Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday July 11 Ag News


Based on July 1 conditions, Nebraska's winter wheat production is forecast at 51.4 million bushels, up 4 percent from last year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield is forecast at 53 bushels per acre, up 4 bushels from 2018. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 970,000 acres, down 4 percent from a year ago.

Oat production is forecast at 1.56 million bushels, up 3 percent from last year. Average yield is forecast at a record high 82 bushels per acre, up 13 bushels from 2018. Area to be harvested for grain is estimated at 19,000 acres, down 14 percent from a year ago.

Iowa: Oat production in Iowa is forecast at 5.04 million bushels, up 142 percent from the 2.08 million bushels produced in 2018 according to the latest USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service - Crop Production report. Iowa oat growers intend to harvest 80,000 acres for grain, up 47,000 acres from last year. The expected yield is 63 bushels per acre, unchanged from 2018.

The forecasts in this report are based on July 1 conditions and do not reflect weather effects since that time. The next crop production forecasts, based on conditions as of August 1, will be released on August 12.

U.S. Winter Wheat Production Up 1 Percent from June

Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.29 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the June 1 forecast and up 9 percent from 2018. As of July 1, the United States yield is forecast at 51.8 bushels per acre, up 1.3 bushels from last month and up 3.9 bushels from last year's average yield of 47.9 bushels per acre. The area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 24.9 million acres, unchanged from the Acreage report released on June 28, 2019, but up 1 percent from last year.

Hard Red Winter production, at 804 million bushels, is up 1 percent from last month. Soft Red Winter, at 259 million bushels, is up less than 1 percent from the June forecast. White Winter, at 227 million bushels, is up 2 percent from last month. Of the White Winter production, 23.2 million bushels are Hard White and 204 million bushels are Soft White.

Durum wheat production is forecast at 58.1 million bushels, down 25 percent from 2018. The United States yield is forecast at 42.9 bushels per acre, up 3.6 bushels from last year. Area expected to be harvested for grain or seed totals 1.36 million acres, unchanged from the Acreage report released on June 28, 2019, but 31 percent below 2018.

Other spring wheat production is forecast at 572 million bushels, down 8 percent from last year. Area harvested for grain or seed is expected to total 12.1 million acres, unchanged from the Acreage report released on June 28, 2019, but 6 percent below 2018. The United States yield is forecast at a 47.2 bushels per acre, down 1.1 bushels from last year. Of the total production, 542 million bushels are Hard Red Spring wheat, down 8 percent from last year.

USDA Grain Reports Summary

USDA estimates this year's national average corn yield will be 166 bushels per acre (bpa), unchanged from last month. Its average soybean yield forecast is 48.5 bpa, 1 bushel lower than last month.

Overall production numbers -- at 13.88 billion bushels for corn and 3.85 billion bushels for soybeans -- are based on the June 28 Acreage report, which said farmers planted 91.7 million acres to corn and 80 million acres to soybeans. Those figures come with asterisks given the large amount of unplanted acres at the time. USDA is resurveying farmers this month, and it will incorporate that updated data into its next WASDE report on August 12.

The corn production estimate was toward the high end of pre-report expectations, while the soybean estimate was close to the average trader guess.

USDA estimates corn ending stocks for the 2019-20 marketing year at 2.01 billion bushels, 335 mb higher than last month. Soybean ending stocks, at 795 million bushels, are 250 mb lower than last month.


USDA projected higher corn production and higher 2019-20 ending stocks in the July numbers.

With corn acreage pegged at 91.7 million acres and a yield remaining at 166 bushels an acre, corn production was projected at 13.875 billion bushels, up about 19 million bushels from June's report.

USDA increased old-crop carryover from the 2018-19 crop by 145 million bushels from last month's projection. With production, USDA raised total supply for the 2019-20 crop at 16.265 billion bushels.

In use, USDA raised 2019-20 feed and residual use by 25 million bushels to 5.175 billion bushels. Total domestic demand was projected at 12.105 billion bushels, up 5 million bushels from last month. USDA held exports pat at 2.15 billion bushels.

The 2019-20 ending stocks for corn are projected at 2.0l billion bushels, an increase of 335 million bushels from last month's forecast.

The average farm price for corn is now projected at $3.70 a bushel, down 10 cents from last month's forecast.

In world production, USDA held with Brazil's 2018-19 production at 101 million metric tons (mmt), (3.97 billion bushels), the same as May. Argentina's production was raised 2 mmt to 51 mmt (just over 2 billion bushels).

Also with global numbers, USDA raised the beginning global stocks for 2019-20 to 328.75 million metric tons, an increase of 3.37 mmt. Carrying through the year and higher production forecast, USDA projected global ending stocks for 2019-20 corn would be 298.92 mmt, an increase of 8.4 mmt from last month's forecast.


USDA said farmers will harvest 3.85 billion bushels of soybeans this year, based on a national average yield estimate of 48.5 bpa and 80 million planted acres.

Ending stocks for the new-crop marketing year came in at 795 million bushels, down 250 mb from last month. USDA lowered its export forecast by 75 million bushels, which it says reflects reduced supplies and increased competition from South American exporters.

The national average farm-gate price increased by 15 cents to $8.40.

For the 2018-19 marketing year, USDA pegged domestic ending stocks at 1.05 billion bushels.

Global ending stocks for the 2019-20 marketing year are forecast 104.53 million metric tons, down from last month's estimate of 112.66 mmt. USDA said most of the reduction is due to lower U.S. production.


USDA pegged the 2019-20 wheat crop at 1.921 billion bushels, up from 1.884 billion bushels last year. That fell within the range of pre-report expectations.

Of that, the agency believes 1.29 billion bushels are winter wheat, up 9% from 1.184 bb last year. As of June 1, average forecast yield at 51.8 bpa, up 3.9 bushels from last year's average yield of 47.9 bpa.

USDA pegged hard red winter wheat production at 804 million bushels, up from 662 million bushels last year, and soft red winter wheat at 259 mb, down from 286 million bushels last year. White winter wheat was pegged at 227 million bushels, compared to 236 mb last year.

Spring wheat production for 2019-20 is expected to reach 572 million bushels, down 8% from 623 million bushels last year. Durum production is pegged at 58.1 million bushels, down 25% from 77 mb last year.

USDA estimated that ending stocks for old-crop (2018-19) wheat are sitting at 1.072 bb, within pre-report expectations. New-crop ending stocks were pegged at 1.000 bb, also within pre-report expectations.

Globally, old-crop wheat ending stocks were 275.15 mmt, slightly down from June's estimate of 276.6 mmt. New-crop global wheat ending stocks came in at 294.34 mmt, the same as June.

Heat Wave to Hit EU Cereal Harvest

The heat wave that struck Europe in June will hurt the wheat and corn harvest, French consultancy Strategie Grains said in a report on Thursday.

European Union members will produce 140.6 million tons of soft wheat in the 2019-20 season, Strategie said, 2.2 million tons less than it forecast a month ago. Farmers are expected to produce 62.7 million tons of corn, the EU's second-biggest crop, 0.7 million tons less than the consultancy predicted in its June report.

Strategie cut its forecast for overall production--which also includes barley, durum and other cereals--for a third straight month, to 301.4 million tons from 305 million tons.

The downward revisions follow a short but extreme bout of heat in late June, during which France experienced its highest-ever recorded temperature and the mercury also soared in Germany, Poland, Spain and elsewhere.

The harvest is still expected to be considerably stronger than last year's drought-struck crop, and Strategie forecasts that stockpiles of wheat will rise over the course of the 2019-20 marketing year.

Farmers Can Still Apply for Cost Share Funding to Implement Water Quality Practices in Iowa

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig reminds farmers and landowners that they can still sign-up for 2019 cost share funds to help install nutrient reduction practices around the state. The funds can be used to off-set the cost of cover crops, no-till/strip till or a nitrification inhibitor, which help improve soil health, reduce erosion and improve water quality.

Farmers who are planting cover crops for the first time are eligible for $25 per acre through the cost share fund. Farmers who have already experienced the benefits of using cover crops and are continuing the practice can receive $15 per acre. Growers using no-till or strip till for the first time to reduce soil erosion and input costs are eligible for $10 per acre. Using a nitrapyrin nitrification inhibitor to apply fall fertilizer makes farmers eligible for $3 per acre through the cost share fund.

Cost share funding through the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship is limited to 160 acres per farmer or landowner. Farmers can apply now through their local Soil and Water Conservation District offices.

Financial Impairment on the Farm Webinar offered July 30

The I-29 Moo University consortium of Extension dairy specialists from Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and South Dakota will host a Financial Impairment on the Farm webinar from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. on July 30. The webinar is free and open to all those involved in production agriculture, specifically, producers and agri-business personnel.

The program will focus on issues producers face during times of financial impairment with emphasis placed on mediation, reorganization options and Chapter 12 Bankruptcy.

Donald Swanson, an attorney with Koley Jessen in Omaha, and Kristine Tidgren, Director for the Center of Ag Law and Taxation and an adjunct assistant professor at Iowa State University, will facilitate the discussion.

“Don Swanson has devoted his career to helping clients with financial impairment, bankruptcy issues and mediation, and Kristine Tidgren works with these issues every day,” said Fred M. Hall, Northwest Iowa Dairy Specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach. “The program will be informational and answer questions for many local ag producers and businesses alike.”

There is no fee to participate in the webinar; however, pre-registration is required. To register, visit After registering, information on accessing the webinar will be provided.

The webinar will also be archived for viewing at a later date. For more information on this and other programs, contact Kim Clark at 402-472-6065 or or Fred M. Hall at 712-737-4230 or  

USDA Now Making Payments for New Dairy Margin Coverage Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) opened enrollment for the Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program on June 17 and has started issuing payments to producers who purchased coverage. Producers can enroll through Sept. 20, 2019.

“Times have been especially tough for dairy farmers, and while we hope producers’ margins will increase, the Dairy Margin Coverage program is providing support at a critical time for many in the industry,” said Bill Northey, USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation. “With lower premiums and higher levels of assistance than previous programs, DMC is already proving to be a good option for a lot of dairy producers across the country.  USDA is committed to efficiently implementing the safety net programs in the 2018 Farm Bill and helping producers deal with the challenges of the ever-changing farm economy.”

Authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, DMC replaces the Margin Protection Program for Dairy (MPP-Dairy). The program offers protection to dairy producers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost (the margin) falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer. To date, nearly 10,000 operations have signed up for the new program, and FSA has begun paying approximately $100 million to producers for January through May.

May Margin Payment

DMC provides coverage retroactive to January 1, 2019, with applicable payments following soon after enrollment.

The May 2019 income over feed cost margin was $9.00 per hundredweight (cwt.), triggering the fifth payment for eligible dairy producers who purchase the $9.50 level of coverage under DMC. Payments for January, February, March and April also were triggered. 

With the 50 percent hay blend, FSA’s revised April 2019 income over feed cost margin is $8.82 per cwt. The revised margins for January, February and March are, respectively, $7.71, $7.91 and $8.66.

Coverage Levels and MPP Reimbursements

Dairy producers can choose coverage levels from $4 up to $9.50 at the time of signup. More than 98 percent of the producers currently enrolled have elected $9.50 coverage on up to 95 percent of their production history.

More Information

On December 20, 2018, President Trump signed into law the 2018 Farm Bill, which provides support, certainty and stability to our nation’s farmers, ranchers and land stewards by enhancing farm support programs, improving crop insurance, maintaining disaster programs and promoting and supporting voluntary conservation. FSA is committed to implementing these changes as quickly and effectively as possible, and today’s updates are part of meeting that goal.

First DMC Payments Providing Critical Aid to Dairy Farmers in Need

The National Milk Producers Federation thanked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for meeting the timeline Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue promised in February for dairy-program payments under the 2018 farm bill. Dairy farmers began receiving checks under the new Dairy Margin Coverage program this week, in keeping with USDA’s pledge.

“DMC aid represents significant improvement from previous programs, and with dairy farmers facing a fifth year of low prices, receiving better assistance in a timely fashion is a matter of survival for some family farms,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of the NMPF.  “The DMC program doesn’t replace a healthy market, but it is a crucial safety net in turbulent times. All dairy producers should strongly consider enrolling, and to look closely at coverage at the $9.50 maximum level.”

More than one-fourth of all U.S. dairy farms – nearly 10,000 -- have signed up for DMC since signups began June 17, according to USDA. Enrollment will continue through Sept. 20, and coverage is retroactive to Jan. 1. NMPF has a resources page on DMC and other dairy assistance programs on its website,

Roberts, Stabenow Announce Ag Research Hearing

U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., Wednesday announced the Committee will hold a hearing titled, "Agricultural Research and 2018 Farm Bill Implementation."

Dr. Scott Hutchins, deputy under secretary, Research, Education, and Economics, USDA, will testify on July 18 beginning at 10:30 a.m. in 328A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, D.C.

The hearing will be webcast live on

Cattle Producers Weigh in on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, told members of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) in oral comments that an overwhelming body of scientific evidence shows that healthy diets including red meat, like beef, support optimal health and well-being.

“Beef is a high-quality protein powerhouse providing a unique combination of bioavailable iron, zinc and B vitamins essential to building and maintaining strength from infancy through our later years,” said Shalene McNeill, PhD, RD, NCBA Executive Director of Nutrition Research. 

NCBA also emphasized to the committee that beef is rich in nostalgia and nutrients and has been enjoyed for centuries and continues to be part of most Americans’ diets, traditions and celebrations. Beef nourishes bodies and minds and optimizes health at every stage of life. As more Americans are overweight, it is important to make every calorie count. Calorie for calorie, no other protein food delivers the same package of 10 essential nutrients. Today’s beef is leaner than ever before and Americans’ consumption of calories and fat from beef have declined. 

“As a registered dietitian, nutrition scientist and advocate for healthy eating, it’s important for people who include beef as a source of nourishment and satisfaction in a healthy diet to know that the best science available today continues to reinforce this is a smart approach for a healthy lifestyle,” McNeill said.

Jointly updated every five years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the DGAs serve as the cornerstone of federal nutrition policy. During this process, a group of experts in the fields of nutrition and health are appointed to the DGAC. These individuals are tasked with reviewing the latest nutrition research to make science-based recommendations to HHS and USDA on the food and beverages that promote a healthy, balanced diet. 

Providing oral comment is an important part of the DGA process. On behalf of beef farmers and ranchers, NCBA, a contractor to the to the Beef Checkoff, an industry research and promotion program that utilized scientific evidence as the basis for its information, urges the DGAC to systematically review the totality of scientific evidence, using best practices that are thorough, transparent and relevant when making decisions that will ultimately result in nutritional policies that can measurably improve the health of Americans.  

Rural Broadband Will Boost Economy, Improve Sustainability and Animal Welfare, Too, Farm Bureau

Broadband is no longer a luxury but a necessity for modern agriculture and the quality of life for rural Americans, Missouri Farm Bureau President Blake Hurst told a House subcommittee today.

“While most Americans take broadband for granted, 26.4% of rural Americans lack access to broadband,” the Missouri farmer told the Agriculture Subcommittee on Commodity Exchanges, Energy and Credit. “This is alarming, particularly when compared to the only 1.7% of urban Americans who lack such access.”

Yet even these disheartening numbers understate the extent of the problem.

Current broadband data and maps “fail to accurately determine broadband access,” Hurst said. “Farmers and ranchers … must have access to fixed and mobile broadband to be more efficient, economical and responsive to environmental needs.”

The upside to broadband, meanwhile, is significant. Hurst presented the committee with a Farm Bureau study showing that widespread broadband service could boost the agricultural economy by an estimated $64.5 billion.

Broadband connectivity allows equipment like cloud-connected planters, irrigators, tractors and harvesters to automatically change application rates for seed, fertilizer and more. This improves sustainability by enabling farmers to apply less water, protect soil health and precisely plant seeds, which also helps farmers save money.

“After we collect this data, we must transfer it from our machines to the company who writes our ‘prescriptions,’ share it with our partners who supply our seed, and eventually utilize it when making crop insurance and other business decisions,” Hurst said. “Transferring this data, which is essential to the future success of every farmer, requires access to fast, reliable and affordable broadband.”

Reliable broadband will also contribute to the health and welfare of animals, Hurst said. Digital connectivity is playing an increasingly important role in optimizing animal care.

“From monitoring feed usage and rations to scheduling delivery of animals, livestock farmers use broadband daily to improve the efficiency of their operations and ensure the health of their herds …All the data collected can be compiled into production reports which help farmers make more informed decisions about their farm and ranch.”


This week, farmer leaders, state staff and National Corn Growers Association staff attended and participated in BIO World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and AgTech in Des Moines, Iowa. Topics at the event ranged from sustainability, transforming chemical markets to biofuel market growth. NCGA staff participated in three different panels throughout the event.

To kick-off the week, NCGA announced the winners of the Consider Corn Challenge II, holding a session where the winners were able to share with a large audience their technologies that will utilize field corn. NCGA Vice President of Market Development Jim Bauman moderated the session.

“Making the announcement at BIO was a great fit for our winners because they were able to participate in a number of one-on-one meetings with companies and researchers interested in learning more about their technology,” said Bauman. “It also allowed NCGA to talk about the various benefits of corn as an industrial feedstock with the various government agencies, investors and researchers who attended the session. Bio World Congress is the epicenter for what the Challenge aims to achieve.”

Vice President of Market Development Nathan Fields participated in a panel with Suzy Friedman of the Environmental Defense Fund and others to talk about how to advance the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

“We are a federation of our state organizations,” Fields told attendees. “Our environmental footprint in sustainability is something our states and national have been working on together for decades. While we are strongly active in this space, it’s an evolution of what our growers have been doing for decades. We want to continue to improve our sustainability efforts both environmentally and economically.”

Director of Market Development Sarah McKay headed a panel which included one of the original Consider Corn Challenge winners, Vertimass, on Ethanol as a Building Block for Renewable Biobased Fuels and Chemicals. “We are excited about the continued innovation in the ethanol industry,” McKay told the crowd. “Ethanol is positioned to recognize the value beyond fuel. We are excited about the tremendous potential for diverse corn-derived products within the bioeconomy. NCGA is continuing to work to connect the value chain stakeholders in order to help facilitate seamless technology rollout.”

Iowa Corn Growers Association’s Industrial Innovation Manager Alex Buck gave a technical presentation on the Plant-based MEG Process for Plastic and Apparel. There were 900 attendees from 40 countries representing the areas of business development, policy and advocacy, marketing and sales, investors, researchers and scientists as well as manufacturing and distribution.

Subcommittee Chair Marcia L. Fudge Pushes Naomi Earp to Address Discrimination Issues at USDA

House Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight, and Department Operations Chair Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio sent a letter Thursday to Naomi Earp, current Deputy Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on issues related to socially disadvantaged farmers.  The letter urges Earp, who awaits Senate confirmation as Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, to address USDA’s past, present and future relationship with black farmers and other farmers of color.

Pointing to the continued decline in the number of black farmers reflected in the 2017 Census of Agriculture, Fudge wrote, “This downward trend is alarming as it reflects the residual impact of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) long history of discrimination against black farmers… This prejudice has resulted in loss of land, delays or rejection in farm credit loans, and lack of access to technical assistance for farm programs.”

Fudge went on in the letter to call on Earp to “make helping this shrinking population of farmers a top priority,” and pressed the nominee to outline the plans of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights to address both the USDA’s past civil rights issues, as well as how the Department will improve its relationships with farmers of color in the future.

Equine Deworming: Staying Current With the Experts’ Recommendations

Parasites present a pesky problem for horses and their owners alike. A year-round rotation of dewormers that alternated every other month was once considered enough to keep your horses protected. However, there is an increasing trend of drug resistance among parasites, making them harder to manage through traditional strategies. Your horse’s parasites are changing; your deworming protocols need to keep up.

Thanks to parasite control guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) and a growing amount of independent research, we know individualized, age-appropriate and seasonal treatment plans are the most successful. Rather than frequent, calendar-based deworming treatments, effective and properly timed treatments are best for keeping your horse and your wallet happy.

Effective Active Ingredients

For effective treatment, it is vital horse owners know which parasite(s) their horse is infected with and which deworming product effectively treats the parasite. Your veterinarian is the best person to provide this information.

The key parasites in adult horses, small strongyles, are universally present in all grazing horses. The primary concern with small strongyles occurs during the encysted stage of their life cycle, when the parasite burrows into the walls of the lower intestines. Inflammation results when the parasite emerges from this cyst stage.

“Moxidectin is the only deworming active ingredient that has been shown to be effective in treating encysted small strongyles, which are strongyles in the larval stage, in a single dose,” says Kenton Morgan, DVM, Equine Technical Services, Zoetis.

There is a five consecutive days dosing regimen that claims to be effective against encysted small strongyles, but recent data indicates there is growing small strongyle resistance to fenbendazole.

It is also important to keep in mind that, while the available deworming products may all look different, many brands contain the same active, parasite-killing ingredient. So, even though the products have different names, you may be using the same active ingredient, and overexposure to the same active ingredient could be leading to parasite resistance. That’s why it’s important to read the packaging and look for the active ingredient, often found in parenthesis below the brand name.

Parasite Seasonality

Deworming treatments must also be properly timed during the year, corresponding with your horse’s parasite burden and the parasites’ cycles of transmission, typically spring and fall.

Ascarids, also known as roundworms, are hardy parasites resistant to environmental influences. They are the key parasite of concern in young horses, as older horses develop an immunity to them. However, in foals, ascarids can cause poor growth, airway inflammation and small intestinal impactions.

“There are three products that perform best when targeting ascarids,” Dr. Morgan says. “The active ingredients to look for are pyrantel pamoate, oxibendazole or fenbendazole.”

Engage Your Veterinarian

The most important tool in your parasite arsenal is your veterinarian. Veterinarians can perform a fecal egg count test to determine which horses in your herd need treatment and which don't. Once you have a baseline established, they can work with you to develop an Individualized Deworming™ program.

“All horses do not carry the same parasite burden. Usually, in a herd, 80% of the parasite burden is hosted by 20% to 30% of the horses,” Dr. Morgan says. “High strongyle egg shedders are responsible for the majority of parasite transmission.”

Your veterinarian can also test your horse or herd to see if the dewormer you used was effective. A fecal egg count reduction test will show if your horses have parasites that have become resistant to a specific active ingredient. This test is done after your horse or herd has been treated. Your veterinarian can then help you select additional treatment options, if necessary.

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