Drought persists in western Corn Belt, southern Plains

In its monthly Drought Outlook, the National Weather Service says drought will persist in northern Missouri and southeastern Iowa through August, a key month for crop development. Nationwide, about 15 percent of soybean land and 11 percent of corn land is in drought.

Senate farm bill designed to clear 60-vote hurdle

Roughly 16 months ago, at their first hearing for the 2018 farm bill, Senate Agriculture chairman Pat Roberts and Sen. Debbie Stabenow agreed to write a bipartisan bill that would be enacted on time, a seemingly simple goal that has eluded Congress repeatedly. With a committee vote set for Wednesday on their 1,006-page bill, the two committee leaders say they are on the verge of a major bipartisan victory.

Drought eases in central Plains, worsens in the north

Widespread rainfall in northwestern Kansas eased arid conditions in the No. 1 winter wheat state as this year’s crop nears maturity, said the weekly Drought Monitor. Still, some 69 percent of Kansas remains in drought.

Argentina imports U.S. soybeans, a first in more than two decades

In the agricultural equivalent of coals to Newcastle, the No. 3 soybean grower in the world, Argentina, is buying soybeans from one of its major competitors, the United States, because of drought damage to its own crop.

Smallest U.S. winter wheat crop in 16 years

Searing drought in the central and southern Plains will result in the smallest winter wheat crop since 2002 and the second smallest in 47 years, said the USDA in its first estimate of the summer harvest.

For forest fires, a ‘new normal’

After a record-setting fire season in 2017, this year “is showing all signs of another historic year,” said interim Forest Service chief Vicki Christiansen on Thursday. “I will say above normal is our new normal.”

Oklahoma wildfires kill 1,600 cattle

Cattle producers in Oklahoma lost $26 million in stock, fencing, and facilities to wildfires during April, estimated Derrell Peel, a livestock marketing specialist at Oklahoma State University.

Farmers plant one-fifth of U.S. corn crop in a week

More than 19 million acres of corn were planted last week, thanks to generally favorable weather in the Midwest, according to the Crop Progress report released on Monday.

Drought fries wheat crop in Kansas and Oklahoma

Kansas will reap its smallest winter wheat crop since 1989 and neighboring Oklahoma will harvest half of its usual total because of a months-long drought in the Plains, crop scouts said on Thursday after touring the winter wheat belt.