Tag Archives: crops

WINNIPEG, Manitoba–Farmers Edge™ released a ground-breaking, digital tool that automatically scans satellite imagery and notifies growers of changes in their fields. Building upon the release of daily satellite imagery in 2017 and over 70 new features and tools launched this year, new Health Change Maps and Notifications function as an integrated toolset designed to accelerate the speed of decision-making when crop issues emerge. This unique precision digital tool pinpoints potential problems, including pests, disease, nutrient deficiencies, inclement weather, missed application, equipment malfunction, drainage issues, and more. This innovative technology enhances the value of daily imagery by helping growers save time, identify issues quicker, and react to crop stress before yield is impacted.

On average, growers spend anywhere from three to six minutes per field checking their imagery and those minutes add up. Growers no longer need to spend an hour or more out of their busy schedules reviewing imagery; their work doesn’t begin until Health Change Maps identify an area of alert and inform the grower through an automatic Notification.

“Last year, we solved the challenge of infrequent, inconsistent imagery available to growers with the integration of daily satellite imagery into our platform,” said Wade Barnes, CEO of Farmers Edge. “Now, growers see at least one, if not multiple, field images per day – which is a good problem to have, but it can also be time-consuming. Our growers’ needs drive our commitment to build digital solutions that are simple, fast, and trustworthy, so we developed this revolutionary tool that automatically detects, pulls, and delivers the insights they need.”

The power of the tool lies in the proprietary algorithms that detect significant changes in high-frequency, high-resolution satellite imagery that Farmers Edge makes available to customers. These algorithms automatically trigger a notification, outlining positive or negative vegetative changes in the field, delivered to the grower by email. With a simple tap, the grower is directed to Map Manager in FarmCommand – an all-in-one farm management platform – to view the Health Change Map and the exact locations and details of the change.

“We understand growers want an effortless and enriching experience when accessing and using their data,” continued Barnes. “People ask us what we do with data and this is a prime example of how we’re delivering on our promise to create a precision digital platform that integrates all aspects of farming to support informed and profitable decision making.”

Growers have the option of setting the notification parameters and ability to add other users to receive notifications, making sharing valuable information effortless. This builds on to the list of notifications released earlier this year, including Rainfall and Growth Stage Notifications.

 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.”

 Farm losses in Georgia following Hurricane Michael last week are going to make it hard for farmers to cover operating loans unless lenders can offer some latitude on payment.

Gerald Long, president of the Georgia Farm Bureau, said loan repayment is one his biggest concerns for fellow farmers trying to recover in his state after the devastation.

Hurricane Michael hit every major sector of agriculture in the state, including cotton, pecans, poultry, and fruits and vegetables. The Georgia Department of Agriculture summed up early estimates as reported losses, noting, “… the numbers are staggering.” The losses could approach $3 billion.

“The devastation of this storm has got a very, very long tail on it,” Long told DTN.

Gary Black, Georgia’s agriculture commissioner, said, “These are generational losses that are unprecedented, and it will take unprecedented ideas and actions to help our farm families and rural communities recover.”

Black added, “The meter started at $1 billion and jumped quickly to nearly $3 billion. Unfortunately, we are not quite sure where it is going to stop.”

With the costs now required to be in production agriculture, Long said most farmers need operating loans to cash-flow the crop season. Following the hurricane, too many producers just aren’t going to be able to pay on their loans after the storm.

“To be in production agriculture, it’s just phenomenal how much money we have to borrow, and it’s very obvious there will be many, many, many farmers who will not be able to service their debt this year because of the damage that’s been done,” Long said.

Farm Bureau, officials from the state department of agriculture, and leaders from the Georgia Bankers Association have scheduled a meeting Tuesday to talk about what can be done to adjust loan obligations for farmers and livestock producers.

“We need to meet and reach an agreement on what we can do, whether it’s refinance to meet their debts,” Long said. “It’s going to take some federal assistance just to help with it.”

Long also pointed to devastation in the timber industry — Georgia is the country’s top timber state — that will have a lasting impact on landowners who have lost timber that was reaching maturity for logging. Timber losses are projected at 1 million acres, valued at $1 billion.

“For many of them, that timber represents their savings account, and it’s totally gone,” Long said. “So it’s not just the row-crop farmer who was hit out there. The effect that’s going to have on communities is just going to be devastating.”

Long noted farmers who have crop insurance will get some protection, but the Southeast will need some disaster assistance similar to that provided to farmers last year in Florida and Texas after hurricanes hit. Even then, many farmers will be hard pressed to meet loan obligations.

“The disaster aid and the crop insurance will not make it so producers can meet their debts,” Long said. “We’ve got to get with our lending institutions to try to get them to understand. So something has got to be done.”

With low prices followed by crop disasters, Long pointed to the risks to the economy throughout the Southeast from Hurricane Michael and from Hurricane Florence in September. He suggested Congress may need to find a way to directly support agricultural lenders through lower-interest loans.

“We don’t want any more loans because we’ve got plenty of loans,” Long said. “But if that’s the only thing that is going to help us survive until next year, that really should be an option. As far as government assistance, I’d rather not have it, but we’re in a critical stage now.”

Florence caused an estimated $2.4 billion in agricultural losses just in North Carolina, including nearly $1.9 billion in crops and livestock losses.

Hurricanes Florence and Michael come as lawmakers are in final talks to complete a new farm bill and extend the safety net programs for farmers. Farmers in states hit hardest by the hurricanes may need to come together to see if changes can be made to help those producers recover, Long said.

“We’re going to have to do something to stabilize the economy in these towns, and I think that’s going to be very, very important,” Long said.

On his own farm near Bainbridge, Georgia, Long said his peanut crop was being harvested this week and “looked decent,” but his cotton crop basically was stripped. His farm’s vegetable business was reopening late Friday, Oct. 19, after closing before the storm hit.

“But it’s devastated a lot of our fall vegetables — our peas, our green beans, cantaloupes,” Long said.

Long said he still doesn’t know the state of his cow-calf herd. The storm hit during calving season, and a lot of the cattle spend their time in the woods. Fencing was destroyed all around along with trees, but it’s unclear how many cattle he may have lost.

“We’ve had as many as nine people working on fences at any one time, and we’ve just touched the tip of the iceberg,” he said. While all that recovery work goes on, harvest is falling behind for some crops, he said.

Under current farm programs, USDA started sending out checks in early October for the 2017 Price Loss Coverage/Agricultural Risk Coverage programs. Georgia farmers were projected to receive about $144.3 million.

As DTN Farm Business Editor Katie Dehlinger reported Thursday, ARC/PLC payments for the 2017 crop are down dramatically from earlier years. To read more on the topic, visit https://www.dtnpf.com/…

USDA’s Market Facilitation Program, or “trade aid” program was set to pay about $46 million for Georgia, of which $42 million was expected for cotton. Yet, one of the big rules for receiving the aid payments is that the MFP is based on actual reported production. Cotton farmers were expecting record yields this year, the Georgia Department of Agriculture stated, but crop losses could run from $300 million to as high as $800 million.

“The final loss estimate will be dependent on the ability to harvest what remains in the field,” the department stated.

“You have got to report that production for the trade payment,” said Long, who raised this point with USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue last weekend. Long said farm organizations and others are going to have to work with Congress to see if some law change can be made for farmers who were hit with a crop disaster this year.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency Administrator said Thursday on the radio program Adams on Agriculture that, nationally, USDA has received about 97,000 applications under the Market Facilitation Program for about $300 million. The first round of aid payments was expected to be about $4.7 billion. USDA is expected to determine later this fall if another round of trade aid payments will be made.

USDA on Thursday called for record soybean production and large ending stocks in its October round of World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) and Crop Production reports.

Farmers are expected to harvest 53.1 bushels per acre of soybeans, up from last month’s 52.8 bpa forecast. Overall production, at 4.69 billion bushels, is slightly lower than last month’s estimate. Both are within the range of pre-report expectations.

New-crop (2018-19) soybean ending stocks were pegged at 885 million bushels on higher beginning stocks. USDA left soybean use unchanged.

On corn, USDA estimated national average yields at 180.7 bpa with production at 14.8 billion bushels. While that’s down slightly from last month’s estimate of 181.3 bpa and 14.83 bb, respectively, it’d still be the highest yield on record and second highest level of production.

This month’s Crop Production forecast is noteworthy because it becomes statistically more accurate.

Thursday’s new U.S. ending stocks estimates were bullish for corn and neutral for soybeans and wheat, said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. World ending stocks estimates from USDA were neutral for corn, bearish for soybeans and slightly bullish for wheat, he said.

You can access the full reports here:

— Crop Production: https://www.nass.usda.gov/…

— World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE): http://www.usda.gov/…

SOYBEANS

The U.S. soybean crop was projected at 4.69 billion bushels, down slightly from last month and lower than the pre-report average estimate. Still, soybean yield was bumped up to 53.1 bushels per acre, up 0.3 bpa from the September estimate of 52.8 bpa.

USDA lowered harvested soybean acres to 88.3 million acres, down 600,000 acres from the September projection.

Ending stocks were projected at 885 million bushels for soybeans, up 40 mb from last month’s forecast. USDA increased carryover from the 2017-18 crop by 43 mb, but dropped production by 3 mb to bump up the 2018-19 ending stocks.

Despite the export battles, USDA held pat on soybean exports for the 2018-19 crop at 2.06 billion bushels, the same as the September forecast.

The average farm-gate price for soybeans remained at a forecast of $8.60 a bushel with a wide range stretching from $7.35 to $9.85 a bushel.

Globally, USDA raised soybean carryover from the old crop by 1.91 million metric tons, which translated into boosting the ending stocks for the 2018-19 crop as well by 1.78 mmt. USDA did not change production estimates for major exporters such as Brazil (120.5 mmt) and Argentina (57 mmt).

CORN

USDA expects farmers to harvest 81.8 million acres of corn, down slightly from the agency’s previous estimate and 1% below 2017. When combined with its record national average yield projection of 180.7 bpa, production comes out at 14.78 billion bushels.

New-crop (2018-19) domestic ending stocks came in at 1.813 bb, which incorporates the 138 million extra bushels from September’s Grain Stocks report as higher beginning stocks as well as the slightly lower production estimate. USDA lowered feed and residual use by 25 mb while boosting exports by 75 million bushels.

It left the range of national average farm-gate prices unchanged at $3.00 to $4.00 per bushel.

Globally, USDA forecast 2018-19 stocks at 159.35 million metric tons, up 2.32 mmt from last month. However, it’s still less than the 198.21 mmt ending stocks forecast for 2017-18.

WHEAT

Ending stocks for the 2018-19 crop were forecast at 956 mb, up 21 mb from last month’s estimate of 935 million bushels.

USDA bumped up projected 2018-19 yield 0.2 bpa to 47.6 bpa. That increased production 7 million total bushels to 1.884 bb.

USDA also held wheat exports pat at 1.025 bb, but slightly lowered domestic demand 10 mb overall.

The average price was pegged at $5.10 a bushel, but USDA lowered the possible price range by 10 cents a bushel.

Globally, USDA lowered world wheat production by 2.08 mmt for 2018-19 and lowered global imports 1.34 mmt as well. With lower global production, USDA lowered the 2018-19 world wheat ending stocks by 1.11 mmt as well.

U.S. CROP PRODUCTION (Million Bushels) 2018-2019
Oct Avg High Low Sep 2017-18
Corn 14,778 14,851 14,969 14,700 14,827 14,604
Soybeans 4,690 4,733 4,890 4,623 4,693 4,392
U.S. AVERAGE YIELD (Bushels Per Acre) 2018-2019
Oct Avg High Low Sep 2017-18
Corn 180.7 181.8 183.0 180.6 181.3 176.6
Soybeans 53.1 53.4 55.0 52.0 52.8 49.1
U.S. HARVESTED ACRES (Million Acres) 2018-2019
Oct Avg High Low Sep 2017-18
Corn 81.8 81.7 81.9 81.4 81.8 82.7
Soybeans 88.3 88.7 88.9 88.2 88.9 89.5
U.S. ENDING STOCKS (Million Bushels) 2018-2019
Oct Avg High Low Sep
Corn 1,813 1,932 2,352 1,774 1,774
Soybeans 885 860 975 492 845
Wheat 956 960 1,020 895 935
WORLD ENDING STOCKS (Million metric tons) 2018-2019
Oct Avg High Low Sep
Corn 159.3 159.2 165.9 156.0 157.0
Soybeans 110.0 109.4 113.0 105.5 108.3
Wheat 260.2 261.1 263.7 259.0 261.3