NWS 6-10 DAY FORECAST: TWO-THIRDS OF CORN BELT TO SEE ABOVE-NORMAL PRECIP... The National Weather Service forecast for July 22-26 calls for above-normal precip from the eastern half of Iowa eastward, with normal precip expected from western Iowa westward to the eastern halves of Nebraska and Kansas, and across the Dakotas. Below-normal precip is expected in the western halves of Nebraska and Kansas. Meanwhile, above-normal temps are forecast across the Northern Plains, Nebraska, western Iowa and western Minnesota, with normal temps expected elsewhere across the Midwest. Click here for related maps.
CONSULTANT SEES VARIABLE CORN CROP AND DELAYED SOYBEANS ON WESTERN BELT TOUR... Pro Farmer crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier left his estimate of the U.S. corn and soybean crops unchanged from last week, but after a weekend tour of northern Illinois and a broad area of the western Corn Belt, he said he's concerned about variability in the corn crop and a much delayed soybean crop.
"The worst soybeans are so delayed in their development that they are not going to have enough time to make up a month and a half of lost growth," he said, adding there are plenty of poor soybeans in Iowa and the worst soybeans are "pathetic."
Dr. Cordonnier left his corn yield unchanged at 153.0 bu. per acre and says he has a neutral to slightly negative bias toward the crop. One of his biggest surprises on the tour was how many fields in northeast Iowa and southeast Minnesota were not planted. While NASS will resurvey soybean acreage for the August Crop Production Report, they will not do so for corn. "I am going to continue using one million less harvested acres compared to the June Acreage Report, but I feel eventually the corn harvested acreage could fall even further," he said.
Dr. Cordonnier left his soybean yield estimate unchanged at 42 bu. per acre and said he has a neutral to lower bias toward the crop. "There are a lot of holes in the soybean fields and some of the poorest soybean fields may never be harvested," he adds. Click here to read Dr. Cordonnier's full tour report.
OFF-BASE, POLITICALLY TINGED COMMENTARY ON HOUSE FARM BILL REACTION... A mostly political tone has come from farm bill commentators, running from Senate Ag Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to some major farm organizations and lobbyists, and even from some conservative groups who apparently want a total end to any farm subsidies. Sen. Stabenow, who some say just wants a farm bill to be completed, period, called the House bill an "insult to Rural America." But that is certainly not the case when one realizes the House farm bill includes billions and billions of dollars for farm programs – and even some reform.
It appears Stabenow and others who are very negative regarding the House farm bill are basing their "dismay" because of the lack of food stamp funding in the House farm bill. But GOP leaders have pledged that will come later via separate legislation or attached to another measure – perhaps the FY 2014 ag appropriations bill or the coming debt limit hike negotiations.
What many commentators fail to point out, even though some of them know or should know, is that the food stamp program continues unchanged so long as regular appropriations are passed or Congress passes a continuing resolution to keep the government open. Certain nutrition programs would need to be reauthorized and funded. The food stamp program accounts for around 80% of annual USDA spending.
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, who some label the most political Ag secretary in decades, took to the radio airwaves on Friday and complained about the House repealing permanent legislation that includes 1938 and 1949 laws. But it was the same Vilsack last year who wrote a letter warning that USDA would have a very hard time implementing any move to permanent legislation should Congress fail to ink a new farm bill or provide an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill. Get more details about the political hype and liberal biases among some farm group lobbyists and the media.
LIKELY FARM BILL OUTCOME... No one knows the farm bill end zone for sure. But it will likely go one of three ways: (1) Most likely: An end-of-session grouping of the farm bill, including food stamp funding, with other key issues likely including a continuing resolution (CR) for Fiscal Year 2014 funding and a short-term extension of the debt-limit ceiling. Farm bill savings could be used for some "pay-fors" regarding those other issues; (2) An extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, and perhaps longer than a one-year extension to get the matter through 2014 elections; (3) a solo House-Senate farm bill conference report.