Some U.S. Farm Fields May Never Be Harvested Again

11:46AM Oct 25, 2019
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University of Nebraska economist says some flooded farm fields could be lost for good.
( Farm Journal )

Nebraska farmers were racing to harvest their crops this week, as more winter-like weather could be in store next week. USDA says as of last Monday, 30 percent of the state’s corn crop was harvested, 5 points behind normal. 60 percent of the soybeans were reported to be out of the field, a huge jump from the 28 percent reported the week prior.

The race to finish harvest is an emotional one for some Nebraska farmers, as those who faced flooding are ready to turn the page on 2019.

AgriTalk’s Chip Flory says 2020 is now top of mind for many.

“What’s your biggest concern to finish out 2019,” asked U.S. Farm Report Host Tyne Morgan.

“Growing a crop in 2020,” said Flory. “If you don't grow a crop, you don't have a bushel to sell. You want to get past that and get to the next year as quickly as you can and get a good crop next year.”

However, 2020 may not be much better for some, as some of those flooded farm fields could be lost for good.

“Some of those acres are lost, permanently,” said Brad Lubben, Extension Association Professor in Agricultural Economics for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Quite a few of them, however, came back and got planted and actually produced a pretty good crop this year. So, it's a real mix out there of acres that were good acres, that were bad and, and acres that will never recover.”

Lubben says there are a number of decisions to make to close out 2019, including the financial piece of the farm production puzzle.

“Where do we sit and how well positioned are we for the coming year,” said Lubben. “I also focus on ag policy, and we're focusing on a new farm program, sign-ups and enrollment decisions are happening right now, and the more we know, the better decisions we can make, but that's also a bit of an uncertainty.”

Lubben says as for risk management, that could pose additional challenges for producers.

“We think about production in this silo; we think about farm programs in this silo; we think about crop insurance in this silo, and we think about marketing over in this silo,” said Lubben. “We forget that they all add to the same bottom line. We're trying to figure out each one independently. And we're not thinking about the portfolio as a whole. “

Watch the full marketing discussion from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

USFR 10/26/19 - RT2