else, Valmont is committed to the safety and well-being of its employees and is doing everything possible to ensure that its facilities follow the highest standards of safety and hygiene. The Company and its employees remain committed to meeting the needs of customers around the world.

The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service statistical reports remain on schedule amid the COVID-19 pandemic, including the March 26 Hogs and Pigs and March 31 Prospective Plantings reports.

NASS reports the agency also continues to collect data for all upcoming reports, asking farmers and ranchers to complete their surveys online, if they don’t already respond that way. To protect the health and safety of producers, partners, and employees, NASS has suspended in-person data collection at least until April 3, 2020.

NASS Administrator Hubert Hamer says, “We are making every effort to produce the U.S. crop, livestock, and economic statistics that the nation counts on, but to do that responsibly, we are following guidance to slow the spread of coronavirus.” Ensuring that responses are returned on time means little or no additional outreach is needed.

USDA says online response is faster and more convenient for producers. To respond online at agcounts.usda.gov, producers will need their unique 17-digit survey code from the questionnaire or letter received in the mail.

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 12, 2020 – Agricultural producers who have not yet completed their 2019 crop year elections for and enrollment in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs must schedule an appointment to do so with their local USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) by Monday, March 16.

“To date, more than 1.4 million contracts have been signed for the 2019 crop year. This represents 89 percent of expected enrollment with less than a week left for producers to get on FSA’s appointment books,” said FSA Administrator Richard Fordyce. “If you’ve not completed your elections or enrollment, the clock is ticking, and your program eligibility is at stake; so please call FSA today and request an appointment.”

Producers who do not contact FSA for an appointment by close of business local time on Monday, March 16 will not be enrolled in ARC or PLC for the 2019 crop year and will be ineligible to receive a payment should one trigger for an eligible crop.

ARC and PLC provide income support to farmers from substantial drops in crop prices or revenues and are vital economic safety nets for most American farms.

The programs cover the following commodities: barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium and short grain rice, safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed, and wheat. 

More Information

For more information on ARC and PLC, download our program fact sheet or our 2014-2018 farm bills comparison fact sheet. Online ARC and PLC election decision tools are available at www.fsa.usda.gov/arc-plc.

Visit farmers.gov/service-locator to find location and contact information for the nearest FSA county office.

CURTIS, Neb. – An all-Nebraska team of Aggie students is tops in their field.

The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis won top team honors among their two-year college cohorts Saturday in a Crops Judging Contest hosted at NCTA.

A four-student team of Ethan Aschenbrenner and Tyler Aschenbrenner, brothers from Scottsbluff, Chase Callahan of Farnam, and Amy Lammers of Axtell are sophomores at NCTA.

Brad Ramsdale, NCTA agronomy professor and Aggie coach, coordinated the contest at Curtis for a second year.

It again drew collegiate teams from a broad range. Twelve teams came from colleges in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin. About 90 students competed in the four-part contest.

Eight of the teams were from 4-year colleges, with four teams, including the Aggies, representing 2-year colleges.

Ethan Aschenbrenner, a Scottsbluff High School graduate, won the 2-year division as the top individual, and his teammate, Chase Callahan, Gothenburg High School graduate,  was second-place individual.

First-year students can compete at collegiate crops contests but are not eligible for awards. Freshmen Aggie students are Taylor Sayer, Cambridge; Connor Nolan, Lynch; Jacob Jenkins, Mitchell; and Lilly Calkins, Palmyra.

Academic courses and laboratory classes at NCTA prepare students for careers in crops production or to work in the industry as certified crops consultants. NCTA programs feature indoor labs, test plots, and an irrigated farm.

Additional information on agronomy programs and the NCTA crops judging team is available at ncta.unl.edu.

How do the corn and soybean markets look to you?
Where were the markets last year at this time?
Why did the Corona Virus put so much pressure on the markets?
Do you think we have seen the worst of the Corona Virus?
What is the market going to be focused on going forward?

Corona Virus?
March Quarterly Stocks and Prospective Planting at the end of March
Spring Weather forecasts (Prevent Plant)
Corn – Exports and Ethanol Demand
Soybeans – Export Demand

How does the US weather look over the next couple of months?
How much prevent plant do you think there will be?
How does the corn export demand look?
How does the ethanol demand look currently?

(SAN ANTONIO) – Five dedicated leaders in soil health received the Soil Health Partnership’s  (SHP) “Seeds of Change” awards at the 2020 Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas. These awards highlight those participants in SHP who go above and beyond to promote soil health throughout the year.

 

“The Soil Health Partnership’s farmers are at the core of our work. Without their commitment and support, the work of SHP does not exist. I feel honored to partner with this strong group of farmers and recognize five farmers that go above and beyond in their work with SHP,” said John Mesko, SHP senior director. “These five individuals exemplify the very best of our dedicated partners, and we thank them for their great work.”

 

The five award recipients are:

 

Super Sprout: Trinity Creek Ranch

Trinity Creek Ranch in Red Lake Falls, Minnesota received the Super Sprout award for their continuous experiments with management practices to improve soil health, despite the challenges of a shorter growing season and extremely cold winters. The farm is owned and operated by Mikayla Tabert and David Miller, a father-daughter duo that can’t wait to use their data to encourage others to consider implementing a cover crop program on their own farms.

 

Champion Communicator: Mark Heckman with Heckman Farms

Mark Heckman of Heckman Farms received the Champion Communicator award for his work helping other farmers understand his farm’s soil health journey. Mark hosted a field day in summer 2019 to give other farmers a firsthand glimpse of the benefits and challenges of some key management changes that have improved his farm’s soil health. Mark and his brothers and parents have also opened their West Liberty, Iowa farm to a cover crop demonstration plot, cover crop seeding equipment, a hog finishing barn, and a constructed wetland, allowing for maximum learning opportunities.

 

Data Dominator: Daryl and Jason Maple with Maple Farms

Receiving the Data Dominator award is Daryl and Jason Maple of Maple Farms in Kokomo, Indiana. Daryl and Jason promote optimum soil health from timely sharing of data with many precision ag programs. They are confident that their data will tell the story of what changes are taking place in their field and they genuinely enjoy the learning opportunities of their Soil Health Partnership trial. The data from their trials offer their farm and others the best opportunities to learn what management changes will work best to improve soil health.

 

Exceptional Educator: Doug Palen with Palen Family Farms

The Exceptional Educator award goes to Doug Palen of Palen Family Farms. Doug and his family enjoy talking about their soil health management experiences, and they jump into many experiences with both feet, giving them even more to teach about.  Palen Family Farms of Glen Elder, Kansas is involved with research via a Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE) grant, field demonstration days featuring no-till companion cropping, research on nutrient management, and projects with Kansas State. Doug takes an active role in his community and in the ag community as a whole, so his voice is a respected one in the area of soil health.

 

Ace Agronomist: Darin Kennelly with Precise Crop

A knowledgeable agronomist in his own right, Darin Kennelly received the Ace Agronomist award for his leadership with his test plots. He works diligently to ensure soil tests are pulled correctly, is actively engaged in all soil testing, and is well respected with his farmer. Darin asks thought provoking questions and engages with SHP to ensure his test plots are done with great integrity. Darin is an independent ag consultant based in central Illinois.

Kansas Corn is partnering with Renew Kansas to host the Kansas Corn-Fed Ethanol Seminar. Happening on March 4 at American Ag Credit, 4105 N. Ridge Rd., Wichita, this seminar will provide attendees with updates and learning opportunities covering a broad view of the ethanol industry.

 

“With nearly one-third of Kansas corn going directly into ethanol production,” said Kansas Corn Director of Industry Relations Stacy Mayo-Martinez. “It is important for those in the corn and agriculture industry to understand the market, the opportunities and the hurdles to better grasp how it affects Kansas corn prices. This is a unique learning opportunity and we are proud to partner with Renew Kansas.”

 

The seminar will explore ethanol export opportunities; barriers to increased ethanol use and connecting consumers with ethanol blends. A fuel retailer panel and an expert panel on economic impact and plant innovation will round out the seminar.

 

Kansas is a significant ethanol producing state producing about 500 million gallons of ethanol per year and represents a significant market for corn producers. About one-third of Kansas corn is used to make ethanol and DDGS feed, the co-product of ethanol production.

 

Those interested in the event can find more information and register online at https://kscorn.com/cornfedethanol/.

 

Kansas Corn represents corn farmers in Kansas, while Renew Kansas represents the state’s ethanol industry. For more information, visit kscorn.com and renewkansas.com