Tag Archives: soybeans

Waukesha, Wis. (June 26, 2019) – Farmers looking for any bit of good news in all of the rain-soaked suffering this spring are asking if the extreme overabundance of moisture has drowned Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN). “Unfortunately, the answer is no,” says Greg Tylka, Iowa State University nematologist and leader of The SCN Coalition.


Nematodes are worms (animals) that require oxygen. “They absorb oxygen through their body wall or cuticle, which is made almost exclusively of proteins (and no chitin),” he adds. “Waterlogged soils may have greatly reduced levels of oxygen. But many plant-parasitic nematodes, including SCN, can survive long periods of time with little oxygen.”


In the early 1970s, scientists at the University of Arkansas conducted experiments to determine whether SCN could survive in flooded conditions. They found that hatched SCN juveniles survived in water up to 630 days – and probably longer, but the experiment ended after 630 days. Scientists also tested survival of SCN in flooded soils, and the juveniles survived seven to 19 months depending on soil texture. The research paper is available online.


SCN eggs can survive in a dormant state for many years in the absence of soybeans, particularly the eggs that occur within the body of the dead female or cyst. “Typically, the eggs are more tolerant of environmental stresses than hatched juveniles. So it’s likely that SCN eggs in infested fields are not adversely affected by waterlogged soils either,” Tylka explains.


More bad news …

A bit of additional bad news: Soil moved by erosion due to heavy rains and floodwaters may spread SCN to new places. It is not possible to quantify the magnitude or frequency of this happening. And considering how widespread SCN already is in the Midwest, perhaps the movement of SCN in soil moved by rainfall and floodwaters will not have a great impact.

“Nonetheless, it is quite possible that some fields may have had SCN introduced in soil from other fields this spring,” Tylka says. “Consequently, soil samples should be collected this fall to test for SCN in fields where soybeans will be grown in 2020.” Guidelines for collecting SCN soil samples can be found online along with a list of university and private laboratories in the United States that process soil samples for SCN.


A possible silver lining to the storm clouds


Multiple SCN generations – likely four to six or more – occur throughout a normal growing season. And it takes about 30 days for SCN to complete a single generation once soils warm up in late spring and summer.


According to Tylka, “If soybean planting is delayed by several weeks, as in 2019, there likely will be one or two fewer generations of SCN occurring during the season. And that means less of an increase in SCN numbers simply because there are fewer weeks for SCN to reproduce on soybeans in 2019.

“But beware! The potential for large increases in numbers and for severe damage always exists with SCN, especially if the weather turns hot and dry – ideal conditions for SCN reproduction,” he continues. “The numbers of SCN eggs in soil can build up quickly over multiple generations.” For example, a few hundred eggs can increase to nearly 40,000 in just three generations, as shown in the infographic available online.

Manage SCN for the long term


Tylka says successful, long-term management of SCN requires an active, integrated approach of growing nonhost crops such as corn in rotation with SCN-resistant soybean varieties. “Farmers should seek out and grow soybean varieties with different sources of resistance to grow in different years. And nematode-protectant seed treatments are available to bolster the performance of SCN-resistant soybean varieties.”

For more information about the biology and management of SCN, visit thescncoalition.com.

Ninety-six percent of intended corn acres and 85% of intended soybean acres were planted as of Sunday, June 23, according to this week’s USDA NASS Crop Progress report. For the portion of the crops that had emerged, corn was rated 56% in good-to-excellent condition and soybeans were rated 54% in good-to-excellent condition.

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 reports on Nebraska crops being among the best in the nation currently: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/futures-one-crop-progress-report-nebraska-corn-6993.html

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 96 92 100 100
Corn Emerged 89 79 100 99
Soybeans Planted 85 77 100 97
Soybeans Emerged 71 55 94 91
Winter Wheat Headed 94 89 98 99
Winter Wheat Harvested 15 8 39 34
Spring Wheat Headed 7 2 30 29
Cotton Planted 96 89 99 98
Cotton Squaring 30 19 31 28
Cotton Setting Bolls 3 NA 6 5
Sorghum Planted 84 69 94 91
Sorghum Headed 17 15 20 20
Barley Emerged 97 92 99 99
Barley Headed 9 2 25 30
Oats Emerged 97 94 100 100
Oats Headed 43 33 65 68
Rice Emerged 97 94 100 100
Rice Headed 5 NA 6 8


National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Corn 3 9 32 48 8 2 8 31 52 7 1 4 18 58 19
Soybeans 2 8 36 47 7 NA NA NA NA NA 1 4 22 58 15
Winter Wheat 3 8 28 46 15 2 7 27 51 13 15 19 29 28 9
Spring Wheat 3 22 67 8 1 1 21 69 8 2 3 18 63 14
Cotton 4 13 33 45 5 4 11 36 42 7 1 18 39 35 7
Sorghum 3 25 61 11 NA NA NA NA NA 3 9 32 51 5
Barley 1 4 23 64 8 1 6 17 63 13 1 3 13 65 18
Oats 2 5 29 56 8 2 4 28 58 8 3 3 22 59 13
Rice 1 6 27 52 14 1 6 30 51 12 5 25 57 13


National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Topsoil Moisture 2 8 64 26 2 10 67 21 8 18 61 13
Subsoil Moisture 2 8 65 25 2 8 68 22 9 20 62 9

As bad weather continues to delay soybean planting in some parts of the country, some growers could be left with unused bags or bins of treated soybean seed — and few good options for dealing with them.

“Growers need to know that if they order treated soybean seeds, those seeds are theirs,” explained Kris Ehler, a sales agronomist with Ehler Bros., a family seed and crop consulting company in Illinois. “Even if they don’t put them in the ground, they still own them.”

While most seed companies will readily reclaim unused treated corn seed, they are less likely to allow growers to return treated beans. “Corn can last two to three years in storage and still maintain its germination rate,” Ehler explained. But, thanks to their oil content, soybeans are less stable in storage.

“Soybeans will degrade much more rapidly, and it’s hard to store them for even just a year and have confidence that you will get good germination,” Ehler said. In fact, an Iowa State study found that soybean seed germination rates dropped below 20% after 16 months in a warehouse with no climate control.

Because treated soybean seeds generally contain some combination of pesticides, usually a fungicide and insecticide, growers cannot send them into the commodity stream for food, feed, oil processing or export. Nor can they discard them casually; they have to follow federal and state regulations on the disposal of treated seed.

Growers should still check first with their seed dealer to see if their treated beans can be returned. If not, it’s time to evaluate their other options, which boil down to storing, burying, planting or destroying the treated soybeans. Each comes with a host of challenges and considerations.


When attempting to store treated soybeans, cool and dry conditions are best — and if both are not possible, dryness is the most important factor, said Susan Goggi, a seed scientist with Iowa State University.

Back in 2013, Goggi conducted a study to evaluate how well treated and untreated soybeans handled storage. She collected samples of commercially available soybean varieties with a range of maturity groups and protein and oil content. She treated the seed with insecticide or a mixture of insecticide and fungicide and left some untreated.

The good news was that treated soybeans handled storage better over the course of 20 months than the untreated soybeans, Goggi recalled. The bad news is that both treated and untreated beans required near-ideal storage conditions — a controlled climate of 50 degrees Fahrenheit and 50% relative humidity — and high starting quality of the beans to maintain their viability.

Under those conditions, treated soybeans’ germination rates only dropped from their starting range of 95% to 98% to just 92% after 20 months. In a warm, but dry storage unit — 77 degrees and 30% relative humidity — germination rates of treated seed dropped to 89%. But when the soybean seed was kept in a warehouse with no climate control, germination rates dropped to 80% in 12 months and fell quickly below 20% by 16 months.

Keep in mind that growers storing seed in 2019 would likely see much lower germination rates than this study produced, due to the lower starting quality of the soybean seed out there, cautioned Ohio State University Extension plant pathologist Anne Dorrance.

“The issue is that a lot of soybean seed from 2018 was really poor quality,” she said. “We had reports from all my counterparts across the Midwest seeing high levels of Phomopsis and Diaporthe infections in soybean seed.” Seed with 80% to 85% germination rates was not uncommon this spring. See the DTN story here: https://www.dtnpf.com/….

Nonetheless, if you have a significant amount of unused treated soybean seed, you could possibly recapture some of its value by storing it for the spring of 2020, rather than take a complete loss on it, Ehler said.

“You would need to find the most consistent environment you can, such as an insulated or air-conditioned shed,” he advised. “In February, pull samples, get a germination test and find out what you’ve got.” Even germination rates as low as 75% could be blended with higher-quality soybean seed of the same maturity group next year, he noted. At germination rates below 50%, the seed is probably no longer worth your time and resources to plant, Goggi said.

You could also do the math and see if it is worth renting some space in a storage facility with controlled temperature and humidity, Goggi and Ehler added. “You’ll have to calculate — if my germination drops to this level, I will have to bump my seeding rate to this level, and will cost me that much money versus what it costs for this controlled environment,” Ehler explained.

If your treated seed is stored in bins, Goggi recommends sampling from the middle of the bin, not the top. “Skim the top part of the seed off and take a sample from deeper in the bin — where there is going to be less fluctuation in temperature and relative humidity — and use that to determine germination,” she said. Using the same logic, sample germination rates from both outside bags and inner bags when evaluating the viability of seed stored in a large pile of paper bags, she added.


When storage isn’t an option, what’s left? First, check the label of your treated seed. Seed treatment active ingredients may come with a host of specific restrictions on disposal. Your state pesticide regulators might have their own rules, too. You can find their contacts here: https://aapco.org/…. Then consider the following:

— Plant it: Small quantities of leftover treated seed can be planted, at proper seeding depths, into “fallow or other non-cropped areas of the farm,” according to the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship (PES), an industry- and university-led group that gives guidance on legal and safe pesticide management. Increasing soybean seeding rates to accommodate for late planting and lower germination rates could also help use up excess soybean seed, Ehler noted.

— Make it a cover crop: In 2013, USDA’s Risk Management Agency agreed to allow farmers with prevented soybean planting claims to use their bags and bins of leftover soybean seed as a cover crop — and the agency could do something similar this year. But, in the meantime, consult your crop insurance agent before you make any attempt to plant leftover soybeans as a cover, Dorrance urged.

— Bury it: Seed burial is an option, but only if it is allowed by the label, and growers avoid burying it near water sources.

— Outsource it: Some state municipal landfills can dispose of treated seed as hazardous waste. Other facilities can incinerate them, such as waste management facilities, power plants, cement kilns, ethanol plants and even some elevators. See more details on each state’s hazardous waste programs here: https://www.epa.gov/….

What NOT to do: Trying to broadcast or spread the seed at a high seeding rate and then incorporate it is risky and could leave seed exposed or violate the label of certain seed treatment active ingredients, the PES warned. Composting pesticide-treated seed or burning it in a home or shop stove is also illegal and unsafe, the group added.

For more guidance on how to handle unused treated soybean seed, see:

— The Pesticide Stewardship Alliance’s guide here: https://pesticidestewardship.org/…

— This guide from the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA): https://seed-treatment-guide.com/…

— This fact sheet from the University of Minnesota: https://drive.google.com/…

Washington, D.C.- American Soybean Association (ASA) Board Member and Missouri farmer Ronnie Russell appeared Wednesday before the House Financial Services Committee Subcommittee on National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy, testifying on the impact of trade and tariffs on soybean producers and the larger agricultural economy.

“Soybean farmers like me are feeling the impacts of the tariff war, and they are unsure if they will be able to make it through another growing season,” Russell said. “Older farmers are considering retiring early to protect the equity they’ve built up in their farms, while younger producers are looking at finding other employment. We may also see the shuttering of more businesses in rural communities whose livelihoods depend on the health of the farm economy.”

The 25% retaliatory tariff imposed last July has all but halted shipments to China, which up until last year was the largest export destination for U.S. soybeans. In 2017, China purchased $14 billion worth of U.S. soybeans. Now, the tariff has caused immediate and severe damage to the price of U.S. soybeans, which fell from $10.89 to $8.68 per bushel last summer.

“Our finances are suffering and stress from months of living with the consequences of tariffs is mounting. Soybean growers need China’s tariff removed now,” Russell continued. “Long-term, what farmers and rural communities need is predictability and certainty, which only comes through maintaining and opening new markets where we can sell our products. While we are working hard to diversify and expand other market opportunities, the loss of the China market cannot be fully replaced.”

Russell concluded his remarks by calling on Congress to urge the Administration to conclude negotiations with China that include an immediate lifting of the soybean tariff. He also asked both Congress and the Administration to finalize and enact the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), to bring a sense of progress and stability back to U.S. soybean growers and rural America.

Lincoln, Nebraska, June 19, 2019 – The U.S Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency (FSA) in Nebraska is extending the deadline for producers in the state to report their spring prevented plant crop acres to the agency.

FSA State Executive Director Nancy Johner today announced Nebraska producers now have until July 15, 2019, to report to FSA acres they intended to plant to crops this spring but could not do so because of the difficult weather conditions. This new deadline coincides with the July 15, 2019, FSA acreage certification deadline that is already in place.

“In many areas of the state, flooding and persistent wet weather have made it challenging for producers to get into their fields for planting,” Johner said. “Producers need to report prevented plant acres to FSA to retain eligibility for FSA program benefits. This extension provides them some flexibility to meet that reporting requirement.”

Normally, the prevented plant reporting deadline is 15 calendar days after the final planting date for a crop as established by FSA and the Risk Management Agency (RMA). Johner said the prevented plant reporting deadline extension to July 15 applies to FSA programs only and does not change any crop insurance reporting deadline requirements.

This reporting extension also does not apply to crops that producers have covered through FSA’s Non-Insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP). Producers should check with their county FSA office regarding prevented plant provisions for NAP-covered crops.

“This prevented plant reporting extension to July 15 will mainly apply to spring-planted crops such as corn, soybeans and grain sorghum,” Johner said.

Even though this deadline has been extended, producers are encouraged to communicate with their county FSA office as soon as possible regarding completion of both their spring crop acreage certification and their prevented plant acres reports. While walk-in traffic will be accommodated as much as possible, county FSA offices prefer scheduled appointments with producers to facilitate the flow of business through their doors and make the most efficient use of time for all parties. To find contact information for a county FSA office, producers should type offices.usda.gov in their internet browser.

(THE CONVERSATION) Soybeans may not seem all that useful in a war. Nonetheless they’ve become China’s most important weapon in its ever-worsening trade conflict with the U.S.

China, the world’s biggest buyer of the crop, has reportedly stopped purchasing any American soybeans in retaliation for the Trump administration raising tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese goods. This is very bad news for U.S. farmers.

While China’s targeting of soybeans may have come as something of a surprise to most Americans, to a professor of agricultural economics who studies international commodity markets for a living, this was not at all unexpected.

Even before the conclusion of the 2016 presidential race, trade analysts were already weighing the possibility that China might impose an embargo on U.S. soybean imports based on protectionist rhetoric from both candidates.

As a result, with the trade war in full swing, American soybean farmers are now among its biggest losers. Here are a few figures that show why.

Soybeans, by the numbers

Soybeans are a crucial part of the global food chain, particularly as a source of protein in the production of hogs and poultry.

The importance of China as a market for soybeans has been driven by an explosion in demand for meat as consumers switch from a diet dominated by rice to one where pork, poultry and beef play an important part. Chinese production of meat from those three animals surged 250% from 1986 to 2012 and is projected to increase another 30% by the end of the current decade. However, China is unable to produce enough animal feed itself, hence the need to import soybeans from the United States and Brazil.

In 2017, the U.S. accounted for $21.4 billion worth of global soybean exports, the second largest after its main competitor Brazil, which exported $25.7 billion.

Meanwhile, in 2017 China accounted for the lion’s share of global soybean imports at $39.6 billion, or two-thirds of the total.

Back in 2017, that was good news for American farmers, when U.S. exports made up about a third of Chinese purchases, or $13.9 billion. That made soybeans the United States’ second-most valuable export to China after airplanes.

But U.S. exports to China have fallen dramatically since China slapped a 25% tariff on Americans soybeans last April as part of its initial response to President Donald Trump’s trade war.

In the current farm marketing year, which began Sept. 1, U.S. farmers have exported just 5.9 million metric tons of soybeans to China, compared with an average of 29 million at the same point during the previous three years – or about 80% less.

That’s why the tariffs have tremendous potential to hurt farmers in my state of Ohio, where soybeans were the number one agricultural export in 2017 at $1.3 billion. China is the state’s largest export market.

And yet nationally, Ohio is just the seventh-largest exporter of soybeans, after Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Indiana and Missouri, all of which are suffering from the tariffs.

Not only do farmers stand to lose out by giving up market share to Brazilian farmers, but soybean prices at the port of New Orleans have fallen as well and are currently $9.35 a bushel compared with $10.82 per bushel a year ago. This has hurt incomes and created a double whammy for Midwest farms.

This is of course why the Chinese chose to place a tariff on U.S. soybeans in the first place. Farmers will hurt a lot, and soybeans are produced in states where many of them voted for Donald Trump. China’s hope, presumably, is that farmers will lobby the administration to step back from further escalation of the trade war.

That seems unlikely, given the $28 billion in aid the Trump administration is offering farmers to soften the blow and the possibility of higher tariffs on an additional $325 billion worth of Chinese imports. At this point it looks like both sides are hunkering down for a prolonged trade war.

This is an updated version of an article original published on April 5, 2018.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: http://theconversation.com/how-soybeans-became-chinas-most-powerful-weapon-in-trumps-trade-war-118088.