corn young closeup

Planting Progress: What We Do – and Don’t – Know

Two consecutive weeks of drier weather gave producers more field days for planting progress. Iowa had 10.5 days of suitable fieldwork for the weeks ending June 9 and June 16; Kansas, 10.4; Nebraska, 10; and South Dakota, 9.3.

In the 18 states, USDA reports 92% of corn planted and 77 of soybeans planted as of June 19. By state:

State Corn planted Average Soybeans planted Average
Iowa 98 100 89 98
Kansas 96 99 74 82
Nebraska 98 100 91 98
South Dakota 78 100 70 98

 

However, be careful in interpreting these numbers, cautions David Widmar of Agricultural Economic Insights. Some farmers are switching crops during this period of delayed planting, identifying fields that can’t be planted, etc. Consider the impact of a farmer who intended to plant 100 acres of corn and 100 acres of beans, but now is switching 20 acres from corn to beans. Instead of being 80% finished, the farmer now is 100% finished with corn planting. Conversely, the 20 additional acres of soybeans might still be unplanted and not accounted for in USDA’s report on planting progress.

Widmar also cautions that USDA’s reduction in corn acreage and yields in its June 11 World Supply and Demand (WASDE) estimates can be misinterpreted as well. USDA always includes an assumption of some prevent plant acres.

“Our best estimate is a base rate of 1.6 million, plus a 3 million reduction from intended,” says Widmar. “So when you read a forecast for 5 million acres prevented, it doesn’t mean a 5 million reduction because a base number was already subtracted before the estimate in the WASDE.”

The next USDA number will be the June 28 planted acreage report, but even that will not be up to date. The survey is conducted during the first two weeks of June; decisions made in the final two weeks will be a blind spot for the report, Widmar points out.

Shift to beans?

Since soybeans have a later planting period, some analysts foresee the shift from corn to soybeans. But history doesn’t bear that out. Average prevent plant is 1.8% for corn and 1.2% for soybeans. Most often when one crop has higher prevented planting, both do. Click to view Widmar’s full report.

Other crops

Grain sorghum in the six reporting states is 69% planted, well behind the 81% that, on average, is planted by now. Kansas stands at 55% (average 71%); Nebraska 80% (94%); South Dakota 68% (84%).

Spring wheat planting is close to complete at 95% in the six states, just 2 percentage points behind average. South Dakota’s crop is 97% planted, also 2 points behind.

Winter wheat harvest is slow, with only 8% of the crop completed compared with a 20% average. The important Kansas crop is only 1% done, 11 points behind average. Nebraska and South Dakota farmers have not yet started wheat harvest, which is typical.

This week’s forecast for storms isn’t a harbinger of fast progress this week – and we are approaching the date when crops either get in the ground or go unplanted. It will take some time for the ending facts to be known.

Veteran Farmer and Rancher Crop Insurance Benefits Now Available

USDA announced this spring that military veterans now qualify for the same benefits as beginning farmers and ranchers. These include:

  • Waiver of the administrative fee on catastrophic risk protection (CAT) and additional coverage policies.
  • Additional premium subsidy of 10 percentage points on insurance plans that feature a standard premium subsidy. (Plans such as livestock gross margin (LGM) for cattle or swine that do not have premium subsidies are not eligible for the additional subsidies.) Note: producers cannot receive both a veteran and beginning farmer and rancher subsidy; 10 percentage points is the limit.
  • Use of another person’s production history for the specific acreage transferred to a veteran farmer or rancher previously involved in the decision-making or physical activities of a farm or ranch operation.
  • Increase the percent of T-yield used for yield adjustment from 60% to 80% when replacing a low actual yield due to an insured cause of loss.

Who meets the definition of a farmer or rancher veteran?

  • A person who served in the active military, naval or air service in the Armed Forces and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable;
  • First obtained status as a veteran within the last five years;
  • Has not operated a farm or ranch or has operated a farm or ranch for less than five years.

There are restrictions regarding entities:

  • A spouse’s veteran farmer and rancher status does not affect qualification.
  • Partnerships and corporations cannot be a “veteran”. Instead, members must qualify as individuals. If they include members with a substantial beneficial interest (SBI) who are not veterans, it cannot qualify.
  • If the farmer/rancher veteran insures the landlord’s share on the same insurance policy, the veteran cannot qualify.

Other rules:

  • Veteran status is continuous and reapplication is not necessary, although the status lapses after five years as a farm/ranch operator or five years after military discharge.
  • A farmer/rancher veteran may still qualify as a new producer on a crop/county basis.
  • If a producer qualifies as both a veteran and beginning farmer or rancher, he/she chooses one program.

Deadline for application for the 2019 crop is your crop insurance acreage reporting date, which is July 15 in our service area. For subsequent years, it will be the sales closing date.

Contact your Frontier Farm Credit crop insurance officer with any questions or for help with the application today!

Click to view more information on the USDA website.

revenue protection image

Producers: Control What You Can Control

If there was one thing that U.S. producers could count on in this period of uncertainty in agriculture, it was their skill as growers. But just planting a crop has proven challenging in 2019. Now more than ever, it is important to focus on what you can control.

For those adversely impacted by weather, that means making the right financial decision for your operation during this late planting period. For all producers, it means keeping marketing top of mind to maximize profitability.

Delayed Planting Decisions

The usual applications of fertilizer, chemicals and seed have been disrupted for many producers by wet conditions that stretch back to last fall. The current inputs they carry might be limited to equipment, cash rent, real estate payments and taxes. Producers in this situation need to assess how taking prevent plant payments vs. planting a different crop than originally planned affects their ability to meet their financial obligations.

This can be an emotional decision for men and women whose livelihood depends on growing and selling a commodity. The key is to talk to your crop insurance agent about your unique financial obligations and how your planting decisions impact that.

Revenue Protection

While still lagging, planting has picked up the past couple of weeks and producers have crop in the ground. Take advantage of upswings in the market and use your Revenue Protection coverage to market with confidence. The more you make marketing part of your daily decision-making the more control you will have over your operation and its finance well-being.

sprouting corn

Finally, Planting Progress

Mother Nature eased up on the rain in some areas last week, even as new flooding gained ground. USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report showed South Dakota had 3.4 days suitable for fieldwork; Nebraska 2.6; Kansas 2.4 and Iowa 1.3.

That allowed South Dakotans to boost corn planting by 19 percentage points to reach 44% of their planned acreage.

CORN

Percent Planted
June 2

Improvement from
May 26

Average Planted
to Date

Iowa

80%

4%

99%

Kansas

79

9

93

Nebraska

88

7

98

South Dakota

44

19

96

18 States

67

9

96

 

SOYBEANS

Percent Planted
June 2

Improvement from
May 26

Average Planted
to Date

Iowa

41%

9%

89%

Kansas

26

4

53

Nebraska

64

8

87

South Dakota

14

8

82

18 States

39

10

79

Grain sorghum bumped up from 28% to 35%; the average at this point in the planting season is 53%. Kansas has only 8% of its crop in and Nebraska 36% vs. an average of 26% and 70% respectively.

Less than half the normal percentage of sunflowers have been planted (19% compared to 44%). At a point when an average of 61% of its sunflowers are in the ground, South Dakota reports 0% planted. Kansas, at 17 percent, is just two points behind its average.

Spring wheat planting is further along with 93% of the acreage in the six reporting states completed, only 3 points behind average. As with other crops, South Dakota lags — 86% vs. its average of 99%.

Next moves

Monte Vandeveer, Kansas State University ag economist, lists five options for those who did not get their corn planted by its final plant date, which ranges from May 15 to May 31 in Kansas:

  • Claim Prevent Plant (55% of original production guarantee, or 60% if you bought up PP coverage);
  • Plant to a cover crop during or after the late-planting period;
  • Plant the insured crop during the late-planting period, with a 1%/day reduction in coverage; after the late-planting period, the production guarantee would be 55% of the original APH yield;
  • Plant a different crop, insured if it was also covered originally;
  • Take 35% of the Prevent Plan payment and plant another crop without insurance.

His full article: http://agmanager.info/crop-insurance/risk-management-strategies/prevented-planting-options-2019-kansas-corn-growers

 Winter wheat

Ten percentage points more winter wheat is heading now than last week, though the current 76% is still behind the 84% average. Kansas is only 2 points behind its 97% average, but Nebraska is 30 points behind its 75% average.

wet fields - may 29

Weather Continues to Challenge U.S. Crops

Farmers in our region had little opportunity for field work in the week that ended May 26. USDA reports one suitable day for field work in Iowa, 2.2 in Nebraska and 1.1 in South Dakota. This was less suitable field time than in the previous week.

As rain continued, the percentages of waterlogged fields continued to rise.

 

Topsoil surplus (%)

Subsoil surplus (%)

Iowa

59

55

Nebraska

40

28

South Dakota

56

48

Wyoming

19

15

8 States

37

33

 

The map below shows soil moisture in millimeters. The second map highlights the excess compared with normal.

calculated soil moisture may 28 2019 calculated soil moisture anomaly may 28 2019

At a time when 90% of the corn crop should be planted in the 18 major states, 58% is in the ground. Only 32% has emerged compared to 69% on average at this point in the growing season. Likewise, 29% percent of soybeans were planted as of May 26, less than half the 66% average. Eleven percent of the crop has emerged; the average is 35%.

Crop progress in the states we focus on:

CORN

Percent Planted

Percent Emerged

 

May 26

Avg.

May 26

Avg.

Iowa

76

96

42

77

Kansas

70

88

49

69

Nebraska

81

94

50

73

South Dakota

25

90

2

57

18 States

58

90

32

69

SOYBEANS

Iowa

32

77

8

36

Kansas

22

41

12

22

Nebraska

56

74

23

36

South Dakota

6

64

0

24

18 States

29

66

11

35

 

Grain sorghum planting also is well behind normal, at 28% in the six states USDA reports, compared with a 44% five-year average. In Nebraska, 23% is planted vs. 50% on average. Kansas was at 4% vs. 13% on average.

Spring wheat in the six states USDA reports is 84% complete against a 91% average. South Dakota spring wheat stands are 79% planted vs. 97% on average. Forty seven percent of the crop overall has emerged (average 69%), with 43% of South Dakota’s emerged (86% average).

Winter wheat

Cooler than normal temperatures continued to contribute to slow development of winter wheat: 66% of the crop has headed, 10 percentage points behind average, USDA reports. In Nebraska, 19% has headed (50% average); South Dakota wheat is at zero percent (20% average).

Looking ahead

There is a 70% chance that El Niño will continue through the Northern Hemisphere summer, according to the Climate Prediction Center. Chances are 55% to 60% that it linger through fall. All this suggest continued wet weather.

 three month temperature june 2019

In its outlook for June, July and August, the CPC shows above normal chances of precipitation and a tendency for below normal temperatures in the Western Corn Belt/Plains. There is a better than usual chance for above normal temperatures in the East.