Tag Archives: soybeans

Lincoln, Nebraska, June 19, 2019 – The U.S Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nebraska is extending the deadline for producers in the state to report their spring prevented plant crop acres to the agency.

FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner today announced Nebraska producers now have until July 15, 2019, to report to FSA acres they intended to plant to crops this spring but could not do so because of the difficult weather conditions. This new deadline coincides with the July 15, 2019, FSA acreage certification deadline that is already in place.

“In many areas of the state, flooding and persistent wet weather have made it challenging for producers to get into their fields for planting,” Johner said. “Producers need to report prevented plant acres to FSA to retain eligibility for FSA program benefits. This extension provides them some flexibility to meet that reporting requirement.”

Normally, the prevented plant reporting deadline is 15 calendar days after the final planting date for a crop as established by FSA and the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Johner said the prevented plant reporting deadline extension to July 15 applies to FSA programs only and does not change any crop insurance reporting deadline requirements.

This reporting extension also does not apply to crops that producers have covered through FSA’s Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Producers should check with their county FSA office regarding prevented plant provisions for NAP-covered crops.

“This prevented plant reporting extension to July 15 will mainly apply to spring-planted crops such as corn, soybeans and grain sorghum,” Johner said.

Even though this deadline has been extended, producers are encouraged to communicate with their county FSA office as soon as possible regarding completion of both their spring crop acreage certification and their prevented plant acres reports. While walk-in traffic will be accommodated as much as possible, county FSA offices prefer scheduled appointments with producers to facilitate the flow of business through their doors and make the most efficient use of time for all parties. To find contact information for a county FSA office, producers should type offices.usda.gov in their internet browser.

(THE CONVERSATION) Soybeans may not seem all that useful in a war. Nonetheless they’ve become China’s most important weapon in its ever-worsening trade conflict with the U.S.

China, the world’s biggest buyer of the crop, has reportedly stopped purchasing any American soybeans in retaliation for the Trump administration raising tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese goods. This is very bad news for U.S. farmers.

While China’s targeting of soybeans may have come as something of a surprise to most Americans, to a professor of agricultural economics who studies international commodity markets for a living, this was not at all unexpected.

Even before the conclusion of the 2016 presidential race, trade analysts were already weighing the possibility that China might impose an embargo on U.S. soybean imports based on protectionist rhetoric from both candidates.

As a result, with the trade war in full swing, American soybean farmers are now among its biggest losers. Here are a few figures that show why.

Soybeans, by the numbers

Soybeans are a crucial part of the global food chain, particularly as a source of protein in the production of hogs and poultry.

The importance of China as a market for soybeans has been driven by an explosion in demand for meat as consumers switch from a diet dominated by rice to one where pork, poultry and beef play an important part. Chinese production of meat from those three animals surged 250% from 1986 to 2012 and is projected to increase another 30% by the end of the current decade. However, China is unable to produce enough animal feed itself, hence the need to import soybeans from the United States and Brazil.

In 2017, the U.S. accounted for $21.4 billion worth of global soybean exports, the second largest after its main competitor Brazil, which exported $25.7 billion.

Meanwhile, in 2017 China accounted for the lion’s share of global soybean imports at $39.6 billion, or two-thirds of the total.

Back in 2017, that was good news for American farmers, when U.S. exports made up about a third of Chinese purchases, or $13.9 billion. That made soybeans the United States’ second-most valuable export to China after airplanes.

But U.S. exports to China have fallen dramatically since China slapped a 25% tariff on Americans soybeans last April as part of its initial response to President Donald Trump’s trade war.

In the current farm marketing year, which began Sept. 1, U.S. farmers have exported just 5.9 million metric tons of soybeans to China, compared with an average of 29 million at the same point during the previous three years – or about 80% less.

That’s why the tariffs have tremendous potential to hurt farmers in my state of Ohio, where soybeans were the number one agricultural export in 2017 at $1.3 billion. China is the state’s largest export market.

And yet nationally, Ohio is just the seventh-largest exporter of soybeans, after Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana and Missouri, all of which are suffering from the tariffs.

Not only do farmers stand to lose out by giving up market share to Brazilian farmers, but soybean prices at the port of New Orleans have fallen as well and are currently $9.35 a bushel compared with $10.82 per bushel a year ago. This has hurt incomes and created a double whammy for Midwest farms.

This is of course why the Chinese chose to place a tariff on U.S. soybeans in the first place. Farmers will hurt a lot, and soybeans are produced in states where many of them voted for Donald Trump. China’s hope, presumably, is that farmers will lobby the administration to step back from further escalation of the trade war.

That seems unlikely, given the $28 billion in aid the Trump administration is offering farmers to soften the blow and the possibility of higher tariffs on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese imports. At this point it looks like both sides are hunkering down for a prolonged trade war.

This is an updated version of an article original published on April 5, 2018.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/how-soybeans-became-chinas-most-powerful-weapon-in-trumps-trade-war-118088.

 If there’s one thing for certain in farming, it’s that you can never really predict the weather.

Kansas State University cropping systems specialist Ignacio Ciampitti says this spring’s conditions have been particularly vexing for the state’s corn and soybean growers, and it may cause many of them to re-think their management strategies.

“One of the main issues we are facing today is simply planting the crop,” Ciampitti said.

“For those that planted in mid- to late-April, they may be facing a problem due to the temperatures not being as high as expected for this time of year. And in some areas, there was quite a bit of rain, so the crop is having to respond to two factors – temperature and water.”

In areas where there was excess rain, some corn fields had standing water, Ciampitti said, causing that crop to grow slowly. “What we will start seeing after the water recedes, in some situations, is that those plants will start dying,” he said.

It’s caused concern for this year’s corn yields, but one solution could be re-planting in some areas of the field. Ciampitti said farmers should scout their fields and make a determination on the number of plants affected. Farmers will then have a better idea on whether it makes sense economically to re-plants parts of the field.

“The number one priority (as of mid-May) is to make sure that you plant your fields,” Ciampitti said. “As soon as you have any time, and it may be between rains, make sure you go back to those fields that you planted early and do some scouting. That will help you to assess the level of damage and put some strategy regarding what fields you should need to go about right away.”

Farmers who are thinking about re-planting should also be cognizant of the late May deadlines for planting as they relate to crop insurance. “If you plant after the deadline, you will not be able to insure the entire crop,” he said.

“I still think farmers should be emphasizing planting the seed in the right soil conditions”.

Ciampitti said that the planting window for soybeans is much more broad than for corn. He noted that soybeans planted in mid-June, for example, have “yielded well as compared to those planted in mid-to-late May in past years.”

“(Soybean yields) will depend basically on what the conditions are when we get to the middle of August to September, which is the moment that the soybean is setting pods and filling seeds,” he said.

Ciampitti said that standing water in fields also can affect soybean yields.

“If soybean plants are submerged for less than 48 hours, there is a good chance they will survive,” he said. “Plants can survive under water longer under cool than warm temperatures. Submerged soybean plants can survive for up to seven days when temperatures are less than 80 degrees F.”

To find out whether the soybeans are damaged after the water recedes, he said, split the stem at the tip and examine the growing point. A healthy growing point will be firm and white or cream colored. A soft, dark growing point indicates injury. In some cases, he said, the silt coating the plant after short-term flooding can cause more injury and plant death than the water itself.

“Injury can depend on variety, growth stage, duration of waterlogging, soil texture, fertility levels, and diseases present,” Ciampitti said. “The interactions of these factors make it hard to predict how a given soybean field will react to waterlogged soils.”