The USDA has sent more than $7.6 billion in direct payments to farmers from the $14 billion second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program funding. The agency has approved more than 443,000 farmers for second-round payments so far.
The corn harvest increased by 12% last week to 72%, and 83% of the nation's soybeans are in, according to the USDA. Winter wheat is 85% planted with 62% emerged and 41% rated good-to-excellent in its first crop quality report of the season.
Last week's Great Plains snowstorm did little to alleviate drought conditions in the winter wheat-producing parts of Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado, said Justin Gilpin, CEO of Kansas Wheat. Winter wheat rated good-to-excellent in those states ranged from 29% in Kansas to 24% in Colorado and 11% in Oklahoma.
Mexico has purchased 1.43 metric tons of corn, marking its largest corn buy from the US since last December. Purchase activity from Mexico may increase, because its government has nearly eliminated subsidies to large farms.
Producers are encouraged to sell most of their soybeans now with the USDA's Oct. crop report indicating prices are expected to decrease, but it's likely worth it to store corn, according to Jim Mintert, Purdue University Extension agricultural economist. "It appears there could be opportunities to store corn and sell on forward contract, or practice storage hedging for later delivery and make a profit for storing above storage and opportunity costs," said Mintert.
Researchers, as a part of the North Carolina Plant Sciences Initiative, have kicked off a three-year project that aims to use big data to make sweet potato production more profitable. The multidisciplinary team will use images of sweet potatoes and a range of data on growing conditions to promote more growth of sweet potatoes that can be rated USDA Grade 1.