Ag Chat with Bob Bosold - May 14

ALTOONA, Wis. (WEAU)- Planting conditions didn’t get any better last week around the country as farmers fell further behind in their efforts to get their crops in. As of this past Sunday, only 30% of the corn crop was planted—well behind last year’s progress for this date of 59% and even further behind the 5 year average of 66% planted by now. It’s not much better for soybeans. As of Sunday, only 9% of the beans were in—well below last year’s progress of 32% planted and the 5 year average of 29%. Spring wheat planting is also behind normal with 45% of that crop planted but that’s 22% behind the 5 year average. This week’s Crop Progress Report also shows 64% of the winter wheat is in good to excellent condition and 62% of the oats are in around the country—about 20% behind the 5 year average.

Richard Hurd / CC BY 2.0 / MGN

In Wisconsin, it’s about the same story. Only 14% of the corn is in the ground. Last year state farmers had already planted 28% of the crop with the 5 year average at 46%. Soybean planting is also way behind with just 4% of the beans in. Farmers have managed to get 41% of their oats seeded—the same as last year but well behind the 5 year average of 66%. Potato growers are in better shape with 59% of their crop planted—the same as last year but about 4 days behind the 5 year average. And with all those wet conditions, topsoil moisture this week remains at 100% adequate to surplus.

So far Bayer AG is zero for three in court cases involving RoundUp herbicide. Their latest loss came in a California court where a jury awarded a couple just over $2 billion as they charged the product caused them to contract cancer. This was by far the biggest judgment against Bayer as the first two awards were for 78 and 80 million dollars. Bayer officials say they will appeal this latest decision.

Federal spending for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program was down last year but it still accounted for 68% of all federal spending on food and nutrition programs. Just over 40 million people a month were on food stamps last year, but that was down 4% from 2017 and 2018 was the 5th consecutive year that fewer people took part in the program. Total federal spending on food stamps dropped 5% last year was still at $65—19% below the high of $80 billion in 2013.