The start of 2020 crop season is upon us and prices will be announced soon.  We will be sending out a separate text alert with all the spring prices for 2020 as soon as they are finalized by RMA.  We currently have roughly 28,000 of corn still standing in the field, down about 10,000 from Feb 7.  Producers are making every effort to get the fields ready by thaw.  There is a mixed bag of corn being harvested and comments range from:

  • 51-54 pound corn 17.5 moisture
  • More drowned out than previously thought
  • A lot of snow
  • Yield being dragged down from snow
  • Pink and green mold showing up in some fields

There are quite a few acres still in the 46-49 pound weight that appears to have dried down and not gained any weight in the process.

The office and adjusters have been diligent in getting all claims paid to date. We are down to just a handful of claims pending paid status and the rest are open claims from standing crop.  At this juncture we are anticipating a large amount of unseeded acres that overlap with our standing crops.  If you have any questions on prevent plant eligibility or questions regarding your standing crop, please call the office.

We have assigned a “J” yield descriptor to corn databases that are unharvested and which we have production on all other crops.  This enables us to give as accurate as possible quotes for 2020 and allows the producer to sign up for WHIP.  If you harvest your grain by 4/29/2020 we can change the temporary yield with your actual yield, if you harvest after 4/29/2020 we will have to use the temporary yield (equal to last year’s APH) for this crop year and replace it with actual the next crop year.

Friday afternoon, Secretary Sonny Perdue announced additional disaster assistance available to agricultural producers, including producers impacted by drought and excess moisture as well as sugar beet growers.  USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will open signup on March 23 for producers to apply for eligible losses of drought (D3 or above) and excess moisture. USDA is also entering into agreements with six sugar beet processing cooperatives to distribute $285 million to grower members of those cooperatives who experienced severe loss.  Beginning March 23, producers who suffered drought and excess moisture loss in 2018 and/or 2019 can apply for WHIP+ assistance at their local FSA office.  For drought, a producer is eligible if any area of the county in which the loss occurred was rated D3 (Extreme Drought) or higher on the U.S. Drought Monitor during calendar years 2018 or 2019.  FSA is continuing gathering data and input from producers and stakeholders regarding the extent and types of quality loss nationwide.

USDA Launches New Conservation Pilot Program for Prairie Pothole Producers to Plant Cover Crops Monday February 24th, FSA announced a new pilot program that enables farmers in the Prairie Pothole region to receive payments for planting cover crops on their land for three to five years.  The new Conservation Reserve Program Soil Health and Income Protection Program (SHIPP) pilot is available to producers in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota. The signup for this pilot starts March 30, 2020 and ends August 21.  This was the brainchild of Senator Thune from South Dakota.  It was explained to me as a bridge between a long CRP signup and ground that maybe just is not the best to farm at the time.  This program was authorized under the 2018 Farm bill.  Please check with your local FSA offices for complete details.

The agency to date has performed over 150 ARC/PLC analysis and yield updates for producers.  We have saved these files and expect to use them again for the 2021 elections.  We are down to less than 20 farms in our pile to complete. If you need assistance in your decision making or yield updating please contact the office ASAP.  To date, more than 1/3 of producers nationwide still have not made their respective elections.  If you have made your elections and would like to change them, you can do so by 3/16/2020.

Plan for the worst, and expect the best.

As always, if you have any questions regarding this article please contact our office.