Blog Archives

JenREES 1/9/22

It was great to kick off winter programming last week and reconnect with people at the York Ag Expo! For those who attended pesticide training, please allow up to 3 weeks for the postcard with billing info. from NDA to be mailed to you. If you don’t receive a postcard in 3 weeks, please contact me or the local educator you received training from.

Two upcoming webinars of potential interest:

York County Corn Grower Banquet will be held Jan. 20th at Stone Creek in McCool Junction. Social will begin at 5:30 p.m. A supper of broasted chicken and roast beef will be served at 6:00 p.m. with program shortly after. The evening’s entertainment will be comedian Kris Covi. Kris is a Nebraska comedian who can be seen at events around the country and is known for his family friendly comedy. Tickets are $12/person and can be purchased from any York Co. Corn Grower director, the York Co. Extension Office, or at the door the evening of the 20th.

Nebraska Farm Income and Farm Policy Directions: Had several conversations the past week regarding farm income, bill, and thinking about the future. Dr. Brad Lubben recently wrote an article on this, so I’m sharing excerpts in the event you missed it. The full article can be viewed at:

“Farm Income: Using official state-level farm income data published by USDA’s Economic Research Service through 2020 and my projections for 2021-2024, net farm income in Nebraska is currently projected to be $8.1 billion in 2021, a sharp rise from the $5.3 billion estimate for 2020, which itself was up substantially from the $3.5 billion average over the 2015-2019 downturn. Stronger commodity prices since late 2020 coupled with reduced, but still substantial government payments led to the record income estimates.

“The record farm income levels may not last however, as forecasts through 2024 based on longer-term baseline projections from USDA and the Food and Agricultural Policy Center (FAPRI) at the University of Missouri pull Nebraska farm income back to the $5 billion to $6 billion range. An expected pullback in some commodity prices, a sharp rise in input costs, and a dramatic decline in government payments account for the drop in projected farm income.

“Safety Net: Looking closer at government payments provides insight on the role of the federal safety net as well as management decisions ahead for producers. Relying again on data from USDA’s Economic Research Service through 2020 and my projections for 2021-2024, the analysis shows government payments dropping from unprecedented levels in 2020 to minimal levels over the coming years.

“Government payments in Nebraska peaked at nearly $2.5 billion in 2020 as ad hoc COVID-19 relief rolled out primarily in the form of Paycheck Projection Program support and Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments. That was more than double the payments of 2019, which itself was high due to the ad hoc relief in the form of Market Facilitation Program payments to combat losses related to on-going trade conflicts. Government payments dropped dramatically in 2021 as COVID-19 relief scaled back and they look to virtually disappear by 2022 except for the stable, predictable conservation payments of around $150 million per year.

“Amid the massive ad hoc payments over the past four years (trade assistance payments in 2018-2020 and COVID-19 relief payments in 2020-2021), the core part of the farm income safety net, namely commodity programs, have largely disappeared in relevance.

“Under the 2018 Farm Bill, producers had an opportunity to change their enrollment for 2019 and beyond and largely shifted toward PLC given the price projections at the time and the relative support of the ARC program versus the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program. ARC and PLC payments in 2020 for the 2019 crop were substantial at more than $240 million (almost all PLC) but have dropped to around $50 million for 2021 and are projected at minimal levels going forward given current price levels and projections.” The rest of the article can be viewed at:

Figure 1. Net Farm Income in Nebraska

Source: USDA-ERS and author calculations.

Figure 2. Government Payments in Nebraska

Source: USDA-ERS and author calculations.

JenREES 11-4-18

Last week I had the opportunity to attend and speak at the Weed Science School. It was an interesting day of learning, discussion, even reflection. Dr. Amit Jhala, Weed Science Specialist, did a really nice job of organizing the day and creating opportunities to hear from University, Industry, and Nebraska Dept. of Ag (NDA) speakers in addition to providing hands-on activities. While dicamba was a topic that was discussed, we didn’t hear about EPA’s ruling till the following day that the RUP products for soybean will be re-registered. Tim Creger with NDA shared that 6 other dicamba products, most with pre-mixes, will be registered this year. He also shared there are 40 ag labeled dicamba products that are not restricted use pesticides, and as long as they aren’t registered for soybean use, he doesn’t anticipate they will become restricted use pesticides. Comparing NDA claims from 2017 to 2018, they received 95 claims (24 investigated due to lack of resources) in 2017 compared to 106 (50 investigated but only 31 resulted in full investigations due to desire of the person filing the complaint) in 2018. Of the 106 claims in 2018, 17 were non-ag related.

In last week’s column, in sharing about fall burndown apps, I had mentioned that 60% ofimag6705marestail (horseweed) in Nebraska germinated in the fall. An updated number of 90-95% fall germination for Eastern Nebraska was shared. This once again emphasizes the importance of considering fall apps for fields with marestail pressure.

Dr. Kevin Bradley from University of Missouri shared on 7 points he’s learned from 15 years of researching waterhemp. They included: Never underestimate waterhemp (I’d say the same for palmer); Era of simple, convenient, quick control is over; Use full herbicide rates and pre-emergence herbicides with residual; Overlap pre + post applications (which we also see with palmer-put that post on a week earlier than you think you need it); Glufosinate, dicamba, and 2,4-D may work now but they’re tools being abused; New traits won’t solve the problem; and Get rid of herbicide-centric way of thinking-we need an integrated approach. He thought he was sharing something shocking in that last statement, but I’d say several of us seek an integrated system’s approach to what we do, including weed management. So ultimately, herbicides aren’t the answer for weed control and we need to be thinking about management from a system’s perspective including crop rotation, use of cover crops, residue management, seed destruction, etc. Especially as from the industry perspective presented, it takes an average of 12 years and average investment of $250 million for a new chemistry to be developed. They are seeking chemistries now that work on specific sites of action (how targets within plant) within the mode of action (specific group or chemistry number).

On November 14th, we’re hosting a Farm/Ranch Transition workshop at the 4-H building in York. This is the closest location for our area. The workshop will focus on the needs of the “sandwich generation” between parents who still own land and children who might want to join the operation, on whom farm/ranch transition and transfer often falls. The Gen2, or Sandwich Generation, will learn how to communicate with family to understand the transition and practice asking difficult questions. Legal topics will include elements of a good business entity, levels of layers for on-farm heirs control and access, and turning agreements into effective written leases. Joe Hawbaker, estate planning attorney, and Allan Vyhnalek, Nebraska Extension transition specialist, will share stories and experiences to successfully plan on the legal side. Dave Goeller, financial and transition specialist, will cover financial considerations, retirement, and compensation versus contribution. Cost is $20 per person. If more than two people are attending per operation, the cost is $15/person.  Pre-register at (402) 362-5508 or for meal count. Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226.

November 15th is the York County Corn Grower Banquet at Chances ‘R in York. Social time begins at 6:30 p.m. with a wonderful meal at 7:00 p.m. We will hear from Nate Blum, LEAD 36, on his international trip. We will also hear from local and state directors. Tickets are only $10 and can be obtained from any of the local Corn Grower directors or from the Extension Office at (402) 362-5508. The winner of the Yeti cooler from guessing plot yields will be announced, and those who guessed need to be present in order to have a chance to win. Plot results can be obtained from the Extension Office. Hope to see you there for a nice evening with a wonderful meal to hopefully celebrate the end of harvest season!

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