Monday, August 23, 2021

Monday August 23 Ag News


For the week ending August 22, 2021, there were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 15% very short, 39% short, 46% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 14% very short, 46% short, 40% adequate, and 0% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 4% very poor, 8% poor, 21% fair, 43% good, and 24% excellent. Corn dough was 89%, behind 95% last year, but near 86% for the five-year average. Dented was 41%, behind 56% last year, and near 42% average. Mature was 1%, behind 6% last year, and near 2% average.

Soybean condition rated 3% very poor, 7% poor, 21% fair, 49% good, and 20% excellent. Soybeans setting pods was 93%, near 97% last year and 91% average. Dropping leaves was 4%, near 5% last year and 3% average.

Sorghum condition rated 4% very poor, 14% poor, 26% fair, 43% good, and 13% excellent. Sorghum headed was 96%, near 98% last year and 95% average. Coloring was 35%, near 39% last year and 37% average.

Dry edible bean condition rated 3% very poor, 5% poor, 26% fair, 45% good, and 21% excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 95%, equal to last year. Setting pods was 90%, near 89% last year. Dropping leaves was 4%, behind 20% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 10% very poor, 12% poor, 58% fair, 19% good, and 1% excellent.


Despite spotty precipitation, Iowa’s farmers had 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending August 22, 2021, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Field activities included harvesting hay and oats. Producers were utilizing the release of CRP land for haying and grazing.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 24% very short, 40% short, 36% adequate and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 27% very short, 42% short, 31% adequate and 0% surplus. Northwest, Central and East Central Iowa had the lowest subsoil moisture levels in the State, with more than 80% rated short to very short.

Corn in or beyond the dough stage reached 90%, six days ahead of the 5-year average. Forty-seven percent of the corn crop has reached the dent stage or beyond, four days ahead of normal. There were scattered reports of corn reaching the mature stage. Some producers have begun chopping silage. Iowa’s corn condition rated 58% good to excellent.

Soybeans setting pods reached 95%, eight days ahead of normal. Five percent of soybeans were coloring. There were a few reports of soybeans dropping leaves. Soybean condition was rated 61% good to excellent. Sudden death syndrome was observed in some soybean fields across the State.

Oats harvested for grain reached 97%.

The third cutting of alfalfa hay reached 68% complete, three days ahead of the 5-year average. Both mites and army worms have been spotted in alfalfa and grass hay crops.

Pasture condition was rated 31% good to excellent. Water for cows and calves on pasture has become an issue as some creeks and ponds dry up.

Corn, Soybean Conditions Continue to Fall in Latest USDA Crop Progress Report

U.S. corn and soybean conditions fell again last week, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report Monday. The trade had expected conditions for both crops to hold steady.

Following a 2-percentage-point drop in the Aug. 16 report, U.S. corn condition fell another 2 percentage points last week to reach 60% good to excellent as of Sunday, Aug. 22, NASS said. Corn dented was estimated at 41%, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 38%, while the percent of the crop reaching maturity was equal to the five-year average of 4%.

After falling 3 percentage points in the Aug. 16 report, soybean conditions also dropped another 1 percentage point last week to reach 56% good to excellent as of Sunday. Soybean development moved ahead at a near-average pace last week, with soybeans blooming at 97%, equal to the five-year average; soybeans setting pods at 88%, just 1 percentage point ahead of the average of 87%; and soybeans dropping leaves at 3%, equal to the average pace.

Meanwhile, spring wheat harvest showed no sign of slowing down last week, jumping ahead another 19 percentage points to reach 77% complete as of Sunday and maintaining a 22-percentage-point lead over the five-year average of 55%.

Sorghum headed was 90%, 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Sorghum coloring was pegged at 44%, 2 percentage points behind average. Sorghum condition was rated 62% good to excellent, up 2 percentage points.

Cotton squaring was 97%, 6 percentage points behind the average. Cotton setting bolls was 79%, 10 percentage points behind the average pace. Cotton condition was rated 71% good to excellent, up 4 percentage points from the previous week.

Rice was 93% headed, 2 percentage points behind the average pace. Rice harvested was 14%, 2 percentage points behind the average pace. Rice condition was rated 77% good to excellent, up 3 percentage points from the previous week.

Oats were 87% harvested, 6 percentage points behind average. Barley was 72% harvested, 9 percentage points ahead of the five-year average.

Pro Farmer Releases National Corn and Soybean Crop Estimates

Pro Farmer national corn crop estimates:
    Corn: 15.116 billion bu.; Average yield of 177 bu. per acre
        Corn +/- 1% = 15.267 billion bu. to 14.965 billion bu.; 178.8 bu. to 175.2 per acre

Nebraska: 190 bu. per acre. Irrigated corn is going to pull up yields, offsetting some dryland losses. We measured a more mature crop that needs some rain to hold onto the yield potential it has. If rain doesn’t fall on dryland corn soon, it will go backward.

Iowa: 198 bu. per acre. We saw a lot of good corn, a fair amount of bad corn and plenty in between. That’s unusual for Iowa and it will hold back the final yield.

Pro Farmer national soybean crop estimates:
    Soybeans: 4.436 billion bu.; Average yield of 51.2 bu. per acre
        Soybeans +/- 2% = 4.525 billion bu. to 4.347 billion bu.; 52.2 bu. to 50.2 bu. per acre

Nebraska: 58 bu. per acre. We sampled a pretty average Nebraska soybean crop. That said, we’ve learned never to underestimate the ability of the Nebraska bean crop to build yield late in the season. Disease and insect pressure was limited, but the crop needs rain.

Iowa: 57 bu. per acre. We were underwhelmed by Iowa’s bean crop. Soil moisture was up 10.5% from last year’s dry crop but down 31% from average. If the state doesn’t get rains, yields could fall even further from USDA’s Aug. 1 58-bu.-per-acre peg.

Note: The national estimates above reflect Pro Farmer’s view on production and yields. They take into account data gathered during Crop Tour and other factors like crop maturity, acreage adjustments, historical differences in Tour data versus USDA’s final yields, areas outside those sampled on Tour, etc. That’s why the state yield numbers below differ from the Crop Tour figures. For corn, we raised harvested area by 910,000 acres (based on FSA data) versus USDA’s June estimate. USDA in August estimated the corn crop at 14.750 billion bu. on a national average yield of 174.6 bu. per acre. It estimated the bean crop at 4.339 billion bu. on a 50.0 bu. per acre yield.

Other states of interest:  Corn

South Dakota: 140 bu. per acre. Heat and dryness are going to keep the crop subpar, and scouts measured yield more so than yield potential, which is rare for the state. Rains are needed and the risk is to the downside.

Minnesota: 170 bu. per acre. Minnesota corn has the appearance of a dry-season crop, but we were surprised just how well it held on. The crop built yield early and was spoon-fed rain in the nick of time. Central areas of the state where drought is more severe will hold down yields, but our numbers suggest USDA cut too deep with its Aug. 1 estimate.

Illinois: 212 bu. per acre. Will there be enough pockets of excellence to offset nicks from dryness and wind, enabling the crop to hit USDA’s lofty 214 bu. per acre peg? We doubt it, but it could come close. Late-season rains are needed to maintain the yield potential we measured.

Indiana: 200 bu. per acre. Who would’ve thought Indiana would join the 200 bu. club before Nebraska? Consistency was unbelievable. Scouts pulled just one sub-100 bu. per acre sample there. But again, rain is needed to finish strong.

Ohio: 190 bu. per acre. This is often a hit or miss state, and this year there weren’t many misses. The yield factory is there for a record crop.

Other states of interest:  Soybeans

South Dakota: 41 bu. per acre. Spotty rains resulted in pod counts all over the board, resulting in a fairly ordinary South Dakota bean crop. If expected rains don’t develop soon, the crop will set back.

Minnesota: 46 bu. per acre. Scouts found fewer pods and less moisture than last year. And last year’s crop didn’t finish well.

Illinois: 66 bu. per acre. The crop has a better chance than corn of hitting USDA’s forecast, in our opinion. Plants were loaded with pods and rain fell during Tour. But more will likely be needed to maximize yield potential.

Indiana: 62 bu. per acre. USDA is calling for a record crop, but getting there would require ideal conditions until harvest. The verdict is still out on whether the state will have the moisture to finish and fill pods that are there.

Ohio: 60 bu. per acre. A big crop is in the works, especially if it catches a few more rains, but the crop may have a bit too much variability to hit maximum yields. Rains fell as scouts sampled fields, which will help. But a hot, dry stretch could erode yield potential in a hurry.


The Nebraska State Fair is excited to kick off 4,250 plus hours of entertainment and attractions with an Opening Ceremony on August 27, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. in Earl May Fair Center. Admission is free until noon and all are invited to come out and help kick off the opening of the 2021 Nebraska State Fair.

“We are very excited to open up the 2021 State Fair. There really is Nothing More Nebraskan than getting together for the biggest event of the summer!” said Bill Ogg, Executive Director.
This year’s Nebraska State Fair will feature a great mix of new and traditional events. Fairgoers can catch a livestock or equine show or stop for a corndog or funnel cake from their favorite concessionaire. Families won’t want to miss Jump! The Ultimate Cool Dog Show or Hedrick’s Racing Pigs in action.

An exciting mix of sports events will take place on the Anderson Auto Sports Field. Opening night, August 27, will feature Bull Thirty Freestyle Bullfighting with Horse Nations Indian Relay Races continuing the action on Saturday, August 28 and Sunday, August 29. Closing out the Fair is the Iron on the Island Truck and Tractor Pull on Sunday, September 5 and Fair Smashing Fun Demolition Derby on Monday, September 6. Tickets for these events can be purchased online or in the State Fair Box Office located in the Nebraska Building.

The 2021 Nebraska State Fair runs August 27 through September 6 in Grand Island, Nebraska. Admission and carnival tickets are currently available at all Pump & Pantry locations or online at Entertainment information and a schedule of events can be found online.

Smith Welcomed U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Republican Thompson in Nebraska

Congressman Adrian Smith (R-NE) recently welcomed House Agriculture Committee Ranking Republican, Congressman G.T Thompson (R-PA) to Nebraska’s Third District, the number one Congressional district for agriculture production.

During the trip, Smith and Thompson visited the United States Meat Animal Research Center (USMARC), near Clay Center, and Nebraska’s first dry mill ethanol plant, Chief Ethanol Fuels near Hastings. Former United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Under Secretary Greg Ibach, Nebraska Farm Bureau President Mark McHargue and representatives from the USDA and the University of Nebraska participated in the visit.

The trip provided an opportunity for representatives to visit with Smith and Thompson on the importance of federal agriculture policy to Nebraska’s Third District. In particular, the discussion focused on the significance of livestock regulations and the direction of federal policy concerning liquid fuels like ethanol.

“Strong agriculture policies are a vital part of ensuring Nebraska’s producers can compete globally,” said Smith. “I appreciate my colleague G.T Thompson, the lead Republican on the House Agriculture Committee, for his interest in the production practices of our great state as we continue to work collaboratively to improve federal agriculture policy.”


– Todd Whitney, NE Extension

Forage producers usually want alfalfa fields to produce for at least 4- or 5-years after seeding before being converted to another crop. So, what should producers do when their alfalfa stands fall below 10 plants per square foot; or a heavy weed populations emerge; or the annual forage yields drop off below half?

For thin alfalfa stands, the temptation may be to drill or broadcast more alfalfa seeds to fill open spaces between plants. However, this practice is NOT recommended; since live alfalfa roots emit an ethylene chemical toxin into soil impeding growth of new alfalfa. This allelopathy effect also called ‘autotoxicity’ weakens or kills any new emerging alfalfa. Autotoxicity also accumulates more in soil over time; meaning older alfalfa stands have increased toxin levels compared to newer stands. Therefore, it would be better to find a new replacement alfalfa field than seed into an existing thin stand.

The next decision for thin fields might be to delay mowing of the alfalfa to increase harvest tonnage. Once it has been decided to convert a thin alfalfa field to another crop, potential winter injury on plants lacking 6 or 8 inches of recommended regrowth is no longer a concern.

For retained thin stands, an updated weed control plan may be needed following herbicide label carryover rotation restrictions. Finally, consider interseeding with perennial grasses such as brome, fescue, orchard grass or native grasses to increase forage production for the next growing season.

The bottom line is wait 4 weeks to over a year after established plants have been killed before drilling new alfalfa seed into previous alfalfa field. Further, when converting a thin alfalfa field into an alternative ‘cash crop’ like corn or grain sorghum, opportunity arises for fall or winter alfalfa graze-out of thin alfalfa fields.


The majority of Nebraska farms with more than 1,000 acres of cropland utilized at least one of the regenerative cropping practices of planting cover crops, no-till and reduced tillage between 2012 and 2017, according to the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2017 Census of Agriculture.

These are among the most common practices for sequestering carbon and potentially becoming eligible to earn carbon credits from organizations and aggregators currently participating in private voluntary carbon markets. A recent analysis by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability looks at USDA data related to the use of all three practices on Nebraska farms between 2012 and 2017 to gauge the status of producers’ participation in environmental credit markets.

According to the census, there were 38,084 cropland farms in Nebraska in 2017, representing more than 22 million acres. About 73% of Nebraska cropland was included on farms of 1,000 acres or more.

The number of farms utilizing cover crops, no-till and reduced tillage is not mutually exclusive, meaning that a farm can employ a combination of the three practices across its acreage. And some farms that utilize one or more of these practices do so on only a portion of their acres.

No-till practices were the most widely used of the three practices across the state, employed on 51% of the acreage on farms with 1,000 to 1,999 acres and on 45% of the acreage on farms with more than 2,000 acres. Reduced tillage practices (excluding no-till) were used on 29% of the acreage on farms with 1,000 to 1,999 acres and on 26% of farms with more than 2,000 acres.

The utilization of cover crops — employed on about 3% of the acreage on farms in both the 1,000-to-1,999-acre and 2,000-plus-acre categories — trailed the usage rates of no-till and reduced tillage practices. However, the amount of cropland acres planted to cover crops on Nebraska farms grew by 109% between 2012 and 2017, compared to more modest growth during the same period in the proportion of acres using reduced tillage (20%) and no-till (9%) practices.

Larry Van Tassell, director of the Center for Agricultural Profitability, attributed the increase in cover crop use, in part, to the rising recognition of their ecological advantages and government incentives for producers.

“The environmental and soil quality benefits, coupled with the cost-share programs offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, have helped to drive the appeal of cover crops, in particular,” he said.

In addition to being eligible for carbon credit payments in existing private markets and possible future public markets, sequestration practices such as planting cover crops, no-till and reduced tillage have other economic benefits for producers, according to Van Tassell.

“According to UNL enterprise budgets, and many field studies, greater yields are experienced with no-till practices compared to conventional tillage, with cost per bushel of production averaging lower with no-till,” he said. “Cover crops will often not show an immediate profit, but soil and water health are the great motivators.”

Compared to Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota, Nebraska producers have been leaders in utilizing these three practices. The state had a larger percentage of all farms (45%), as well as a greater percentage of acreage on those farms (46%), using no-till practices than each of the other three states, as well as the United States as a whole. Nebraska trailed only Iowa in both the percentage of total cropland planted to cover crops (3%) and the percentage of total cropland using reduced tillage (26%).

“Nebraska farmers have been relatively early adopters when it comes to conservation land-use practices, so a number of Nebraska producers are already positioned to participate in carbon markets,” Van Tassell said. “It also appears that there is still a large amount of acreage than can be positioned to engage in these markets.”  

As private environmental markets continue to grow, a more transparent public voluntary market appears to be getting closer with the passage of the Growing Climate Solutions Act in the Senate on June 24. If enacted, it would direct the USDA to develop a program to facilitate the participation of farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners in such a market. The act has identified planting cover crops, no-till and reduced tillage as practices that would potentially be eligible for payment in voluntary carbon markets.

Dave Aiken, a professor in the university’s Department of Agricultural Economics, said that additionality — a principle that may require the producer to do something different, in addition to what they have been doing, to contribute to climate solutions and earn carbon credits — has caught the attention of many in agriculture due to the term’s presence in the Growing Climate Solutions Act. But he noted the importance of distinguishing between compliance and voluntary markets.

“The Growing Climate Solutions Act deals with voluntary markets, not compliance markets,” Aiken said. “There are ongoing conversations about whether today’s voluntary markets should have the same rules as the original compliance or regulatory markets.”

Aiken said that, while much is still uncertain, voluntary markets are not expected to have additionality requirements in the near term, though he noted that the additionality debate is likely to continue as carbon policies are developed to respond to climate change.

Van Tassell said he believes the use of conservation cropping practices will continue to grow, both because Nebraska producers are good stewards of the land and because the economic benefits will continue to appeal to farmers.

“If these public ecosystem services markets come to fruition, there will be greater incentive to increase the number of acres in reduced tillage, no-till and cover crop practices,” he said.

For the recent analysis of conservation practices on Nebraska cropland, more on the Growing Climate Solutions Act and additionality, as well as many other resources related to agricultural carbon markets in Nebraska, visit the Center for Agricultural Profitability’s website at


All layers in Nebraska during July 2021 totaled 8.19 million, down from 8.53 million the previous year, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Nebraska egg production during July totaled 203 million eggs, up from 199 million in 2020. July egg production per 100 layers was 2,478 eggs, compared to 2,327 eggs in 2020.

IOWA: Iowa egg production during July 2021 was 1.28 billion eggs, up 5% from both last month and a year ago, according to the latest Chickens and Eggs report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The average number of all layers on hand during July 2021 was 49.4 million, up 1% from last month and up 6% from the same month last year. Eggs per 100 layers for July were 2,591, up 4% from last month but down 1% from last July.

United States egg production totaled 9.39 billion during July 2021, up 1 percent from last year. Production included 8.10 billion table eggs, and 1.28 billion hatching eggs, of which 1.21 billion were broiler-type and 74.7 million were egg-type. The average number of layers during July 2021 totaled 385 million, up 1 percent from last year. July egg production per 100 layers was 2,439 eggs, down slightly from July 2020.
Total layers in the United States on August 1, 2021 totaled 385 million, up 1 percent from last year. The 385 million layers consisted of 319 million layers producing table or market type eggs, 62.8 million layers producing broiler-type hatching eggs, and 2.88 million layers producing egg-type hatching eggs. Rate of lay per day on August 1, 2021, averaged 78.8 eggs per 100 layers, down 1 percent from August 1, 2020.

Beck's Purchases Bayer Facility In Beaman, Iowa

Beck's is pleased to announce the purchase of the Bayer processing plant in Beaman, Iowa, for the use of soybean production and processing. The fully operational site in Grundy County will provide Beck's with soybean seed processing capabilities and additional warehousing.

"At Beck's, we base our growth and acquisition strategy and decisions with a focus on helping farmers succeed," said Sonny Beck, CEO of Beck's. "As we continue to expand into new states and grow our customer base, our family of employees and farmer-dealers remain dedicated to providing exceptional localized service. This new facility will allow Beck's to maximize efficiency, stay ahead of demand, and deliver products faster."

Ten of the former full-time Bayer employees have been hired on by Beck's to continue operations at the Beaman facility, allowing a seamless transition this fall and winter to ensure soybean seed is ready for spring 2022 planting. The facility features approximately 30,000 square feet of warehousing and is configured with all the modern equipment necessary for Beck's to process and treat one million units of soybeans per year. In addition to the new facility in Beaman, Beck's has three other permanent locations in Iowa, including a processing and distribution facility in Mount Pleasant, a research facility in Marshalltown, and a distribution and Practical Farm Research (PFR)® site in Colfax.

"Situated fifteen minutes north of our Marshalltown, Iowa facility and approximately an hour northeast of our Colfax location, the addition of this new facility will take the pressure off of our distribution channels," said Beck. "More importantly, it will help us ensure we are fulfilling our customer's soybean needs quickly and efficiently. We're excited to put down roots in Beaman and for the opportunity to provide our growing family of customers with more regionally selected, grown, and processed soybeans."

As the largest family-owned retail seed company in the United States, Beck's has seen tremendous growth over the past several decades and has doubled in size in the past six years alone. Today, Beck's is the third-largest corn and soybean brand in the United States, offering the world's most diverse access to genetics and traits. Beck's lineup of high-yielding corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa are treated with Escalate™ yield enhancement system, a proprietary seed treatment, and backed by a 100% Free Replant Policy. Beck's also offers an extensive lineup of cover crops, forages, and milo/grain sorghum. In addition, Beck's industry-leading PFR program brings farmer-focused research to the farm management process.

USDA Cold Storage July 2021 Highlights

Total red meat supplies in freezers on July 31, 2021 were up slightly from the previous month but down 8 percent from last year. Total pounds of beef in freezers were down slightly from the previous month and down 9 percent from last year. Frozen pork supplies were up slightly from the previous month but down 4 percent from last year. Stocks of pork bellies were down 24 percent from last month and down 35 percent from last year.

Total frozen poultry supplies on July 31, 2021 were up 2 percent from the previous month but down 17 percent from a year ago. Total stocks of chicken were down 1 percent from the previous month and down 16 percent from last year. Total pounds of turkey in freezers were up 7 percent from last month but down 16 percent from July 31, 2020.

Total natural cheese stocks in refrigerated warehouses on July 31, 2021 were up 1 percent from the previous month and up 4 percent from July 31, 2020. Butter stocks were down 4 percent from last month but up 7 percent from a year ago.

Total frozen fruit stocks on July 31, 2021 were up 36 percent from last month but down 2 percent from a year ago.  Total frozen vegetable stocks were up 8 percent from last month but down 3 percent from a year ago.

National Biodiesel Foundation Welcomes New Director

The National Biodiesel Foundation warmly welcomes newly elected Director Todd Ellis to the NBF Board. Ellis currently is the Executive Director, North American Sales, for Renewable Energy Group, Inc.

Todd Ellis has been a leader in sustainable business and economic development for leading biofuels companies for more than 16 years. He oversees North American strategic planning and sales responsibilities for Renewable Energy Group, Inc. He holds an executive M.B.A. from the University of Iowa, an M.A. from Antioch University and a B.A. from Fort Lewis College.

“I believe the Foundation is critical to educating the public about biodiesel and inspiring students to pursue careers in the clean fuels industry," Ellis said. “Events and education forums, such as the Sustainability Workshop and congressional tours, bring industry experts together to help tackle carbon reduction. I’m excited to work with experts focused on the environmental benefits of better, cleaner biodiesel.”

In addition to the new director, biodiesel industry leaders currently serving on the Foundation’s Board are:
    Mark Caspers, Chair (Nebraska Soybean Board)
    Dave Walton, Vice Chair (Iowa Soybean Association)
    Danielle Brannan, Secretary (Executive Vice President, New Leaf Biofuel)
    Chris Hill, Treasurer (American Soybean Association)
    Michael Devine, Director (World Energy Vice President for Sales and Business Development)
    Colin Huwyler, Director (CEO, Optimus Technologies)
    Rob Shaffer, Director (American Soybean Association)

The Foundation’s mission is to accomplish outreach, education, research and demonstration activities for the advancement of biodiesel. The Foundation works closely with the National Biodiesel Board.

Summary of the August Cattle on Feed Report

James L. Mitchell, Extension Economist, University of Arkansas

USDA released the August Cattle on Feed report on Friday, August 20th. August 1st cattle on feed inventories for feedlots with a capacity of 1,000 head or more is estimated at 11.1 million, a 1.9 percent decline from August 1st of 2020. Cattle on feed inventories have been running above 2020 levels for most of the year. This month’s report is the second consecutive month with cattle on feed inventories below 2020. Seasonally, on-feed inventories decline through September before feedlots reload during the fall calf market.

Feedlot placements during July are estimated at 1.74 million head, an 8.1 percent decline from July 2020. Historically, the seasonal trend has been for feedlot placements to decline in July from the previous month. This year, July feedlot placements were 4.1 percent higher compared to June: placements were 23 percent higher this month in Colorado, 27 percent higher in Iowa, 6 percent higher in Nebraska, and 5 percent higher in South Dakota.

Fed cattle marketings in July were 1.90 million head or 5 percent below 2020. For context, July 2021 had one less slaughter day than July 2020. Despite one less slaughter day, daily average marketings in July were only fractionally higher compared to a year ago.

In general, the report brought optimism to the market and reveals an improving feedlot situation. USDA is forecasting beef production to be down 1.2 percent during the second half of 2021. Declining feedlot inventories and lower feedlot placements, supported by an expected third consecutive year of declining calf crops, during the second half of the year would mean fewer cattle available for slaughter to begin 2022. USDA is projecting beef production to be down 3.2 percent in 2022.

USDA Accepts 2.8 Million Acres for the Conservation Reserve Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has accepted 2.8 million acres in offers from agricultural producers and private landowners for enrollment into the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in 2021. This year, almost 1.9 million acres in offers have been accepted through the General CRP Signup, and USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) has accepted over 897,000 acres for enrollment through the Continuous Signup.  The Continuous Signup remains open and CRP Grasslands Signup closed last week, so USDA expects to enroll more acres into all of CRP than the 3 million acres that are expiring.

“Despite Congress raising the enrollment target in the 2018 Farm Bill, there have been decreases in enrollment for the past two years.  The changes we made this spring have put us on the path to reverse this trend,” FSA Administrator Zach Ducheneaux said. “Even with the improved direction, USDA will still be about 4 million acres below the enrollment target.  The CRP benefits for producers, sportsmen, wildlife, conservation and climate are numerous and well documented. We cannot afford to let them to be left on the table.”

The 4 million-acre shortfall in CRP would have had the following impacts:
    More than 359,000 acres less annual forage under CRP Grasslands;
    A loss of 1,500,000 acres of quality wildlife and pollinator less habitat for wildlife;
    20% fewer apiaries in major production regions meeting critical forage thresholds;
    A loss of more than 4 million upland game and other grassland birds;
    About 90 million pounds of nitrogen entering waterways;
    Over 30 million tons of soil eroded, leading to increased pollution and sedimentation in streams and rivers; and
    Foregone sequestration of more than 3 million metric tons of CO2.

Like other USDA conservation programs, CRP is a voluntary program that has a variety of options that can be tailored to the specific conservation issues of a state or region and desires of the landowner. The options run the gamut from working lands such as CRP Grasslands to partnerships with states and private entities to target a specific joint concern such as water quality or quantity.

“We are grateful to the leadership and staff at the USDA, who have worked diligently over the last several months to ensure that the Conservation Reserve Program remains a viable and effective conservation tool,” says Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Today’s announcement demonstrates that when the CRP is administered with the needs of landowners in mind, they respond by investing their lands in conservation. This course correction is needed now more than ever, as management decisions in recent years have left program acreage at a 30-year low, with an additional 4 million acres set to expire by October 2022. We look forward to continuing to work with the USDA to improve the trajectory of the CRP and guarantee that the program benefits our natural resources, landowners, and the sporting community for years to come.”

No comments:

Post a Comment