Michelle Rook / AgweekTV Anchor
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — Storage is at a premium in the western Corn Belt this harvest with a record crop, low grain prices and poor basis due to the ongoing trade war. Basis normally runs 70 cents to $1 per bushel for soybeans in Nebraska, but it is now historically wide and expected to get worse at harvest. Basis refers to the difference between the nearby futures price and the cash price. Mike Korth, who farms near Randolph, Neb., says the soybean basis in his area has ranged from 80 cents to $1 per bushel in the past, but this year it is the widest he's ever seen.
Farmers in the northwestern Corn Belt have generally been supportive of the trade war, saying they'll take short-term pain for long-term gain....as long as that pain doesn't last too long. Soybean farmers this far west have been hit the hardest because such a large percentage of their crop goes to China. Bob Metz, a Browns Valley, Minn., farmer says, "70 to 80 percent of our soybeans are exported and all of that pretty much goes to the West Coast." Also, basis levels are historically wide for beans and some elevators are not even bidding, not wanting to take on the risk.
HURON, S.D. — From soybean production to value-added ag products, livestock shows and sows giving birth...it was all about agriculture at this year's South Dakota State Fair in Huron held Aug. 30 to Sept. 3. South Dakota State Fair Commissioner Dusty Anderson says they were pleased with the attendance at the gate and many grandstand shows, plus entries were up for 4-H, FFA and Open Class exhibits and livestock.
MITCHELL, S.D. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is projecting a record corn crop in South Dakota for 2018, with a 170-bushel per acre yield estimate, and a near record soybean yield of 49 bushels per acre. However, with the variability in the state from areas too wet to those too dry, it is uncertain if the agency hit the mark and some farmers are uncertain about those estimates.
REDWOOD COUNTY, Minn. — Minnesota is looking at a tale of two crops for the 2018 season with yields in the southern counties reduced by heavy rains and flooding, while the north and east are showing much better potential. That may not be totally reflected in the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture crop production report which pegged soybean yields in Minnesota 2 bushels higher than last year at 49 bushels per acres, while the agency lowered corn yield for the state by 3 bushels per acre compared to 2017 at 191 bushels.
REDWOOD COUNTY, Minn. — Farmers and farm groups across the country are closely watching the progress of the farm bill, especially now that the conference committee has been named. The committee includes 9 members from the Senate and 47 members from the House. With wide differences in the House and Senate versions in several areas, the question is how do the two versions get melded into one? The sticking points remain payment limits, Conservation Reserve Program payments and acreage caps. And of course, the big one is reform of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The Trump Administration has announced a $12 billion trade compensation package to make up for farmer's market losses due to the trade war. U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue says the program includes government food purchases by the Commodity Credit Corporation of surplus-affected commodities and a trade promotion program. It also involves direct payments for commodities, including soybeans, sorghum, corn, wheat, cotton, dairy and hogs. However, he says the details will not be released until Labor Day.
VOLGA, S.D. — The summer tour at South Dakota State University's Volga Research Farm focused on weed resistance and weed control systems, as well as cover crop management. Researchers displayed the newest technology they're testing in biotech weed control systems like HT3 soybeans, which are tolerant to glyphosate, Liberty and dicamba herbicides. "By new technologies I mean in the seed area," says Paul Johnson, SDSU Extension weed management coordinator "We're really not dealing with much new chemistry."
The Environmental Protection Agency has released a draft rule proposing Renewable Fuels Standard, or RFS, levels for conventional, advanced and cellulosic biofuels for 2019 and biodiesel for 2020. So far the biofuels blending requirements are garnering mixed reaction from the industry.
VOLIN, S.D. — A new 2,400-head swine facility built by Johnson Farms, LLC near Volin was the first unit to be built amidst public push back to livestock development in Yankton County. Lewis Johnson and his son Josh originally sought a permit for a finishing facility, but settled on a nursery. "This is something my Dad and I decided to do last year," Josh says. "We were going to do a finisher and then after the opposition, we decided to do a nursery because it was easier to get through and get started and it's cheaper."