NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION
For the week ending April 17, 2022, there were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 46% very short, 38% short, 16% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 41% very short, 42% short, 17% adequate, and 0% surplus.
Field Crops Report:
Corn planted was 2%, equal to both last year and the five-year average.
Winter wheat condition rated 10% very poor, 17% poor, 46% fair, 25% good, and 2% excellent.
Oats planted was 58%, behind 66% last year, but ahead of 49% average. Emerged was 12%, behind 23% last year, and near 14% average.
IOWA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION
Snow, high winds, and continued cold conditions limited Iowa farmers to 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending April 17, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Farmers have been applying anhydrous and fertilizer, spreading manure, tilling fields, and planting oats where possible while preparing to plant row crops.
Topsoil moisture condition rated 7 percent very short, 22 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture condition rated 11 percent very short, 33 percent short, 54 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.
Twenty-nine percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, 8 days behind last year and 3 days behind the 5-year average. Oats are beginning to emerge across the State. Pastures were still mostly dormant although there were reports of some starting to turn green. Livestock conditions were generally good, with many new calves arriving.
USDA Crop Progress: Winterlike Weather Last Week Slows Corn, Soybean Planting
Farmers made little headway planting corn and soybeans last week as winterlike weather returned to much of the Midwest and Northern Plains, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday. In addition, dry weather in major winter-wheat-growing regions eroded the crop's condition last week.
-- Planting Progress: 4% nationwide as of Sunday, April 17, up just 2 percentage points from the previous week, 3 percentage points behind last year's 7% and 2% points behind the five-year average of 6%.
-- Planting Progress: 1% nationwide as of Sunday. That was 2 percentage points behind last year's 3% and slightly behind the five-year average of 2%.
-- Crop development progress: 7% of the winter wheat crop was headed nationwide as of Sunday. That's 2 percentage points behind last year's 9% and 5 percentage points behind the five-year average of 12%.
-- Crop condition: Nationwide, winter wheat was rated 30% good to excellent, dropping 2 percentage points from 32% the previous week. The current rating is well below last year's good-to-excellent rating of 53%.
Accomplishing more with less use of local property taxes is goal of NRDs
Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) are a unique form of local government when compared to other parts of the nation, as Nebraska is the only state that addresses natural resource management concerns using this political structure. Given the fact that NRDs are granted the authority to generate revenue by levying property taxes provides them with a consistent source of revenue that can sustain critical programs and projects, but also heightens the need to be fiscally responsible with local tax dollars.
In response to that scenario, the NRDs have utilized multiple strategies to generate revenue that can supplement and soften the impact to local property owners by opening multiple avenues of funding provided by other local, state, and federal government entities, in addition to the development of innovative partnerships with private sector interests.
Mike Sousek, general manager for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD), said, “We are constantly looking for ways to partner with other agencies to get practices and projects on the ground. Most of our project funding comes from leveraging collected property tax dollars to obtain grants, which account for 50% of our expenditures and sometimes more.”
One example is the grant the LENRD received from the Nebraska Environmental Trust (NET) which will allow them to expand their groundwater quality monitoring programs in Pierce, Cuming, Colfax, and Dodge Counties. Through this project and in cooperation with the University of Nebraska’s Water Science Laboratory, the LENRD will expand their monitoring efforts to include baseline vadose zone nitrate data. Vadose core sampling is taken from the area extending from the top of the land surface down to the area located just above the water table (which is variable throughout the area). Groundwater nitrate levels in many of these areas exceed the maximum contaminant level to be considered safe sources of drinking water (MCL), and, unfortunately, continue to increase. The vadose zone sampling will provide information, by depth, regarding the residual concentrations of soil nitrate, which is useful information regarding where the nitrate is occurring and can help scientists estimate when contamination events might have occurred, and if or when additional contributions of contaminants might occur. Sousek continued, “Absent the supplemental revenue from the grants, funding for these programs would fall entirely onto our general fund, which is supported by local property taxes.”
When securing a grant, a list of criteria must be met to obtain critical funding. If the criteria are not met, the funding eligibility is eliminated, which makes leveraging outside resources nearly impossible. Sousek said, “Locating supplemental funding sources to help communities control flooding is a high priority, and in most cases a necessity. Reliable revenue is needed to complete these projects, which often cost millions of dollars, while maximizing the efficient use of local tax dollars. We are working hard to manage this district like a private business, watching our bottom line and being responsible with the funding available.”
To provide an example, let’s look at the Battle Creek Watershed Plan and Environmental Assessment, which was initiated to secure potential options for funding to remediate flooding concerns. The LENRD is working with stakeholders to address flooding issues in and around the City of Battle Creek. Sousek said, “Without the possible access to the federal funds, paying for a recommended project would mean that our property tax asking authority would be pushed to the maximum level of 4.5066 cents per $100 of valuation for 7 years or more.” When examining the amount of revenue generated by the LENRD’s portion of the total property tax levy this would calculate to approximately $135.20 in taxes for a $300,000 house (currently, at 2.3236 cents per $100, a $300,000 house would have a tax assessment of $69.70). If you own 160 acres of irrigated farmland, at the assessed value of $5,375 per acre, the taxes would be $199.83, using the 2021 levy rate. With an increase in the tax levy, to support unfunded projects, the taxes would be around $387.57 for those same 160 acres. Sousek said, “We can go that route, but we would have our local tax dollars tied up in one project until the financial obligations have been repaid and if an emergency arises during those years, we will not have the financial resources to help any other communities or landowners in our district. Our levy would be at its max.”
Yet another example of the efficient use of local property taxes involves community partnerships. During the flood of 2010, flooding caused significant damage along the Elkhorn River, and caused the collapse of a railroad bridge which spanned the river just west of Norfolk, which negatively impacted area businesses and industry. In 2017, the LENRD board approved an interlocal agreement to move forward with a bank stabilization project to protect the railroad and US Highway 81 from future flood events. The bank stabilization project brought together public and private partners, including: the Madison County Railroad Transportation Safety District, Nebraska Central Railroad, Nucor, Vulcraft, Elkhorn Valley Ethanol, Norfolk Iron & Metal, along with the LENRD, all sharing the cost which will provide economic benefits for the entire region and saving local property taxes in the process.
“Our district is always working to limit the impact of local property taxes by offsetting the costs of our programs and projects through any option possible. This strategy allows us to stretch our dollars farther, which leaves money in the pockets of residents who contribute to our local economy. Even with property valuations increasing, our responsibility is to the local taxpayer and working diligently to maintain a low budget footprint,” said Sousek. “Keep in mind that we are just one taxing authority out of a handful who generate revenue from property taxes.” On average, the LENRD accounts for approximately 1.5% of your total property taxes.
Sousek said, “Nebraska’s NRDs have been focused on protecting our future for 50 years, working diligently on the responsibilities given to them by the Nebraska Legislature. Our goal is to accomplish more with less use of our local property taxes.”
Nebraska Farm Bureau Asks President Biden to Bolster the Administration’s Agricultural Trade Policy
Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Board of Directors recently wrote to President Joe Biden expressing concern over the lack of action on trade policy initiatives, as well as vacant senior agricultural trade positions which still lack candidates to fill them.
“Trade is vitally important to the economic future of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families, typically accounting for 30 percent of Nebraska’s total agricultural receipts. However, the administration’s lack of action on a number of important outstanding trade issues, as well the unfilled senior agricultural trade positions, are as troubling as they are disappointing,” said Mark McHargue, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau.
Since taking office in January 2021, only a handful of agricultural trade policy actions have been announced including additional reforms to the U.S. beef trade relationship with Japan. Ongoing trade policy concerns including significant continuing issues with China, expanding other international marketing opportunities, and reforming the World Trade Organization all remain virtually untouched.
“We would be remised if we did not thank the administration for its efforts in helping secure a win in further reforming Japan’s beef trade relationship with the United States. However, more must be added to this accomplishments list as other nations continue to grow economic and geopolitical influence through trade policy and trade agreements as our nation sits on the preverbal sidelines,” McHargue said.
Also, of concern is filling key agricultural trade positions within the federal government. To date, the positions of Chief Agriculture Negotiator in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as well as the Undersecretary for Trade and the U.S. Department of Agriculture remain unfilled and without nominees.
“I urge President Biden to do all he can to fill those key positions with individuals who understand the complexities of agricultural trade and will work with farmers, ranchers, and agricultural organizations to advance a robust trade agenda in the months ahead. Trade is not a political issue. It’s a foundational issue that serves as the basis for our modern economy,” McHargue said.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau expressed its commitment to work with the president to help expand the economic wellbeing of Nebraska’s farm and ranch families through new and expanded trade opportunities.
Truth in Advertising - "Product of USA" Label Should Mean Exactly That
Today, Senator Carol Blood who represents District 3 in the Nebraska legislature announced that the Legislative Resolution LR284 that she presented to the legislature this session was passed with 39 votes on April 12, 2022 and signed shortly thereafter by the President/Speaker of the legislature. The intent of LR284 is to encourage the Nebraska Legislature to support an objective review of the "Product of U.S.A." label by the USDA and support any future actions to restrict the scope of use in a way that is beneficial for cattle producers and consumers and is trade compliant. American consumers rely on food labeling for truthful, meaningful information about retail food purchases. If a label says “Product of the USA” they assume that the meat they are placing in their grocery cart was actually raised here in the United States, and not another country as has been happening. Blood feels that the legislature should support initiatives to prevent misleading and deceptive practices that negatively affect United States Cattle producers and drive down prices for the cattle producers while increasing the profits for the meatpacking industry. LR284 is in support of these efforts.
Blood shared that, "Agriculture is the #1 industry in Nebraska and cattle production is the largest segment of this industry. Ag drives our economy and with that comes over 6.5 billion in cattle sales each year. This industry clearly impacts all Nebraskans whether they are meat eaters or not. We all know that Nebraska has more cattle than we do people. As policymakers in Nebraska, we need to support measures that will protect our beloved beef industry as participants in a global market."
Nebraska has the top three beef cow counties in the U.S., including the nation’s No. 1 cow county – Cherry County, with nearly 166,000 cows. Custer County is No. 2 (100,000) and Holt County is No. 3 (99,000). The cattle industry is clearly an important part of our culture and economy, and it is important to support initiatives that will prioritize better, more honest practices in the beef industry.
"This resolution has widespread support from the Ag community," Blood added." The resolution was supported by the Nebraska Farmers Union; Nebraska Cattlemen; Nebraska Corn Growers Association; Nebraska Farm Bureau; Nebraska Pork Producers Association and the Independent Cattlemen of Nebraska. It's important that we show our farmers, ranchers, and producers that we prioritize their needs as they give so very much to our state. "
Copies of the resolution will be sent to Nebraska's Federal Representatives as well as the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service.
Distillers Grains Technology Council hosts 26th annual symposium in Omaha, May 11-12
The Distillers Grains Technology Council, administered at Iowa State University, will highlight the latest in research and practice for industries that produce and use distillers grains at its 26th annual symposium, May 11-12, 2022, in Omaha, Nebraska.
The symposium will provide state-of-the-art information and will discuss key issues related to expanding markets for distillers grains, supply chain management, processing technologies and government regulations.
“We’re pleased to be back together again in person, as a forum for industry leaders to discuss the technologies, ingredients, processes and approaches to utilizing cereal grains for fermentation into alcohol, and on the properties, value and uses of the nonfermentable co-products, known as distillers grains,” said Kurt Rosentrater, executive director of the Distillers Grains Technology Council and an associate professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering at Iowa State.
New technologies for distillers grains are being developed to expand use of this resource beyond livestock and poultry feed into markets such as cellulosic ethanol, biochemicals, pet foods, fish foods and other value-added materials.This year’s symposium will features presentations that include a focus on topics, including:
Sales and marketing trends for distillers grains
New uses and processes, from pet foods to bioenergy
Sustainability and life-cycle analyses for DGTC products
Managing risks, testing and analytics for feed products
News from DGTC committees and initiatives
The event will take place at the Marriott Hotel, in Omaha’s downtown Capitol District. It begins Wednesday, May 11, with a buffet breakfast at 7:00 a.m., and the program starting at 8 a.m. The symposium ends Thursday, May 12, at 3:45 p.m. A networking reception will be held Monday evening from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Additional activities include axe throwing and a brewery/distillery tour. All sessions will be held in person.
The council was founded in 1945 as the Distillers Feed Research Council to assist the beverage distilling industry in developing uses for their non-fermentable waste materials. The nonprofit also serves other related industries, businesses and affiliated organizations. In 2013, the DGTC relocated to the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at Iowa State University.
Find more details and registration information at https://distillersgrains.org/symposium/.
Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference Is May 18
Record high commodity prices, crop inputs and land values are topics that will drive discussion at the 94th annual Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference, May 18 in Ames.
The average acre of Iowa farmland increased nearly 30% last year, according to results of the Iowa State University Land Value Survey, released in November. Many variables continue to change in today’s agricultural landscape and will be part of the discussion.
Planting corn.This year’s conference will be offered in person at Iowa State University’s Scheman Building from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., as well as virtually via Zoom. The in-person registration fee is $150 and the virtual option costs $175.
“This year’s program will examine several current issues in rural property management, appraisal, and sales and purchases, as well as agricultural policy,” said Wendong Zhang, associate professor in economics and extension economist at Iowa State. “We have lined up a dozen soil land management and land valuation professionals to address these issues.”
A half-dozen current issues and their implications to soil management and land valuation will be discussed. The topics include the U.S. and global agricultural economy outlook, a panel discussion on farmland and equipment values, a weather outlook and its impacts on agricultural production, the skyrocketing fertilizer and other input costs, a panel discussion on conservation easements and land trusts, and an agricultural market outlook focusing on crops.
The conference offers networking opportunities for professionals who have an interest in agricultural land, land management and land valuation. Additionally, participants have the opportunity through an online survey before the conference to “gaze into their crystal balls,” and will be asked to provide their estimates of future land values in Iowa and corn and soybean prices via an online survey distributed before the conference.
Sponsored by Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and ISU Extension and Outreach, the Soil Management and Land Valuation Conference is intended for farm managers, rural appraisers, real estate brokers and others interested in the land market in Iowa.
This is the longest running conference at Iowa State in both research and extension, and 2022 will mark the 94th annual meeting in this series. The conference is intended for anyone who has an interest in agricultural land, land management and land valuation. The program is planned each year by the ISU Extension and Outreach economics team within Iowa State’s Department of Economics.
Organizers are applying for 6.5 hours of real estate continuing education credits from the Iowa Real Estate Commission, and at least 6 (possibly 7) hours of appraiser continuing education credits from the Real Estate Appraiser Examining Board, respectively. There will also be three $50 gift card giveaway opportunities for the participants throughout the day.
Other presenters from Iowa State will include Chad Hart, professor in economics and extension grain markets specialist; and Bobby Martens, associate professor and agricultural supply chain specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.
Register online at https://www.regcytes.extension.iastate.edu/smlv/register/.
USDA to Host Listening Session on Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program Development
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will host a cattle industry listening session to inform the development of a Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program. The session will be held on Thursday, April 21, 2022, from 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. CT. Interested stakeholders can participate virtually or in person at the USDA National Grain Center located at 10383 North Ambassador Drive, Kansas City, Mo. 64153.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022 directed AMS to create a Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program to increase market transparency for cattle producers. This listening session provides an open forum for industry stakeholders to share their feedback and help identify expectations for the Pilot Program. The intent of this session is to hear from industry, and as such there will not be time for a discussion or questions. AMS is specifically interested in insights on the following questions:
- What information should a Cattle Contracts Library include to be most helpful to cattle marketers?
- What concerns do you have with USDA releasing a Cattle Contracts Library?
- What format should be used to present the information contained in a Cattle Contracts Library?
During the session, AMS will provide an overview of the Cattle Contracts Library Pilot Program, then participants will be given an opportunity to provide feedback. Given the short notice and as an extension of this session, AMS will accept written comments through April 28, 2022. Written feedback can be submitted to Wash.LPGMN@usda.gov. All written feedback and a recording of the session will be posted on the AMS website.
Space is limited and each industry association is asked to send only one or two representatives. For virtual attendees, the meeting will be broadcasted live as a webinar. Please register in advance at: https://www.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_QKvnrWIlTNevadyBpFbuTw. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email with additional instructions. AMS will closely monitor the COVID-19 Community Level and make any adjustments prior to the meeting following Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance for public meetings. For additional information, contact Michael Sheats, Livestock, Poultry, and Grain Market News Director, at 202-690-3145.
Land Prices Up 20 Percent Since the First of the Year
Randy Dickhut, Senior Vice President, Farmers National Company
The stronger land prices of late 2021 have continued higher during the first months of 2022. After a calmer period at the start of the year; the land market remained firmer. Sale prices took another jump higher as a result of the outbreak of war in Ukraine and on-going inflation fears. Farmers saw higher commodity prices and investors wanted a low-risk inflation hedging investment which together propelled the competition for good cropland.
Recent Farmers National Company auction sales demonstrate the strength in the land market so far in 2022. In February, Farmers National Company sold six tracts of Western Indiana land comprising 550 acres for $16,600 per acre. In early March, four tracts of Eastern Illinois land totaling 320 acres sold between $19,100 to $19,700 per acre. At the end of March, a company auction saw three tracts of Central Illinois land sell for $20,500 to $21,500 per acre. In the fall of 2021, prime Illinois farmland was selling in the range of $16,000 plus per acre. Twenty percent higher puts top selling prices today in the $19,000 to $20,000 range.
Land prices are going up in other grain belt states too. A Farmers National Company online auction set what probably is a record land price for the state of North Dakota at $12,500 per acre. Sales in nearby South Dakota and Minnesota have gone over $12,000 to $15,000 per acre for good cropland. A good cropland farm in Northwest Missouri recently sold at a Farmers National Company auction for $14,600 per acre, far above expectations.
These are just a few examples of the strength in prices for good farmland since the first of the year. With the advent of spring planting and tending of the new crop, farmland sales typically slow for a few months. What happens with the Ukrainian situation, grain prices, oil prices, food supplies, and inflation will determine where land prices go over the next six months.
April 2022 Dairy Market Report Now Available
U.S. milk production lagging behind year-ago levels, combined with robust demand for dairy domestically and overseas, are driving milk prices toward record highs, even as inventories remain relatively balanced. Higher feed costs continue to eat into farmer margins.
U.S milk production was 1.7 percent lower than a year earlier in January, but this moderated to just under one percent lower in February. Cheese production and seasonably increasing ice cream and frozen dairy products are claiming a growing portion of available milk at the expense of butter and dry skim milk, the traditional supply balancing products.
Domestic commercial use during the first months of the year was robust for butter, all major types of cheese, and total milk equivalent, both fat and skim solids. Meanwhile, U.S. dairy exports rebounded in February to 16.6 percent of U.S. milk solids production, following two months at 14 percent or below. Wholesale dairy product prices continue to increase, but some retail prices are increasing much faster, particularly for fluid milk and, just recently, butter.
U.S. average milk prices are expected to reach roughly $27/cwt during the second half of 2022, according to current futures. However, feed costs will likely reach the same high levels they did during the drought period of 2012-2013. That will restrain DMC margins, but still at rates above the maximum coverage level of $9.50/cwt.
See the full report here: https://www.nmpf.org/dairy-market-report-april-2022/.
Sifferath Promoted To USGC Vice President
Cary Sifferath has been promoted from senior director of global programs to vice president at the U.S. Grains Council.
“Cary’s 28 years of experience at the Council will serve as a steady pillar for the entire organization as we move forward in ever dynamic markets and geopolitical situations affecting trade of the products we market globally,” said USGC President and CEO Ryan LeGrand in a statement released today. “The depth of knowledge on international markets and trade that Cary brings to the executive department will serve us all well.”
Sifferath was initially hired as manager of international operations for Asia in 1993. His trajectory with the Council then took him to the Council’s Kuala Lumpur office and began what would be 19 years spent running four of the Council’s overseas offices, in Malaysia, Japan, China and Tunisia. Still managing the Tunisia office, he moved back to Washington in 2014 and became senior director of global programs in the summer of 2015.
Over his long tenure, Sifferath has developed a vision for the Council’s work, and he looks forward to implementing that in his new role.
“I look forward to working with our board, our members and our global staff to bring my experience in market development and global operations into my new role as vice president,” Sifferath said.
“Leadership will be vital for the Council as global trade policies and trade flows are continuing to change and the Council needs to stay on the leading edge of policies and trade flows changes as they affect exports of feed grains in all forms.”
As vice president, Sifferath will supervise all overseas offices and operations regarding the promotion of U.S. corn, sorghum, barley, co-products and ethanol for the Council.
Looking back over his time at the Council, Sifferath remembers working through events including the Southeast Asian economic crisis, the Arab Spring in North Africa, U.S. ethanol’s evolution around the world and the growth of fledging markets, like Vietnam, into thriving ones.
“To be involved on the ground floor and to see what kind of market it has become today, that’s something that’s been a strong part of my experience at the Council,” he said. “And you always think, where is the next South Korea, where is the next Vietnam, is it Myanmar, Bangladesh, Tanzania, another country?”
The Council congratulates Sifferath on his new role as he brings his vision to its mission of developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.
Changes to WASDE starting in May
Starting with the May 12, 2022 release (issue No. 624), the following changes will be made to the World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report:
The sugar WASDE table (page 16) will have a separate line listing under “Imports” for High-tier tariff imports. The new line will appear directly below the line for imports from Mexico. Footnote 5 which once referenced imports from Mexico; and high-tier tariff sugar and syrups not otherwise specified will be eliminated.
The U.S. Dairy Supply and Use table (page 33): The table will remove CCC Donations as a separate category and include all donations as part of domestic use. As such, stocks, imports, exports, and use will reflect total rather than commercial use and the headings will be adjusted accordingly.
Sample tables will be available by Friday April 22 on the WASDE website.
The World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) is prepared and released by the World Agricultural Outlook Board (WAOB). The report is released monthly, and provides annual forecasts for supply and use of U.S. and world wheat, rice, coarse grains, oilseeds, and cotton. The report also covers U.S. supply and use of sugar, meat, poultry eggs and milk, as well as Mexico’s supply and use of sugar. The WAOB chairs the Interagency Commodity Estimates Committees (ICECs), which include analysts from key USDA agencies who compile and interpret information from USDA and other domestic and foreign sources to produce the report.
Tuesday, April 19, 2022
Monday April 18 Crop Progress + Ag News
NEBRASKA CROP PROGRESS AND CONDITION