Tag Archives: soybeans

NEBRASKA:  Based on August 1 conditions, Nebraska’s 2018 corn production is forecast at 1.83 billion bushels, up 9 percent from last year’s production, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Acreage harvested for grain is estimated at 9.35 million acres, up 1 percent from a year ago. Average yield is forecast at 196 bushels per acre, up 15 bushels from last year. Both yield and production are new record highs if realized.

Soybean production in Nebraska is forecast at 332 million bushels, up 2 percent from last year, and a new record high if realized. Area for harvest, at 5.45 million acres, is down 4 percent from 2017. Yield is forecast at 61 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels from last year, and a record high if realized.

Nebraska’s 2018 winter wheat crop is forecast at 48.0 million bushels, up 2 percent from last year. Harvested area for grain, at 1.00 million acres, is down 2 percent from last year and a new record low if realized. Average yield is forecast at 48 bushels per acre, up 2 bushels per acre from 2017.

Sorghum production of 15.8 million bushels, is up 32 percent from a year ago. Area for grain harvest, at 155,000 acres, is up 15 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 102 bushels per acre, up 13 bushels from last year, and a record high if realized.

Oat production is forecast at 2.43 million bushels, up 42 percent from last year. Harvested area for grain, at 45,000 acres, is up 10,000 acres from last year. Yield is forecast at 54 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from 2017.

Dry edible bean production is forecast at 2.96 million hundredweight, down 24 percent from last year. The average yield is forecast at 2,410 pounds per acre, down 110 pounds from last year. Acres planted by class are as follows: Pinto, 61,800; Great Northern, 41,800; Light Red Kidney, 8,800; Chickpeas, 12,000.

Sugarbeet production is forecast at 1.51 million tons, up 5 percent from 2017. Area for harvest, at 45,500 acres is down 600 acres from last year. Yield is estimated at 33.9 tons per acre, up 2.1 tons from a year ago, and a new record high if realized.

Alfalfa hay production is forecast at 3.78 million tons, up 15 percent from last year. Expected yield, at 4.30 tons per acre, is up 0.35 ton from last year, and a new record high if realized. All other hay production is forecast at 3.33 million tons, up 16 percent from last year. Forecasted yield, at 1.80 tons per acre, is up 0.2 ton from last year. Both yield and production for all other hay are new record highs if realized.


KANSAS:  Based on August 1 conditions, Kansas’s 2018 corn production is forecast at 658 million bushels, 4 percent below last year’s production, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Area to be harvested for grain, at 5.10 million acres, is down 2 percent from a year ago. Yield is forecast at 129 bushels per acre, down 3 bushels from last year.

Sorghum for grain production in Kansas is forecast at 231 million bushels, up 15 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 2.65 million acres, is up 8 percent from 2017. Yield is forecast at 87 bushels per acre, up 5 bushels from last year.

Kansas’s soybean production is forecast at 173 million bushels, down 8 percent from last year. Area for harvest, at 4.81 million acres, is 6 percent below 2017. Yield is forecast at 36 bushels per acre, down 1 bushel from last year.

Winter wheat production is forecast at 277 million bushels, down 17 percent from last year’s crop. Area for grain, at 7.30 million acres, is up 5 percent from last year. Yield is forecast at 38 bushels per acre, 10 bushels below last year.

Cotton production is forecast at 250,000 bales, up 27 percent from last year, and a new record high if realized. Acreage for harvest, at 116,000 acres, is up 26,000 acres from 2017, and a new record high. Yield is forecasted at 1,034 pounds per acre, down 17 pounds from last year.

Oat production is forecast to be 2.40 million bushels, up 78 percent from last year. Harvested area for grain of 50,000 acres is up 25,000 acres from a year earlier. Yield per acre, at 48 bushels, is down 6 bushels from a year ago.

Potato production is forecast to be 1.36 million hundredweight, down 13 percent from last year. Yield of 400 hundredweight per acre is 20 hundredweight above 2017 and is a record high if realized.

Alfalfa hay production of 1.52 million tons is forecast to be 26 percent below last year. Expected yield, at 3.10 tons per acre, is down 0.5 ton from last year. All other hay production of 3.20 million tons is forecast to be down 20 percent from a year ago. Expected yield, at 1.60 tons per acre, is down 0.3 ton from last year.


LINCOLN, Neb.  — Proof that dicamba remains a complex and emotional topic was evident at a recent public meeting with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Last week, EPA officials and a handful of other agency representatives traveled to farm country to gather views on whether the three low-volatility dicamba formulations available for use with Xtend crops should be re-registered.

The conversation, attended by DTN, represented a cross-section of voices. Vocal were farmers who insist the technology is needed to control resistant weed populations, industry and those that have experienced injury in sensitive crops, trees and nursery settings.

The deadline to make a decision regarding Engenia, XtendiMax and FeXapan herbicides looms for the agency. Dicamba is a 60-year-old herbicide with a known ability to volatilize and move beyond its spray target. Although the three products in question were reformulated to be lower in volatility, the EPA initially issued conditional labels, which expire in November and December, depending on the product.

“We made the registration decision and set it up so it had two-year time-limited registration so that we could evaluate it and see what additional changes to the registration are needed,” said Mike Goodis, U.S. EPA director of the registration division.

Goodis confirmed that the agency plans to make a decision in August on the registrations, which DTN has previously reported. “We have been pretty open that we really want to make some type of decision this month on whether to continue, and if so, how the product would still be used,” he said.

“It is an extremely difficult decision. I can tell you that the senior management in the EPA all the way up to the administrator — now acting administrator — will be involved in the decision making,” he added.

The Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) has facilitated similar crop tours in past years. University of Nebraska weed scientist Greg Kruger, WSSA’s current liaison to EPA, organized the public forum. “The session was really meant for the EPA to listen to the concerns and comments from the industry as it relates to herbicides,” Kruger said. Officials spent most of the week in Nebraska and also toured some Iowa farms. Several of the group had spent part of the previous week in Arkansas and Tennessee.

While the floor was open to all herbicide discussions, dicamba dominated the Nebraska conversation. Off-target movement of dicamba in 2017 caused EPA to tighten labeled application requirements for the three dicamba products approved for in-season use. The agency also made the three herbicides restricted use pesticides (RUP) and training became a mandatory requirement for every applicator.

Acreage of Xtend crops doubled in 2018, according to Monsanto. Soybeans are extremely sensitive to dicamba, and some farmers planted dicamba-tolerant soybeans as defensive measures, but did not spray the herbicides. A few individual states took additional measures to limit dicamba spray by calendar date.

However, pesticide misuse complaints are still being filed with state agencies. As of Aug. 6, Illinois, for example, had reported 389 cases of agricultural drift with 275 of the cases tied to over-the-top dicamba applications compared to 150 dicamba complaints during the same period in 2017, according to the Association of American Pest Control Officials (AAPCO). Nebraska has reported 128 drift cases to AAPCO — 93 of them auxin related and 91 of them associated with over-the-top dicamba applications, compared to 79 dicamba cases as of this date in 2017. For a complete list filed with states, go to www.aapco.org.

This week, the Missouri Department of Agriculture reported 251 total complaints with 186 of them alleged dicamba complaints with injury recorded on 24,626 acres of soybeans, 526 acres of peaches, 75 acres of watermelons, 10 greenhouses with vegetables, 503-plus acres of residential trees, 15 acres of fruit trees (excluding peaches), 29 personal gardens, two commercial gardens, two acres of grapes, two acres of blackberries, two acres of strawberries, 24 acres of alfalfa, personal shrubs and flowers.


For Bruce Hoffman, who owns a greenhouse nursery with his wife in southwest Nebraska, two years of back-to-back dicamba injury have been costly, he reported.

“I am 66 years old. We thought we had our business sold,” Hoffman said. “I’ve told the [insurance] adjusters: Do you think I want to be 70 before I have my next crop of trees to sell?”

Jeff Kennedy, a certified arborist from Gothenburg, Nebraska, wanted EPA to understand what losing a 30-year-old tree means in a state where it is “really, really difficult to get trees to grow.”

Weed resistance issues associated with potential overuse of dicamba were discussed. So were early season applications of older, more volatile dicamba and 2,4-D and the belief by some that dicamba sprayed in corn causes more injury than applications made in soybean. There was concern about dicamba carryover in non-GMO seed production. There were complaints about farmers not being adequately insured when injury does occur.

Terry Sorensen, a farmer from Minden, Nebraska, talked about the extreme weed pressure growers face today in a tough economic climate. The danger and cost of letting Palmer amaranth and waterhemp get established was top of mind for him and other farmers in attendance. Sorensen described his positive experiences with the Xtend technology and emphasized the importance of following the label. In one case, where he was lined up next to a sensitive field, he said he had the patience to wait five days before spraying in the conditions.


Goodis said the agency has heard similar thoughts while traveling around the countryside. He stressed the importance of hearing and listening to the voices from the field.

Balancing all of these concerns with the need for technology to try to control weeds is a big challenge, he said. He recognized the importance of other sensitive crops such as greenhouses and nurseries and the growing question between restricted-use and general-use products.

Another concern is the herbicide trait would still be in seed planted in 2019 even if EPA does not extend the registration for the three products. That leaves fears that more volatile compounds might be used instead.

“I can tell you this is a very complex issue. It’s getting a lot of attention and is a very high-visibility issue,” Goodis added.

“Right now we’re in the information-gathering and evaluation process. We’re getting information from states and other organizations such as USDA and WSSA to try to figure out what really is the best path forward,” he said.

MINNEAPOLIS — As soybean aphid populations continue to increase and decisions are being made to apply insecticides to some fields, steps can be taken to help reduce unintended risks to pollinators (such as honeybees, native bees, butterflies and hover flies), which may occur in and near soybean fields. Below, I provide some steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of exposing pollinators to insecticides. In addition, I provide links to two documents that stem from our larger effort to increase understanding and communication between farmers and beekeepers with a goal of reducing risks to pollinators.

Reducing risk to pollinators: Consider the following suggestions to reduce the risk of exposing pollinators to foliar-applied insecticides:

  • Use integrated pest management (IPM) to reduce the need for insecticide applications, and use scouting and economic thresholds to ensure insecticides are applied only when needed to protect yield.
  • Communicate with local beekeepers about pesticide applications (products and schedules). Locations of some hives can be found on driftwatch.org.
  • If available, use insecticides and formulations with lower risk to bees. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture provides a summary of toxicities of different pesticides to bees (Verified bee toxicity table).
  • Apply insecticides in early-morning or late-evening, which are time periods generally considered less harmful to most pollinating insects. However, avoid conditions conducive to inversions.
  • Do not apply insecticides when winds could carry the product onto flowering habitats near fields. Winds speeds in excess of 10 mph may result in drift problems.

Always read and follow the instructions on product labels. Labels for some products/formulations with high toxicity to bees will provide specific directions for minimizing risk to pollinators.

Increasing understanding and communication between farmers and beekeepers: We recently created two extension publications to increase understanding and communication between farmers and beekeepers.

  • In the first publication, called Let’s see it from both sides, we recognize that farmers and beekeepers have more common than they (or others) may realize, and we examine where tension exists regarding how to best protect honey bee colonies while ensuring profitable crop production.
  • In the second publication, called Getting to know commercial beekeepers, we provide an overview for farmers and agricultural professionals to better understand commercial beekeeping and beekeepers.

When crop fields appear variable, one question commonly asked is whether this is due to a nutrient problem. An excellent tool that can be used to answer this question is plant analysis or tissue testing.

As with corn, wheat, and other crops, there are two primary ways plant analysis can be used: as a routine monitoring toolto ensure nutrient levels are adequate in the plant in normal or good looking crops, and as a diagnostic tool to help explain some of the variability and problems we see in soybean growth and appearance in fields.

Plant analysis as a routine monitoring tool

For monitoring nutrient levels purposes, collect 20-30 sets of the upper, fully developed trifoliate leaves, less the petiole, at random from the field anytime between flowering and initial pod set (growth stages R1-4). The top fully developed leaves are generally the dark green leaves visible at the top of the canopy, which are attached at the second or third node down from the top of the stem.

Sampling later, once seed development begins, will give lower nutrient contents since the soybean plant begins to translocate nutrients from the leaves to the developing seed very quickly. Sampling leaf tissue under severe stress conditions for monitoring purposes can also give misleading results and is not recommended.

The sampled leaves should be allowed to wilt overnight to remove excess moisture, placed in a paper bag or mailing envelope, and shipped to a lab for analysis. Producers should not place the leaves in a plastic bag or other tightly sealed container, as they will begin to rot and decompose during transport, and the sample won’t be usable.

Which nutrients should you request analysis?

In Kansas, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulfur (S), zinc (Zn) and iron (Fe) are the nutrients most likely to be deficient in soybeans. Normally the best values are the “bundles” or “packages” of tests offered through many of the labs. The packages can be as simple as N, P and K, or can consist of all of the 14 mineral elements considered essential to plants. K-State offers a package that includes N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S, Fe, Cu, Zn, and Mn for $32.00.

The data returned from the lab will be reported as the concentration of nutrient elements, or potentially toxic elements in the plants. Units reported will normally be in terms of “percent” for the primary and secondary nutrients (N, P, K, Ca, Mg, and S) and “ppm,” or parts per million, for the micronutrients (Zn, Cu, Fe, Mn, B, Mo, and Al). Most labs/agronomists compare plant nutrient concentrations to published sufficiency ranges. A sufficiency range is simply the range of concentrations normally found in healthy, productive plants during surveys. A diagram explaining this concept is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Example of plant analysis interpretation using the concept of a sufficiency range.


Table 1 gives the range of nutrient content considered to be “normal” or “sufficient” for top, fully developed soybean leaves at early pod set. Keep in mind that these are the ranges normally found in healthy, productive soybeans.
Table 1. Nutrient content considered “normal” or “sufficient” for soybeans

Nutrient Units Growth Stage
(Top, fully developed leaves at pod set)
Nitrogen % 4.25-5.50
Phosphorus % 0.25-0.5
Potassium % 1.70-2.50
Calcium % 0.35-2.00
Magnesium % 0.26-1.00
Sulfur % 0.15-0.50
Copper ppm 10-30
Iron ppm 50-350
Manganese ppm 20-100
Zinc ppm 20-50
Boron ppm 20-55
Molybdenum ppm 1.0-5.0
Aluminum ppm <200


Plant analysis as a diagnostic tool

Plant analysis is an excellent diagnostic tool to help understand some of the variation seen in the field. When using plant analysis to diagnose field problems, producers should try to take comparison samples from both good/normal areas of the field, and problem areas. Collect soil samples from the same good and bad areas, and don’t wait for flowering to sample soybeans. Early in the season, when plants are 8-10 inches tall, collect whole plants from 15 to 20 different places in the sampling areas. Later in the season, collect 20-30 sets of top, fully developed leaves. Handle the samples the same as those for monitoring, allowing them to wilt to remove excess moisture, and avoiding mailing in plastic bags.

Soil samples are important in diagnostic work, because while a plant may be deficient in a nutrient, it may not be due to a shortage in the soil. Other factors such as soil compaction, insect or disease damage to the roots, low pH limiting nodulation, or many other issues can limit nutrient uptake in soybeans.

Plant samples can be sent to the K-State Soil Testing Laboratory for analysis at:

K-State Research and Extension
2308 Throckmorton PSC
1712 Claflin Rd.
Manhattan, KS 66506-5503

For more information on plant analysis testing, including available tests, forms, and costs, please visit the K-State Soil Testing Lab website at:


In summary, plant analysis is a good tool producers can use to monitor the sufficiency of soil fertility levels and inoculant effectiveness, and a very effective diagnostic tool. Producers should consider adding this to their toolbox.


Dorivar Ruiz Diaz, Soil Fertility Specialist

Dave Mengel, Professor Emeritus, Soil Fertility Specialist

NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Commodities fell in June as the production of agricultural commodities increased, while rising trade tensions among major economies threatened demand.

The Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return performance was lower for the month, with 16 out of 22 Index constituents posting losses.

Credit Suisse Asset Management observed the following:

  • Agriculture declined 10.48%, led lower by Soybeans, as the ongoing trade conflict between the US and China continued to hurt the competitiveness of US products. The US Department of Agriculture also reported higher soybean production out of Brazil.
  • Industrial Metals fell 4.76%, led down by Zinc, after the International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed global production outpacing consumption during the first four months of the year.
  • Precious Metals dropped 3.29%. The US Federal Reserve (Fed) raised the Federal Funds Rate, while signaling it may hike at least one more time in 2018, decreasing the appeal of Gold and Silver as alternative stores of value.
  • Energy increased 2.70% for the month, led up by WTI Crude Oil, as increased US exports, doubts surrounding US producers’ ability to continue to grow production, and a power outage at a large Canadian producer pushed prices higher.
  • Livestock was 2.74% higher for the period. Live Cattle gained due to robust seasonal meat packer demand amid higher meat packer margins as demand for beef was strong.

Nelson Louie, Global Head of Commodities for Credit Suisse Asset Management, said: “Trade tensions between the US and its major trading partners increased in June. In retaliation to US tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, China announced reciprocal duties on American products, including several key agricultural commodities. In response, the US administration threatened tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese exports, further escalating trade tensions. The European Union, Mexico, and Canada also released new counter measures to the US tariffs, seeking to protect their domestic industries. These duties may hamper economic growth. In June, the industrial production readings for the US and Eurozone came in below expectations. This may be concerning for the Eurozone as its industrial production readings have trended downward from the strong pace of growth witnessed in late 2017. Further tariffs between the US and other major economies may disrupt the global supply chain and lead to higher inflation expectations, while businesses may delay spending plans due to uncertainty regarding the cost and availability of inputs for finished goods.”

Christopher Burton, Senior Portfolio Manager for the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy, added: “The Fed’s preferred benchmark for measuring inflation, the core Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, reached the central bank’s 2.0% target for the first time in six years. Even though the Fed has now set expectations for at least one additional rate hike in 2018, the Fed may let inflation run slightly above its historical 2% goal, following a prolonged period of low inflation, in order to potentially avoid large, unexpected movements away from its target in either direction. In the Eurozone, the annual rate of inflation rose above the European Central Bank’s (ECB) targeted level for the first time in over a year. This positive reading came after the ECB revealed plans to close out its bond buying program by December 2018, while keeping a negative deposit rate in place into the summer of 2019. Assuming the trade war continues to escalate, central banks may be forced to choose between employing more dovish policies in an attempt to support economic growth or take a hawkish approach to stave off rising inflation. In either scenario, inflation may come in higher relative to market expectations.”

About the Credit Suisse Total Commodity Return Strategy
Credit Suisse’s Total Commodity Return Strategy is managed by a team with over 32 years of experience, and seeks to outperform the return of a commodities index, such as the Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return or the S&P GSCI Total Return Index, using both a quantitative and qualitative commodity research process. Commodity index total returns are achieved through:

  • Spot Return: price return on specified commodity futures contracts;
  • Roll Yield: impact due to migration of futures positions from near to far contracts; and
  • Collateral Yield: return earned on collateral for the futures.

As of June 30, 2018, the Team managed approximately USD 9.6 billion in assets globally.