Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Tuesday July 5 Crop Progress + Ag News


For the week ending July 3, 2022, there were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 23% very short, 37% short, 39% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 26% very short, 33% short, 40% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 3% very poor, 9% poor, 26% fair, 51% good, and 11% excellent. Corn silking was 1%, near 2% last year, and behind 6% for the five-year average.

Soybean condition rated 4% very poor, 8% poor, 27% fair, 49% good, and 12% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 25%, behind 43% last year and 31% average.

Winter wheat condition rated 28% very poor, 17% poor, 38% fair, 15% good, and 2% excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 22%, ahead of 6% last year and 11% average.

Sorghum condition rated 1% very poor, 9% poor, 27% fair, 59% good, and 4% excellent. Sorghum headed was 4%, near 2% last year and 6% average.

Oats condition rated 13% very poor, 16% poor, 27% fair, 42% good, and 2% excellent. Oats headed was 95%, near 97% last year and 94% average.

Dry edible bean condition rated 0% very poor, 4% poor, 32% fair, 64% good, and 0% excellent. Dry edible beans emerged was 93%, near 95% last year.

Pasture and Range Report:

Pasture and range conditions rated 24% very poor, 32% poor, 31% fair, 12% good, and 1% excellent.


There was very little rain state-wide, resulting in 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 3, 2022, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Fieldwork activities included completing the first cutting of hay, side dressing, and crop spraying.

Topsoil moisture conditions rated 7 percent very short, 27 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions rated 7 percent very short, 25 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Corn began silking at 2 percent, 3 days behind last year and 4 days behind average. Corn condition rated 77 percent good to excellent.

Thirteen percent of soybeans were blooming, 9 days behind last year and 4 days behind average. Iowa’s soybean condition rating was 77 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-one percent of the oat crop was headed or beyond, 1 day behind last year. Twenty-three percent of oats were turning color, 6 days behind last year. Iowa’s oat condition was 79 percent good to excellent.

Ninety-five percent of the State’s first cutting of alfalfa hay has been completed and the second cutting was 23 percent complete. All Hay condition rated 69 percent good to excellent.

Pasture condition rated 58 percent good to excellent. Livestock were showing some stress due to heat and humidity.

Corn, Soybean Condition Ratings Continue to Fall for Week Ended July 3

U.S. corn and soybean conditions fell again last week as hot, dry weather in parts of the country put stress on crops, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress on Monday.

-- Crop development: 7% of corn was silking as of Sunday, July 3, according to NASS. That was up just 3 percentage points from the previous week and puts the crop 2 percentage points behind last year and 4 percentage points behind the five-year average.
-- Crop condition: 64% of corn was rated in good-to-excellent condition, down another 3 percentage points from 67% the previous week. The current rating is now equal to a year ago.

-- Crop development: 96% of soybeans had emerged nationwide as of Sunday, equal to the five-year average. Sixteen percent of soybeans were blooming, 6 percentage points behind the five-year average of 22%, and 3% of soybeans were setting pods, equal to both last year and the five-year average.
-- Crop condition: 63% of soybeans were rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 2 percentage points from 65% the previous week but still above last year's rating of 59% good to excellent at this time.

-- Harvest progress: 54% of the crop was harvested as of Sunday, 11 percentage points ahead of last year and 6 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 48%.
-- Crop condition: 31% of winter wheat remaining in fields was rated good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from the 30% the previous week but below last year's rating of 47%.

-- Crop development: 20% of the crop was headed, 46 percentage points behind last year's 66% and 37 percentage points behind the five-year average of 57%.
-- Crop condition: 66% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, up 7 percentage points from 59% the previous week and well above last year's rating of 16%.


In the Field Farm Tour: Scott and Pam Heinemann Farm

It’s time for another exciting and educational Ward Laboratories “In The Field” Farm Tour. This
year the theme is, “Food for Thought: Connection, collaboration, and conversation around ideas
for progressive farm management.”

The field day will be Wednesday, July 13 at Scott and Pam Heinemann’s farm located at 57116
849th Road; Winside, Neb. The day’s activities will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration and a
morning program at the Heinmann’s farm followed by lunch and an afternoon question and
answer session at the Winside Community Center located at 424 Main Street in Winside, Neb.
The event concludes at 2:30 p.m.

About the Field Day

Morning Location:
Scott & Pam Heinemann's farm.
57116 849th Rd
Windside, NE 68790

Lunch location and afternoon Q&A:
Winside Community Center:
424 Main Street
Winside, NE 68790

8:30 a.m. – Check-in and registration.
9 to 9:10 a.m. – Welcome
9:10-9:40 – Rain Fall Simulator
9:50 a.m. to 12:25 pm – work through stations:
1. Compost Tea, Jimmy Red Corn, & Milpa Garden
2. Soil Pit & Rainfall Simulator
3. Grazing area & cattle talks
12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Lunch at Winside Community Center
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – Wrap up with Q&A Session

*We will be applying for CCA Credits

Register at: or
by visiting


Nebraska livestock producers and meat processors continue to work diligently to strengthen the nation’s food supply. The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) will award approximately $9.8 million in Independent Processor Assistance Program Grants to support projects designed to improve and/or expand Nebraska’s meat processing capabilities. The money was designated for this program through Governor Ricketts’ recommendation to utilize a portion of Nebraska’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. NDA will begin accepting grant applications on July 5. Applications are available at and must be received by the Aug. 12, 2022, deadline.

“Nebraska is a leader in meat production and processing which is a vital part of our nation’s food supply,” said NDA Director Steve Wellman. “Our livestock producers and meat processors have already faced many unique challenges created by the pandemic, and yet they continue to find solutions to keep the food chain operating. These grants will help Nebraska meat processors implement projects that will benefit meat processing today and strengthen the industry for tomorrow.”

The Independent Processor Assistance Program Grants are available to new or existing meat processors to facilitate improvements, enhancements, or expansions that will increase harvest capacity and/or product throughput. Eligible processors must operate as either a USDA-FSIS facility or a federally regulated custom-exempt slaughter and processing facility, while also complying with federal regulations. To be eligible, existing operations must be domiciled in the State of Nebraska and be registered in good standing with the Secretary of State to conduct business in Nebraska. Additionally, the processing facility’s existing sales revenue must be less than $2.5 million, and it must employ fewer than 25 people.

Application information and frequently asked questions about the grants are available on NDA’s website at Individual grants could be awarded up to $80,000 for eligible expenses incurred after August 28, 2021. Recipients may not receive the entire amount of funds they request. Grants will be distributed in a series of rounds until funding is depleted. Previous recipients of grant funding will be eligible to apply in subsequent rounds, but preference will be given to applications not previously awarded funding. Completed applications may be submitted via email to or mailed to Nebraska Department of Agriculture, P.O. Box 94947, Lincoln, NE 68509. For additional questions, contact Breanna Wirth, NDA Legislative Coordinator, at 402-890-1509 or by the email listed above.

Ricketts Announces Appointments to Boards and Commissions

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts announced recent appointments he has made to fill Nebraska’s boards and commissions.  The following appointees are unpaid and are not subject to Legislative confirmation:

Nebraska Dairy Industry Development Board
Heath Snodgrass, Orchard

Thank you to the many Nebraskans that give generously of their time and talent to make a difference in our state.  These appointments will provide crucial insight and expertise to their respective boards, committees, and commissions.  To learn about openings and apply to serve on a board or commission, go to


Ben Beckman, NE Extension Educator

Precipitation and temperature play major roles in pasture productivity and knowing how to adjust grazing to match current conditions is key.  Are you shifting your management to meet recent weather?
Stocking and grazing management are not static things.  When production is limited, especially during a drought period, stretching forage resources is a high priority.  By this point in the year, our pastures have produced the vast majority of forage that we will get.  Using temporary electric fence to cross fence can increase utilization, slowing down a grazing rotation and stretching forage considerably.
This is especially true when plants become dormant due to lack of precipitation or heat.  Typically, utilization seeks to balance animal demand and plant health, but taking more of a dormant plant without damaging the crown has little impact on overall plant health.
On the flip side, grass that is getting tall and lanky, ahead of a grazing rotation, could benefit from flash grazing.  Moving animals on and off quick can help keep plants from getting over mature. Keep up this fast pace while growth is rapid.  Once growth slows, then the rotation can slow down as well.
Speeding up grazing when things are wet and slowing down during dry times is a great strategy to use as we adjust to the weather Mother Nature throws our way.  Doing so can help you find the perfect balance for your pasture and animal health.

Webinar to focus on crop insurance for diversified operations

Farmers and ranchers are invited to participate in a free webinar July 26 from noon to 1 p.m., CT, to learn more about their federal crop insurance options.

“Crop Insurance for Diversified Operations” will be hosted by Center for Rural Affairs Policy Associate Kate Hansen and Megan Vaith, crop insurance agent and founder of Northbourne Organic Crop Insurance LLC.  

“This presentation will provide an overview of multiple federal crop insurance programs and what types of coverage may be available,” Hansen said. “We will also discuss programs of specific interest to specialty and diversified operations, such as small grains coverage, Whole Farm Revenue Protection, Micro Farm, written agreements, Pasture, Rangeland, Forage coverage, and organic options.”

In addition, a new set of educational resources will be shared during the webinar. Each resource includes information on a different small grain—wheat, oats, barely, rye—and the types of crop insurance available.  

“While diversified operations look different across the country, most federal crop insurance policies’ structures are the same nationwide,” Hansen said. “Interested producers from any state or region are welcome to attend.”

Attendees are encouraged to come with questions. Visit to register. For more information, contact Hansen, or 515.215.1294.

Beef Quality Assurance and Transportation Sessions to be Offered in Carroll

Cattle producers and haulers who need to renew or obtain their certification in Beef Quality Assurance or Beef Quality Assurance Transportation can preregister now for in-person trainings later this summer in Carroll. Offered by the Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and the Iowa Beef Industry Council, the sessions are set for Aug. 10 and are provided at no cost.

Erika Lundy-Woolfolk, beef specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach, will present both workshops. The BQA session will be held from 1-2:30 p.m. and the BQAT session from 2:30-4 p.m.

Participants are welcome to attend either or both sessions depending on their needs.

BQA certification is necessary for anyone who markets fed cattle to major packers, while BQAT certification is necessary for custom haulers or producers delivering cattle to certain packing plants.

“For cattlemen who market fed cattle and deliver their own cattle to the packing plant, both BQA and BQAT certifications may be necessary depending on the packer,” Lundy-Woolfolk said.

The sessions will be held at the ISU Extension and Outreach Carroll County office in Carroll, at 1205 W. U.S. Highway 30, Suite G. Attendees are encouraged to preregister by calling 712-792-2364 or emailing

For those unable to attend a training in person, BQA and BQAT are available online

See the details on the event flyer. For more information, contact Lundy-Woolfolk at 641-745-5902 or

ACE to Host USGC CEO LeGrand at Annual Conference in Omaha

The American Coalition for Ethanol (ACE) welcomes Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO of the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), as a keynote speaker during its 35th annual conference taking place August 10-12 at the Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District.

“Increasing the global use and trade of U.S. ethanol continues to be a commitment of the U.S. Grains Council and is even more critical for the U.S. ethanol industry and farmers given the difficulties they are facing at home with profit margins and abroad with market access roadblocks,” LeGrand said. “I look forward to addressing the markets we’re working to open around the world as countries look toward ethanol as a climate change solution and the ones we’re working to defend at ACE’s annual conference.”

LeGrand joined the Council in 2015, first serving as the director of the USGC’s Mexico City office. In this capacity, he oversaw the expansion of the USGC’s programming in that country to include ethanol promotion and worked to steady relations during the negotiations of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

“Export markets and trade policy are always important topics, particularly given global market disruptions over the past two years, so we’re pleased to have LeGrand join us to provide an update and answer questions for farmers, ethanol producers, and other conference attendees about the opportunities and challenges to increase ethanol and coproduct markets around the world,” said Ron Lamberty, ACE Chief Marketing Officer. “Ryan joined us at our conference in Omaha back in 2019 shortly after he took the reins at USGC, and we look forward to hearing his perspective once again after navigating a few very challenging years in this leadership role.”     

LeGrand’s trade keynote address will take place during the August 12 morning general session. More event and agenda details are available at

A New Tool for Your BMP Toolbelt!

The National Corn Growers Association has a new tool for growers: the Corn Rootworm Risk Tool. This calculator allows farmers to enter historical and current management data—along with corn rootworm intensity—to determine the potential risk of developing resistance to valuable Bt traits. By using the information submitted by the farmer or their technical advisor, the tool provides growers with a low-, medium-, or high-risk level and summarizes the appropriate best management practices for each scenario.

This predictive tool is a helpful resource—not a replacement—for proactive conversations with technical advisors on what practices and strategies to employ. The ultimate objective of the calculator is to suppress corn rootworm populations using Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and to assist farmers in maintaining the effectiveness of important tools—like Bt corn—for generations to come.

Suppress insect pest populations and maintain the effectiveness of Bt products for future growing seasons! Visit to assess your potential risk for resistance.

For additional insect-resistance BMPs:

The Corn Rootworm Risk Tool was made possible thanks to financial support from Corteva Agriscience and technical support from the Agricultural Biotechnology Stewardship Technical Committee (ABSTC).

NASS to Collect Updated Information on Planted Acres

In July, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) will collect updated information on 2022 acres planted to barley, canola, corn, dry edible beans, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and Durum and other spring wheat in three states. NASS previously collected planted acreage information during the first two weeks of June, with the results published in Thursday's Acreage report. Excessive rainfall had delayed planting at the time of the survey, leaving a portion of acres still to be planted in:

- Minnesota: barley, canola, corn, dry edible beans, oats, soybeans, sunflowers, and other spring wheat;

- North Dakota: barley, canola, corn, dry edible beans, oats, soybeans, sunflowers, and Durum and other spring wheat;

- South Dakota: barley, corn, oats, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and other spring wheat.

If the newly collected data justify any changes, NASS will publish updated acreage estimates in the Crop Production report to be released Aug. 12. It will be available online at

Basis and Options

Matthew Diersen, Risk & Business Management Specialist, South Dakota State University

Basis, the difference between a cash price and a futures price, is commonly calculated and discussed with futures as the focus and the nearby contract prices as the default for discussion. For example, the basis for live cattle to be sold in July is calculated against the nearby August live cattle futures price. This makes sense given that futures expire at the end of the listed trading month and there are only live cattle futures listed for even months. A hedge would be lifted in July and any basis risk would occur in July with the August contract as the underlying or reference instrument. Cattle that would be sold in August would also use the basis relative to the August futures contract.

Shifting from futures to options has the added complication that regular live cattle options settle or have the last trading date on the first Friday of the futures month. For example, the August 2022 option has its last trading date on August 5, 2022. A hedger using options and selling in July would still compare a July cash price to the average futures price observed during July. However, for cattle with an August target date that are hedged using options, the hedger will likely use the October futures for a reference basis. This highlights a potential source of basis risk. For futures hedging, the odd months of the year tend to have more basis risk than the even months of the year. The standard deviation of basis, computed monthly, is generally higher for odd versus even months. This is because the odd months are one to two months from settlement while the even months are zero to one months from settlement. For options, the situation is different, as the lowest basis risk generally occurs in odd months, as the even months are two to three months from [futures] settlement.

Would using serial options make a difference? Serial options settle to a nearby contract in months without a regular option. For live cattle these are odd-month options. For example, the September 2022 options have a first trade date of July 5, 2022, with a last trade date of September 2, 2022. The September options settle to the value of the October futures price at that time. Thus, a hedger using options would be lifting a hedge in August regardless of using a regular October or a serial September option.

Serial options have a cost advantage for very short run situations, as the time value is one month less than for regular options. However, serial options are only listed for about two months. The implication is that when hedging an even month, a regular option would need to be used first, then rolled to a serial option with added transaction costs. Savings would come from lower interest expenses on the equity committed to the difference in option premiums. However, with current exchange fees and interest rates, the premium difference is not large enough to justify the effort.

Argentina Trucker Strike Ends, Boosting Grains Exports

An Argentine truckers strike ended last week after some unions upset with diesel shortages reached a deal to lift the one-week protest around the major port of Rosario, which is expected to help the flow of grains for export going forward.

According to Reuters, the truck driver protest over high fuel prices has paralyzed corn and other grains exports just as the bulk of the harvest was headed to ports for shipment to foreign markets.

Some protests, however, could continue since some smaller truckers groups were not involved in the deal.

Argentina is the world's second biggest corn exporter, the top exporter of processed soyoil and meal, as well as a major wheat and beef supplier.

The volume of trucks entering ports had already picked up on Thursday, up some 70% versus a day earlier to reach over 1,500 vehicles, according to data from the Rosario grains exchange.

Rosario's ports are the point of departure for 80% of Argentina's agricultural exports, most of which arrives in trucks.

"It's getting back to normal," said Guillermo Wade, manager of the country's maritime port chamber, referring to the ability of trucks to access the port.

Also on Wednesday, the transport ministry agreed with some farm and transport groups that were not involved in the strike to hike grain freight rates by 25%.

But most protesting unions, including the UNTRA truckers union, called the rate increase insufficient even as they mostly opted to remove highway blockades.


Randy Dowdy and David Hula, world record holders for corn and soybean yields, are proud to announce their nationwide farming program’s rebrand to Total Acre.

Formerly called Next Level, Total Acre is a 3-year program where hundreds of progressive growers learn from two of the most successful farmers in the world. The program is in its 5th year and is aimed at helping farmers achieve higher yields and enhanced ROI.

“We’re still the same Christ-centered organization that makes positive differences in farmers’ lives by paying forward the sharing of information and best practices,” said Randy Dowdy, Total Acre Co-founder & Partner. “But after using the Next Level name for five years, it was time for a refresh.”

The Total Acre program maintains an independent and unbiased viewpoint while teaching farmers the critical thinking skills necessary to help them raise every acre. Each Total Acre grower benefits from four 2-day farm camps yearly, access to a proprietary software system customized to the Total Acre program, and a community of other growers to support them beyond the program.

“Our program will always be focused on farmers helping farmers: we’ve just evolved the brand to support our community,” said David Hula, Total Acre Co-founder & Partner. “A lot of people think the goal of Total Acre is for everyone to be raising 500-bushel corn. In reality, our goal is to use the software and the information it collects to help growers set achievable targets and maximize their ROI."

Total Acre growers include nearly 500 “Early Adopters and Innovators” in 30 states, three Canadian provinces, and South Africa.

During camps, growers are given direct access to Dowdy, Hula and the community of Total Acre members in the area. Camps are hosted on member farms to ensure an unbiased approach.

“In addition to the name change, we've also made changes to ensure our camps are hosted by farmers,” said Randy Siever, Total Acre partner. “We're agnostic on where our members buy products: we're just trying to give farmers a place to learn, share with each other, and hear from Dowdy and Hula. It's an incredible community, and the results have been tremendous."

The camps meet four times each year. In November/December, the focus is on a recap of the previous year and year-end planning. In January/February, all of the growers come together for a clinic with in-field demonstrations, a release of the updated roadmap, and a full-day data review. Two times during the growing season, Dowdy and Hula visit Total Acre farms across the country to walk fields, answer questions, and teach through hands-on demonstrations.

Another key benefit of Total Acre memberships is access to the proprietary yield management software. Each Total Acre grower has free access to a web tool that helps with all aspects of the program, from creating VRT maps based on soil samples to recommendations from tissue sample to input trial results. Everything is based on the results of thousands of growing seasons, along with a foundation based on Dowdy and Hula’s high-yield recommendations.

“The neat part of the system is the data and information comes directly from our growers,” Hula said, “It is not created by anyone else.”

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