Efficient irrigation management can help reduce nutrient leaching
Irrigation and nutrient management tools can be used to improve yields, conserve energy and water, and reduce nutrient leaching to protect our groundwater.
“One way to improve irrigation efficiency is to implement soil moisture sensor technology into your operation,” said Curt Becker, Projects Manager for the Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD). “The soil moisture data recorded by the sensors will show changes over time and will support producers’ decisions, to only irrigate when necessary, during wet or dry times,” said Becker.
Soil moisture sensors measure the amount of water in the soil profile. These sensors are placed at predetermined locations and depths in the field and are effective management tools to help decide when and when not to irrigate. The goal with using soil moisture sensors for in-season irrigation management is to only apply what the crop needs, while leaving storage space in the soil profile to capture precipitation.
Becker said, “It’s important to leave some room in the soil profile for rainfall. Rainfall can push nitrogen through the soil profile much easier when the soil profile is saturated. You don’t want to dry out the profile, but there is a happy medium that doesn’t affect your yield and allows room for rain.”
Excess irrigation can potentially cause further nitrate leaching, and according to recent information collected by the University of Nebraska the penalty is 5-8 lbs. of nitrogen loss per inch of root zone drainage. This amount can go up or down depending on soil-type, available nutrients, and precipitation.
The LENRD has 50% cost-share available to help producers wanting to purchase soil moisture probes.
Chemigation is another beneficial management tool that can help growers with the timing and placement of the nutrients on their crops. By utilizing the irrigation application equipment as the delivery mechanism, this program is designed to spoon-feed fertilizer to the crop at the right time, reducing fertilizer losses and the risk of nitrogen leaching to the groundwater. It also eliminates the need for additional passes over the field with fertilizer application equipment, which prevents soil compaction and saves valuable fuel and maintenance cost on equipment.
The LENRD has financial assistance available for landowners or farm operators who have not previously engaged in the chemigation/fertigation program. Becker continued, “This program introduces landowners to and provides a one-time cost-assistance for equipment needed for chemigation (split applications) of fertilizer through irrigation systems.”
Another benefit of chemigation is that, in most cases, materials can be applied regardless of weather or field conditions. Eligible components for the 50% cost-share include the mainline check valve, fertilizer injection pump, and/or the chemical injection valve.
Another way we can carefully manage the impact that various practices have on the land and water is through deep soil sampling. Becker explained, “This practice can help producers account for the nitrogen already available within the soil profile.”
Soil samples that are used to determine fertilizer application rates usually come from the top 4 to 8 inches. However, there are times when deep soil sampling is beneficial and necessary, especially in a nitrogen management program. Deep soil sampling (24 to 36 inches) can monitor the movement of nitrogen below the topsoil.
Deep soil sampling can also verify if any residual nitrate is available. Becker concluded, “With fertilizer prices increasing, this practice is one thing farmers can do to help reduce nitrogen costs. The results of these soil tests can be used to offset some of the nitrogen applied during the next growing season and minimize environmental impacts, as we all work together to preserve water quality.”
Multiple years of data is critical when interpreting the long-term trends in your field. The LENRD can work with producers to share up to 50% of costs associated with this practice.
Variable rate irrigation (VRI) is also used to assist in protecting our groundwater. This innovative technology enables a producer to tailor water application to varying crop needs across the field. Most fields are not uniform because of natural variations in soil type and topography.
Becker said, “When water is applied uniformly to a field, some areas may be overwatered, while other areas of the same field may be too dry. VRI technology gives irrigators an automated method to vary rates on the individual management zones within a field. Using this technology can help reduce irrigation withdrawals, while still maintaining a well-irrigated crop. This allows for more efficient use of water, which is always important, but even more so in times of drought.”
Some of the benefits of adapting a VRI system include increased crop yields, less leaching and runoff of applied nutrients, and disease problems can be reduced by eliminating over-application when irrigation systems overlap.
The LENRD has 50% cost-share available to assist producers with establishing a VRI system. Interested? Contact the LENRD office in Norfolk today or visit your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office for more information or to apply.
Katja Koehler-Cole Joins ENREEC as Soil Health Management Extension Educator
The University of Nebraska Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center (ENREEC) is pleased to announce that Katja Koehler-Cole joined the ENREEC team in a new position as soil health management extension educator. She began this new role March 28, 2022 and is officed at the ENREEC Christenson Building.
As a member of the University’s Water and Integrated Cropping Systems (WICS) team, Koehler-Cole will develop and deliver extension programming focused on soil health management practices throughout the state of Nebraska.
“We are excited to have Katja join the team at ENREEC,” ENREEC Director Doug Zalesky said. “She will provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise on soil health, not only in eastern Nebraska but all across the state.”
Koehler-Cole first joined the University of Nebraska community as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. She earned her PhD from University of Nebraska-Lincoln School of Natural Resources in 2015. She has been a research assistant professor since December 2018.
Many growers are familiar with Koehler-Cole’s research, focusing on cover crops to improve soil health in cropping systems across Nebraska. Her research has been featured in CropWatch and Market Journal and she has presented at field days, such as Soybean Management Field Days.
“Nebraska farmers are well aware of the importance of soil health, for example we are leading the nation in the adoption of no-till practices,” Koehler-Cole said. “I am looking forward to supporting our producers’ efforts in the area of soil health, and will also work to raise awareness of this important issue with other stakeholders and the public.”
NEBRASKA CROP PRODUCTION REPORT
Based on June 1 conditions, Nebraska's 2022 winter wheat crop is forecast at 36.9 million bushels, down 10% from last year's crop, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average yield is forecast at 41 bushels per acre, down 8 bushels from last year. Acreage to be harvested for grain is estimated at 900,000 acres, up 60,000 acres from last year. This would be 92% of the planted acres, compared with last year's 91% harvested.
US Winter Wheat Production Up 1 Percent from May Forecast
Winter wheat production is forecast at 1.18 billion bushels, up 1 percent from the May 1 forecast but down 7 percent from 2021. As of June 1, the United States yield is forecast at 48.2 bushels per acre, up 0.3 bushel from last month but down 2.0 bushels from last year's average yield of 50.2 bushels per acre. Hard Red Winter production, at 582 million bushels, is down 1 percent from last month. Soft Red Winter, at 358 million bushels, is up 1 percent from the May forecast. White Winter, at 242 million bushels, is up 5 percent from last month. Of the White Winter production, 15.6 million bushels are Hard White and 226 million bushels are Soft White.
UNL to host webinar on storm damage recovery, options for crop producers
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability and Nebraska Extension’s Hail Know team will present a webinar offering strategies and options for crop producers who are dealing with storm damage in their fields.
“After the Storm: Managing Crop Damage” will be held from noon to 1 p.m. Central time on June 16.
Following recent widespread storm damage throughout Nebraska, experts in agronomy and agricultural economics from Nebraska Extension's Hail Know team will cover options for dealing with damaged commodities from a production perspective and discuss the role of crop insurance.
Presentation contributors will include: Justin McMechan, a crop protection and cropping systems specialist; Nathan Mueller, a water and integrated cropping systems educator; Jenny Rees, a water and integrated cropping systems educator; Cory Walters, a grain marketing specialist; and Jessica Groskopf, an agricultural economist.
The webinar is part of the Center for Agricultural Profitability’s weekly series. Register at https://cap.unl.edu/webinars.
Nebraska to Host National Nitrogen Use Efficiency Workshop Aug. 1–3
Scientists and graduate students from institutions around the Midwest and abroad can attend the free 2022 Nitrogen Use Efficiency Workshop Aug. 1–3 hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Department of Agronomy and Horticulture and Department of Biological Systems Engineering.
The theme for this year’s workshop is “Demystifying Water and Nitrogen Management with Dynamic Solutions.”
The NUE Workshop is about networking and exchanging innovative ideas around nitrogen, which remains a huge priority among academia, industry and stakeholders. This workshop represents an opportunity for graduate students and scientists to network with industry representatives and establish collaborations. Graduate students will have the opportunity to compete in a poster presentation competition and the data hackathon team competition.
“Many of the attendees will not be familiar with water management concepts and tools, so we want to feature these,” Laila Puntel, assistant professor and event coordinator, said. “We want to promote the moving forward on N management. New technologies will be discussed, and active interdisciplinary collaboration will be encouraged.”
This event began in 1996 hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and the University of Oklahoma and has been held annually apart from 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic. Since 2003, the group hosting has included most Midwest universities in the Corn Belt. Nebraska last hosted this event in 2004.
Participants have included individuals from Canada, Argentina, Mexico, Australia, Germany and Brazil. Originally designed as a workshop, discussions and presentations are built around sensor-based methodologies that can increase NUE in cereal production systems. Both engineering and agronomic problems continue to be addressed by this group that hopes to deliver “by-plant” N management.
The NUE Workshop team of Puntel, Guillermo Balboa, research assistant professor in agronomy and horticulture; Joe Luck, associate director of the Eastern Nebraska Research, Extension and Education Center and associate professor in biological systems engineering; James Schepers, emeritus professor of soil and water sciences; and Laura Thompson, associate extension educator, have been planning the event for more than a year.
“The upcoming event in Nebraska is unique because it offers the opportunity to highlight the essential role of water management when it comes to N management decisions,” Balboa said. “The goal is to facilitate the discussion around strategies for the effective reduction of N losses to the environment, critical for the state of Nebraska and beyond.”
The team hopes the workshop can help to increase the awareness of the existing technology for nitrogen management and discuss the weaknesses and strengths of the existing tools.
“Collaboration among stakeholders could result in innovative methods to translate science into practice that can be utilized by corn producers in Nebraska,” Thompson said.
The themes for this NUE workshop will be:
Using Crop Modeling to Demystify the N Cycle.
Soil Health, NUE Indicators and Biologicals: How do we Manage N in a C-Centric Era?
Using Weather Uncertainty to Promote More In-season N Applications.
N Tool Fusion: Are we Resolving N x Weather Ambiguities and Closing the Gaps?
Innovations for N Management: A Push Out of the Box – Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
The team said they are thankful for the institutions and companies who are promoting and sponsoring this event, allowing the workshop to be free for all attendees.
Go to the workshop homepage https://agronomy.unl.edu/nitrogen-use-efficiency-workshop for more information and to register.
Iowa Swine Day Is June 30 in Ames
The 2022 Iowa Swine Day program will provide widely regarded speakers sharing information on topics vital to today's pork producer.
The 11th annual event will be held on Thursday, June 30, at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames, with registration at 7:30 a.m. and the program at 8:30 a.m. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is an event supporter.
The four plenary session speakers will set the learning stage.
Aaron Thomas, of Aplington-Parkersburg, will talk about opportunities and platforms for overcoming adversity and Ryan Brook, of the University of Saskatchewan, will share his research on the wild boar population. Karl Skold, of JBS USA, will present information on global market dynamics and impacts on US pork production, followed by Peter Zeihan, of Zeihan, on Geopolitics, who will give his thoughts on agriculture at the end of the world.
The afternoon program is organized into four concurrent sessions: foreign animal disease in Iowa, the evolving labor force, improving pig livability and Iowa State University research. Each session has four separate topics and attendees can choose one concurrent session or choose from any session and topic.
The post-program barbecue social returns this year, sponsored by TechMix, AB Vista and Lynch Livestock. Following the conclusion of the program at 4:30 p.m., the social will be held outdoors just south of the Scheman Building. This year's barbecue will feature special guest speaker Tork Whisler, partner at TDF Media and co-host of This’ll Do Farm.
Cost is $65, and students may attend at no charge with the registration deadline of midnight, June 23. No walk-in registrations are accepted.
The full program, registration forms and information and directions to the venue are available on the Iowa Swine Day conference website http://www.aep.iastate.edu/iowaswineday/.
Iowa Swine Day is hosted by the Iowa Pork Industry Center with support provided by the Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
IPIC was established in 1994 as a coordinated effort of the colleges of Agriculture (now Agriculture and Life Sciences) and Veterinary Medicine at ISU. Its mission is to promote efficient pork production technologies in Iowa, maintain Iowa's pork industry leadership and strengthen rural development efforts. IPIC focuses its efforts on programs that are integral and complementary to ISU Extension and Outreach. Through IPIC, Iowa producers receive accurate and timely information to make their operations more efficient and profitable.
NPPC, Farm Bureau File Prop. 12 Brief With Supreme Court
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) today filed their initial brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in their case against California’s Proposition 12, which bans the sale of pork not produced according to the state’s production standards. The high court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case this fall. Approved in 2018, Prop. 12 prohibits the sale in California of pork from hogs born to sows raised in pens in any state or foreign country that do not comply with California’s highly prescriptive housing standards. It applies to any uncooked pork sold in the state, whether produced there or outside the state’s borders. Nearly all pork currently produced in the United States fails to meet California’s arbitrary and unscientific standards. (Although it took effect Jan. 1, 2022, a state court delayed Prop. 12’s implementation for 180 days after final regulations for it are issued.)
In their brief, NPPC and AFBF argue that Prop. 12 violates the U.S. Constitution’s Dormant Commerce Clause by being “impermissibly extraterritorial” — that is, regulating out-of-state commerce — and failing to balance state health and safety concerns against the initiative’s negative effects on interstate commerce. The agricultural organizations contend that because California imports 99.87% of its pork, the practical effect of Prop. 12 is to regulate wholly out-of-state commerce. They also point out that the law’s human health claim — that Prop. 12’s requirements promote food safety — is “so patently false that California has declined to defend it.”
The Supreme Court is hearing the case on appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, which last July upheld a lower court ruling against the NPPC-AFBF lawsuit. The appeals court found that despite the organizations plausibly alleging Prop. 12 “will have dramatic upstream effects and require pervasive changes to the pork industry nationwide,” 9th Circuit precedent didn’t allow the case to continue. That precedent, however, runs counter to numerous Supreme Court decisions and is in conflict with nearly every other federal circuit court. On the evening of June 9, the California Department of Food and Agriculture issued an additional set of revisions to its proposed rules implementing Proposition 12. These revisions are open for public comment for 15 days.
Smithfield Foods to Close Vernon, CA Facility; Reduce Hog Production in Western Region
Smithfield Foods, Inc. today announced that it will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region. The company will decrease its sow herd in Utah and is exploring strategic options to exit its farms in Arizona and California. Smithfield harvests only company-owned hogs in Vernon. Smithfield will service customers in California with its Farmer John brand and other brands and products from existing facilities in the Midwest.
Smithfield is taking these steps due to the escalating cost of doing business in California.
Smithfield is providing transition assistance to all impacted employees, including relocation options to other company facilities and farms as well as retention incentives to ensure business continuity until early next year. The company reached an agreement this week with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers as part of its plan to close the Vernon facility.
“We are grateful to our team members in the Western region for their dedication and invaluable contributions to our mission. We are committed to providing financial and other transition assistance to employees impacted by this difficult decision,” said Smithfield Chief Operating Officer Brady Stewart.
Smithfield provides more than 40,000 American jobs at 46 facilities and nearly 500 company-owned farms.
U.S. Department of Agriculture to Invest up to $65 Million in Pilot Program to Strengthen Food Supply Chain, Reduce Irregular Migration, and Improve Working Conditions for Farmworkers
President Biden joined leaders from across the Western Hemisphere to present the Los Angeles Declaration on Migration and Protection at the Summit of the Americas. The Declaration seeks to mobilize the entire region around strong actions to bring the historic migration crisis under control. The Declaration is organized around three key pillars: (1) stabilization; (2) legal pathways and protections; and (3) humane migration management. In preparation for the Summit, the United States and other countries in the region developed a suit of bold new migration-related deliverables.
The full economic contribution of the food and agriculture industries is estimated to be nearly $7 trillion. The industries account for nearly one-fifth of the country’s economic activity, directly contributing $2.7 trillion to the U.S. gross domestic product and supporting more than 40 million jobs. The key to the success of these industries is millions of farmworkers. The COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the importance of these workers and their contributions to our nation’s food security, and simultaneously highlighted challenges of labor instability, irregular migration, and the need for increased labor protections in order to increase the resiliency of our food system and supply chain.
To address these challenges, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in coordination with the other federal agencies will develop a pilot program utilizing up to $65 million in American Rescue Plan funding to provide support for agricultural employers in implementing robust health and safety standards to promote a safe, healthy work environment for both U.S. workers and workers hired from Northern Central American countries under the seasonal H-2A visa program.
The program will aim to improve the resiliency of our food and agricultural supply chain and advance several major Administration priorities:
Driving U.S. economic recovery and safeguarding domestic food security by addressing current labor shortages in agriculture. Even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, agricultural employers were struggling to secure a stable workforce. The pandemic has only exacerbated this problem, threatening our domestic capacity to produce a safe and robust food supply. This pilot program will help address this shortage by expanding the potential pool of workers.
Reducing irregular migration through the expansion of legal pathways. The Biden-Harris Administration has taken numerous steps to address the elevated levels of irregular migration from Northern Central America. The H-2A visa program offers a lawful pathway for individuals from these countries to come to the United States to engage in temporary or seasonal agricultural work. An effective H-2A visa program is critical to the resiliency of the food and agricultural supply chain. This pilot program will aim to address challenges that both workers and employers face in utilizing the program.
Improving working conditions for farmworkers. Strong working conditions are critical to the resiliency of the food and agricultural supply chain. Through this pilot program, USDA will support efforts to improve working conditions for both U.S. and H-2A workers and ensure that H-2A workers are not subjected to unfair recruitment practices.
USDA will provide opportunities for stakeholder engagement as the program is developed. USDA will also partner with the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) through a technical assistance cooperative agreement to inform USDA of the challenges faced by agricultural workers and to inform development of the pilot program. UFW will work with relevant stakeholders, including farmers, farmworkers, farmworker advocates, and unions, to ensure that the agency benefits from a wide range of views. After the consultation and program development phase, USDA intends to launch a competitive pilot program ahead of the growing season in early 2023.
NFU Delivers Sustainability and Fairness for Farmers Messages to the 2022 World Farmers' Organization General Assembly
Earlier this week, NFU President Rob Larew participated in the 2022 General Assembly of the World Farmers' Organisation (WFO) in Budapest, Hungary. The WFO General Assembly convened farmers' leaders from all over the world, representatives of international organizations, governments, and the private sector. During the course of the three-day event, attendees met to share and exchange visions and ideas on challenges and opportunities for the agricultural sector at the global level.
Larew was a panelist for a discussion of the sustainability of the livestock sector and how farmers and ranchers can contribute to climate solutions.
"It's been said, 'If you're not at the table, you're on the menu.'," Larew said. "In the case of livestock production and climate policy, if farmers and ranchers are not at the table, we're off the menu. Now is the time to engage and consider the ways that livestock agriculture can be a participant in the global effort against climate change."
Larew also brought the message of NFU's Fairness for Farmers campaign to the global stage, garnering a ringing endorsement of the effort to combat corporate monopolies in agriculture from President Theo de Jager of South Africa.
"Farmers and ranchers around the world have many different methods of production, crops, and perspectives. There are shared struggles, however, and monopolization of our markets is a problem everywhere," Larew said. "I am glad to share the message NFU has amplified in the U.S. through the Fairness for Farmers campaign and hope that we can work with our friends around the world to ensure farmers and ranchers have the ability to thrive."
NFU’s Fairness for Farmers campaign has brought the devastating impact of monopolies on family agriculture into the national, and now international, spotlight. Campaign priorities include addressing issues such as increased transparency and market competition, enforcement of competition laws, excessive costs for fertilizer, supply chain vulnerabilities, and increased farm equipment costs.
NCGA Now Accepting Applications for the 2022-2023 Leadership Academy Class
Are you interested in enhancing your leadership skills to help advance the priorities of our nation's corn growers? If so, apply today for NCGA’s Leadership Academy.
Leadership Academy brings together a diverse group of grower leaders. It focuses on various aspects of leadership training and key policy issues in a world with ever-changing consumer and environmental demands. The program is open to any NCGA member seeking to improve their leadership skills.
“Leadership Academy is an incredible opportunity for those looking to enhance their leadership skills and take a larger role in advocating for the corn industry,” said NCGA Chairman and Leadership Academy Alum John Linder. “Participating in Leadership Academy opened my eyes to the opportunities to better serve my state organization, the national organization and the entire corn sector.”
Leadership Academy consists of two sessions, one three-day program in St. Louis, Mo. (August 2022) and one in Washington, D.C. (January 2023). During the program, growers will gain insight into association management and how different leadership styles can come together in building an efficient organization. Media training and effective advocacy communications also play a key role in this program. We work with our grower leaders to take a more active role as spokespersons for their state and national corn organizations.
More detailed information about the program can be found online or by contacting Gaylen Holloway at email@example.com.
USDA Reopens the Comment Period for Proposed Rule to Reapportion Membership for the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is reopening the comment period for the proposed revisions to the makeup of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board. A proposed rule seeking comments on the proposed amendments was published in the Federal Register on September 21, 2021. The new deadline for interested parties to submit comments is July 25, 2022.
The proposal would modify the number of Dairy Board members in two of the board’s 12 geographic regions. If adopted, the proposal will increase Region 8 (Idaho) representation from two members to three members and will decrease Region 10 (Alabama, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) representation from two members to one member. The total number of domestic Dairy Board members will remain the same at 36, and the number of regions will remain the same at 12.
The Dairy Promotion and Research Order requires the Dairy Board to review the geographic distribution of milk production volume throughout the United States at least every five years but no more than every three years and, if warranted, to recommend to the Secretary a reapportionment of the regions to better reflect the geographic distribution of milk production volume in the United States.
The Dairy Board was established under the Dairy Production Stabilization Act of 1983, as amended, to develop and administer a coordinated program of promotion, research, and nutrition education. The 37-member Dairy Board (36 domestic members and one importer member) is authorized to design programs to strengthen the dairy industry’s position in domestic and foreign markets. The program is financed by a mandatory 15-cent per hundredweight assessment on all milk marketed commercially and a 7.5-cent per hundredweight assessment on milk, or equivalent thereof, on dairy products imported into the United States.
Written comments must be received on or before Sept. 21, 2022. Comments may be submitted through the Federal e-rulemaking portal at www.regulations.gov or emailed to Whitney.Rick@usda.gov. Comments should reference the document number AMS-DA-20-0060, the date of publication and the page number of the issue of the Federal Register. All comments submitted in response to this proposed rule will be included in the record and will be made available to the public.
Growth Energy Supports Nomination of Doug McKalip for Key USTR Position
Today, Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor released the following statement in response to the Biden Administration’s nomination of Doug McKalip as Chief Agricultural Negotiator in the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR).
“Growth Energy strongly supports President Biden’s nomination of Doug McKalip as USTR Chief Agricultural Negotiator,” said Skor. “A level playing field for international trade is vital to the success and growth of our American agriculture and biofuels industries, and Mr. McKalip knows this well after decades of experience in public service, including in his current role at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
“We urge a swift confirmation of Mr. McKalip so he can lead USTR’s efforts to support the large role our rural communities play in the global economy, particularly in keeping costs down at the pump and decarbonizing the transportation sector. Once confirmed, we look forward to working with Mr. McKalip to maintain and open new global export markets for America’s biofuel producers and farmers.”
U.S. Ag Tractor, Combine Sales Fall Below Five-Year Average in May 2022
U.S. ag tractor and combine monthly unit sales in May 2022 fell below the five-year average for the first time since March 2020, while Canadian sales remained above the line, according to the latest data from the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).
U.S. total farm tractor sales fell 14.5 percent for the month of May compared to 2021, while U.S. self-propelled combine sales for the month declined 12.7 percent to 315 units sold. The 100+ horsepower 2WD segment was once again the only growth sector in the U.S. market for the third month in a row, up 13.9 percent, indicating continued demand in row-crop agriculture, while mid-range tractors between 40 and 100 horsepower fell 16.4 percent, and the sub-40hp segment were down 15.9 percent. 4WD tractors took a bigger drop than their 2WD cousins, down 30.4 percent. Total farm tractor sales and combine sales are both down 14.2 percent year-to-date.
In Canada, unit sales fell 11.3 percent, despite 2WD units in the 40-100hp and 100+hp ranges, and 4WD tractors growing, led by 100+hp units up 21.8 percent. Total 2WD unit sales were down 11.6 percent due to a fall in sub-40hp units. Combine harvesters were down as well in Canada, falling 28.4 percent to 78 units sold. Year-to-date farm tractor unit sales are down a 8.6 percent in Canada, while harvesters are down 28.1 percent.
“Supply chain remains the primary issue in the ag equipment market right now,” said Curt Blades, senior vice president, industry sectors & product leadership at the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “Another thing to keep in mind, especially when comparing numbers year-over-year, is 2021 sales were significantly above historic trends.”