If you thought planting trouble was focused solely on the Midwest, you would be wrong. Frank Howey, of Howey Family Farms in North Carolina could find himself in trouble if he doesn’t get more corn in the ground soon. On Wednesday’s AgriTalk Howey said that he still doesn’t have all of his corn in the ground, and the insurance deadline to do so is looming.
Howey said the trouble is that the ground is too wet, and the soil temperature is just into the 50’s. In the Midwest soil temperatures in the 50’s sounds like heaven to Tim Recker of Iowa and Bob Birdsell of Missouri. They both say without warmer soil they can’t risk putting seed in the ground just yet.
Birdsell said, “As a whole I don’t think we’ve went into a season with as much uncertainty as we have this year.”.
With all the talk about ethanol, the RFS, and refinery waivers, AgriTalk host Chip Flory asked the group about their thoughts. “We’re talking about losing over a billion gallons of ethanol use in the United States and that does concern me,” Recker said about the waivers.
On the east coast the issue is much different for Howey, as they don’t produce ethanol. However, Howey said a rise in ethanol demand is good for corn and therefore his state stands behind it, because they continue to increase ethanol usage wherever they can in his area.
The Farm Bill has also been a hot topic as of late. The House just last week managed to push the bill out of committee strictly along party lines. “The House have been doing their job all along. Our big problem is going to be in the Senate where we are going to need 60 votes and we only have 52 Republicans,” said Recker.
Howey agreed, saying the primary focus needs to be getting a farm bill passed this year, and before the elections in the fall.