Friday, June 28, 2019

Friday June 28 Ag News


Nebraska producers planted 10.0 million acres of corn for all purposes, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. This is up 4 percent from last year. Of the total acres, 96 percent were planted with biotechnology varieties, unchanged from 2018. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 9.65 million acres, up 4 percent from a year ago.

Soybean planted acreage is estimated at 5.00 million acres, down 12 percent from last year. Of these, 95 percent were planted with genetically modified, herbicide resistant seed, down 1 percentage point from 2018. Producers expect to harvest 4.95 million acres, down 12 percent from a year ago.

Winter wheat planted in the fall of 2018 is estimated at a record low 1.07 million acres, down 3 percent from last year. Harvested area is expected to total 970,000 acres, down 4 percent from a year ago.

Alfalfa acreage to be harvested for dry hay is estimated at 900,000 acres, up 6 percent from last year. Other hay acreage to be cut for dry hay is estimated at 1.60 million acres, down 14 percent from a year ago.

Sorghum planted for all purposes is estimated at 230,000 acres, unchanged from the previous year. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 165,000 acres, down 3 percent from last year.

Oats planted for all purposes is estimated at 85,000 acres, down 32 percent from last year. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 19,000 acres, down 14 percent from last year.

Dry edible bean planted acreage is estimated at 120,000 acres. Harvested acres are estimated at 110,000 acres. Beginning in 2019, chickpeas are excluded from the dry edible bean estimates.
Proso millet planted, at 90,000 acres, is down 5 percent from a year ago.

Sugarbeet planted acres, at 44,500 acres, are down 2 percent from last year. Harvested area is forecast at 43,700 acres, down 1 percent from a year ago.

Oil sunflower planted area is estimated at 25,000 acres, unchanged from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 24,000 acres, unchanged from a year ago. Non-oil sunflower planted area is estimated at 10,000 acres, down 17 percent from the previous year. Harvested area is estimated at 9,000 acres, down 5 percent from the previous year.

Dry edible pea planted acres are estimated at 30,000 acres, down 48 percent from last year. Harvested acres are estimated at 28,000 acres, down 43 percent from the previous year.

Potato planted acreage is estimated at 19,500 acres, unchanged from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 19,300, unchanged from a year ago. Percent planted by type totals 50 percent Russet, 47 percent white, 1 percent red, and 2 percent yellow.

The estimates of planted and harvested acreages in this news release are based primarily on surveys conducted during the first two weeks of June.


Corn planted for all purposes in Iowa is estimated at 13.6 million acres, unchanged from the March intentions but up 400,000 acres from last year according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Acreage report. Corn to be harvested for grain is forecast at 13.2 million acres. Producers reported planting biotechnology varieties on 92 percent of their 2019 corn acres. The percent of corn acreage planted to insect resistant (Bt) varieties is estimated at 4 percent, herbicide resistant only varieties were planted on 7 percent of the acres, and stacked gene varieties were planted on 81 percent of the acres.

Soybean acreage planted is estimated at 9.10 million acres, down 300,000 acres from the March intentions and down 900,000 acres from the 2018 planted acreage. Soybean acreage to be harvested is forecast at 9.03 million acres. Based on reports from producers, 94 percent of the soybean acres were planted with herbicide resistant varieties.

Total dry hay expected to be harvested for 2019 is forecast at 1.08 million acres, up 30,000 acres from the March forecast and up 140,000 acres from 2018. Of the total, 700,000 acres of alfalfa and 380,000 acres of other hay are expected to be harvested for dry hay.

Acreage seeded to oats is estimated at 215,000 acres, up 80,000 acres from the March intentions and last year. Oat acreage expected to be harvested for grain is forecast at 80,000 acres, up 47,000 acres from 2018.

Corn Planted Acreage Up 3 Percent from 2018

Soybean Acreage Down 10 Percent
All Wheat Acreage Down 5 Percent
All Cotton Acreage Down 3 Percent

Corn planted area for all purposes in 2019 is estimated at 91.7 million acres, up 3 percent from last year. Compared with last year, planted acres are up or unchanged in 40 of the 48 estimating States. Area harvested for grain, at 83.6 million acres, is up 2 percent from last year.

Soybean planted area for 2019 is estimated at 80.0 million acres, down 10 percent from last year. This represents the lowest soybean planted acreage in the United States since 2013. Compared with last year, planted acreage is down in all 29 estimating States.

All wheat planted area for 2019 is estimated at 45.6 million acres, down 5 percent from 2018. This represents the lowest all wheat planted area on record since records began in 1919. The 2019 winter wheat planted area, at 31.8 million acres, is down 2 percent from last year but up 1 percent from the previous estimate. Of this total, about 22.7 million acres are Hard Red Winter, 5.54 million acres are Soft Red Winter, and 3.55 million acres are White Winter. Area planted to other spring wheat for 2019 is estimated at 12.4 million acres, down 6 percent from 2018. Of this total, about 12.0 million acres are Hard Red Spring wheat. Durum planted area for 2019 is estimated at 1.40 million acres, down 32 percent from the previous year.

All cotton planted area for 2019 is estimated at 13.7 million acres, 3 percent below last year. Upland area is estimated at 13.4 million acres, down 3 percent from 2018. American Pima area is estimated at 275,000 acres, up 10 percent from 2018.


Nebraska corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2019 totaled 572 million bushels, up 4 percent from 2018, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the total, 310 million bushels are stored on farms, up 11 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 262 million bushels, are down 4 percent from last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions totaled 124 million bushels, up 27 percent from last year. On-farm stocks of 35.5 million bushels are up 51 percent from a year ago, and off-farm stocks, at 88.5 million bushels, are up 19 percent from 2018.

Wheat stored in all positions totaled 36.0 million bushels, down 3 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks of 660,000 bushels are down 53 percent from 2018, and off-farm stocks of 35.4 million bushels are down 1 percent from last year.

Sorghum stored in all positions totaled 5.63 million bushels, up 73 percent from 2018. On-farm stocks of 570,000 bushels are up 50 percent from a year ago and off-farm holdings of 5.06 million bushels are up 76 percent from last year.

On-farm oat stocks totaled 270,000 bushels, up 8 percent from 2018.


Corn stored in all positions in Iowa on June 1, 2019, totaled 994 million bushels, down 9 percent from June 1, 2018, according to the latest USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service – Grain Stocks report. Of the total stocks, 59 percent were stored on-farm. The March-May 2019 indicated disappearance totaled 572 million bushels, 5 percent below the 600 million bushels from the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions in Iowa on June 1, 2018, totaled 302 million bushels, 37 percent above the 220 million bushels on hand June 1, 2018. This is the highest June 1 total stocks on record, 18 percent above the record set in 2007. Of the total stocks, 46 percent were stored on-farm. Indicated disappearance for March-May 2019 is 119 million bushels, 19 percent below the 146 million bushels from the same quarter last year.

Corn Stocks Down 2 Percent from June 2018

Soybean Stocks Up 47 Percent
All Wheat Stocks Down 2 Percent

Corn stocks in all positions on June 1, 2019 totaled 5.20 billion bushels, down 2 percent from June 1, 2018. Of the total stocks, 2.95 billion bushels are stored on farms, up 7 percent from a year earlier. Off-farm stocks, at 2.25 billion bushels, are down 12 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2019 indicated disappearance is 3.41 billion bushels, compared with 3.59 billion bushels during the same period last year.

Soybeans stored in all positions on June 1, 2019 totaled 1.79 billion bushels, up 47 percent from June 1, 2018. On-farm stocks totaled 730 million bushels, up 94 percent from a year ago. Off-farm stocks, at 1.06 billion bushels, are up 26 percent from a year ago. Indicated disappearance for the March - May 2019 quarter totaled 937 million bushels, up 5 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Old crop all wheat stored in all positions on June 1, 2019 totaled 1.07 billion bushels, down 2 percent from a year ago. On-farm stocks are estimated at 207 million bushels, up 58 percent from last year. Off-farm stocks, at 865 million bushels, are down 11 percent from a year ago. The March - May 2019 indicated disappearance is 521 million bushels, up 31 percent from the same period a year earlier.

Deadline Extended to Apply for Funding to Plant Cover Crops on Flooded Cropland Acres

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering a special Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) sign-up for farmers in Nebraska who could not plant their crops because of flooded or wet fields. This sign-up provides technical and financial assistance to help farmers plant cover crops, an alternative to letting fields go fallow and uncovered. The deadline to apply is July 19, 2019. This is an extension of the June 21 sign up deadline announced in April.

Excessive moisture and flooding in 2019 have prevented or delayed planting on many farms across Nebraska. Many producers are unable to plant crops by a final planting date or have experienced significant delays in planting.

Fields that are saturated for an extended period can lose important soil organisms. Cover crop roots add organic matter and create pathways for air and water to move through the soil, which is key to restoring its health.

“Cover crops help farmers manage soil erosion, weeds, and pests and improve soil health,” said Craig Derickson, NRCS state conservationist in Nebraska. “They can also help soil health recover after a flood or a long period of remaining wet.”

Cover crops also improve soil’s physical and biological properties, supply nutrients, improve the availability of soil water, and break pest cycles along with various other benefits. Cover crops approved for funding through this sign up can potentially be hayed or grazed.

Work currently being done to maintain conservation structures as well as sediment removal, debris removal or grading and reshaping can be stabilized and protected from further erosion and damage by planting a cover crop.

Derickson said, “For Nebraska’s cropland that suffered significant damage, planting a cover crop can be a great way to help protect fields and restore productivity.”

For more information, or to apply for this special EQIP funding, contact your local NRCS office.

Other USDA Programs

Farmers with prevented planting coverage through USDA-administered crop insurance can hay, graze, or chop a cover crop.  USDA’s Risk Management Agency adjusted the final haying and grazing date from Nov. 1 to Sept. 1 to help farmers who were prevented from planting or delayed in planting due to flooding and excessive rainfall.

More Information

USDA offers a disaster assistance discovery tool that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of what USDA disaster assistance programs meet their needs. For more information on disaster assistance programs, contact your local USDA service center or

USDA Adds Flexibility for Cover Crop Management in Crop Year 2020

The 2018 Farm Bill mandated changes to the treatment of cover crops for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs, which add more flexibility to when cover crops must be terminated while remaining eligible for crop insurance. USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Risk Management Agency (RMA) developed new guidelines and policy provisions to enact these changes, which will be available beginning with the 2020 crop year. With these changes, NRCS is now recognized as an agricultural expert resource for cover crop management systems.

“USDA is working to quickly implement the 2018 Farm Bill to better serve our customers,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “These new guidelines will provide more flexibility for our customers who want to plant cover crops to meet their production and conservation goals for their farms.”

Producers now know up front that insurance will attach at time of planting the insured crop. Cover crop management practices are covered by Good Farming Practice provisions, and the guidelines are no longer a requirement for insurance to attach.

“Now, cover crop management practices will be treated like all other farming decisions such as fertilizer application, seeding rates, and tillage practices,” Northey said.

U.S. Soy Inside 100 Million Panels of Purebond Plywood

Good news for home owners, workers and U.S. soybean farmers

A nature-inspired solution has achieved a major milestone. U.S. soybean farmers gathered alongside Salina cabinetry workers at Crestwood Inc. to celebrate the use of U.S. soy inside 100 million panels of Columbia Forest Products' (CFP's) Purebond Plywood.

The innovation has benefited thousands of customers, woodworking employees and U.S. farmers. Through the soybean checkoff, the United Soybean Board (USB) has supported soy research on the technology and partnered with CFP to educate architects and other customers about its value.

"U.S. soybean farmers appreciate the demand for soy that Columbia Forest Products and its customers have created for our crop that is grown by about 515,000 farms across the nation," said USB director Lance Rezac, who grows soybeans near Onaga, Kan.. "We are also proud that U.S. soy's sustainability has contributed to the well-being of manufacturing workers, families in their homes, employees at offices and even movie sets where this product is used to avoid exposure to added formaldehyde."

The PureBond story starts with the science of biomimicry, which studies nature then imitates its designs. Oregon State University researcher Kaichang Li looked to the Pacific Ocean for insight on how to develop a practical, scalable and cost-effective way to convert totally away from formaldehyde-based resin systems in the hardwood plywood industry.

Inspiration came from observing that mussels secret proteins to defy pounding waves. The research path led to protein-rich soy flour, which is the essential ingredient to make plywood without any added formaldehyde from standard veneer-core and composite hardwood plywood core panels. The soy-flour product delivered adhesion and water resistance.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honored the researchers who developed the soy-based panel assembly approach with the 2007 Presidential Green Chemistry Award. According to EPA, the technology represented the "first cost-competitive, environmentally friendly adhesive that replaced the toxic urea-formaldehyde (UF) resin."

The North Carolina-headquartered company first offered the product to customers in 2005. Importantly, PureBond provides performance benefits yet is cost-competitive with traditional panels made using UF construction.

"Columbia's environmental commitment remains strong. Our market position is about being honest and transparent with the materials we use," said Todd Vogelsinger, CFP's director of marketing. "Our customers want to know what they're buying, how it was made, and what it was made with, so we are proud to say we shrank our environmental footprint with U.S. soy.

"The soy benefit means that, in addition to appreciating the visual and performance qualities of their furniture for decades into the future, our customers can also appreciate the special qualities of the material. The story of what you can't see is as exciting as the story that the furniture tells on its own."

CFP's plywood products are available through a network of wholesale distributors, select Home Depot stores and fabricators like Crestwood that make custom cabinetry, furniture and even caskets. Crestwood's 300,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Salina is one of the nation's most modern woodworking facilities. The multi-generation family business was an early adopter of CFP's decorative plywood that offers environmental benefits thanks to being made with CFP's U.S. soy flour-based resin system.

"We are always looking for ways to better our products to meet customer needs," said Mike Junk, Crestwood's president. "PureBond is a cost-neutral product that also gives air-quality benefits to our customers, as well as employees. We are excited that each piece of furniture we make also uses soybeans like the ones grown here in our state."

Because of their potential to create new markets for soybeans, U.S. soybean farmers have invested millions of dollars to research, test and promote biobased products. Much of that work was done through USB -- 73 U.S. soybean farmers appointed by the U.S. secretary of agriculture to invest soybean-checkoff funds. As stipulated in the Soybean Promotion, Research and Consumer Information Act, the federal Agriculture Department's Agricultural Marketing Service has oversight responsibilities for the soybean checkoff.

USDA scientists and researchers reported 320 new inventions in 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released its annual Technology Transfer Report, which highlights innovations from scientists and researchers that are solving problems for farmers, ranchers, foresters, and producers; and creating opportunities for American businesses to thrive. Yesterday, Secretary Perdue discussed the release of the Technology Transfer Report at the Forbes AgTech Summit held in Salinas, CA during a fireside chat with Mike Federle, the CEO of Forbes.

USDA’s Technology Transfer Report revealed 320 new inventions from USDA laboratories in fiscal year 2018, along with 471 licenses, 120 patent applications and 67 actual patents. Discoveries include a repellent made from coconut oil to ward off blood-sucking insects that cost the cattle industry more than $2.4 billion annually, technology that keeps almond crops from being lost to heavy rains, and a treatment for peanut allergies.

“Long before anyone ever coined the modern-day phrase of ‘technology transfer,’ it was part of the culture at USDA to deliver solutions to the people of America,” Secretary Perdue said. “Today, USDA is still helping to drive technological innovation – both on the farm and off. Studies show that every dollar invested in agricultural research returns $20 to our economy. Innovations produced by USDA scientists and through public-private partnerships add value to American agriculture and the U.S. economy, create jobs, and help American producers compete in the global marketplace.”

Innovation highlights mentioned in the report include (along with corresponding page numbers in the report for each):                         
-    A new bio-based insect repellent that uses fatty acids derived from coconut oil to ward off blood-sucking insects that cost the cattle industry more than $2.4 billion annually. (p. 117)
-    Energy-saving new technology using sequential infrared heat and hot air to simultaneously dry and decontaminate wet whole almonds, a crop worth $5.33 billion a year in California. (p. 111)
-    A system for removing nitrate from contaminated water and recycling it for re-use as fertilizer. (p. 131)
-    A treatment for peanut allergy. (p. 115)
-    A test strip for major foodborne pathogens that reduces testing time from 24-72 hours to about 30 minutes, allowing food to be tested more often at less expense. (p. 384)
-    A vaccine against Streptococcus suis that may markedly improve the health and welfare of pigs while reducing the use of antibiotics. (p. 123)
-    Using gene editing as a tool to engineer an African swine fever vaccine. (p. 123)
-    The discovery of a hormone – asprosin – that controls the desire to eat, making it a potential tool for the prevention and treatment of obesity and type 2 diabetes. (p. 110)
-    A set of time-series maps that can help forest resource managers plan strategically for how changing climate might affect the geographic distribution of wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. (p. 288)
-    A technique that detects the dreaded Zika virus in mosquitoes by simply shining a special beam of light on a whole mosquito for less than three seconds – an approach that is 18 times faster and 110 times cheaper than the current alternative. (p. 117)
-    “Adapt-N,” an online tool that provides small- to large-scale corn growers in 26 states with low-cost soil carbon assessment and greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting capabilities. (p. 394)
-    A soy-based resin that can replace traditional anti-fouling boat paint without containing copper that can accumulate in underwater environments. (p. 383)
-    A safe, new insecticide for use on the fruit fly – methyl benzoate – which was found to be 5 to 20 times more toxic to fruit fly larvae. (p. 147)
-    Development of the first U.S. hard-white waxy high-yielding winter wheat, which can be used to develop novel whole grain products and is a more efficient substrate for ethanol production. (p. 141)

USDA issues the report each year on technology-transfer activities for the USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), Economic Research Service (ERS), Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Forest Service (FS), National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and Rural Development (RD).

Barge Traffic Resumes on Upper Mississippi, Illinois Rivers

Barge traffic has resumed, as river conditions on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers are improving. As of June 27, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Lock Status Report shows no lock closures on the Upper Mississippi River or the Illinois River.

The River Industry Action Committee (RIAC), an association of companies and organizations who are stakeholders in the commercial industry on the inland waterways, has established queue guidelines for tows waiting to transit previously closed portions of the river.

RIAC guidelines are helping ease congestion and direct the orderly flow of traffic at locks above St. Louis.

While most of the river system is reported open, some tows are still restricted by high water preventing passage under some bridges.

Capitalizing on carbon panel to highlight opportunities the ethanol industry stands to gain from carbon economy

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) 32nd annual conference will present a discussion on how the ethanol industry can benefit from the emerging carbon economy and the new opportunities on the horizon during the “Capitalizing on Carbon” general session panel on August 15 of its event taking place in Omaha, Nebraska, August 14-16.

As it becomes increasingly important for ethanol producers to calculate the upside potential of investing in processes and technologies to reduce carbon intensity, the ACE conference provides a platform for this timely discussion moderated by ACE CEO Brian Jennings. The panel includes Pam Miller, ACE Board Chair and Director of Industry and Investor Relations for Siouxland Ethanol LLC, sharing how Siouxland Ethanol has financially benefitted from selling low carbon ethanol in the California market; Ron Alverson, ACE Board Chair and Director of Dakota Ethanol, providing a breakdown of what the latest GREET [Greenhouse gases Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation] modeling reveals about corn ethanol; and Brendan Jordan, Vice President of Transportation and Fuels at the Great Plains Institute, discussing the opportunities for a Midwest Clean Fuel Standard.

“The fact that ethanol in general has a low carbon score on a lifecycle analysis of transportation fuels needs to be highlighted and promoted as part of the solution to concerns about our climate, air quality and the environment,” Miller said. “Siouxland Ethanol recognized long ago that promoting ethanol as a clean octane source was important to our industry going forward and we have been on the cutting edge of innovation to reduce our carbon score.”

“The Department of Energy’s GREET model assumptions are under constant review with updates occurring frequently over its nearly 30-year history, and I look forward to sharing what the latest science tells us about corn ethanol production, as well as the importance of accounting for these trends so biofuels are not unfairly penalized in low carbon markets in the U.S. and around the world at this year’s ACE conference,” Alverson said. “Ethanol plants have individual Carbon Intensity scores and are able to capture carbon credits in low carbon markets, why not individual biofuel feedstock producers? I’ll also discuss using the GREET model to calculate upstream corn production GHGs for individual corn producers.”

“Ethanol producers are continuously innovating to reduce energy use and their emissions, and farmers are innovating to improve soil carbon storage, reduce nitrogen emissions, and benefit water quality,” Jordan said. “We will be exploring opportunities for state policy to reward ethanol producers and farmers for providing these environmental benefits to society.”

Land O’Lakes CTO Teddy Bekele to Deliver Keynote Address at the 11th Annual Ag Innovation Showcase

Ag Innovation Showcase and Larta Institute are proud to announce Teddy Bekele, SVP and Chief Technology Officer of Land O’Lakes, Inc., as its opening keynote speaker for its 11th annual conference with the theme, “The Power of Convergence: Food, Health and Energy.” The event will feature novel innovations across the spectrum of food production, health sciences, and sustainability, all with the common goal to provide global wellness through the healing power of nutrition.

Bekele leads the Ag Tech and IT organizations at Land O’Lakes, one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives. He is responsible for developing and implementing technology solutions for retail and farmer customers to help them produce more sustainable outputs, leveraging the collective insights and knowledge of Land O’Lakes’ research and innovation capabilities across the nation. Prior to his current role, Bekele served as VP of Ag Technology at WinField United, the crop inputs, agricultural services and agronomic insights business of Land O’Lakes.

Hosted at the Guthrie in downtown Minneapolis, The Ag Innovation Showcase will take place from September 9-11, 2019 and will feature world-class speakers, industry panels, intimate networking receptions, and presentations highlighting select technology and research institutions. The Showcase will be delving into the thriving health-based food and beverage industry of the Twin Cities by inviting local vendors to share their goods and participate in the event.

Founded by Larta Institute and the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in 2009, The Ag Innovation Showcase has been a hub for innovation in the food and ag industry for the past decade and famous for its intimate setting, effective network, and community-oriented mission. Previously hosted in St. Louis, the event will be setting new roots in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region to facilitate the growth of consumer and producer awareness about the budding future of agriculture in the confluent fields of food, health, and energy.

Over the past decade, Ag Showcase has hosted over 200 emerging companies, representing 27 unique countries, and has assisted in facilitating over $1.7B in funding for our Showcase Alumni.

Tickets and more information are available at

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