Planting begins in the south

Published: Mar. 18, 2021 at 7:22 AM CDT
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ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU) - Farmers in southern states are starting to plant their crops. Texas farmers have about a quarter of their 2021 corn crop planted while farmers in Louisiana have 14% of their corn in—both states showing about average progress. There are also reports that some of the spring wheat crop is being planted in North Dakota.

In South America farmers are trying to harvest their soybean crop. But it’s been tough. Reports from Mato-Grasso state, the largest corn and soybean producing area in Brazil, show they’ve had more than 32 inches of rain in the past 45 days causing flooding and lost crops. But crop observers still say Brazil’s soybean crop will reach 132 million metric tons and the corn crop will come in at 105 million metric tons. About 80% of those beans in Brazil have now been harvested.

China is buying more U.S. corn. This week the USDA announced China has bought another 1.15 million metric tons, or about 45 and a half million bushels from us. That’s their second largest buy from the U.S. in 2021. Through March 4th their total corn buys from the U.S. have reached 18.7 million tons as they try to rebuild the world’s largest hog herd in their battle to contain and get rid of African Swine Fever.

The 2021 rankings are in for the top agricultural universities in the world. And if you’re a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, you can be proud. The college is rated as the 8th best ag school in the world—the same rank a in 2020. The top rated ag college in the world is in the Netherlands and only two other U.S. schools rank ahead of Madison—the University of California-Davis ranks second and Cornell remains at number 5. Ranking 9th and 10th are UC-Berkeley and Michigan State. Iowa State comes in at number 14, Purdue is 15th, Penn State is number 24, Ohio State ranks 31st with Minnesota ranked as the 36th best Ag college in the world.

Tractor sales continue to be a bright spot early this year. In February total tractor sales were up 41% from last year with sales for the first 2 months of this year up 34%. To keep up with that demand, John Deere is looking to fill another 300 positions at its Waterloo, Iowa assembly plant. That comes after 200 positions were added at that plant in the past 3 months. Manufacturers say they need the added help to fill orders for this spring.

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