Naveen Adusumilli, Connor, Lawson
Until March 15th, 2020, operators can enroll and elect for coverage in ARC-CO or PLC by crop or ARC-Individual for the entire farm. 2019 coverage elections not made by March 15th will default to 2018 elections, and those acres will not be eligible for a 2019 payment. Coverage elections for 2019 will qualify for both 2019 and 2020 while there will again be the option to make new elections for crop year 2021 - 2023. Though 2019 enrollment should occur first, producers will be able to enroll for both 2019 and 2020 in the same visit. A producer accompanied by an owner can also update PLC payment yields that will take effect in the crop year 2020, beginning October 7th, 2019, and ending June 30th, 2020.
As crop prices decline and farm incomes follow their lead, indemnities paid out from a crop insurance revenue plan decline with them. The reduced likelihood of a price trigger in a low price environment is the predominant explanatory factor resulting in a revenue plan triggering roughly as often as a yield plan. Many farmers may find coupling PLC with crop insurance provides additional income support while also protecting against unexpected shortfalls.
The USDA has declared the end of the growing season in several parts of the Midwest. States such as North and South Dakota, Nebraska and parts of Iowa and Minnesota have experienced temperatures below freezing. Attention for farmers in these areas turns to harvest.
The October WASDE revised 2019/2020 forecasts for soybean ending stocks (also referred to as “carry”) downwards by 180 million bushels. Declines in production, beginning stocks, and a slight increase in soybean crush primarily contributed to lowering the forecast. Increased corn use from feed and residual resulted in an overall decrease in 2019/20 carry by 261 million bushels. Late season weather continues to affect carry forecasts.
The Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) provides payments to producers to offset losses from hurricanes, wildfires, and other qualifying natural disasters. The program covers damages to crops, trees, bushes, milk production, on-farm stored commodities, hay, and vines that occurred as a result of disaster events. Signup for the program began September 11, 2019. Eighteen parishes are eligible under the 2018 program. Twelve parishes qualify under the 2019 program. Ten parishes qualify under both the 2018 and 2019 program.
A joint report by the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) showed that 25 states have state funding sources such as tax credits and revolving funds to finance agricultural conservation. Louisiana is not among those states; however, our conservation efforts are widespread through the network of 44 Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs). These districts work with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, NRCS, and the EPA to administer the 319 program to address non-point source pollution through agricultural BMPs implementation. The SWCDs collaborate with the LSU AgCenter Master Farmer Program to address environmental concerns related to production agriculture. Through the funding provided by the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the SWCDs coordinate and implement planting projects along the 40-linear miles of Louisiana’s shoreline and wetland restoration plantings providing costal revegetation. Apart from the above, the conservation staff provide training in agricultural management actions and much‑much more.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) issued its December to February outlook for temperature, precipitation, and drought. The report indicates a warmer than normal temperature for the majority of the Southern US. The prediction also includes a drier than normal precipitation for Louisiana and parts of eastern Texas. Any implications on the state’s agricultural cover crop activities of this winter outlook is yet to be known.
A recent request by the LSU AgCenter cover crop working group has resulted in NRCS adjusting the cereal rye seeding rate requirements from 90‑120 lbs. /acre to 45-120 lbs. /acre. This request was backed by field research conducted by the AgCenter specialists.