Farmers have made significant progress in planting corn over the past week but remain well behind the pace in many areas, according to USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report
Farmers have planted 49% of the expected 2022 corn crop so far, compared to an average pace at this point of 67%. 
North Dakota farmers have planted just 4% of their expected corn crop, while South Dakota growers have planted 31%. 
Most farmers in the Dakotas, northern Minnesota and Nebraska will see their crop insurance coverage reduced if they don’t get the crop in the ground by May 25. 
By the way: Nearly 40% of the nation’s winter wheat crop is rated in poor or very poor condition. 
Keep in mind: U.S. grain production is especially critical this year due to the global supply disruptions created by the war in Ukraine. 
Analysis: Farmers face sharp decline in earnings
Most grain and oilseed farmers will still make a profit this year despite soaring input costs, but net cash farm income is likely to fall sharply in 2022. That’s according to an analysis by economists at Texas A&M University who maintain a database of 489 representative farms around the country.
The steep drop in income is due in part to the fact that farmers in 2021 were still getting a substantial amount of ad hoc government assistance.
A 3,400-acre Iowa corn and soybean farm that had $1.3 million in net cash income in 2021 will see that drop to $968,000 this year, according to the analysis. A 2,000-acre Kansas wheat farm will see net cash income drop to $459,000 from last year’s $618,000. A 2,500-acre Georgia cotton operation is projected to clear $351,000 this year, down from $1.3 million.
Rice growers are in for the roughest year. Ten of the 15 representative rice farms are expected to see losses in 2022.
Wheat futures get big bump from India export ban
India’s move over the weekend to shut down wheat exports, instituted after a heatwave began taking a toll on farmers there, sent futures prices in the U.S. soaring Monday, according to analysts.
The Kansas City July contract for hard red winter closed at $13.52 per bushel Monday, up 70 cents from where it settled Friday at $12.82.

The Indian ban isn’t total – it’s still letting some grain out for contracts that were already signed or for “food security” reasons, but Donna Hughes, a senior risk management consultant at StoneX, said it was enough to send wheat futures prices limit up.
The Indian ban “took a lot of wheat that the market was looking at for the world market,” said Jack Scoville, vice president at The PRICE Futures Group, who noted that the July contract for spring wheat on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange also closed limit up Monday at $13.85.
Vilsack complains to EU about produce trade troubles
U.S. shipments of fruit and vegetables to Europe are being delayed or even denied over what U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack calls “inconsistent applications of health certificates” under new pesticide maximum residue level regulations in the European Union.
Vilsack said he complained to EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski in a discussion on the sidelines of a G-7 summit in Germany, but he also stressed that it was an overall “positive conversation.”
Vilsack said he also brought up the issue regarding apples and pears specifically with Poland’s ag minister. Vilsack traveled to Poland after the G-7 summit.
NRCS proposes changes to conservation handbook
The Natural Resources Conservation Service plans to make changes in its National Handbook of Conservation Practices, with an eye toward soil carbon sequestration.
The Soil Carbon Amendment practice, for example, would support the application of biochar, compost, “and other state‐approved carbon amendments (for example, harvested aquatic plant biomass, bagasse, distillation residue) to increase soil carbon sequestration and improve soil health on all land uses,” NRCS said in a Federal Register notice being published today.
Under Feed Management, the purpose for air quality has been expanded to include ammonia, volatile organic compounds, greenhouse gases, and dust. For constructed wetlands, changes have been made “to clarify that the practice can be used to treat tile drainage outflow,” NRCS said.
Under Forest Stand Improvements, “New considerations for the use of biomass for bioenergy, renewable energy production, or biochar were added.”
Comments will be considered for 30 days.
White House continues working on infant formula shortages

The White House is continuing to work with the four major infant formula manufacturers — Reckitt, Abbott, Nestle/Gerber, and Perrigo — “to identify transportation, logistical, and supplier hurdles to increasing production of formula at their U.S. and FDA-approved facilities,” a White House official said.

The administration also is seeking “to expand the amount and speed of FDA-approved formula being shipped into the country, and ensure that formula is quickly moving to retailers from factories,” the official said.

The largest production facility in the U.S. has been shut down since February after some infants were hospitalized and two died, due to bacterial contamination. Abbott said it has reached an agreement with FDA to re-open the Sturgis, Michigan, facility, and pushed back against claims that its formula had caused the illnesses.

“After a thorough investigation by FDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Abbott, and review of all available data, there is no conclusive evidence to link Abbott's formulas to these infant illnesses,” the company said.

In addition: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday he has yet to broach the subject of increasing U.S. imports of infant formula with his Canadian counterpart under USMCA, but stressed that “it’s certainly something we should have a conversation about.”
“Obviously we’re all concerned about the moms and dads that are relying on infant formula and are stressed about adequate supply,” he added.
He said it: “I have worked with Alexis for over 15 years and know the industry appreciates her experience and understanding of the agriculture community and trade issues” Chandler Goule, National Association of Wheat Growers CEO, on the nomination of Alexis Taylor to be Undersecretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs.

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