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Montana Ag Network: June 25th Report – Crop progress, weather impacts

Posted: 4:12 PM, Jun 25, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-25 18:12:07-04

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop progress numbers are out for Montana and the precipitation across much of the state has impacted the first part of the 2019 haying season.

The 1st cutting of alfalfa was reported at 13% behind last years average of 28%. Spring wheat is at 31% booted. There was a fall in ratings with 55% good to excellent, 37% fair, and 8% poor to very poor. Winter wheat is at 89% booted and 45% headed with a rating of 22% excellent, 49% good, 21% fair and 8% poor to very poor. Sugarbeets are at 8% excellent, 77% fair and 15% good.

Many producers across the nation are still being impacted by this year’s weather. The Risk Management Agency says farmers who planted cover crops on prevent plant acres will be allowed to hay, graze, or chop those fields earlier than normal this year.

RMA Administrator Martin Barbre said a lot of thought went into the decision to move up the final haying and grazing date on those acres from November 1st to September 1st.

“We’ve had a lot of calls a lot of questions even some Congressional inquiries about if there is anything RMA and USDA could do to help know with the significant challenges producers are facing this year,” Barbre. “Not only with getting crops planted but the lack of being able to plant forage crops in and have that availability this fall and winter. So we looked at the issue did a lot of back-and-forth discussions among the department trying to figure out what we could do what we couldn’t do. We finally got to a point where we felt like we could do this.”

Barbre said the changes in dates are only good for this year.

“We’ve changed that grazing date for 2019 only,” said Barbre. “I want to make that very specific. That’s for 2019 only. We changed that day too September 1st. Along with that we’ve also determined that silage, haylage and baleage will be treated the same way as haying and grazing for this year. So that will allow producers to not only hay those cover crops that pasta chopped him for silage as well.”

For more information, contact the USDA’s risk management agency.

President Donald Trump will be off to the G-20 summit in Japan at the end of this week. He’s scheduled to meet with China’s President Xi Jinping face-to-face for a high-stakes discussion on trade, as well as other issues.

While most officials don’t expect a long-awaited breakthrough yet, it is possible Trump could be talked into not putting new tariffs on even more Chinese imports. U.S. agriculture groups continue to urge the administration to resolve the trade dispute as soon as possible.

Many experts also believe China’s African swine fever crisis will benefit the U.S. in trade talks. New reports state China has banned direct and indirect imports of pigs, wild boars, and related products from Laos after the first outbreak of the African Swine Fever virus was found in that country.

The World Organization for Animal Health says Laos confirmed the first deadly outbreaks of African Swine Fever in a southern province last week. African Swine Fever is deadly to pigs, but doesn’t harm human beings. ASF has hit the entire country of China hard and was first reported in China in August of last year.

-Reported by Lane Nordlund/MTN News