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Montana Ag Network: May 7th Report – Weekly crop progress report

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Weekly crop progress report is out, and many were not surprised to see spring wheat planting continues to lag behind in 2019.

USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey said weather has continued to delay planting across the nation.

“They’re very slow planting progress in the Northern Plains States,” said Rippey. “Nationally 22 percent of the spring wheat planted by May 5th. Well behind the five-year average of 49% and even behind last year’s very slow 27 percent.”

The biggest delays are seen in South Dakota and Minnesota.

“In Minnesota just seven percent of spring wheat is planted versus the five-year average of 51 percent,” said Rippey. “In South Dakota nineteen percent planted with the five-year average there is 76 percent.”

Spring wheat emergence is languishing due to late planting and very cool conditions. Just 4 percent of the spring wheat emerged by May 5th. The five-year average is 19 percent, but we were similarly slow last year at 4 percent emerged on the 5th of May.

For Montana, spring wheat planted is up 9 percent from last week with 32 percent of the crop planted, but behind the 5-year average of 50 percent.

Other progress numbers from USDA show that 32 percent of barley has been planted behind the 5-year average of 59 percent.

Planting of pulse crops is progressing with 33 percent of the lentil crop planted, which is ahead of last year’s progress of 19 percent.

Reporters in Chouteau and Judith Basin counties reported winter wheat, pasture and hay are showing stress from freezing temperatures and growth has been hindered.

Winter wheat was reported with 96 percent of the crop breaking dormancy. Winter wheat conditions were rated as 81 percent good to excellent compared to 54 percent this time last year.

In trade news, China said it still plans to send a delegation to Washington this week for trade talks, despite President Trump’s announcement he’ll hike tariffs on Chinese goods later this week.

Trump is ratcheting up pressure on China with plans to hike from ten-percent to 25-percent tariffs on $200-billion in goods. The tariffs are an effort to dissuade the Chinese from backtracking on agriculture, cyber and other commitments in the trade talks.

U.S. Trade Ambassador Robert Lighthizer is still hoping the latest talks this will be a turning point in reaching a historic trade deal.

“If we can complete this effort, and again, I say ‘if,’ and can reach a solution to the all-important, outstanding issue of enforceability,” said Lighthizer. “As well as some other concerns, we might be able to have an agreement that helps us turn the corner, in our economic relationship with China.”

Agriculture  groups are crossing their fingers a trade deal can be struck as soon as possible.

The Department of Agriculture announced options last week for repayment to dairy farmers who participated in the Margin Protection Program for Dairy, now replaced by the Dairy Margin Coverage Program.

To be eligible for repayment, a dairy operation must have participated in the MPP-Dairy during any calendar year from 2014 through 2017, have the repayment calculated and verified by the Farm Service Agency and elect one of two options by September 20, 2019.

An operation’s repayment amount is calculated for each applicable calendar year in which that dairy participated in MPP, from 2014 through 2017. An operation either can elect to receive 50 percent of the repayment amount as a cash refund or take 75 percent of the amount as a credit that can be used toward premiums for the new Dairy Margin Coverage Program.

Signup for DMC begins June 17 and also ends September 20.  Eligible dairy producers soon will receive a letter from FSA, outlining their repayment options.

-Reported by Lane Nordlund/MTN News

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