ASFMRA AgNews - July 18, 2019

By ASFMRA Press posted 07-18-2019 16:33


USDA Crop Progress Report Grades Corn Condition Slightly Better

The U.S. corn and soybean crops made slight improvements vs. a week ago, but remain behind five-year averages for silking and emergence, according to the USDA’s weekly Crop Progress Report released Monday.

The overall condition of the corn crop is rated at 58% good to excellent in the top 18 corn producing states, compared with 57% a week ago.

USDA pegged just 17% of the corn crop was in the silk stage, compared with a 42% five-year average.

As of Sunday, Illinois had just 19% of its corn crop in the silk growth stage, Indiana 10% and Iowa 8%.

110˚F Weather To Take Toll on Late-Planted Corn, Soybeans

Hot and dry weather that’s moving into the Midwest likely will stress plants that have a shallow root system after being planted so late.

Much of the Midwest stretching from Nebraska into southern Michigan will see less than 50% of normal rain in the next 10 days, according to a report from Commodity Weather Group.

Temperatures are expected to top 100˚F. this week in southern Nebraska, Kansas, northern Missouri, and southern Iowa, the forecaster said. Crop stress is expected in about half of the southwestern Midwest with the main yield risk to early pollinating corn.

Cover Crop Concerns

Whether you’re intent on using cover crops for weed suppression on prevented plant acres or want more traditional benefits (to prevent erosion, improve water-holding capacity and reduce fertilizer use), your No. 1 challenge this season is likely the same: seed availability.

“Our seed industry is facing unprecedented challenges due to short hay stocks, winter kill and now prevented plant acres,” says Scott Wohltman, cover crop lead for La Crosse Seed.

ASC Board Grants ND Waiver

Last week, the Appraisal Subcommittee (ASC) Board voted 5-2 in favor of granting a one-year waiver of credential requirements for the entire state of ND with an option to extend another year. The waiver applies to residential (up to $500,000) and commercial loans (up to $1 million). The residential waiver would be rescinded within 60 days of the regulators issuing a final rule to increase the residential threshold (right now that is proposed but has not been finalized). The waiver is also conditioned on the ND Appraiser Board working with the ND Banking Association to come up with longer term solutions to alleviate “delays” in completing appraisals in ND. A report back to the ASC is required at the end of the one year.

In order for this to go into effect, the FFIC must approve the action taken by the ASC board. Voting “no” on the proposal were Bobbi Borlund (HUD) and Robert Wolf (FHFA), Voting “yes” were Marianne Hathaway (FDIC), Richard Taft (OCC), Tim Segerson (NCUA), Lindo (Fed Reserve) and the CFPB representative who attended by telephone.

House Financial Services Committee Moves Two Appraisal Bills

Last week the House Financial Service Committee passed two bills out of Committee. The first, H.R. 2852, the Homebuyer Assistance Act of 2019, (Sherman D-CA) allows licensed appraisers to once again do appraisals for FHA. The second, H.R. 3619, the Appraisal Fee Transparency Act of 2019, (Clay D, MO) deals with AMC fees. It allows the ASC to revise the current fee structure if it feels it needs to be reset (currently $25 per appraiser on an AMC panel). It also allows the ASC to give grants to non-profits and institutions of higher education to help states comply with Title XI. IT would add Trainees to the national registry and adds a representative of the VA to the Appraisal Subcommittee.

USDA Grants Additional Time to File Acreage Reports in Some States

USDA announced last week that it will allow producers additional time, until July 22nd, to file acreage reports in for all counties in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin. RMA issued Manager’s Bulletin MGR-19-019 and MGR-19-020 to implement the change. The additional time also applies to FSA required acreage reports.

Crop Insurance Caucus Launched

Representatives Cheri Bustos (D-IL) and Glen Thompson (R-PA), both serving on the House Agriculture Committee, launched a new crop insurance caucus last week. The caucus is an informal way for like-minded members to support the crop insurance program. The two members released a “Dear Colleague” letter last week, (pasted below), announcing the formation of the caucus and asked other Congressional members to join.

Dear Colleague:

Today, we are proud to launch the Congressional Crop Insurance Caucus and invite you to join! This caucus will serve as an informal group of Members dedicated to educating Congress and their staff about the importance of the federal crop insurance program administered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA). The caucus will work with stakeholders to organize quarterly educational briefings in order to help Members and staff better understand the program and remain apprised of current crop insurance issues.

Crop Insurance is a cornerstone of the farm safety net. This spring’s record floods across the Midwest are only the most recent example of the importance of this critical farming tool, but every region of the country is routinely affected by weather events and other disasters that jeopardize yield and livelihoods.

Farming is uniquely risky and capital intensive, and at a time when farm incomes are plunging, commodity prices remain weak, barriers to trade are emerging around the world, and weather patterns are changing, crop insurance is more important than ever. As lawmakers, we take seriously our responsibility to maintain a vibrant and healthy rural economy and seek to maintain crop insurance that is affordable, available and economically viable.

Please join the Crop Insurance Caucus today, and we invite you to the inaugural event – a briefing on crop insurance policy basics:

Date: July 25, 2019

Time: 2:30-3:30 pm

Location: 1300 Longworth House Office Building

Speakers: Reps. Cheri Bustos, GT Thompson, farmer, agent, and industry reps.

To RSVP for the briefing, or to join the House Crop Insurance Caucus, please contact

Dairy Margin Payments Near $100 million To-date

Nearly 10,000 dairy farmers have enrolled in the Dairy Margin Coverage administered by the FSA since signup began June 17 and the FSA estimates it will distribute $100 million in payments to producers.

Trade Aid Payments by Mid-August?

The press reported that Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation, Bill Northey, stated that USDA could make MFP payments available by mid-August. Currently, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is reviewing USDA’s county payment rate plan. Also, farmers will need to have filed completed acreage reports in order to qualify for a MFP payment.