The USDA is extending the deadlines for crop insurance policy premiums and administrative fees due between Aug. 1 to Sept. 30 for 60 days to help offset coronavirus-related financial hardship. The USDA is also instructing agencies to waive interest accrual during this period.
The US Grains Council is collaborating with sorghum producer groups to expand US access to markets in Eastern Africa, starting with a 60,000 metric-ton sorghum shipment to Kenya. The campaign is funded by the USDA's Quality Samples Program, which aims to introduce international markets to US agriculture products.
Corn quality held at 72% in the good-to-excellent range last week with 92% entering the silking stage, according to the USDA. Soybean quality improved a point to 73% with 85% of the crop blooming while 85% of winter wheat is harvested.
While cherry crops were small this year due to frost, wind and rain that damaged early harvests, growers in Yakima Valley still believe they'll make money this year due to higher retail prices. Some cherries also suffered from little cherry disease, which has long-term effects and can cause growers to lose significant portions of their crops.
Minnesota is headed toward a near-record corn harvest, according to the USDA, but some elevators in the state were offering less than the break-even price of $3.10 a bushel last week, writes Adam Belz. Farmers may opt to store corn this fall in anticipation of a possible price increase, said Dave Nicolai, crops educator for the University of Minnesota Extension Service.
Farmers in areas of extreme drought are advised to start checking fields now for crop damage such as low ear and kernel counts and ear tip-back, said Steve Johnson, Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist. Crop damage must be reported to insurance agents within 72 hours, he added.
Illinois farmers may start thinking it's best to delay planting after two replant years in a row, but data indicates early planting produces higher yields even during replant years, said Clint Prange, regional business manager at seed company Beck's Hybrids. Replanting is far less frequent today due to superior seed genetics and crop treatments that help crops withstand wet conditions, said Todd Burrus, owner of Burrus Seed.
With more frequent and intense weather patterns, rising interest rates and production costs and lower commodity prices, our risk has gone up while our balance sheets have gone down. We simply have to have affordable crop insurance to manage those risks.