Harvest stage on the horizon
It's been several weeks since my last update and it's high time for another with several import items and reminders!
Good evening everyone,
I trust this finds all well - rested from all the activities of spring work, ready for the next phase of harvest. Hard to believe that we're nearing that stage already. Talking with other growers at the recently conducted and concluded TMC research farm tours, many others feel the same way "...I can't believe harvest is just around the corner...I'm not ready yet for that!." Speaking of the TMC research tours, kudos to Cat Salois and Bruce Palmer and supporting cast members for a very informative and organized tour. Each year I think that they've attained max output and we've seen the epitome of TMC tours, only to have the bar reset a notch higher! I'm wondering what next year will bring. I realize life happens for all, yet if at all possible, plan to take a day and attend next year (June); I know you'll be glad you did!
It's been several weeks since my last update and it's high time for another with several import items and reminders...
7/1 Crop hail due date - July 1st is the cash due date for crop hail premiums in Oregon and Washington. We must have your premium monies prior to the 4th for you to be eligible for the cash discount. If you've not yet received a hail premium billing statement please let us know, as we sent out late last week. Please let us know if you need a copy of your premium billing summary.
Idaho insurance department does not allow a cash discount; correspondingly all hail premiums are due October 1st. You're welcomed to pay these premiums early, just know there's no cash discount for doing so.
Remember, man-made fire is still not a covered loss/peril under the MPCI policy. Fire coverage is very inexpensive and you can add additional dollars of fire only coverage to your existing crop hail policy at harvest, should you need additional coverage.
7/1 Acreage reporting deadline - The deadline for acreage reporting is actually 7/15; however, that's the absolute deadline and the date we must have your signature on corresponding documents. Which means, if you've not yet visited your local FSA office to certify your spring planted acres, what are you waiting for?
2018 Farm Bill - My last update was as this bill, HR2 and corresponding amendments, was about to be voted on. As we all now know, it failed to secure the necessary votes to pass; yet, 30 days later the same bill received sufficient votes to pass. There was talk that the 'Freedom Caucus' might hold the vote hostage again, yet, as it turns out, Congressman Conaway was able to muster sufficient support and votes for passage with 8 Freedom Caucus members flipping their votes. The fore mentioned Freedom Caucus did get their colleagues to bring an immigration bill to the House floor; the bill vote failed, as more than 40 Republicans joined all 190 Democrats to defeat the bill. Rubber will meet the road when both the House and Senate conference to iron out the differences between their respective bills.....stay tuned.
It is expect that the Senate will take their version of the bill to the floor sometime this week. Next week Congress is off with the 4th of July recess, and there is a sense of urgency to get this bill voted on prior to they leave DC. The Senate bill version has bilateral support as it came out of the conference committee with a 20-1 favorable vote. The lone dissenting vote was from Senator Grassley, as he wants greater restrictions on who receives benefits, in particular 'Wall Street Farmers' as he likes to classify such. There are several amendments that could be offered, that would be harmful to crop insurance; including an adjusted gross income (AGI) means test to determine producer's eligibility. I'll provide a call to action should your support be needed.
Auto insurance - I'm providing a couple of articles for your reading pleasure...
- First is a list of this year's list of the 10 best family cars, according to Parents magazine and Edmunds, their 11th release of such...Next two articles list the cost of auto insurance.
- The least expensive vehicles to insure...
- The most expensive vehicles to insure...
- Lastly, the personal lines sector, home and auto, has suffered the 4th year of losses in a row even with performance improvement from the auto sector. This is why rates continue to climb upward...
Markets - Tariffs and trade war best summarizes our current market structure and what's plagued it for the past month. When news breaks that there has been progress made, another article is quick to follow that suggests just the opposite...ying and yang I guess, or my past favorite from Mad magazine was spy vs spy. Both soybeans and pulse crops have retreated to levels that reflect imposed tariffs by China and India respectively. Does this mean that when the dust settles and agreements are in place we'll see a healthy price rally? That's certainly the hope. I've listened and read several market analysts speak to their belief that the market lows might finally be in - just this past week after heavy down day on Tuesday, corn soybeans and wheat all finished the week higher and above the lows posted earlier this week. Let's hope that's the case.
USDA will release their acreage report this coming Friday, some analysts have the opinion that there may be a surprise or two - namely fewer corn acres than the 88 million estimated in March, and perhaps more soybean acres. If this holds true, bean markets will fall hard and corn will rally. Why? Corn exports and usage are above USDA projections and carry stocks - I'm still believing that we didn't harvest a record corn crop last year, and this is a way of backing into it...yes, grassy knoll theory. Additionally, soybeans prices have fallen to levels of 2007/08 because of lack of export sales to notably China. Did you know that every 3rd row of soybeans produced in the is country is exported? When you largest buyer is boycotting, it has an immediate effect. Speaking of impact, last week China's stock market shed $515 billion in value - this amount is equal to the size of Sweden's economy...yes, the tariffs / trade issues are impacting both parties.
World wheat production is falling and being reduced worldwide. In particular the Russian wheat harvest has been reduced on several different occasions citing heat and lack of moisture in the south, while it's been cold and too wet to plant in the north. This is the first time in 6 years that the Russian wheat crop has had forecast production reduced. Australian production has been projected to be down as well due the dry conditions they're experiencing as well.
The US dollar was down this past week for the first time in a spell. Belief in the financial industry is the decline in the dollar is directly proportional to the lack of confidence in the US stock market, which was down another 400 points this past week.
Trans fat ban - Perhaps I've been under a rock for a spell, but I didn't know or realize that trans fat has been banned by the FDA this past Monday...
Weather - The forage situation in 9 of the top ten producing cow-calf states is dire due to the lack of moisture received this fall and spring. Here's a current map showing the drought magnitude in the southwestern US...a pretty short haying season for all. Something that's potentially on the horizon according to several weather gurus, is shift from neutral influence to an El Nino watch...theme has been haves and have nots, as the crop comments posted below will depict.
High heat and humidity has been the story from the Midwest past two weeks, much earlier and higher than normal, causing early stress on row crops. More heat is forecast to build in the Midwest next week as the critical pollination stage for corn begins. Here at home, we're under the influence of a cooler air pattern to begin harvest
What in the world is it? If you've not already have seen photos or heard about this story regarding a 'wolf-like creature' shot and killed by a Montana rancher, here it is...the DNA results are back, I'm not sure I agree with the findings based upon the visual appearance of the animal.
Crop comments - Undoubtedly, the last photos will make the next 'Tractorstuck' video...
- 6/21/2018 Clark County, MO: Finally getting some much needed rain here! Once it starts, it really gets going. It's amazing how much the corn and beans have perked up with just a couple inches. It's been so dry the ground soaked it right up, leaving hardly a single puddle behind. Raining again as I type this--Thank you, Lord!
- 6/21/2018 Bent County, CO: SE Colorado is extremely dry Most livestock range is still brown Free gov $$ feed programs in effect With no rain some excellent irrigated alfalfa being baled Going for $150 T and up Wheat harvest getting underway Yields disappointing Irrigation prospects for rest of season are grim
- 6/20/2018 Mcpherson County, KS: just finished wheat harvest got less than half a crop because of freeze damage and lack of rain. Had less than 3 inches of rain since I planted in Oct. Most of the dryland corn burned up the last 2 weeks so no corn harvest We had a inch of rain last night the first in three weeks will need a lot more to make a crop
- 6/20/2018 Sibley County, MN: 10 inches of rain in 7 days, lakes all over and everyday I get to watch more corn tip over due to the standing water. Losing corn AND bean acreage everyday, corn acres lost of 12% beans better at loss of 4%. That's what u see...... more corn will continue to tip over later on as the roots will be gone due to rotting away.
- 6/20/2018 Clark County, MO: Ridiculously dry as dust here in Northeast Missouri. Corn is getting drier and drier - just look at those folded leaves! Beans are having to be replanted; the seeds swelled up at first planting, then rotted away. Won't be much point in the second planting if we don't get any rain. Farmers about ready to just give up in our area. Ponds drying up, and pastures looking pretty slim on grass needs for cattle. Hay production will be over soon with no grass to cut. But, God knows--Pray for rain!!
- 6/20/2018 Sauk County, WI: Sauk County Wi. Crops look good despite the wet cold spring. Was extremely hot last weekend but rain Tuesday and today have broken that. We have received plenty of rain but others around us have had more and heavy rain Only problem is trying to make dry hay could use a week of sunshie
- 6/20/2018 Randolph County, IL: Very very dry here, corn is rolled up tight some scattered showers have brought some relief in areas but most remain dry. Wheat harvest is rapping up and most double crop beans are in the ground waiting on moisture to come up. Hope for rain ASAP!!
- 6/20/2018 Lancaster County, NE: Finally received some much needed rain. +3" in last 48 hr. Very little ran off which usually doesn't happen with our tight clay. Corn was really showing stress. To many days in the 90's & 100's. Both Spring and Fall applied anhydrous burning showed up this year. Very rare to see but with much below precip since last Oct conditions made it happen. Corn/Beans planted before May 10 look good. Really variable after that.
- 6/20/2018 Mitchell County, IA: Too wet around here for anything. The windmill construction crews from Texas are learning more than they'd like about Iowa dirt.
Until next time, as you embark with harvest, I wish bountiful bushels and safety.
“People only see what they are prepared to see.”
…Ralph Waldo Emerson
McGregor Risk Management Services, LLC
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