Tag Archives: soybeans

China dropped imports of U.S. soybeans by 80 percent in September and increased Brazilian imports by 28 percent. Reuters reports this is the first time that China has provided data on the country of origin for its commodity imports since the month of March.

China, which typically buys many of its soybeans during the fourth quarter from the U.S., is sourcing soybeans from Brazil as a direct result of the trade war with the United States. Chinese buyers imported 7.59 million metric tons of Brazilian soybeans in September, up from 5.94 million metric tons a year ago.

Soybean imports from the U.S. were 132,200 metric tons, compared with 937,000 in September last year. China implemented a 25 percent tariff on U.S. soybeans in July as part of the tit-for-tat tariffs between the two countries. Corn and sorghum shipments from the U.S. were reported significantly lower, as well.

The trade war between China and the U.S. will not be ending soon. President Donald Trump recently told Agri-Pulse that “you’ve got to have a little time,” referring to when trade relations may return to normal or better status between the United States and China.

President Trump is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting in Argentina, but those talks are not likely to propel any major shift toward reaching an agreement on the future of trade between the two nations. The trade war started with Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, quickly escalating to include tariffs on U.S. farm products, most notably soybeans and pork.

Further, a recent survey reported by Reuters shows that 85 percent of U.S. businesses surveyed say they have suffered from the trade war’s tariffs, and nearly half of the companies reported increases in non-tariff barriers, as well.

The nation’s soybean harvest picked up speed last week, while the percentage of corn harvested ended the week equal to the five-year average, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, Oct. 28, 72% of the nation’s soybeans were harvested, up 19 percentage points from the previous week but still 9 percentage points behind the five-year average of 81%. That was an improvement from the previous week when harvest lagged the average pace by 16 points.

“Judging by the slower pace of harvest, several states appear to have troubled areas, including Iowa, Kansas, Arkansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and the Dakotas,” said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. “Soybean crop quality remains a concern in late 2018.”

Corn harvest ended the week at 63% complete, up 14 percentage points from the previous week but equal to the five-year average of 63%. That compares to the previous week when harvest was 2 percentage points ahead of normal.

“Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Missouri and Ohio are above their five-year average paces,” Hultman said. “Iowa, Nebraska and the Dakotas are below their five-year paces with Iowa corn 49% harvested.”

NASS is no longer reporting condition ratings for corn and soybeans for the 2018 growing season.

Meanwhile, winter wheat planting was 78% complete as of Sunday, behind 83% last year at the same time and also behind the five-year average of 85%. Winter wheat emerged, at 63%, was equal to last year’s pace but behind the average pace of 67%.

“Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas remain below their usual planting paces at 76%, 78% and 67% planted, respectively,” Hultman said. “Nebraska, Colorado and South Dakota are all in the mid-90s, nearly finished.”

NASS reported winter wheat condition for the 2019 crop for the first time on Monday, estimating 53% of wheat nationwide in good-to-excellent condition. That’s 1 percentage point above last year’s rating at the same time of 52% good to excellent.

Fifty-three percent of the sorghum crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind 57% last year and 13 percentage points behind the five-year average of 66%.

Ninety-six percent of rice was harvested as of Sunday, behind last year’s 99% and also behind the five-year average of 98%.

Ninety-one percent of cotton had bolls opening as of Sunday, behind the average of 94%. Forty-four percent of cotton was harvested, near last year’s 45% and also near of the average pace of 43%.

Cotton condition improved slightly from 34% good to excellent the previous week to 35% last week.

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.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Harvested 63 49 52 63
Soybeans Harvested 72 53 81 81
Winter Wheat Planted 78 72 83 85
Winter Wheat Emerged 63 53 63 67
Cotton Bolls Opening 91 88 92 94
Cotton Harvested 44 39 45 43
Sorghum Mature 94 89 95 95
Sorghum Harvested 53 46 57 66
Rice Harvested 96 90 99 98

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Cotton 18 16 31 27 8 13 20 33 26 8 5 10 30 41 14
Winter Wheat 3 11 33 45 8 NA NA NA NA NA 4 8 36 43 9

Kyle Krier is racing the fall weather. After receiving more than 10 inches of rain on his central Kansas farm in October, he finally started cutting soybeans last Friday. More rain is in the forecast for Wednesday.

“Some way, somehow, an absolute miracle was performed, and we didn’t end up having a whole bunch of shattering going on,” he told DTN, adding that not all farmers in his area are as lucky.

Shattered, sprouted and discolored soybeans are a common sight in parts of Kansas, Iowa and the Mississippi Delta that have been pelted with persistent, heavy rains this harvest season. Damage levels have become so widespread, USDA’s Risk Management Agency issued a new fact sheet aimed at helping producers understand the process of filing for quality adjustment claims for soybean damage under the federal crop insurance program.

While quality adjustments could help some farmers receive indemnity payments, it’s far from a sure thing. Yields in many parts of the country are expected to notch new records, and even adjusted levels may not fall below a producer’s crop insurance guarantee.

And in the Mississippi Delta, the high levels of damage are so widespread it’s creating a situation long-time crop insurance agents have never seen before: Farmers are being forced into selling into salvage markets without meeting RMA’s reduction in value criteria.

“It’s gut-wrenching when you have to tell somebody that’s hanging on by a thread and a prayer, that well, we’re going to count 80% of that load as production, and you’re going to have to haul it out of your marketing area, and I know you’re going to get $4 a bushel for it, but that’s just how RMA wrote the program,” said Bill Kirksey, owner of crop insurance firm The Kirksey Agency Inc. and a 38-year veteran of the crop insurance business.

Farmers have to alert their crop insurance agents within 72 hours of discovering the damage, and agents can start adjusting yields once damage hits 8% or greater, according to RMA’s factsheet.

You can find it here:

https://cb4q22fdswq370gsj3m681um-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/…

Soybeans that qualify for an adjustment could be assigned a zero market value, but only after the farmer does due diligence to find a home for the damaged soybeans.

Krier, who sells crop insurance in addition to farming, said elevators in his area are on high alert for damage this year. But sometimes the samples elevators collect vary, and some will accept the damaged load without as much of a dockage. If no grain elevators will take the damaged load, then it’s time to look at livestock buyers — in his area it’s hog producers — and other salvage buyers.

Kirksey and one of his crop insurance agents, Jay Calhoun, say that’s where their Louisiana-based agency is seeing trouble.

Historically, elevators feeding the Mississippi River export channel would buy heavily damaged beans and blend them off to meet export specifications, but pay less for them. But with this year’s large supplies, widespread damage and reduced exports out of the Gulf of Mexico due to the trade standoff with China, many elevators have set strict limits on the amount of damage they’ll purchase.

For more background, please read “Soybean Discounts Skyrocket as Demand Slows the Flow of Beans Down the Mississippi River” here:

https://www.dtnpf.com/…

Calhoun said he recently got a call from a farmer with 22% damage on his soybeans. The only place that would buy those beans was over 100 miles away. It’d cost the farmer $1.80 per bushel in shipping, and the buyer would pay a steeply discounted price — between $2 and $4 per bushel.

Under crop insurance rules, the farmer has to sell beans to any buyer in their marketing area as long as the damage level is under 35%, Calhoun explained. Soybeans with 35% damage or more qualify for a reduction in value, which allows crop insurance adjusters to factor the cost of shipping into viability of selling into a salvage market. They can then make a determination of whether or not it’s worth it to the farmer to sell it or whether the crop insurance policy should pay an indemnity based on the farm’s guarantee.

For anything with less than 35% damage, crop insurance adjusts yields based on a formula established by RMA.

In this farmer’s case with 22% damage, the yield could be reduced by 15.6%. However, Calhoun said yields across his territory have been exceptional this year, with some farmers harvesting up to 60 bushels per acre. USDA is calling for the state to average 50 bpa, the third highest in history. Yet the average crop insurance guarantee ranges between 25 and 35 bushels per acre.

In addition, most farmers in the South buy crop insurance with enterprise units, which combines all acres of a particular crop in one county into a single unit. Optional units, which carry a far more expensive premium, provide insurance farm by farm or by practice within a farm.

After six weeks of rain, Calhoun said, any beans still left in the field are probably over the 35% damage threshold. But if a farmer has already harvested half of his soybeans at an average of 60 bpa, he’s probably already exceeded his crop insurance guarantee for the entire enterprise unit.

“They can’t sell them (for a reasonable price). They’ve cut more than the guarantee. They’re just stuck between a rock and a hard place with no room to turn around,” he said.

Kirksey and Calhoun say they would like to see Congress update the rules around selling to a salvage market. If a farmer is forced to sell in to a salvage market, they think the reduction in value factor should come into play immediately. The reduction in value factor takes into consideration the cost of trucking as well as the reduced price offered by a salvage buyer.

“If they have to take it to a salvage market, then there’s an issue there,” Calhoun said. “They’re being penalized. We could come in and help. We’re not trying to make them whole, we’re only trying to make up their guarantees. But when it’s under 35% damage, the cost-adjusting procedure requires the producer to sell outside of his normal marketing area without any consideration of the cost of trucking or the salvage price.”

If no salvage market is available, Kirksey said, farmers need at least two and ideally three rejection letters from elevators in order to qualify for a zero market value determination.

If farmers do opt for an adjusted yield under crop insurance, University of Tennessee crop marketing specialist Aaron Smith said, there are a few additional nuances to consider.

If you do a quality adjustment this year, that’s going to end up rolling into your actual production history (APH) because it’s unlikely the discount will be so severe you’ll be able to exclude it.

“If you’re going from, say, 50 bpa to 46, maybe that’s not a big hit to your APH, so you might want to end up doing it, but you are going to have to work through those numbers because it’s going to be very circumstance-specific for each individual farm,” Smith said.

You can find a paper Smith wrote detailing some of these concerns here:

http://news.utcrops.com/…

Lower yields from crop insurance could lead to another issue. Many farmers use crop insurance records to certify their yields with the Farm Service Agency, which is administering the Trump administration’s one-time Market Facilitation Program payments. For soybeans, those payments amount to 82.5 cents per bushel of harvested production.

For more on how USDA calculates payments on its Market Facilitation Program, check out “USDA Details Trade Aid Metrics” at:

https://www.dtnpf.com/…

“You can end up running into a set of circumstances where you’d get less money out of the MFP payment than what you should be getting,” Smith said, so he recommends bringing additional documentation showing the quality adjustments to your crop insurance yield or using alternative documentation to show your harvested data to maximize your payments.

“You really need to be very regimented in how you document individual fields or individual units, depending on how you end up setting up your crop insurance purchases,” he said, adding that farmers’ primary thoughts need to be on how to get the most money they can from the current cash market. “Crop insurance and the MFP payment, that is all supplemental to what your cash receipts are going to be for your crops.”

 More than a foot of rain fell on the Ted Guetterman farm in Johnson County during a three-day stretch from Oct. 5-7. At roughly the same time, nearly four inches of rain fell on the Roger Glenn family farm in Finney County, approximately 365 miles west.
The Guetterman family walked around in water standing atop their no-till fields and the Glenns were slip-sliding away on their no-till land. Combines chomping at the bit to harvest the bountiful corn, bean and milo crops sat dead still.
It would be two weeks before the machines would move and that depended on no additional moisture. Kansas grain farmers waited on pins and needles from the eastern border of Kansas to the Colorado border hoping for sunshine and dry weather.
Glenn, who’s farmed with his father-in-law for 32 years can’t remember a fall so wet. Fortunately, he’d harvested some of his corn crop and sowed his winter wheat crop. Only one bin full of milo came out of his fields before the deluge during the first week of October.
Rainfall on the family farm in Finney and Kearny counties sprawls 25 miles from one end to the other. Moisture ranged from 2.6-3.8 inches during this rain event.
“We try to keep a rain gauge on every quarter of land,” Glenn says. “This allows us to check actual rainfalls and remains the most accurate method of charting rainfall so we can determine what crop to plant on every field.”
An October rainfall of this magnitude results in excellent crops for the winter wheat and next year’s corn and milo planted in the spring of 2019. Water stands in some of the low spots throughout their land. Some grader ditches stood nearly full and while others were at least half full.
While checking his fields after the three-day rain, Glenn probed several of the family quarter sections and punched his six-foot probe within four inches of the end of the steel rod.
“Every once in a while, we’re blessed with a full profile of moisture in our fields during the spring, but not like this in the fall,” Glenn says. “We finished drilling our wheat two days before the rain came and the new crop has emerged and looks really good – thick, green and lush. This new crop will really pop once the sun comes out and we have some more fall-like days.”
The early October rains made sure Glenn could drill his winter wheat within an inch from the top of the soil and residue. He says this newly-planted crop has the potential to be one of their best stands in a long while.
While the milo crop itself is dry and ready to cut, the leaf canopy will shade the ground and push harvest several days into the future. Glenn can’t wait to begin milo harvest.
“Two years ago, we cut one of our best milo crops ever,” the southwestern Kansas farmer says. “This year our milo looks like the best we’ve ever grown. The heads are big and full and while we don’t like to predict what a crop will make, we’re hoping for better than 100 bushels to the acre and some may make 130 bushels.”
Once the fall harvest begins again, it will no doubt take more time. Fields are saturated with water and trucks and grain carts will be kept out of the fields to prevent compaction and tearing up the soil.
“Anytime we receive rain in October, we’re happy for it,” Glenn says. “It may be Thanksgiving before we finish, or even later if it keeps raining. We’ve been faced with harvest delays before and we’ll finish up when we’re finished.”

The nation’s soybean harvest fell further behind the normal pace last week, and corn harvest also slowed to just a couple points ahead of average, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, Oct. 21, 53% of the soybean crop was harvested, 16 points behind the five-year average of 69%. That’s slightly further behind average than the previous week when harvest stood at 15 points behind the five-year average.

“Illinois and Indiana are the only major producers ahead of their five-year average pace,” said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. “Iowa’s soybeans are only 37% harvested versus a five-year average of 71% for this time of year.”

Despite concerns about the quality of the crop in some parts of the country, NASS left its good-to-excellent condition rating for soybeans unchanged at 68% last week.

Corn harvest also slowed again last week. At 49% complete, harvest was only 2 percentage points ahead of the average pace of 47%. That was nearer to normal than the previous week when harvest was 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average.

Corn condition also held steady nationwide last week at 68% good to excellent.

Winter wheat planting was 72% complete as of Sunday, near 73% last year at the same time but behind the five-year average of 77%. Winter wheat emerged, at 53%, was ahead of last year’s 50% but slightly behind the average pace of 55%.

“Not much progress was made in Texas, Oklahoma or Kansas where wheat plantings are 63%, 75% and 67%, respectively,” Hultman said.

Forty-six percent of the sorghum crop was harvested as of Sunday, up just 4 percentage points from the previous week, equal to last year and 10 percentage points behind the five-year average of 56%.

Ninety percent of rice was harvested as of Sunday, behind last year’s 97% and also behind the five-year average of 94%.

Eighty-eight percent of cotton had bolls opening as of Sunday, near the average of 89%. Thirty-nine percent of cotton was harvested, ahead of last year’s 36% and also ahead of the average pace of 33%.

Cotton condition fell again slightly from 35% good to excellent the previous week to 34% last week.

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.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Harvested 49 39 37 47
Soybeans Harvested 53 38 67 69
Winter Wheat Planted 72 65 73 77
Winter Wheat Emerged 53 44 50 55
Cotton Bolls Opening 88 85 86 89
Cotton Harvested 39 32 36 33
Sorghum Mature 89 81 88 89
Sorghum Harvested 46 42 46 56
Rice Harvested 90 88 97 94

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 4 8 20 48 20 4 8 20 47 21 3 8 23 50 16
Soybeans 3 8 23 48 18 3 8 23 48 18 3 9 27 48 13
Sorghum 6 12 29 43 10 6 11 28 44 11 2 6 27 52 13
Cotton 13 20 33 26 8 11 20 34 29 6 5 9 30 42 14

Trade negotiations are officially on the horizon with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom, continuing the momentum generated by a bilateral deal with South Korea (KORUS) and a renegotiated NAFTA agreement with Mexico and Canada, now the USMCA.

The American Soybean Association (ASA) has consistently requested a negotiated solution to the trade war with China and urged that exports lost to this key market be offset through new free trade agreements. ASA is hopeful that the Administration’s formal notice to Congress that it will enter trade negotiations with the European Union, Japan and the United Kingdom as soon as mid-January will make a settlement with China a plausible next step, bringing an end to the devastating tariff imposed on American soybeans.

Concluding the USMCA and success with subsequent FTA negotiations with Japan, the EU and other countries would mean opportunities to potentially increase U.S. soy and livestock product exports to other promising markets, including the Philippines. ASA is encouraging the Administration to consider adding Vietnam and Indonesia to its list of potential negotiating targets. Knowing, however, that increased sales to these markets won’t offset lost U.S. export to China, ASA continues to emphasize the need to reach an agreement that rescinds the current tariffs and allows soy growers to begin to restore this vital, number one export market.

Most people recall the heat of the 2012 drought.

Jessie Alt remembers the sound.

“In 2012, when soybeans were shattering due to dry conditions, the pod can really burst open and the seed can literally spread itself out and you can hear it happening — it’s like popcorn out in the field,” said Alt, who works as a research scientist and soybean breeder for Pioneer, now under Corteva Agriscience. “It’s a stomach-turning thing to hear because you realize what’s happening out there.”

Fast forward to 2018 and the same phenomenon of shattered soybeans is plaguing many growers across the Midwest and South. But this time, it’s excessive moisture and delayed harvest that’s to blame, Alt said.

The science behind shattered pods and dropped beans is a delicate dance between genetics and environment. Alt, as well as University of Minnesota Extension agronomist Seth Naeve, helped us tease out the reasons why this phenomenon is causing so much trouble for farmers this fall.

THE GENETICS BEHIND SHATTERING

In the long battle to free soybeans from their tendency to shatter, soybean breeders like Alt are working against the plant’s fierce drive to reproduce successfully.

“Breeders are pulling this trait out of eons of evolution,” said Naeve. “Wild soybean plants actually evolved to preferentially throw seed as far from the plant as they could — and that had to be bred out slowly over time.”

Slow is the operative word, Alt noted. Unlike diseases or insects, shattering is difficult to induce in the field, and no single gene or group of genes controls it. Untangling it from the soybean’s germplasm is not a straightforward task.

“I’ve been doing this for over 20 years now, and shattering is something we work on every year,” she explained. “Shattering is a lot more like breeding for yield — you need lots of locations, different environments and replications to study it, and we continue to make nice, slow, steady progress — slower perhaps than people would like at this time.”

Yet breeders have already come a long way, Alt and Naeve noted. “Even just 10 to 20 years ago, shattering was a hugely significant issue,” Naeve said. “Now all those lines that had serious susceptibility to shattering have just been removed from the system.”

THE ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Nowadays, the biggest factor behind shattering is Mother Nature.

The soybean pod is held together by a tough seam that scientists call the pod “suture.” The pod suture is used to withstanding the normal wetting and drying that a mature soybean goes through in the fall, when the bean’s moisture can vacillate between 8% and 13% within a day, as the air temperature and humidity rise and fall.

But the longer mature soybeans sit in the field, the more wetting and drying cycles they go through, and the weaker the pod and the pod suture become, Alt said. So anything that causes a bean to stand beyond its ideal harvest time will heighten the risk of shattering.

Some of those causes are man-made — for example, some farmers plant shorter-season soybeans than their region requires in order to stagger their grain harvests, but then can’t get them out as early as they had hoped.

But most are weather-driven. In Alt’s research territory in Iowa, rains have come fast and furious since August.

“From Aug. 1 to Oct. 8 in my area in Iowa, we have seen anywhere from 3 to 16 inches above the 30-year average rainfall,” she explained. “And the majority of that came from Aug. 20 and later — right as soybeans were maturing.”

The excessive rainfalls across wide swaths of the Midwest and South this year have led many soybeans to endure far more dramatic swings in moisture content, Naeve said. “Now the bean is going from 9% to 20%, and now we’ve increased the size of the seed [with swelling].”

A few repeats of that, and the soybean pod becomes too fragile to withstand its swollen seeds, Alt said. “That pod suture just weakens and breaks open,” she said.

Some soybean seeds, especially those that sat under warm and wet conditions for many weeks, have actually sprouted within the pod, adding to the pressure against the pod suture, Naeve said.

As happened in 2012, extreme heat and dryness can also lead to abnormal shattering, Alt added. But in those cases, the pod is more brittle and more likely to launch seeds when it pops open. This year, pods have stretched open more slowly, and many seeds may hang there for a period of time before dropping.

Naeve said he observed one field shattering from a severe case of SDS, which caused the plants to mature prematurely and stand in the field too long before harvest. Other diseases, like frogeye leaf spot or SCN, can also heighten the risk of shattering by compromising the plant’s health, he added.

“Once you have stressed plants, they may not function very well and have a good, protective pod on that plant,” he explained.

THE CONSEQUENCES

Once soybean seeds drop to the ground, it’s game over. That yield is lost.

Some soybeans may still hang from the pod, but they will be at high risk for dropping during harvest or during the wait for harvest, Naeve said. Chances are good that they, too, are lost to the farmer.

Those losses can add up quickly. Kansas State crop scientists estimated that four dropped seeds per square foot of soil surface translates to a loss of one bushel per acre. (See that article here: https://webapp.agron.ksu.edu/…)

Even if the exposed soybeans do make it into the combine, many will be rotted or sprouted, which can lead to discounts at the elevator — from already depressed soybean prices. Remember that even if the sprout falls off a soybean seed, the bean is already compromised.

“That seed has already converted oils and carbs into sugars,” Naeve said. “It will cause problems from an elevator standpoint, with quality issues, and from a storage standpoint, with molding in bins.”

Naeve strongly recommends scouting before harvest to see the extent of shattering in fields. If possible, he urges farmers to segregate the worst sections of the farm or field, and resist the temptation to blend those soybeans with better ones.

“Elevators will be really quick to dock soybeans for too high of moisture or damage,” he said. “They’ve got more beans than they can take. The worst thing that can happen is they contaminate their whole crop with their worst beans. Better to take a loss on a small portion than take a loss on the whole crop.”

Rain and snow last week pushed the nation’s soybean harvest further behind the average pace and also slowed the corn harvest, USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

As of Sunday, Oct. 14, 38% of the soybean crop was harvested, up just 6 percentage points from the previous week and 15 points behind the five-year average of 53%. That’s further behind normal than the previous week when harvest lagged the average pace by just 4 percentage points.

 

Listen to the report here: https://post.futurimedia.com/krvnam/playlist/futures-one-crop-progress-report-10-15-5292.html

Though the national average good-to-excellent condition rating for soybeans dropped by only 2 percentage points from 68% the previous week to 66% last week, crop conditions in some key soybean-growing states worsened last week.

The percentage of soybeans rated as very poor to poor in Iowa rose 2 percentage points from 9% the previous week to 11% last week. In North Dakota, soybeans were rated 20% very poor to poor, up 4 percentage points from the previous week. Missouri soybeans’ very-poor-to-poor rating was also up 4 percentage points from 19% the previous week to 23% last week.

The wet conditions last week also slowed the corn harvest. Nationwide, 39% of corn was harvested as of Sunday, still 4 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 35% but nearer to the average pace than the previous week when harvest was 8 percentage points ahead of normal.

Corn condition held steady nationwide last week at 68% good to excellent.

Winter wheat planting was 65% finished as of Sunday, ahead of 58% last year at the same time but slightly behind the five-year average of 67%. Winter wheat emerged, at 44%, was ahead of last year’s 35% and also ahead of the average pace of 41%.

Forty-two percent of the sorghum crop was harvested as of Sunday, behind the average pace of 48%.

Eighty-eight percent of rice was harvested as of Sunday, behind last year’s 90% but near the five-year average of 87%.

Eighty-five percent of cotton had bolls opening as of Sunday, ahead of the average of 83%. Thirty-two percent of cotton was harvested, slightly ahead of last year’s 30% and also ahead of the average pace of 25%. Nationwide, cotton condition dropped 7 percentage points from 42% good to excellent the previous week to 35% last week.

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.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Mature 96 93 89 91
Corn Harvested 39 34 27 35
Soybeans Dropping Leaves 95 91 93 92
Soybeans Harvested 38 32 47 53
Winter Wheat Planted 65 57 58 67
Winter Wheat Emerged 44 30 35 41
Cotton Bolls Opening 85 78 81 83
Cotton Harvested 32 25 30 25
Sorghum Mature 81 73 79 82
Sorghum Harvested 42 39 39 48
Rice Harvested 88 79 90 87

**

National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 4 8 20 47 21 4 8 20 47 21 3 8 24 50 15
Soybeans 3 8 23 48 18 3 7 22 49 19 3 9 27 48 13
Sorghum 6 11 28 44 11 5 11 29 44 11 2 6 27 52 13
Cotton 11 20 34 29 6 6 19 33 32 10 5 8 29 43 15

With Iowa’s soybean harvest expected to total nearly 600 million bushels, the partnership between soy and pork takes on added importance as production booms and trade disputes linger.

“Iowa soybean farmers depend on domestic and global demand for pork,” says Iowa Soybean Association (ISA) President Lindsay Greiner. “That’s always been true, but never more evident than right now.”

Iowa’s status as the nation’s leading pork producer depends on soybean farmers. About seventy-five percent of Iowa soybean crop is converted into soybean meal. The average pig consumes nearly 120 pounds of it — or the equivalent of 2.5 bushels of soybeans according to the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

“That appetite for soy is critical to the competitiveness and success of soybean farmers,” says Greiner, who grows soybeans and raises hogs near Keota, “Considering there are nearly 20 million pigs on feed at any given time in Iowa, the result is a strong demand for Iowa soybeans.”

              Dave Struthers, a soybean farmer who raises hogs near Collins, says both industries play off each other and add to Iowa’s agricultural productivity and economic success.

“I always say hakuna matata, it’s the circle of life. The beans are used as feed for the hogs, then the hogs produce the fertilizer to put back on the field,” says Struthers.

Why are soybeans and swine so BIG in Iowa?

  • Feed to fertilizer: One 4,800-head pig farm will generate enough plant food for 600 acres of a corn/soybean rotation.
  • Farming legacy: Iowa has more than 6,000 pig farms and 40,000 soybean farmers, and 94 percent of Iowa’s farms are family-owned.
  • Jobs, jobs, jobs: The two industries combined contribute $12.3 billion to Iowa’s economy and support more than 230,000 Iowa jobs.
  • Exports: Iowa is the top state for pork exports, totaling more than $1.1 billion in 2017, according to the National Pork Producers Council.

Join the Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association in celebrating October Pork Month by using #Porktober18 on social media. Celebrate an entire month dedicated to celebrating the most popular meat in the world, according to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service.

“If you’re wondering how to best celebrate pork month and support Iowa farmers,” Struthers advises, “the answer is to eat more pork!”