Monday, August 16, 2021

Monday August 16 Crop Progress + Ag News


For the week ending, August 15, 2021, there were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 16% very short, 43% short, 41% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 16% very short, 48% short, 36% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 4% very poor, 7% poor, 21% fair, 47% good, and 21% excellent. Corn dough was 80%, behind 85% last year, but ahead of 73% for the five-year average. Dented was 17%, behind 27% last year, and near 21% average.

Soybean condition rated 2% very poor, 6% poor, 20% fair, 53% good, and 19% excellent. Soybeans setting pods was 89%, equal to last year, and ahead of 82% average. Dropping leaves was 2%, equal to last year, and near 1% average.

Sorghum condition rated 3% very poor, 10% poor, 28% fair, 46% good, and 13% excellent. Sorghum headed was 89%, behind 94% last year, but near 87% average. Coloring was 18%, ahead of 13% last year, but near 20% average.

Oats harvested was 95%, near 98% last year, and equal to average.

Dry edible bean condition rated 3% very poor, 4% poor, 25% fair, 47% good, and 21% excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 90%, near 93% last year. Setting pods was 83%, near 79% last year. Dropping leaves was 1%, behind 6% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 7% very poor, 12% poor, 61% fair, 19% good, and 1% excellent.


Although isolated areas of Iowa received substantial rain, statewide farmers had 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 15, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Some areas of the State had no measurable precipitation during the week. Due to drought conditions, haying and grazing of CRP land continues. Field activities included harvesting hay and oats.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 23% very short, 38% short, 38% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 27% very short, 40% short, 33% adequate and 0% surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in Central and East Central Iowa were the lowest in the State, with more than 80% rated short to very short.

Corn in or beyond the dough stage reached 83%, one week ahead of the 5-year average. Twenty-nine percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage, four days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of corn reaching the mature stage. Iowa’s corn condition rated 58% good to excellent.

Soybeans setting pods reached 90%, one week ahead of normal. Across the State, there were scattered reports of soybeans coloring. Soybean condition was rated 58% good to excellent.

Oats harvested for grain reached 93%, three days behind the 5-year average.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 54% complete, two days ahead of the 5-year average. Hay condition rated 55% good to excellent.

Pasture condition was rated 33% good to excellent. In some areas of the State, pastures have stopped growing due to lack of rain. No comments concerning livestock were received.

USDA: Corn, Soybean Conditions Drop in Latest Crop Progress Report

After holding mostly steady and even rising slightly the past few weeks, national corn and soybean conditions fell last week as the drought in Northern and Western regions of the U.S. continued to stress crops in those states, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report Monday.

After rising 2 points the previous week, U.S. corn condition dropped back down 2 percentage points to 62% good to excellent as of Sunday, Aug. 15, NASS said.  Corn development continued to run slightly ahead of normal last week, with an estimated 73% of the crop in the dough stage, 5 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 68%. Corn reaching dent, on the other hand, was running even with the average pace at 22%.

Soybean conditions also slid last week after rising or holding steady for a number of weeks prior. NASS estimated national soybean condition at 57% good to excellent as of Sunday, down 3 percentage points from 60% the previous week.  Soybean development was running near the average pace last week. An estimated 94% of the crop was blooming, equal to the five-year average, and 81% of the crop was setting pods, 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 79%.

Spring wheat harvest continued to speed along, jumping another 20 percentage points last week to reach 58% complete as of Sunday. That is 22 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 36%.

Sorghum headed was 83%, 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Sorghum coloring was pegged at 31%, 5 percentage points behind average. Sorghum condition was rated 60% good to excellent, down 3 percentage points.

Cotton squaring was 93%, 6 percentage points behind the average. Cotton setting bolls was 75%, 7 percentage points behind the average pace. Cotton condition was rated 67% good to excellent, up 2 percentage points from the previous week.

Rice was 86% headed, 3 percentage points behind the average pace. Rice harvested was 12%, equal to the average pace. Rice condition was rated 74% good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week.

Oats were 75% harvested, 5 percentage points behind average. Barley was 54% harvested, 10 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Barley condition was rated 23% good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from the previous week.

July election results for the Nebraska Soybean Board

The Nebraska Soybean Board (NSB) held an election in July for board members in districts 1 and 3, while the district 6 candidate ran unopposed. Nebraska soybean farmers in those districts voted with the following results:

District 1 (Counties of Antelope, Boyd, Cedar, Holt, Knox, Madison and Pierce)
               Anne Meis, Elgin, NE – Antelope County - Re-elected
               Brandon Rosberg, Bloomfield, NE – Knox County

District 3 (Counties of Butler, Colfax, Dodge, Douglas, Sarpy, Saunders and Washington)
               Ruth Ready, Scribner, NE – Dodge County - Elected
               Rebecca Kreikemeier, Bellwood, NE – Butler County

District 6 (Counties of Filmore, Gage, Jefferson, Saline, Seward and Thayer)
               Larry Tonniges, Utica, NE – Seward County - Ran unopposed

Newly elected board member, Ruth Ready, will begin her first term on the board while re-elected board member, Anne Meis, will begin her third term. Larry Tonniges will also start a new term having served a previous NSB term from 2015 to 2018.

“A special thank you to all the candidates who took time out of their busy schedules to run in this year’s election,” said Scott Ritzman, executive director of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “As the soybean industry continues to evolve and face challenges, we look to our board to invest your checkoff into projects that benefit all soybean farmers in Nebraska.”

“Returning to the Nebraska Soybean Board means I can put my experience to work as we begin our strategic planning in 2022. Our focus always needs to be on funding quality research and marketing our soybean and soybean products to bring value back to the farmer who pays the checkoff.” – Anne Meis

"Investing our checkoff funds wisely is a challenge and an exciting opportunity. I am grateful to be able to help meet that challenge and seize the opportunities as a member of the Nebraska Soybean Board. Working with other farmers who share my enthusiasm for research, promotion and education in regard to soybeans and agriculture in general; will, I hope, be beneficial for all." – Ruth Ready

“I am looking forward to being back on the Nebraska Soybean Board. I feel that our most important job is to improve markets for our soybean products, both foreign and domestic. I am also interested in the research that results in higher yields and innovative weed control in soybeans.” – Larry Tonniges

The elected board members will serve a three-year term beginning October 1, 2021 and ending September 30, 2024.


– Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Corn silage harvest is just around the corner and timing harvest right is critical to silage harvest success.  Two factors to pay close attention to are whole plant moisture and milk line.

Accurately assessing whole plant moisture is key to proper fermentation of the silage pile and getting a good pack.  Too dry and packing is difficult, oxygen gets into the pile.  Overheating, mold/yeast/bad microbe growth, and spoilage follow.  If we harvest too wet the pile weeps and energy and nutrients are lost.  Also of danger here are the growth of clostridia bacteria colonies, which we really want to avoid. Ideally, we want to harvest at 65-70% moisture.

The other factor we have to consider when chopping is milk line.  This is a visual indicator of how much starch the corn plant has set down in the kernel and how much is still wet “milk”.  Starch is one of the most energy dense feed components we have, so silage that contains higher amounts of starch will be higher energy overall.  The further down the kernel the milk line is, the more starch we end up having.

The trouble is that plant moisture and milk line aren’t directly correlated and may vary among hybrids.  While they do tend to trend in the same direction, you might have a year where corn that is 55% moisture and ¼ milk may be 65% moisture at the same ¼ milk the next field over.  Both variables need to be watched.  Exactly when to pull the trigger is dependent on each operation’s resources and needs, but can be a very short window for an optimal product.

Corn silage is a great feed resource that can benefit greatly from some extra care and planning at harvest.  Keep an eye on total plant moisture (65-70% for best results), and milk line (closer to the cob means more starch and higher energy silage) to find your ideal harvest window.

Terminating a Verbal Farm Land Lease

Alan Vyhnalek – Extension Educator

Some farm leases are not written but are verbal or "handshake" agreements. Because nothing is in writing, the parties may have different recollections of their agreement, making lease disputes more difficult to resolve. 

The most common legal issue associated with verbal farm leases is how a lease may legally be terminated. For both year-to-year leases and holdover leases, six months advance notice must be given to legally terminate the lease. However, the lease date (the date from which the six months is counted) may be different. In contrast, the termination of a written lease is determined by the terms of the written lease.

Terminating Verbal Leases

For year-to-year verbal leases, the Nebraska Supreme Court has ruled that the lease year begins March 1. Notice to a tenant to vacate under a verbal or handshake year-to-year lease (legally referred to as a "notice to quit") must be given six months in advance of the end of the lease, or no later than Sept. 1. This rule applies regardless of the crop planted. Those with winter wheat should consider providing notice before it is time to prepare wheat ground for planting. 

For example, for the lease year beginning March 1, 2020, and ending Feb. 28, 2021, notice from the landlord that the lease will be terminated would have to be given to (and received by) the tenant no later than Sept. 1, 2020. The lease would then expire Feb. 28, 2021, with the new tenant (or new buyer) able to take over the lease March 1, 2021. If, however, the notice to quit were given (or received) after Sept. 1, 2020, the existing tenant would have the lease until Feb. 28, 2022.

It is recommended that the farmland lease be terminated by Registered Mail™. This means that the person receiving the letter signs for it, providing evidence that the termination notice was received.

Pasture Lease Terminations

Handshake or verbal leases are different for pastures. The typical pasture lease is for the five-month grazing season. The lease is only in effect for that time, so the lease is terminated at the end of the grazing season; however, different lease length arrangements can be made in a written lease, and that would be followed if in effect.

Importance of Good Communication

Regardless of the type of lease — written, verbal, or even multiple year — the landlord should have clear communication with the tenant. By sending a termination notice before Sept. 1, even for written leases, you can avoid any miscommunication or pitfalls.

Written Leases

In all instances, written leases would be preferred over oral or “handshake” leases. Sample leases are available in the Ag Lease 101 Document Library and can help both parties start thinking about the appropriate lease conditions for their situation. The site was developed by university extension specialists in the North Central Region.

Ricketts Encourages Nebraskans to Weigh in on “Waters of the U.S.” Rule

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts urged Nebraskans to provide feedback to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers as the federal agencies propose to expand the definition and federal oversight of the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

“When the Obama Administration unlawfully tried to expand EPA authority through its 2015 WOTUS rule, Nebraska successfully fought back in court,” said Gov. Ricketts.  “The Biden Administration is again seeking to give the EPA broader power to control how Nebraskans manage our water by proposing to redefine WOTUS.  I encourage Nebraskans to weigh in as the EPA collects input.  As a state, we need to push back on this expansive federal overreach.”

Under the Obama Administration, the EPA issued a rule in 2015 that extended the agency’s regulatory authority by expansively defining WOTUS.  Later that year, the State of Nebraska joined a coalition of states to obtain a legal injunction to stop enforcement of the overreaching rule.  In 2018, the Supreme Court issued a ruling supporting Nebraska’s legal position that district courts could hear challenges to the WOTUS rule.

In 2020, President Trump issued an executive order to review the burdensome Obama-era WOTUS rule and proposing to rescind it.  His first day in office, President Biden revoked Trump’s WOTUS order.  The Biden-Harris Administration is now reviewing WOTUS with the intent of giving the federal government greater control over water resources.     

Republican River Compact Administration to Meet August 25

The Republican River Compact Administration (RRCA) will hold its 2021 annual meeting at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, August 25, at 213 McMillen Hall at McCook Community College, 1205 E 3rd Street, McCook, Nebraska. A virtual meeting option can be accessed at the Kansas Department of Agriculture Division of Water Resources website:

The RRCA meeting will focus on water-related issues and activities, including compact compliance, within the Republican River basin in Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska.

In addition, RRCA will hold a work session to prepare for the annual meeting at 8:30 a.m., also at the McCook Community College location with virtual meeting option via Zoom. Both the work session and the annual meeting are open to the public.

Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska entered into the Republican River Compact in 1943 to provide for the equitable division of the basin’s waters, remove causes of potential controversy, and promote interstate cooperation and joint action by the states and the U.S. in the efficient use of water and the control of destructive floods. The RRCA is composed of three commissioners representing Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska: KDA–DWR Chief Engineer Earl Lewis; Colorado State Engineer Kevin Rein; and Nebraska Department of Natural Resources Director Tom Riley.

Individuals who have questions regarding the meeting should contact Chris Beightel, KDA water management services program manager, at or 785-564-6659 for more information.

For additional information about the Republican River compact and this year’s annual meeting, please visit

Democrats’ Reckless Spending Plan

U.S. Senator Deb Fischer

The U.S. Senate recently voted on a massive, $3.5 trillion spending measure that has a lot in common with the most extreme parts of today’s Democratic Party: It is radical, reckless, and has no plan to pay for what it proposes.

One of my Democratic colleagues said that “the Green New Deal is in the DNA” of this budget resolution. A podcast run by National Public Radio said that if Democrats’ budget becomes law, it would “reshape the role of the federal government in American life.”

I voted against this resolution because I know the majority of Nebraskans don’t support that role for government. Democrats’ proposed budget would offer amnesty to many illegal immigrants, create a federal program for universal pre-K, and hugely expand Medicare and Obamacare subsidies. It would drastically increase the power of Congress’ budget committees (the Senate Budget Committee, which drafted this resolution, is currently chaired by the Senate’s only self-described socialist). And despite adding trillions of dollars to our national debt, it proposes future defense spending levels that amount to a significant cut to national security programs, especially when adjusted for inflation.

This out-of-control spending would be a catastrophe for hardworking Americans, who are already feeling inflation’s harmful effects.

When the resolution came up on the Senate floor, I offered an amendment opposing a tax credit that currently allows Americans with six-figure salaries to claim a deduction for buying an electric vehicle. Most electric vehicles cost a lot more than regular cars, and right now, nearly 80% of EV tax credits are claimed by filers making more than $100,000 a year.

My amendment would limit this credit to those making under $100,000, and only for cars that cost less than $40,000. Nebraskans shouldn’t have to foot the bill for wealthy Californians’ Teslas. Every Republican and three Democrats agreed with me, and my amendment passed.

Senator Tommy Tuberville from Alabama offered an amendment that would reduce federal funding for local governments that choose to defund the police. It passed unanimously.

Republicans were able to pass several other important amendments, including an amendment that supports immigration enforcement and addressing the humanitarian crisis at the border. Another will prevent renewable energy projects that receive federal funding from buying materials or technology that is produced in China. And an amendment proposed by Senator Joni Ernst will prevent the federal government from imposing any new methane emissions requirements for livestock. This will help protect Nebraska producers from harmful regulations that drive up the cost of beef and other critical products.

The amendments that Republicans passed in the Senate address some of the worst things about this measure, but at the end of the day, it is still a progressive wish list. Trillions in new and unnecessary spending is the last thing we need as we emerge from the pandemic.

Nebraskans know that we don’t need to give government even more control over our lives, and we certainly don’t need to make Washington more powerful than it already is. I appreciate the opportunity to explain why I voted against this resolution.

Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show Blows Past Previous Donation Record

The Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show reached new heights, raising $375,265.92 at the 39th annual show. All proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa, with houses in Des Moines, Iowa City and Sioux City. The local charities provide a “home away from home” for families of sick children.  

Since 1983, the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show has raised over $4.5 million for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Iowa. The Office of the Governor of Iowa; Kim Reynolds, Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and Iowa Beef Industry Council would like to thank past and present donors for their support. This event demonstrates the “Cattlemen Care” and “Iowa Nice” mantra, which is synonymous with Iowa.   

This year's show, held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, showcased 24 Iowa steer exhibitors. Ben Kelly, of Dallas Center, picked the Grand Champion Steer and Mike Sorensen, of Greenfield, selected the Grand Champion Showman. The Grand Champion Steer was shown by Jeff Angelo and exhibited by Lane Elmquist. The Grand Champion Steer was sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association and purchased by Friends & Family of Lane Elmquist and the Audubon Community. Grand Champion Showman honors went to Celebrity Showman Teagan Schaefer, of TaterTough. Schaefer led steer Hero, who was raised by Carlee Cremeens and sponsored by the Iowa Hereford Breeders Association.  

This year’s People’s Choice Award went to celebrity Eric Hanson and exhibitor Molly Chapman. The Community Hero award was a new honor in 2021 and encouraged youth exhibitors to promote a sense of community through donated non-perishable goods and pop tabs, and social media engagement to raise awareness of the event. Youth exhibitor Kami Schrunk received the first Community Hero Award for exemplary leadership and promotion of the cause. Social media played an important role in exposing the Iowa Governor’s Charity Steer Show to more than 266,000 people nationwide.  

Thank you to all who participated in the collective efforts of this year’s event and made it a huge success! Cattle producers and local donors continue to pay it forward by donating and supporting local exhibitors. None of this would be possible without the leadership of Gov. Kim Reynolds and her support of the agricultural community and Ronald McDonald House Charities in Iowa. We look forward to celebrating our 40th anniversary at the Iowa State Fair in August of 2022.

Crop Insurance and Unintended Consequences

(press release)

A new study suggests that crop insurance serves as a disincentive for farmers to adopt climate change mitigation measures on their croplands.

The study by researchers at North Carolina State University examined the interactions of warmer temperatures, crop yield risk and crop insurance participation by farmers. For the study, researchers developed models using historical county-level corn and soybean production data in the United States, with an eye toward understanding the production impacts of rising temperatures.

The researchers found that variation in crop yields due to higher temperatures rose when more farmers had crop insurance. Interestingly, the results showed greater variability effects for corn yields than for soybean yields.

“This could be an unintended consequence of providing subsidies for crop insurance,” said Rod M. Rejesus, professor of agricultural and resource economics at NC State and the corresponding author of the research study. “The concept of moral hazard could be present here. If insurance will cover crop losses due to various effects like drought or severe weather, a farmer may not want to pay the extra expense for climate change adaptation efforts such as using cover crops to improve soil health, for example.”

Climate change – including warmer temperatures – increases the variability of crop yields; farming becomes a riskier proposition as this variability rises.

The study models indicate that an increase of daily minimum and maximum temperatures of 1 degree Celsius would increase county-level corn yield variability by 8.6 bushels per acre if 80% of farmers in a county have crop insurance. The same temperature rise in a county with 10% crop insurance participation would increase corn yield variability by just 6.2 bushels per acre.

The researchers pose possible solutions to this quandary for policymakers. They include providing more subsidies to encourage farmers’ use of climate change mitigation efforts – like soil health practices – and starting high-level policy conversations about how to possibly tweak rules and guidelines that govern crop insurance contracts in order to reduce the disincentive effects.

Rejesus will continue to study the effects of climate change, crop yields and crop insurance, including the role of certain climate mitigation efforts by farmers.
The paper appears in the European Review of Agricultural Economics. Former NC State Ph.D. student Ruixue Wang is the paper’s first author. NC State postdoctoral researcher Serkan Aglassan also co-authored paper. Support for the work was provided in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s NIFA Hatch Project No. NC02696.

A Look Ahead at COF and Beef Production

David P. Anderson, Extension Economist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

Friday, August 20th brings the next USDA Cattle on Feed report fewer placements, marketings, and cattle on feed than a year ago. The report will have some implications for beef production in coming months.

July marketings are expected to be down about 3 percent from last year. Given one less “slaughter day” in July 2021 than in 2020 that means daily average marketings will likely be higher than last year. In relation to feedlot marketings and cattle slaughter, slaughter cattle imports from Canada were up in July about 23,000 head from last year. That data, however, includes both fed cattle and cull cows headed for a U.S. plant, so it’s difficult to parse out what might be contributing to fed cattle supplies and what is contributing to cow slaughter.

Placements are expected to be below last year, by some 6-7 percent. Feeder cattle imports in July from Mexico and Canada were below a year ago by about 45,000 and 20,000 head, respectively. Over the last 5 years, on average, placements have tended to decline slightly from June to July with last year being the exception. One area of interest in the report will be any evidence of drought forced earlier placements out of the West and Northern Plains.

Combining marketings and placements leaves the number of cattle-on-feed at more than 1.5 percent lower than a year ago. Total cattle-on-feed tends to decline seasonally from June to a low in September. Declining on feed numbers would be in keeping with the normal seasonal pattern. It would also reflect the longer term cyclical decline in beef cow numbers and the resulting fewer calves.

The cattle-on-feed report will likely provide more evidence of tightening fed cattle numbers and beef production to begin 2022. Beef production has been below a year ago for 5 out of the last 6 weeks. Average federally inspected steer and heifer dressed weights continue to run below a year ago, fueling the decline in beef production. It’s also worth noting that the amount of beef grading Choice as a percent of all beef graded has been below last year for about 7 weeks. Last week 72.3 percent of beef graded was Choice compared to 73.6 percent last week. Tighter supplies of Choice beef is likely keeping the Choice-Select spread wider than a this time last year and wider than the 5-year average.

It should be an interesting report with some longer term implications for beef supplies to end 2021 and begin 2022.

National Institute for Animal Agriculture to Host 11th Annual Antibiotic Symposium in Kansas City

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture will host the 11th Annual Antibiotic Symposium in Kansas City, Missouri from November 2-4, 2021. This year’s theme for Symposium is One Health, One Voice: Leveraging Future Opportunities to Enhance Collaboration.

The purpose of the first Symposium in 2011 was for animal health and human health experts to share science‐based information so an honest dialogue could ensue. Today, the dialogue is just as important. The 2021 Antibiotic Symposium, One Health, One Voice – Leveraging Future Opportunities for Collaboration, will continue the National Institute for Animal Agriculture’s focus on a One Health approach to antimicrobial resistance and stewardship. This year’s Symposium will connect leaders from animal, human and environmental health organizations and provide an opportunity to collaborate on research, education and communication endeavors.

The Symposium will provide updates on the latest research on antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance and alternatives within human, animal and environmental health. From the utilization of new technology to on-farm stewardship efforts, the 11th Annual Antibiotic Symposium will engage leaders in a collective dialogue about the continuous improvement across their industries. This year’s planning committee features:
    Eric Moore, DVM, Norbrook, Inc.
    Leah Dorman, DVM, Phibro Animal Health Corporation
    Michael Costin, DVM, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)
    Megin Nichols, DVM, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    Rebecca Barnett, National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA)
    Susan Gerber, MD, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
    Justin Welsh, DVM, Merck Animal Health
    Courtney Meyers, Ph.D., Texas Tech University

The Symposium will provide opportunities for attendees to participate in round table and panel discussions, interact with keynote speakers, attend small group sessions and network.

To register for the 11th Annual Antibiotic Symposium and book your hotel stay at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown, please visit Early bird rates are active until August 31, 2021.

No comments:

Post a Comment