READ the NAFB’s National Ag News for Wednesday, October 7th

Sponsored by the American Farm Bureau Federation

Farmers Showing More Optimism in Monthly Ag Economy Barometer

U.S. agricultural producers became more optimistic again in September. The Purdue University-CME Group Ag Economy Barometer climbed to 156, the highest reading for the index since the pandemic began last winter and 12 points higher than one-month earlier. Since July, the index is up 38 points and is 60 points higher than its 2020 low established back in April. In September, producers were more optimistic about current conditions and the future for agriculture than in August. The Current Conditions Index, with a reading of 142, was 18 points higher compared to a month earlier and the Future Expectations Index rose nine points to a reading of 163. Organizers say The Department of Agriculture’s announcement of the second round of Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments to producers and the ongoing rally in fall crop prices were likely the two primary drivers behind the improvement. Farmers were also more optimistic about making investments in their farming operation and about the short-run outlook for farmland values than they were in August.

Barchart Releases Updated Production and Yield Forecast

Barchart released its October production forecast Tuesday, estimating a corn yield decrease compared to the September forecast. The company estimates corn production at 15.1 billion bushels, with a season yield of 178.2 bushels per acre. For soybeans, Barchart estimates production at 4.1 billion bushels, with a season yield of 50.5 bushels per acre. The data represents a decrease in expected yield for corn, relative to the September report, which predicted end of season yield at 178.4 bushels per acre. End of season yield for soybeans remains the same at 50.5 bushels per acre. Available to the public on the first Tuesday of each month during the growing season, the Crop Production and Yield Forecasts provide quick projections before the Department of Agriculture’s World Agricultural Supply and Demand report. In September, USDA projected a corn crop of 14.9 billion bushels, and a soybean crop of 4.3 billion bushels. USDA will release the next monthly WASDE report Friday.

Corteva: Dry Conditions May Result in 2021 Herbicide Carryover Injuries

Corteva warns farmers current drought conditions in the Corn Belt could cause herbicide carryover in 2021. The concentration of herbicide remaining in the soil at next season’s planting may be too high if dry conditions persist. This will depend on herbicide chemical properties, soil characteristics and the weather, according to Pioneer Field Agronomist Bob Berkevich. Additionally, while this season’s crop may be well-suited to tolerating the herbicide used, a rotational crop may be susceptible to injury. Emerging plants are more likely to show injury to residual herbicide levels if other stressors, such as compaction or cold, wet soils are also present. Berkevich says farmers cannot do much to change the concentration of herbicides present in the soil. But there are several steps they can take to help reduce the risk of carryover injury, such as reviewing spray records for each field to see what restrictions are indicated or even going so far as delaying planting.

NMPF Supports Efforts to Modernize Animal ID and Disease Traceability Requirement

The National Milk Producers Federation submitted comments supporting a Department of Agriculture proposal on the use of Radio Frequency Identification Tags. USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service proposes RFID tags as Official Identification in cattle and bison. NMPF President and CEO Jim Mulhern says, “A national animal identification system can provide immediate access to relevant information in an animal disease or food safety crisis that could endanger the entire dairy chain, while protecting farmers’ privacy.” The U.S. dairy industry has long advocated modernizing animal ID and disease traceability systems. Farmer organizations, including NMPF, formed a group called IDairy to collectively advance official mandatory animal identification to aid disease traceability. IDairy in received a USDA-APHIS cooperative agreement on premise registration and animal ID education that propelled the use of RFID tags in the U.S. dairy industry. Since 2009, the National Dairy FARM Program, Farmers Assuring Responsible Management, has also recommended use of official RFID tags for all dairy cattle.

Below Average Runoff Continues along Missouri River Basin

September precipitation was well-below normal in the Missouri River Basin. As a result, September runoff in the upper Missouri River Basin above Sioux City, Iowa, was 69 percent of average. Since January, precipitation in the upper Basin is well-below normal, a stark contrast to the last three years of high water along the river and flooding. 2019 saw historic flooding along the Missouri River, with the Army Corps of Engineers releasing large amounts of water from Gavins Point Dam, destroying levees and flooding farmland. This fall, Missouri River Basin Water Management Division chief John Reemus says, “Releases from Gavins Point Dam are being made to meet full-service Missouri River navigation flow targets.” According to the National Drought Mitigation Center, drought conditions continue to worsen across much of the upper Basin. Wide-spread areas of drought classified as Extreme are evident in Colorado and Wyoming. Moderate to Severe drought conditions are present in large areas of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

California Wildfires Burn Record 4 Million Acres

Wildfires in California have burned a record four-plus million acres this year, an area larger than Connecticut. The figure is more than twice the acreage burned in the previous record year, 2018. Five of the top six fires in California’s modern history have occurred this year, including the largest single fire on record, being the Creek Fire that has burned more than 320,000 acres alone. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reports that there have been over 8,300 fires in the state since the beginning of the year. The Washington Post reports scientists have linked the severity of 2020′s California wildfire season to a combination of human-caused climate change and land-use practices. California Governor Gavin Newsom recently stated, “If that’s not proof point, testament, to climate change, then I don’t know what is.” However, climate change isn’t the only factor. Scientists years of fire suppression policies have allowed vegetation, fuel for the fires, to build up in forests.

SOURCE: NAFB News Service

By Brian Allmer - The BARN

Brian Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.