NATIONAL AG NEWS SPONSORED BY THE AMERICAN FARM BUREAU FEDERATION

Prospective Planting Report Shows Less Corn, More Soybeans

The USDA released its Prospective Plantings and Grain Stocks Reports. The agency says farmers intend to plant 89.5 million acres, down four percent or 3.87 million acres from last year. Soybean planted area is estimated at a record 91 million acres, four percent higher than in 2021. The all-wheat planted area this year will be 47.4 million acres, one percent higher than last year. If realized, this would be the fifth-lowest all-wheat planted area since records began in 1919. The all-cotton planted area will be 12.2 million acres, up nine percent from last year. Corn stocks in all positions on March 1 totaled 7.875 billion bushels, two percent higher than March 1, 2021. Soybeans in all positions on March 1 totaled 1.93 billion bushels, 24 percent higher than the same time last year. All wheat in stored positions totaled 1.02 billion bushels, down 22 percent from last year.

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U.S. Considering More Ethanol in Gasoline

Reuters says the White House is considering the possibility of removing restrictions on summer sales of higher ethanol blends as a way to help lower the cost of fuel for American drivers. Three sources close to the discussion told Reuters that President Biden is looking at ways to bring down the soaring cost of gasoline, which recently hit record highs. Adding more ethanol to gasoline blends could potentially bring down prices at the nation’s pumps because ethanol is currently cheaper than regular gasoline blends. The Environmental Protection Agency says it won’t comment on the possibility of the move but did say it was considering a range of options. A bipartisan group of farm-state lawmakers recently pushed the White House to lift the summertime ban. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Dick Durbin from Illinois, two of the biggest corn-producing states, recently sent a letter to Biden asking him to allow the summertime sale of E15.

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Drought Monitor Shows Improvement in Midwest, South

Heavy rains fell across parts of the Midwest and South, leading to broad areas of drought improvement in those regions. Above-normal precipitation combined with below-normal temperatures to make improvements across much of the Midwest, which hadn’t gotten enough moisture recently to improve on deficits that were building since last spring. Virtually all short-term Midwest drought has been eliminated. Drought worsened in the South, including western and southern Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle. Above-normal temps, below-normal precipitation, and high winds made things worse in places like southern Louisiana. Improvements were made in east Texas, Southern Arkansas, northern Louisiana, and Mississippi. Much of the High Plains stayed dry last week, resulting in deteriorating drought conditions across parts of the Dakotas and Nebraska. Soil moisture is very low, stream flows are dropping, and state reports show that stock ponds in the High Plains are drying up. Rains in the Western U.S. weren’t enough to relieve drought conditions.

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New Product May Help Mitigate High Cost of Fertilizer

Biotechnology company Symborg says Corteva Agriscience is the exclusive distributor of a new nitrogen-fixation product for specialty crop growers and row crop farmers. Corteva will distribute Symborg’s unique endophytic bacterium under the names BlueN® and Utrisha® N nutrient-efficiency optimizer. By fixing nitrogen from the air and converting it for plants, the technology provides a sustainable, alternative source of nitrogen that reduces dependency on nitrogen uptake from the soil and ensures the plant has access to nitrogen all season long. The new nitrogen management solution helps farmers and growers maximize yield potential for a broad range of crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, field and row crops, sugarcane, and many others. Corteva says the nitrogen nutrient efficiency optimizer emphasizes the company’s commitment to providing farmers with sustainable solutions that complement their traditional crop protection solutions. It’s also an innovative resource for farmers to help mitigate high fertilizer costs and market availability.

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Alltech Finding Mycotoxin in 2021 Forages

Alltech’s 2021 U.S. Harvest Analysis shows that the mycotoxin risk for forage harvested in 2021 was much higher than the previous year. As dairy producers break open their forage bunks and take 2021 corn out of their silos, the mycotoxin risk is amplified in the volume of total mixed rations (TMR) getting tested in Alltech laboratories. Of the almost 140 TMR samples that Alltech has tested since the start of January, 100 percent contain mycotoxins. The average number of mycotoxins in each sample is 7.5. Alltech team members are working with dairy producers on-farm and seeing mycotoxins impact factors such as dry matter intake, milk production, digestion, reproduction, gut health, and immune response. “High levels of multiple mycotoxins are causing significant issues with health and performance on-farm,” says Dr. Max Hawkins, a technical expert with Alltech’s Mycotoxin Management team. “Unfortunately, it’s not a problem that’s likely to disappear anytime soon.”

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Trade Agenda Must Include Indo-Pacific Agreement

The American Farm Bureau is calling on the Biden administration to use the proposed Indo-Pacific Economic Framework to grow American agriculture exports to the region. The organization says America’s farmers and ranchers rely on export markets for more than 20 percent of agricultural production. While the IPEF is a strong start toward improving relationships and reaching new agreements with the region’s countries, it should also include a strategy of creating binding commitments and improving market access through reduced tariffs. “Trade is critically important to the current prosperity of U.S. farmers and ranchers,” says AFB President Zippy Duvall. “We need a continuing focus by the administration on removing trade barriers to our agricultural products and expanding market access for American goods throughout the world, including the Indo-Pacific region.” He also says that American agriculture depends on growing and stable export markets for the success of their businesses. Expanding trade opportunities is critical to continued success.

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By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker 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.