December 22, 2014

USDA: Despite weather troubles, most crops are doing well

Field2While strong winds, hail and flooding damaged some Nebraska crops in recent weeks, the latest USDA report indicates the growing season for many farmers statewide is going well.

In the past week, temperatures were moderate and many areas saw adequate rain. Some growers changed out corn for soybeans this year, but the USDA’s Anthony Prillaman says many farmers are sticking with what worked during a run of good years.

“Definitely weather concerns, economic concerns, all of that goes into what the farmers end up deciding what they’re going to plant,” Prillaman says. Nationwide, about four-million fewer acres were planted in corn this year, down four-percent from last year. Prillaman says a fear of lower corn prices may’ve moved many farmers to plant more soybeans.

“The biggest thing for soybeans this year was just the economics, is what was driving that increase that we’re seeing in soybeans acres across the country,” Prillaman says.

Another USDA report on planting showed a record number of soybean acres were planted, but corn planting remained about the same or was down in several Midwestern states.

For Nebraska, about 70% of the corn was rated good to excellent, while 71% of the soybean crop was in those top two categories. Winter wheat isn’t doing quite as well, with 49% good to excellent, 31% fair and 20% poor to very poor.