Wheat crop withers in northern Plains, Pacific Northwest

The wheat harvest in the northern Plains and Pacific Northwest will be 40 percent smaller than last year due to severe drought, said the USDA on Monday. The declines in durum and spring wheat were so great they would reduce overall U.S. wheat production, dominated by winter wheat, by 8 percent …

USDA adds 101 counties to drought disaster list

In its largest set of declarations since mid-May, the USDA designated 101 counties in the Midwest and West as natural disaster areas due to drought. The designations make farmers and ranchers eligible for USDA emergency loans.

Bumper U.S. corn and soybean harvests are within reach

The United States is headed for its largest corn harvest ever and its third-largest soybean crop, based on the USDA's annual Acreage report, issued on Wednesday. The mammoth crops would be ready for harvest late this summer, replenishing U.S. grain inventories that are being drained by robust demand at home and abroad.

Crop insurance should be a starting point for 2023 farm bill, say farmers

Farmers from Georgia to California told a House Agriculture subcommittee on Wednesday that the foundation of the 2023 farm bill should be the taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance system. They also expressed interest in the creation of a standby disaster relief fund.

Drought expands in upper Midwest

Warm and dry weather brought "widespread worsening of drought and dryness" to the upper Midwest in the past week, particularly in Iowa and Wisconsin, said the Drought Monitor.

Arid weather trims corn and soybean outlook

With drought expanding in the Midwest, the corn and soybean crops are in notably worse condition than a week ago, said the USDA Crop Progress report on Monday. The portion of the corn crop rated as good or excellent tumbled by 14 percentage points in Iowa and good/excellent ratings for soybeans …

Flush times for farmers, buoyed by strong markets and pandemic aid

Farmers in the Midwest and Plains are reaping a cash bonanza that has dramatically improved their finances a year after the pandemic pummeled commodity markets and prompted a record $46 billion in federal payments to agriculture, said three regional Federal Reserve banks on Thursday. (No paywall)

‘Very dangerous fire year’ is likely, say Biden officials

The government will deploy 15,000 firefighters, 1,600 engines, and 625 aircraft against what is expected to be another dangerous year for wildfires, said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Thursday.

USDA approves drought counties for emergency loans

In a two-day burst, the USDA designated 372 counties, roughly 1 of every 7 counties in the country, from Texas and Kansas to California and Hawaii, as natural disaster areas due to persistent drought. At the same time, Gov. Gavin Newsom expanded California's drought emergency to 41 counties, including parts of the agricultural Central Valley.

Unusually dry, or worse, in half of Midwest

Large swaths of Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio are abnormally dry and most of Michigan is in moderate drought due to limited spring precipitation, said the weekly Drought Monitor on Thursday. Arid conditions covered 48 percent of the Midwest, the heart of U.S. corn and soybean production.