Ocean Freight Rates Surge Higher

In the third quarter, ocean freight rates for bulk commodities, including grain, were at the highest level in 13 years. To ship grain from the Pacific Northwest to Japan, the rate was $44.56 per metric ton. That’s up 16 percent from the second quarter and up 93 percent from one year ago. The rate increase is linked to congestion at the ports and other logistical problems.

Drought Conditions Continue to Improve

Last weekend’s heavy rains across North Dakota and Minnesota were enough to improve dry conditions, but more rains will be needed to break the longer-term drought. The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows Golden Valley, North Dakota in exceptional drought, with the rest of the sate ranging from abnormally dry to extreme drought conditions. Minnesota also had a reduction in drought, with the severe conditions in the western part of the state now at moderate to severe drought.

Dry Bean Scene

Farmers in North Dakota and Minnesota are virtually wrapped up with the 2021 dry bean harvest. Hear more from Pisek, ND farmer Darren Kadlec and National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Barrett in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network. This radio update is made possible, in part, by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association. Listen now.

U.S. Dry Bean Production Expected to Decline

USDA released the latest Crop Production Report on October 12. U.S. production of dry beans is forecast at 22.6 million cwt, down 3 percent from the August forecast and
down 31 percent from 2020. Area planted is estimated at 1.40 million acres, down 4 percent from the August forecast and down 20 percent from 2020. Area harvested is forecast at 1.34 million acres, down 4 percent from the August forecast and down 20 percent from 2020. The yield is forecast at 1,686 pounds per acre, an increase of 11 pounds from the August forecast, but a decrease of 280 pounds from last season.
 
In North Dakota, dry bean production is forecast at 5.95 million cwt, down 53% from 2020. Area for harvest, at 640,000 acres, is down 18% from last year. Yield is estimated at 930 pounds per acre, down 700 pounds per acre from last year.
 
Minnesota dry bean production is forecast at 4.47 million cwt, down 19 percent from last year. An expected 229,000 acres will be harvested, with an expected yield of 1,950 pounds per acre.

Crop Progress Report – October 12, 2021

According to USDA’s Crop Progress Report, dry edible bean harvest in North Dakota was 90%. That behind 95% last year, but ahead of 80% average.
 
Topsoil moisture supplies in North Dakota were 27% very short, 27% short, 41% adequate, and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 36% very short, 29% short, 32% adequate, and 3% surplus.
 
In Minnesota, dry beans harvested was 92%. That’s equal to 96% last year and ahead of 88% average.
 
Topsoil moisture supplies in Minnesota were 4 percent very short, 21 percent short, 70 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 11 percent very short, 36 percent short, 51 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.
 
Get the latest Crop Progress numbers.

Dry Bean Scene

Farmers are trying to wrap up dry bean harvest, but the lack of a hard frost is making for tough cutting conditions. Hear more from Rock and Roll Agronomy owner Jason Hanson and North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network Director Daryl Ritchison in this week’s Dry Bean Scene on the Red River Farm Network. This radio update is made possible, in part, by the Northarvest Bean Growers Association.
 

Fertilizer Decisions

With fertilizer prices skyrocketing, University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient Management Specialist Dan Kaiser is fielding fertilizer application questions.

“One of those questions is about starter fertilizer. Farmers want to know if they can do in-furrow alone. It all depends on starting soil test values, to know where you’re at. With low soil tests, we know starter alone isn’t going to do it, we’ll need a broadcast fertilizer. A combination of the two can reduce costs.”

Specialty products could be an option, but Kaiser says be very careful with those.

“The only time I’ve seen the benefits of those is when we’ve seen wet soils that respond to side-dress nitrogen applications. If you’re looking at bio-stimulants as a way to trim back some of the costs, be careful and look at the data.”

Read more.

Latest Drought Monitor Shows Improved Conditions

There’s been a slight improvement in dry conditions in the last week across North Dakota and Minnesota. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the line of extreme drought in northwest Minnesota declined in Polk, Red Lake and Pennington Counties. Last week’s rains in portions of North Dakota also reduced the severity of the drought. Yet the above-normal temperatures in the last week do not help the areas that have been in a long-term drought.

Crop Progress Report – October 4, 2021

According to USDA’s Crop Progress Report, dry edible bean harvest in North Dakota was 83%. That behind 88% last year, but ahead of 73% average.

Topsoil moisture supplies in North Dakota were 35% very short, 37% short, 27% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 47% very short, 30% short, 22% adequate, and 1% surplus.

In Minnesota, dry beans harvested was 86%. That’s equal to 86% last year and ahead of 81% average.

Topsoil moisture supplies in Minnesota were 7 percent very short, 24 percent short, 67 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated

15 percent very short, 37 percent short, 47 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.

Dry beans were 81% in Idaho, 86% in Colorado, 72% in Nebraska, 98% in Wyoming and 84% in Michigan. Get the latest Crop Progress numbers.

U.S. Senate Approves $10 Billion in Disaster Assistance

The U.S. Senate has approved $10 billion in disaster assistance. Specifically, it includes $9.25 billion in aid for farmers who suffered losses due to drought, floods and other qualifying disasters. The funding will extend WHIP= to cover losses in calendar years 2020 and 2021. Read more.