Tag Archives: corn

 Corn planting was 92% complete and the portion of the crop that had emerged was rated 59% in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, June 16, according to this week’s USDA NASS Crop Progress report. Soybean planting was 77% complete.

Check this page throughout the afternoon for additional highlights from this week’s report.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit http://www.nass.usda.gov/…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

Clay Patton expands on how far behind the current crops are: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/crop-progress-a-story-of-too-little-too-late-6947.html

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 92 83 100 100
Corn Emerged 79 62 97 97
Soybeans Planted 77 60 96 93
Soybeans Emerged 55 34 89 84
Winter Wheat Headed 89 83 94 95
Winter Wheat Harvested 8 4 25 20
Spring Wheat Emerged 95 85 97 97
Spring Wheat Headed 2 NA 8 12
Cotton Planted 89 75 95 94
Cotton Squaring 19 11 21 18
Sorghum Planted 69 49 88 81
Sorghum Headed 15 14 18 16
Barley Emerged 92 86 95 96
Barley Headed 2 NA 7 12
Oats Emerged 94 87 98 99
Oats Headed 33 28 50 54
Rice Emerged 94 87 100 99


National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Corn 2 8 31 52 7 2 7 32 52 7 1 3 18 59 19
Winter Wheat 2 7 27 51 13 2 7 27 50 14 15 18 28 30 9
Spring Wheat 1 1 21 69 8 1 18 73 8 1 2 19 64 14
Cotton 4 11 36 42 7 7 8 41 37 7 5 21 36 33 5
Barley 1 6 17 63 13 2 14 68 16 1 2 13 72 12
Oats 2 4 28 58 8 2 4 29 57 8 4 3 23 58 12
Rice 1 6 30 51 12 1 6 32 52 9 3 23 60 14


National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Topsoil Moisture 2 10 67 21 1 8 66 25 10 24 58 8
Subsoil Moisture 2 8 68 22 1 7 66 26 10 23 60 7

The last few weeks of price moves have changed the market outlook and put more spring in the step of Iowa farmers who have gotten their crops in.

Until recently, trade was the topic du jour for farmers worried about low prices and the market for their crops. The wet spring, floods and prospects for record prevented planting acres have changed the tenor of conversations, said Craig Hill, president of the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation.

“The outlook for the producers was about trade, the tariff issue, and all of these question marks were out there,” Hill said. “With the spring we’ve had, there has been a complete paradigm shift.”

On Friday, Hill was watching the July corn contract, which closed at $4.53 Friday, and the December contract. Hill thinks the markets will remain uncertain over production and how the wet spring will affect yield.

“I think the market has a ways to go up yet, because I think we have destroyed a lot of yield,” Hill said. “The farmer in me, you know it seems like in wet years, you destroy your root system and lose nitrogen. It can have a more devastating effect than in dry years.”

DTN’s National Corn Index settled at $4.20 on Thursday, the highest level in five years. It may not have peaked, either, said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. There are a lot of doubts about whether USDA went low enough with its estimate for 1.675 billion bushels of ending stocks for the 2019-20 corn crop.

“My best guess is corn price is going to keep going higher because we haven’t seen credible ending stock estimates for corn yet,” Hultman said.

Hultman said USDA likely would continue moving down to a 1.4 billion- to 1.5 billion-bushel ending stocks estimate. A breaking point that could drive even more market reaction would be stocks under 1.2 billion bushels. “That’s kind of a critical level for prices,” Hultman said.

USDA’s price outlook released in February showed a decade of low prices going forward. “Net farm income was going to be dismal,” Hill pointed out. “So that was the paradigm we were all looking at. Now the paradigm is: How high will corn go?” Hill said. “Will it be $5? Will it be $6?”

Hill added, “It’s fun to see prices go up. It puts a little lift in your step.”

Farmers faced with prevented planting options cannot capture the opportunities of those higher prices with their insurance policies — unless USDA rules they can do so. On Monday, USDA issued a question-and-answer statement on trade assistance and disaster aid. On the question of the “harvest price option” for prevented planting, USDA stated, “USDA is currently exploring legal flexibility to provide assistance that better utilizes the harvest price in conjunction with revenue and prevent planting policies.”


Kelly Nieuwenhuis, a member of the Iowa Corn Board who farms near Primghar, Iowa, is a little more nervous about his potential production.

“We have corn we planted June 4 and 5 that just emerged. We know the hope for that is going to be marginal,” Nieuwenhuis said.

After that crop went in, Nieuwenhuis said, a quick spike in heat last week baked the topsoil. He was thankful for some showers this week that were needed for the ground despite the water deeper in the soil.

Nieuwenhuis likes the direction prices are headed, but his problems planting this spring remind him of 1993 — the great flood year in Iowa — which led to Nieuwenhuis’ worst production years for both his corn and soybeans. Late-planted crops that year were hit with a mid-September frost, and yields were dismal, he said.

“This year is matching up to that now,” he said.

Like Nieuwenhuis, Hill also made the comparison to 1993 and the poor production that year. “These prairie soils don’t perform really well with too much water.”

South of Nieuwenhuis, Nathan Anderson, who farms with his father just outside of Cherokee, Iowa, likes how his corn crop looks so far. A board member for Practical Farmers of Iowa, Anderson uses cover crops and grazes cattle to help his soil health. Despite some struggles this season, Anderson said he got some corn planted early and experienced constant hit-and-miss rains this spring.

“We were able to get a couple of days here and there to get stuff done,” he said. “We planted a couple of days in the dark, but we were able to get an early start. We were later than normal by a little bit, but not too bad given the circumstances.”

Taking advantage of the weather to do some fieldwork Thursday, Anderson said he didn’t have time to frequently check prices, but he knows markets are moving upward.

“I probably wasn’t watching it as close as I should have, but it definitely catches your attention when the market is moving like this,” Anderson said. “It’s definitely a positive for those of us who were able to get a crop into the ground. It’s nice to have something the market wants.”

For consumers of corn, such as pork producers, the shift has moved from buying corn and soybeans hand-to-mouth to now looking to secure supplies before the prices get out of hand, Hill said.


The rise in grain prices has also eased tensions in rural America over President Donald Trump’s trade agenda. Iowa farmers, in general, have supported the president. But Hill said the tensions have become like a rubber band being pulled back more and more with every economic hit to producers.

“I thought it could break, but now I think much of that tension has been relieved,” Hill said. “And I was one — it was pretty hard on me to think we were going to fight everybody in the world with renegotiation on trade to disrupt all of our relationships.”

Favorable prices, along with perhaps more long-term market support following the president’s year-round E15 sales decision, have quickly reduced some of the tension. “I think those favorability ratings are going up pretty fast,” Hill said.

Like many in the ethanol industry, Nieuwenhuis, a board member for a local ethanol plant, was pleased with the move to get E15 approved for year-round use. At the same time, Nieuwenhuis sees the president’s action being undercut by EPA’s aggressive approval of small-refinery exemptions, or hardship waivers, that have reduced ethanol use by 2.6 billion gallons over the past two years.

“We appreciate the E15 rule, but the hardship waivers are doing a lot of damage,” he said. “Those gallons need to be reallocated.”

The small-refinery exemptions may be the biggest issue concerning Nieuwenhuis, but he also wants to see the trade dispute with China resolved. Nieuwenhuis said he thinks other farmers agree China has been taking advantage of trade rules for too long. At the same time, farmers are becoming divided over the trade dispute.

“We don’t want to see our president fail,” he said. “I don’t know anybody who would want to see the president fail. In agriculture, the last thing we need to do is be divided.”

Near Rippey, Iowa, David Weaver said he is a little more concerned about political dialogue. Weaver, a Democratic state legislature candidate who lost last year, said he sees more division already in rural America because of party politics. “I’m concerned about how we treat each other. The discourse is so awful.”

Weaver also is worried about the trade battles and where soybeans are going to be sold, which is why only 25% of his acres this year went to beans.

“You kick your best customer in the shin, so if they have a chance, they are going to go somewhere else,” Weaver said. “We’re not the only ones who can grow soybeans.”

Weaver, though, also said he felt pretty lucky about his crops overall. His area in central Iowa largely avoided a lot of rains that slowed planting for most farmers. Weaver was able to get planting started in early April on the 1,800 acres he farms with his father. Weaver said planting got done in two- to three-day windows between rains.

“We’re in a pretty good spot,” Weaver said. “I think the crops in this area look pretty good.” Noting the price rally, Weaver added, “It’s a good time to be a farmer — and have your crops in.”

Kansas Corn is now accepting entries into the 2019 Kansas Corn Yield Contest. In its second year, the yield contest is open to Kansas Corn Growers Association members, and entry into the 2019 contest is free.
“We have built this contest to promote excitement around the productivity of our Kansas corn producers, share data and practices to improve profitability and to celebrate the top yields throughout the state. We are excited to partner with K-State Research and Extension to continue this yield contest to encourage innovation and reward the hard-working farmers who enter this contest,” according to Kansas Corn’s director of research and stewardship, Dale Fjell.
The contest will award a dryland and irrigated winner in each of the districts. The districts align with crop reporting districts, plus a NNE district, which was created to include Doniphan and parts of Brown and Atchison counties. In addition, one statewide dryland winner and one statewide irrigated winner will be announced. Cash prizes will be awarded at the district and state levels. Winners will be recognized at the Kansas Corn Symposium in January 2020.
Registration for the Kansas Corn Yield Contest must be completed by August 30. If harvest occurs before the August 30 deadline then the registration must be received two weeks prior to harvest. Harvest Forms must be submitted by Dec. 1, 2019. Exceptions can be made for late harvest. Entries submitted to the National Corn Yield Contest qualify to enter the state contest, but entries must be made to both contests.
District winners will receive $300 and a plaque. Second place entries will receive a $200 prize and third place will receive a $100 prize. The highest yielding dryland and irrigated entries statewide will receive an additional $500 prize. All farmers entering the contest and completing the harvest form will receive a shirt from Kansas Corn.
For complete yield contest rules, forms and to register, visit kscorn.com/yield. For more information, call Kansas Corn at 785-410-5009, or emailyield@ksgrains.com.

Growth Energy Wednesday filed a motion in a U.S. federal appeals court to intervene in a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s rule allowing year-round E15 sales.

The final rule is being challenged by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers who filed the lawsuit on Monday. Growth Energy CEO Emily Skor called the challenge “no surprise,” noting the industry saw similar challenges when E15 was first approved in 2011. Skor says the oil industry “wants to inject uncertainty into the marketplace.”AFMP contends, “the plain language of the Clean Air Act does not authorize an RVP waiver expansion beyond E10.”

Year-round E15 sales were authorized through a Reid vapor pressure waiver. Under the Clean Air Act, legal challenges to EPA’s E15 rulemaking may be brought as a “petition for review” within 60 days of publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Interested parties such as Growth Energy may also file a motion to intervene in the petition for review to protect their interests.

LINCOLN – Today, Governor Pete Ricketts issued a statement following news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had issued a new rule authorizing the year-round sale of E15.  In September 2018, Governor Ricketts had joined President Donald J. Trump to announce the commencement of the rulemaking process to approve year-round E15.


“Thank you to President Trump, Administrator Wheeler, and the EPA for delivering on their promise to approve E15 by the summer driving season.  Promises made, promises kept!” said Governor Ricketts.  “As the summer driving season kicks off, consumers now have the option to choose a fuel that’s cheaper for them and better for our state’s environment and economy.  Increased demand for ethanol will also be a boon to our state’s corn farmers during a time of low commodity prices.”


“The Nebraska Ethanol Board commends the EPA for fulfilling the administration‘s promise to put out a rule before summer driving season that allows for the year-round, nationwide sale of E15,” said Sarah Caswell, the board’s administrator.  “This rule change, in concert with complementary policies and regulations that help incentivize infrastructure investments, is a vital step forward for the increased demand and use of higher blends of ethanol throughout the country.  In a favorable regulatory environment, we are confident that the new rule will lead to greater demand for Nebraska ethanol, which in turn will benefit the nation’s economy, environment, and public health.  It will also help our farmers, producers, and retailers.  This is a day to celebrate!”


Currently, E15 can be marketed September 16th through April 30th.  This final rule from the EPA allows E15 to be sold all year long.


“E15 is approved for any vehicle model year 2001 and newer,” said Tim Scheer, farmer from St. Paul and District 5 Director of the Nebraska Corn Board.  “This makes up over 90% of all vehicles on the road today.  Additionally, E15 is the most widely tested fuel ever.  Well over 4 billion miles have been driven on E15.  It’s a great performing, higher octane fuel that saves consumers money.”


Nebraska produces the second-most ethanol among U.S. states.  Over 1,400 rural Nebraskans work directly in ethanol production, and the state’s ethanol output has reached record highs of 2.2 billion gallons per year.  Expanding the market for ethanol will likely raise production even more.


The State of Nebraska is successfully working to introduce greater volumes of higher ethanol blends—E15, E30, and E85—into the nation’s fuel supply to save consumers money, benefit the environment, and create more opportunity for Nebraska’s farm families.  In a few days, on June 3rd, the State will start an EPA-approved program to study the use of locally sourced E30 in conventional state-owned vehicles.  The research on these vehicles’ mileage and maintenance needs will help demonstrate that E30 can both reduce consumers’ costs and contribute to a cleaner environment.


The State is also investing in the distribution network of higher ethanol blends.  Through participation in the USDA’s Biofuel Infrastructure Partnership program, Nebraska doubled the number of blender pumps in the state in just two years, from 2016 through 2018.  Nebraska now has flex fuel pumps at more than 100 locations, giving drivers expanded access to high-content ethanol fuels.

The Environmental Protection Agency is reportedly ready to scrap RIN market reforms as it readies a rule to allow year-round E15 sales. Bloomberg News reports the shift comes as the agency races to meet a May 31 rule making deadline.

The official summer driving season starts Saturday, leaving little time to announce the rule. The RIN market modifications are part of the same rule allowing year-round E15. However, for the rule to benefit drivers this year, it’s thought that the rule must be finalized before the summer driving season. The market reforms would have implemented trading restrictions on RIN credits.

While the EPA may be backing off the aggressive RIN market reforms, agency officials will apparently continue to evaluate other market changes requested by President Trump. Year-round E15 sales is a welcome move by the U.S. biofuel industry and corn farmers because it has the potential to increase demand for U.S. ethanol.

Late Friday evening federal judge William Conley of the Western District of Wisconsin ruled in favor of MillerCoors on key elements of the brewer’s request for a preliminary injunction in its lawsuit against Anheuser Busch, which argued a Bud Light ad campaign deliberately deceived the public. The federal court also denied Anheuser Busch’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

The new federal ruling bars Anheuser Busch from using specific language featured prominently during the recent ad campaign in any future commercials, print advertising or social media. Specifically, within 10 days of the ruling Anheuser Busch is barred from:

  • Saying Bud Light contains “100% less corn syrup”;
  • Referencing Bud Light and “no corn syrup” without any reference to “brewed with,” “made with” or “uses”;
  • Referencing Miller Lite and/or Coors Light and “corn syrup” without including any reference to “brewed with,” “made with” or “uses”; and
  • Describing “corn syrup” as an ingredient “in” the finished product.

“We are pleased with today’s ruling that will force Anheuser Busch to change or remove advertisements that were clearly designed to mislead the American public,” said MillerCoors CEO Gavin Hattersley. “As the dominant market leader, Anheuser Busch should be seeking to grow the beer category, not destroy it through deceptive advertising. Their campaign is bad for the public, bad for the beer industry and against the law. We are happy to hold them accountable for it, and we look forward to the next steps in this case.”

The judge deferred ruling on whether the existing Bud Light packaging, which proclaims the beer has “no corn syrup,” will have to be removed from stores. The two parties will brief the court on their views in that aspect in the coming weeks.

Notable quotes from the federal ruling (which is attached in full):

  • “The court finds that plaintiff’s (MillerCoors) evidence is sufficient to support a finding at the preliminary injunction stage that it has some likelihood of success of proving defendant’s advertisements deceived or have the tendency to deceive a substantial segment of consumers to believe that Miller Lite and Coors Light actually contain corn syrup.” (page 43)
  • “Plaintiff’s (MillerCoors) strongest evidence is the defendant’s (Anheuser Busch) own statements indicating that in launching this campaign, it was aware of and intended to exploit consumer concerns about corn syrup… these statements support a finding that defendant was aware of consumer concerns about the likelihood of confusion surrounding corn syrup and HFCS, and that the defendant hoped consumers would interpret advertising statements about “made with corn syrup” or “brewed with corn syrup” as corn syrup actually being in the final products.” (page 35-36)
  • In reference to the most recent Bud Light commercial from the campaign, released on March 20, 2019, “the court also concludes that plaintiff (MillerCoors) is likely to succeed in demonstrating that this language is misleading because it crosses the line to encourage a reasonable consumer to believe corn syrup is actually contained in the final product.” (page 35)
  • “There is no meaningful difference between using rice or corn syrup as an ingredient in terms of health or safety of the resulting beer product.” (page 4)

President Donald Trump says the summertime ban on higher ethanol blends is a “ridiculous rule.” However, SP Global Dot Com says during a press conference last Thursday, he didn’t give any new timeline for giving consumers year-round access to E-15.

The Environmental Protection Agency says it will issue a final rule allowing summertime E-15 sales by June 1, the official start of the U.S. summer driving season. Trump says ethanol remains a vital part of America’s energy future. Last October, the president promised his administration would approve year-round E-15 access, but the policy got bogged down, thanks to the government shutdown and the debate between biofuel producers and oil refiners.

The EPA did propose a year-round E-15 rule in March, a process that typically takes several months to finish. Market experts say that gas station owners are likely waiting until the final rule is official before they add any new pumping equipment. The Renewable Fuels Association says hundreds of fuel stations would add equipment to pump E-15 in the months after the EPA adopts the final rule. They also say that number will grow to thousands in the years after the decision is reached.

This year we travel to Minden Nebraska to follow a seed corn field on the Olson family Farm. The Olson family has farmed the same land for over a century and Stephen is using the latest in cover crops and soil testing to properly manage his soil health and fertility. Stephen is also looking towards the future and bringing the next generation back to the family farm.

Catch the podcast here: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/big-irons-fridays-in-the-field-6792.html

Click below to watch this week’s Friday in the Field video.

 If there’s one thing for certain in farming, it’s that you can never really predict the weather.

Kansas State University cropping systems specialist Ignacio Ciampitti says this spring’s conditions have been particularly vexing for the state’s corn and soybean growers, and it may cause many of them to re-think their management strategies.

“One of the main issues we are facing today is simply planting the crop,” Ciampitti said.

“For those that planted in mid- to late-April, they may be facing a problem due to the temperatures not being as high as expected for this time of year. And in some areas, there was quite a bit of rain, so the crop is having to respond to two factors – temperature and water.”

In areas where there was excess rain, some corn fields had standing water, Ciampitti said, causing that crop to grow slowly. “What we will start seeing after the water recedes, in some situations, is that those plants will start dying,” he said.

It’s caused concern for this year’s corn yields, but one solution could be re-planting in some areas of the field. Ciampitti said farmers should scout their fields and make a determination on the number of plants affected. Farmers will then have a better idea on whether it makes sense economically to re-plants parts of the field.

“The number one priority (as of mid-May) is to make sure that you plant your fields,” Ciampitti said. “As soon as you have any time, and it may be between rains, make sure you go back to those fields that you planted early and do some scouting. That will help you to assess the level of damage and put some strategy regarding what fields you should need to go about right away.”

Farmers who are thinking about re-planting should also be cognizant of the late May deadlines for planting as they relate to crop insurance. “If you plant after the deadline, you will not be able to insure the entire crop,” he said.

“I still think farmers should be emphasizing planting the seed in the right soil conditions”.

Ciampitti said that the planting window for soybeans is much more broad than for corn. He noted that soybeans planted in mid-June, for example, have “yielded well as compared to those planted in mid-to-late May in past years.”

“(Soybean yields) will depend basically on what the conditions are when we get to the middle of August to September, which is the moment that the soybean is setting pods and filling seeds,” he said.

Ciampitti said that standing water in fields also can affect soybean yields.

“If soybean plants are submerged for less than 48 hours, there is a good chance they will survive,” he said. “Plants can survive under water longer under cool than warm temperatures. Submerged soybean plants can survive for up to seven days when temperatures are less than 80 degrees F.”

To find out whether the soybeans are damaged after the water recedes, he said, split the stem at the tip and examine the growing point. A healthy growing point will be firm and white or cream colored. A soft, dark growing point indicates injury. In some cases, he said, the silt coating the plant after short-term flooding can cause more injury and plant death than the water itself.

“Injury can depend on variety, growth stage, duration of waterlogging, soil texture, fertility levels, and diseases present,” Ciampitti said. “The interactions of these factors make it hard to predict how a given soybean field will react to waterlogged soils.”