November 20, 2017

Soybean Harvest Nearly Done, But Winter Wheat Planting Lags

There’s no illusions among producers: this year has been a slow harvest.  That fact was backed up by USDA Crop Progress numbers on Monday with both corn and soybean harvest continuing behind average pace.  It wasn’t all bad news though; as slow as harvest has been soybeans are now 83% complete on a national basis, just 1% behind average.  As for corn harvest, USDA estimated the nations producers are 54% complete; that’s 18% behind the five year average but better than the 21% delay a week earlier.

As for whose the furthest behind, there isn’t a good answer to that.  Crop mix and weather have added a lot of variability across the Midwest.  In soybeans, Iowa is the furthest behind, lagging normal by 8% with Nebraska second at 4% behind average.  When it comes to corn, nearly every one is behind.  The biggest delays are Minnesota (now 35% behind) followed by South Dakota at 31% behind and Iowa at 26% behind.  The only two states reporting slightly ahead were in the Southeast: North Carolina and Tennessee.

As for minor crops, sunflowers are the only ones remaining to harvest.  USDA is reporting them nearly average at 53% done compared to 54% on average.  North Dakota is ahead of average and last year but is the only state to do so.  South Dakota, Colorado and Kansas are all reporting delays of various sizes.

The wet conditions in the Plains and Midwest hasn’t been good news for the winter wheat crop either.  Progress has trailed average all year and while final plant dates are quickly being hit, USDA is reporting 84% of the crop is in the ground.  Soft Red areas of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri are average to slightly behind but Hard Red Winter producers Kansas and Oklahoma are struggling.  The states are 84% and 83% planted, respectively behind their 93% and 91% averages for this week.  Final Plant dates according to USDA are varied, but all except for the Southeastern corner of Kansas must but complete by November 5th to receive full insurance coverage.  Oklahoma will have until near the end of November.

Disaster Designations for Oglala Lakota County & Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Oglala Lakota County in South Dakota as a primary natural disaster area due to losses and damages caused by a recent drought.

Farmers and ranchers in Bennett, Custer, Fall River, Jackson and Pennington counties in South Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Farmers and ranchers in Cherry, Dawes and Sheridan counties in Nebraska also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has designated Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota as a primary natural disaster area due to losses and damages caused by an ongoing drought that occurred on May 21, 2017, and continues.

Farmers and ranchers in Bennett, Custer, Fall River, Jackson, Mellette, Oglala Lakota, Pennington and Todd counties in South Dakota also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

Farmers and ranchers in Cherry, Dawes and Sheridan counties in Nebraska also qualify for natural disaster assistance because their counties are contiguous.

All counties listed above were designated natural disaster areas on Oct. 27, 2017, making all qualified farm operators in the designated areas eligible for FSA’s emergency (EM) loans, provided eligibility requirements are met. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from the date of the declaration to apply for loans to help cover part of their actual losses. FSA will consider each loan application on its own merits, taking into account the extent of losses, security available and repayment ability. FSA has a variety of programs, in addition to the EM loan program, to help eligible farmers recover from adversity.

Other FSA programs that can provide assistance, but do not require a disaster declaration, include Operating and Farm Ownership Loans; the Emergency Conservation Program; Livestock Forage Disaster Program; Livestock Indemnity Program; Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program; and the Tree Assistance Program. Interested farmers may contact their local USDA service centers for further information on eligibility requirements and application procedures for these and other programs. Additional information is also available online at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

Burgum Extends Hours of Service, Weight Restriction Waivers for Third Time to Assist Livestock Producers

Gov. Doug Burgum has issued an updated executive order extending waivers for hours of service and weight limit restrictions for drivers of commercial vehicles transporting hay, water and livestock to help livestock producers who have battled extreme drought conditions throughout North Dakota this year.

 The new order aligns with an updated notice issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extending the hours of service waiver to December 15, 2017.
The executive order was originally issued on July 10, with an initial extension from Aug. 10 to Aug. 26. A subsequent order extended the date to Oct. 26.

The order acts as the permit and must be carried in the vehicle of those operating in direct support of the declared drought emergency under the stated exemptions. The order can be viewed here.

Additional information related to drought is available at www.ndresponse.gov.