News Releases - Agribusiness
Written by Laurie Johns   
Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:57

USDA Report Sending Ripple Effects to Grain Markets

WEST DES MOINES, IOWA – May 29, 2013 – Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) economist, Dave Miller, says Iowa farmers are now well behind the five-year average in terms of planting progress, increasing concern among farmers about what to plant.

“We are approaching the deadline set by the USDA risk management agency for prevented planting; that means the last date that you can plant a corn crop and still receive full insurance coverage if you decide to plant.  In Iowa, that’s May 31,” Miller says.  “Insurance coverage for corn planted after that date is reduced by 1 percent daily.  Farmers can still choose to plant beans with full insurance coverage through June 15.”

Nationally, 2013 is seeing the slowest planting progress for both corn and soybeans in at least two decades.  “It is even slower than in 1993 when rain-soaked Iowa fields were covered with so much water that Iowa appeared in satellite photos as the ‘6th Great Lake’,” says Miller.

The nation’s farmers, biofuels makers and grain exporters will all be affected if another crop falls short of expectations, and there is a lot of pressure on farmers to produce this year.  “When we talk about the numbers, the reality is we’ve got a lot of soybeans yet to be planted.  Regionally in Iowa, soybean fields still unplanted range from 80 percent in north central Iowa to 44 percent in east central Iowa with 60 percent of soybeans  yet to be planted statewide.  It’s likely that by the time it dries up enough for farmers to get into the fields to plant, they’ll be subject to yield reductions due to late plantings, because more of the crop will be forced to pollinate in summer heat…and will have shortened growing seasons and other factors that research has shown contributes to lower yields,” says Miller, who also is a longtime grain farmer.  “Lower

crop yields affect the whole food chain from farmers to consumers, because higher feed costs translate to higher meat production costs and reductions in cattle and hog herds.  Smaller herds lead to reduced meat supplies, which always drives prices up.  Another option in times of weather-delayed planting or field flooding is to accept the prevented planting indemnity provisions and then plant a cover crop whenever the fields dry out. Farmers have until June 15 before the prevented planting provisions for soybeans kick in, which means we have about a two-week window for that.”

Helping Iowa farmers manage market risks like these and discussing farm policy challenges is the focus of the 2013 IFBF Economic Summit, “Grain, Gridlock and Globalization: Meeting the Economic Challenges in Today’s Agriculture,” which will be held July 22 and 23 in Ames.  The two-day summit brings nationally-known experts on crop and livestock market trends, exports and commodity price experts to the Iowa State Center Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus.  Experts ranging from economists Allen Featherstone of Kansas State University, Michael Boehlje from Purdue, export and policy analyst Ross Korves and Ag Meteorologist Elwynn Taylor are among many nationally-recognized monetary, policy, trade and economic experts tapped for the July IFBF Economic Summit.

For a complete listing of the panelists and schedule, click here:

The price of the two-day summit is $50 for Iowa Farm Bureau members and $150 for non-members.  Information about the summit, lodging and online registration forms can be found at

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