Tag Archives: corn

Washington, D.C. (May 10, 2019) –Today, the U.S. Trade Representative moved forward with increasing the tariff rate from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. Farmers across the country are extremely concerned by the actions taken today by President Trump and his Administration. The National Association of Wheat Growers, the American Soybean Association, and the National Corn Growers Association were expecting a deal by March 1 before farmers went back into the fields but today saw an escalation of the trade war instead. The three commodities represent around 171 million of acres of farmland in the United States.

“U.S. wheat growers are facing tough times right now, and these additional tariffs will continue to put a strain on our export markets and threaten many decades worth of market development,” stated NAWG President and Texas wheat farmer Ben Scholz. “Further, members from both sides of the aisle and Chambers have reservations about the Section 232 tariffs in the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement. Today’s announcement adds on another political barrier, which may hinder Congressional consideration of the Agreement.”

“We have heard and believed the President when he says he supports farmers, but we’d like the President to hear us and believe what we are saying about the real-life consequences to our farms and families as this trade war drags on,” said Davie Stephens, soy grower from Clinton, Ky., and ASA President. “Adding to current problems, it took us more than 40 years to develop the China soy market. For most of us in farming, that is two thirds of our lives. If we don’t get this trade deal sorted out and the tariffs rescinded soon, those of us who worked to build this market likely won’t see it recover in our lifetime.”

“Corn farmers are watching commodity prices decline amid ongoing tariff threats, even while many can’t get to spring planting because of wet weather. Holding China accountable for objectionable behavior is an admirable goal, but the ripple effects are causing harm to farmers and rural communities. Farmers have been patient and willing to let negotiations play out, but with each passing day, patience is wearing thin. Agriculture needs certainty, not more tariffs,” said NCGA President Lynn Chrisp.

Growers have been reeling for almost a year now after the President first imposed a 25 percent duty on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in July 2018, and later, a 10 percent duty on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese products, which resulted in the retaliatory tariffs on U.S. goods. These are having a compounding impact not only on agriculture but all industries across the United States.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Tuesday, U.S. Reps. Cindy Axne (D-IA-03) and Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) led a bipartisan group of 35 colleagues in urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop issuing Small Refinery Exemptions (SREs) for large or unqualified refiners under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) program. In a letter sent to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, the Members highlighted that the expansion of biofuel waivers hurts farmers who rely on demand for corn-based ethanol and other biofuels and has increased our dependence on foreign oil.

“Our farmers and rural communities rely on a thriving biofuels’ market to support their families and create good-paying jobs. Increasing Renewable Fuels Standards (RFS) waivers not only threatens our energy security, but stifles competition in an industry that is an economic driver and job creator across Iowa and the Midwest,” said Rep. Axne. “I’m proud to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to meet our RFS goals and reduce our reliance on foreign oil.”

“Waiving the Renewable Fuels Standard impedes the biofuels’ market and limits consumers’ options at the pump,” Rep. Smith said. “I look forward to working with the Administration to keep our commitments to the biofuels’ industry, which in turn will help foster the development of greater American energy independence.”

The EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program requires a specific, set volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum based fuels. Under the RFS program, a small refinery can be granted a temporary exemption from RFS requirements if compliance would prevent them from being profitable. However, the EPA has recently loosened the requirements for SREs, enabling refineries owned by major oil companies to receive these waivers. Not only have these waivers reduced the United States’ ability to meet our RFS goals, but it decreases the demand for Midwestern corn and bio products and hurts our farmers.

In addition to Rep. Axne and Adrian Smith, David Scott (D-GA-13), Darin LaHood (R-IL-18), Roger Marshall M.D. (R-KS-1), Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), Cheri Bustos (D-IL-17), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-CA-44), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE-1), Steve King (R-IA-4), David Loebsack (D-IA-2), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-9), Abby Finkenauer (D-IA-1), Don Bacon (R-NE-2), Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14), Angie Craig (D-MN-2), Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL-8), Emanuel Cleaver, II (D-MO-5), Mark Pocan (D-WI-2), Jim Hagedorn (R-MN-1), Ron Estes (R-KS-4), Collin C. Peterson (D-MN-7), Michael R. Turner (R-OH-10), Steve Watkins (R-KS-2), Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ-1), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Bob Gibbs (R-OH-7), Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO-3), Mike Bost (R-IL-12), Ron Kind (D-WI-3), Robin Kelly (D-IL-2), Bill Foster (D-IL-11), James R. Baird (R-IN-4).

In comments submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency, the Renewable Fuels Association Monday said it “strongly supports” the year-round E15 proposal.

The proposal would extend the Reid Vapor Pressure waiver for fuels blended with 15 percent ethanol year-round. The waiver currently applies to E10 only during the summer months. According to RFA, the EPA proposal would allow year-round sales of E15 in conventional gasoline markets for the first time, opening the marketplace more broadly to a fuel that provides consumers higher octane, lower cost, and reduced tailpipe emissions. RFA President and CEO Geoff Cooper says, “President Trump was correct when he called the summertime prohibition on E15 unnecessary and ridiculous.”

However, just 32 days remain before the start of the summer driving season. Cooper says to honor the President’s commitment, EPA must act quickly to complete the rule. RFA’s comments also discouraged EPA from finalizing any of the four proposed Renewable Identification Number market reforms. RFA is concerned that changes may be counterproductive, undermine the efficient operation of the RIN market mechanism.

OMAHA (DTN) — U.S. corn planting equaled last year’s pace as of Sunday, April 28, but fell further behind the five-year average, according to USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, 15% of the nation’s corn was planted, equal to 15% at the same time last year but 12 percentage points behind the five-year average of 27%. In last week’s report, corn planting was 6 percentage points behind the average.

“Noticeable progress was made in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas,” noted DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. “Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio are all 2% planted, and South Dakota has yet to start.”

Corn emerged, reported by NASS for the first time this season, was estimated at 3%, also equal to last year but slightly behind the five-year average of 5%.

Soybean planting was estimated at 3% as of April 28, down from last year’s 5% and also below the five-year average of 6%. Planting was still mainly taking place in the Southern states.

Like corn, spring wheat planting also fell further behind the five-year average. NASS estimated that 13% of spring wheat was planted as of Sunday, 20 percentage points behind the five-year average of 33%. In last week’s report, planting was 17 percentage points below the five-year average. Idaho and Washington are past the halfway mark and lead the planting effort, while progress in the Dakotas and Minnesota is still in the single digits.

Winter wheat progress came in at 19% headed as of Sunday, near last year’s 18% but down 10 percentage points from the five-year average of 29%.

Meanwhile, winter wheat condition continued to improve. NASS estimated 64% of winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from the previous week. Fifty-eight percent of Kansas winter wheat was considered in good-to-excellent condition.

“States in the eastern Midwest show poor-to-very-poor ratings in the double digits,” Hultman noted.

Sorghum was 20% planted, compared to 26% last year and a 25% five-year average. Cotton planting was 11% complete, compared to 12% last year and a 13% average. Rice was 38% planted, compared to 54% last year and a 57% average. Twenty-seven percent of rice was emerged, compared to 28% last year and an average of 37%.

Oats were 43% planted as of April 28, compared to 38% last year and a 61% average. Oats emerged were at 31%, compared to 29% last year and a 41% average.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 15 6 15 27
Corn Emerged 3 NA 3 5
Soybeans Planted 3 1 5 6
Winter Wheat Headed 19 9 18 29
Spring Wheat Planted 13 5 9 33
Cotton Planted 11 9 12 13
Sorghum Planted 20 17 26 25
Barley Planted 28 17 24 41
Barley Emerged 6 2 6 15
Oats Planted 43 36 38 61
Oats Emerged 31 27 29 41
Rice Planted 38 31 54 57
Rice Emerged 27 18 28 37

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Winter Wheat 2 6 28 49 15 2 6 30 48 14 16 21 30 26 7

 

NEBRASKA:

For the week ending April 28, 2019, there were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 6 short, 79 adequate, and 15 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 3 short, 83 adequate, and 14 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Corn planted was 16 percent, near 15 last year, but behind 23 for the five-year average.

Soybeans planted was 3 percent, near 5 both last year and average.

Winter wheat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 28 fair, 65 good, and 3 excellent.

Sorghum planted was 1 percent, equal to average.

Oats planted was 55 percent, behind 61 last year, and well behind 84 average. Emerged was 18 percent, behind 28 last year, and well behind 56 average.

KANSAS:  For the week ending April 28, 2019, there were 6.2 days
suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 14 short, 77 adequate, and 8 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 6 short, 83 adequate, and 10 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Soybeans planted was 2 percent, equal to both last year and the five-year average.

Winter wheat condition rated 3 percent very poor, 8 poor, 31 fair, 48 good, and 10 excellent.

Winter wheat jointed was 64 percent, ahead of 50 last year, but behind 75 average. Headed was 4 percent, near 2 last year, but behind 22 average.

Corn planted was 31 percent, ahead of 25 last year, but behind 36 average. Emerged was 3 percent, near 5 last year, and behind 14 average.

A drawn-out harvest prevented many farmers from completing fall fieldwork. That may increase the susceptibility of many fields to one of our perennial pests, the black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon). And, if the winds blow just right, they’ll be paying your fields a visit before you know it.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR

A drawn-out harvest prevented many farmers from completing fall fieldwork. That may increase the susceptibility of many fields to one of our perennial pests, the corn pest black cutworm (Agrotis ipsilon). And, if the winds blow just right, they’ll be paying your fields a visit before you know it.

— Egg: Eggs are laid on non-crop foliage or other vegetation, with common hosts including chickweed, shepherd’s purse and wild mustards. The eggs appear as whitish domes with around 35 to 40 ridges that run from apex to base. As the eggs mature, they change in color to a brown hue.

— Larva: The larvae hatch five to 10 days after eggs are laid, depending on the temperature. The larvae are gray to black in color, giving the species its name. Other distinctive features include a “greasy” skin appearance, lighter-colored ventral area, pairs of unevenly sized black dots on each body segment and a brown head capsule. If disturbed, the caterpillar may curl up into a “C” shape to protect itself. As they grow in size, the larvae move off the plant on which they’re feeding and into the soil nearby, only coming out at night.

— Pupa: Larvae complete their growth roughly a month after hatching and pupate about 1 to 4 inches below the soil surface. The pupae are therefore rarely seen but appear as brown spindles less than 1 inch in length.

DAMAGE

Younger black cutworms feed on foliage and will leave small, irregular holes behind. Older caterpillars feed closer to the surface, notching the stem or cutting it off entirely to drag the plant below the surface and feed in peace. A single cutworm can kill up to five plants during its life span. Severe infestations can lead to losses of 80% but, more typically, damage is localized to areas of the field. Late planting, reduced tillage, wet soil and nearby weeds increase the odds of significant damage.

MANAGEMENT

Start by removing alternative hosts. Eliminating early-season weeds in and around fields makes them less attractive to incoming moths. Set the biofix (refers to when to start counting degree days for a specific pest) when pheromone traps record nine or more moths over a two-night period, and scout fields for signs of damage soon after plant emergence. If cutworms are present, leaf damage should appear 90 to 300 degree-days after the biofix. If damage is present, check five areas of the field (20 plants each) and note the growth stage of the plants and the number with feeding damage. If cutworms are present, collect 10 larvae to determine the average instar of the population. If damage exceeds the economic threshold for the average instar (see references below), treatment may be necessary.

Bt hybrids containing the Cry1F protein (Herculex/HX1) or Vip3a protein (Viptera), alone or in stacks, are labeled as controlling black cutworm. While they reduce risk, corn might still be damaged under heavy pressure. Seed treatments may not always provide satisfactory control, especially at lower rates. Post-rescue treatments can be effective when combined with careful scouting.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The World Trade Organization handed the United States a win Thursday in a trade dispute with China, ruling that Beijing did not fairly administer quotas on U.S. wheat, rice and corn.

The WTO, the Geneva organization that oversees the rules of global trade, found that China had not been transparent, predictable or fair in managing so-called tariff rate quotas on U.S. grain exports. The import tax, or tariff, is higher on U.S. grain shipments that exceed the quota.

The case, started by the Obama administration, is not directly related to a larger U.S.-China trade standoff: President Donald Trump has slapped tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive drive to challenge U.S. technological dominance; China has retaliated by targeting $110 billion in U.S. products. The two countries are in talks to settle their differences.

The decision Thursday was the second U.S. victory over China this year in a trade dispute over agriculture. In February, the WTO ruled that China unfairly subsidized its grain producers.

“This second important victory for the United States further demonstrates that President Trump will take all steps necessary to enforce trade rules and to ensure free and fair trade for U.S. farmers,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “The Administration will continue to press China to promptly come into compliance with its WTO obligations.”

China can appeal Thursday’s decision.

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) works towards allowing year-round use of E15 gasoline, National Farmers Union (NFU) is concerned EPA’s proposed rule will make it harder for retailers to sell higher level blends of ethanol.

 

In a letter to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, NFU President Roger Johnson urged EPA to rewrite a provision contained within the rule that could amount to a cap on ethanol. It is viewed within the farm community as yet another barrier to family farmers and ranchers being able to sell farm products for biofuel production.

 

“Farmers Union is eager for EPA to follow through on its promises to get an E15 waiver out of the door by June 1,” said NFU President Roger Johnson. “But we are concerned that certain provisions within EPA’s rulemaking unnecessarily work against expanded use of higher level blends of ethanol.”

 

NFU’s concerns stem from EPA’s interpretation of the “substantially similar” clause of the Clean Air Act, which prohibits the sale of any fuel or fuel additive that is “not substantially similar” to fuels or fuel additives used in the certification of new vehicles. In 2017, E10 gasoline—gasoline blended with 10 percent ethanol—became the nation’s certification fuel, making higher level blends of ethanol, like E15 and E30, substantially similar. Yet in its proposal, EPA has limited its “substantially similar” interpretation to only an E15 blend, making the prospects of using higher level blends of ethanol harder to achieve.

 

“Unfortunately, EPA’s substantially similar determination is limited to E15,” said Johnson. “While we do not necessarily disagree with EPA’s interpretations that would allow for E15 year-round, we believe the statute clearly allows for higher ethanol blends as part of the substantially similar determination based on E10 certification fuel.”

 

“Indeed, higher ethanol blends would further reduce emissions and provide similar or better engine and vehicle performance,” he added.

 

Johnson noted EPA should continue to consider the needed changes to facilitate and promote use of mid-level ethanol blends. “These fuels provide enormous societal benefits and represent a win-win-win for automakers, consumers, the environment, and farmers,” he said.

 

“For that reason, we respectfully request that EPA clarify that the Clean Air Act’s “substantially similar” provisions for gasoline do not cap ethanol at 15 percent.”

U.S. corn planting slipped behind the five-year average pace and spring wheat planting fell further behind average last week, according to USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

For the week ended Sunday, April 14, 3% of the nation’s corn crop was planted, equal to last year at the same time but 2 percentage points behind the five-year average of 5%. In last Monday’s report, corn planting was reported as equal to the five-year average.

Most corn-planting activity was still only taking place in the Southern states, such as Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee, noted DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

Spring wheat planting also further behind the average last week. NASS reported that only 2% of spring wheat had been planted as of Sunday, up only 1 percentage point from the previous week, behind 3% at the same time last year and significantly behind the five-year average of 13%.

There was no spring wheat planting progress reported yet in the Dakotas or Minnesota, and only 1% of the crop was planted in Montana.

Progress of the winter wheat crop also slowed last week. Nationwide, 6% of winter wheat was headed as of Sunday, behind 8% at the same time last year and also behind the five-year average of 9%.

The condition of the winter wheat crop, on the other hand, remained steady at 60% good to excellent, the highest good-to-excellent rating at this time of year in seven years. Fifty-nine percent of winter wheat in top-producing Kansas was rated good to excellent.

Sorghum was 16% planted, compared to 20% last year and a 19% five-year average. Cotton planting was 7% complete, compared to 8% last year and a 7% average. Rice was 26% planted, compared to 30% last year and a 35% average. Thirteen percent of rice was emerged, compared to 14% last year and an average of 15%.

Oats were 30% planted as of April 14, compared to 29% last year and a 40% average. Emergence was at 26%, compared to 26% last year and a 28% average.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 3 2 3 5
Winter Wheat Headed 6 3 8 9
Spring Wheat Planted 2 1 3 13
Cotton Planted 7 6 8 7
Sorghum Planted 16 14 20 19
Barley Planted 8 2 7 19
Oats Planted 30 27 29 40
Oats Emerged 26 25 26 28
Rice Planted 26 19 30 35
Rice Emerged 13 7 14 15

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Winter Wheat 2 7 31 48 12 2 7 31 48 12 15 22 32 26 5

 

Listen to Clay Patton with the report here: http://bit.ly/2Df3o4y

OMAHA (DTN) — U.S. winter wheat condition improved last week, while spring wheat planting, reported for the first time this season in USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday, was behind the five-year average pace.

For the week ended Sunday, April 7, winter wheat was rated 60% in good-to-excellent condition, up 4 percentage points from 56% the previous week. The latest good-to-excellent rating is the highest for the crop in six years for this time of year.

Meanwhile, winter wheat in North Carolina, Ohio and Michigan were showing the most problems with poor-to-very-poor ratings of 23%, 26% and 35%, respectively.

Nationwide, 3% of winter wheat was headed as of Sunday, equal to last year and near the five-year average of 4%.

Spring wheat progress, on the other hand, was behind normal. Only 1% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, behind 2% last year and 5% for the five-year average. Planting was furthest behind in Idaho, where 3% of the crop was planted versus the average of 26%; Washington, where 11% was planted versus the average of 28%; and South Dakota, where none of the crop was planted versus the average of 14%.

In addition to spring wheat planting, NASS also reported national corn planting progress for this first time this season on Monday. As of Sunday, 2% of corn was planted, equal to both last year and the five-year average. Most corn planting took place in Texas, where 53% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, slightly ahead of the average pace of 51%.

Sorghum was 14% planted, compared to 16% last year and a 14% five-year average. Cotton planting was 6% complete, compared to 7% last year and a 5% average. Rice was 19% planted, compared to 20% last year and a 21% average.

Oats were 27% planted as of April 7, compared to 27% last year and a 32% average. Emergence was at 25%, compared to 25% last year and a 26% average.