Take Nothing for Granted
First and foremost, my heart is heavy for our friends and neighbors throughout the region that have endured loss and damage from the numerous fires that have impacted those in their path.
Our lives can change in the blink of an eye and we can take nothing for granted. I wish all the very best in rebuilding and recovery efforts, prayers are with you. Here's a story of the fire in Oregon.
2017 WHIP - A new federal assistance program for those producers affected by hurricanes and wildfires in 2017 may apply for assistance to help recover and rebuild their farming operation. Sign up is now underway and continues through November 16, 2018. There are counties in our region that qualify due to last year's wildfire losses. Please contact you local FSA for more details.
$12 Billion - The Administration has announced short-term trade assistance package for producers last week. The 3-pronged package will consist of direct payments to producers, surplus affected commodities to be purchased for distribution through food banks and various nutrition programs, and finally some monies will be used for developing new export markets of our farm products. The direct payments will be based upon this year's production of named commodities (soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs) and some magical formula. As soon as you can gather this information and provide to us, the sooner we can provide the necessary documentation (an approved APH) for this purpose. Signup is anticipated to begin September 4th.
72 hour notice - Just a reminder that if you happen to have a production loss, your obligation is to notify the insurance carrier w/in 72 hours of discovery of said loss. Additionally, multi-peril policy language states if a loss is evident, you must advise the crop carrier w/in 15 days upon completion of harvest for that particular unit. Bottom line is this, if in doubt or if you anticipate a possible loss, turn in a claim and notify.
2018 Harvest Price Discovery - The price discovery period begins in earnest for our region on August 1st. I'll again provide weekly updates and tweets as these prices are announced and released by RMA.
2018 Farm Bill - As you are probably aware, both the House and Senate passed their version of this bill. Prior to adjourning for their summer recess last week, the US House named their 47 conferees, 29 Republicans and 18 Democrats. The Senate is expected to name their conferees sometime this week and then both groups will begin to negotiate differences of the two bill versions. Leaders are adamant that an agreement must be reached by the expiration of the current bill and that it can be done. Senator Pat Roberts "...Simply put, it is paramount, absolutely paramount...let's get this done."
Cowboys - The wind doth blow across Wyoming -- and a new kind of storm is brewing with University of Wyoming's newest recruiting slogan.
Livestock - Recent cattle on feed report shows an increase of placements by 4% year over year. The drought in the Southwest can take full credit for that, plus the reports of grain crops being hayed so to be able to feed their remaining herd. Mid-year cattle inventory is up 1%, calf crop up 2% year over year. Data suggests herd growth is gradually ending, though beef production will continue increasing and adding pressure to the fed and feeder cattle markets.
Markets - All grains were up again last week, making it two weeks in row! The Wheat Quality Council's Tour completed it's findings last week and not without surprises. The weekly crop condition reports that USDA gins out were not in line with the discovered crop. Specifically, the crop ratings have been at all time highs for spring wheat this year - good to excellent ratings of 80%. Yet the final numbers were an average yield of 41 bushels, above last year's drought impacted 38 bu/a, but over 4 bushels below the 5 year average of 45.4 bu/a. The Canadian spring wheat crop is forecast to be 54 bu/a, above last year and slightly above the 5 year average. Market fundamentals have been changing as well, last week all three wheat market trends turned higher; Chicago is shown on the graph below as it used for pricing our soft white.
Additional support is from the news coming from Europe and Black Sea - drought, heat and now rain at harvest. There's pictures circulating of grain sprouting in the head - feed quality at best. Almost daily each country is lowering their expected wheat yields for the coming harvest. Australia continues to struggle with dry weather adding to a shortened crop for this marketing year.
Corn and bean crop are much ahead of 'normal' maturation schedule. The early heat across the corn belt helped propel forward; how much impact will the warm nights and accelerated development have on yields this fall? Corn harvest has actually begun in the Delta region of the US. The current stocks to use ratio for corn of 20% is at it's lowest level since 2007/08 marketing year - remember those prices and impact on wheat price? Hint, led to record wheat prices...please do keep in mind that today's dollar is almost 25% stronger than it was 10 years ago. There are reports that the heat is impacting the pollination of this year's European corn crop and downsizing this crop is next.
Trade - Mexico is anxious and pushing for an agreement of NAFTA by this fall with the US and Canada. Mexican officials and representatives are in DC this week to work towards hammering out a deal. EU and the US are said to have reached 'an agreement' for more trade and less barriers. Any and all market access is great, but let's call a spade a shovel - US soybeans are the cheapest bean in the world, Brazil will be out of soybeans by the end of September; meanwhile, the US will have ample supply for the next 5 months it will take for South America's next bean crop to come on line. When Europe buys natural gas from the US rather than gas from Boris and Natasha, we'll have real break through.
Watersheds - Ohio has taken some steps to protect Lake Erie, considering declaration of eight watersheds '...in distress, due to increased nutrient levels...' The original proposal from from Governor Kasich would have defined fertilizer as a 'pollutant' under Ohio law. Such a declaration would have made it virtually impossible for growers to apply any crop nutrients without adhering to strict new application rules.
Weather - A welcome reprieve of the heat for our region, others not so much...drought conditions expand out of the SW, as well as MO & KS and now most of OR is tightly gripped...the forecast for the start of August across the corn belt is not conducive for soybean production.
Crop comments of the past week:
- Douglas County, KS: SAD, corn just south of us going into silage as fast as they can get it cut. Much of it has no grain showing jn the silage. Beans between knee and waist high but very very few pods can stay on. Looks good in early morning, but by 10:A.M. wilted and rolled up. Some of our corn burned real bad. We have lived through this before but now our inputs are out of sight on the high side. It hurts when you hear in news reports of millions of dollars of profits large companies make off of AG. Not to mention any company names, but stop and think it is not hard to name quite a few of them.
- Richland County, IL: W. half of co. Jun 1-26 6.01", 0"27-30. Jul. 1-30 1.01", divided over 6 days of rain. .28"most in 1 day. Corn looked great most stalks had 2 silks. Now rolled up, ears small dia. . Beans will be lot of stalk not much beans. If we don't get rain real soon.
- Barnes County, ND: 7 to 10% of our beans are dead to much rain at once now starting to get dry less than average yields here
- Pottawattamie County, IA: No rain since the first week of July. Most crops not hit by wind damage look good, but need rain to fill. Some of my wind damaged corn will be lucky to make 40 bu./acre. spraying of beans with insecticide and fungicide in full swing.
- Dallas County, IA: Ground very hard and very dry. Forecast rains never materialize./
- Douglas County, SD: last week finally some sunshine ,beans starting to grow some and color looking better. corn has pollinated well, and looks good, but have talked to several local pilots and is a different story from the air. Approx. 20 to 40% of fields are drowned out from excessive rainfall earlier in year. It looks like 180 from the road, but probably 135-140 when we harvest everything.
- Livingston County, IL: Mother nature tease us most year with just enough rain and now pulled the rug from under our feet missed all the rains for last 3 weeks corn firing and beans shrinking. If you got the rains be thankful.
- Trempealeau County, WI: Harvested 3 crops so far this year, had a half of crop of peas, just over a half of crop of oats, about a half a crop of rye. Just got back results on early sweet corn, which was harvested a week ahead of schedule. That came in at 75% of normal. Granted these can be fickle crops to grow, but they didn't look that bad. Unusually hot early on? Just making this farmer a little nervous about the corn, beans and rest of sweetcorn. We have had pretty good weather around these parts although the rain has been scarce the last 3 weeks
- Dekalb County, IL: Plenty of rain up to July 1. Now have had less than an inch of rain this month. Things will start going downhill without a good rain soon
- Clark County, SD: Syngenta was the Swiss sold out to Chem China $45 Billion,then approved Extend Soys within days. 25% tariffs on Soybeans, Now ask yourself why in the world would I ever even think of Buying NK,Golden Harvest,Seeds or any of there chemicals,there junk to begin with. Boycott,Boycott,Boycott.Get Real Producers?
Until next time, be diligent and stay safe.
“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.”…Clement Stone
McGregor Risk Management Services, LLC
Cell - 509.540.2632