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Iowa crop report

Plenty of rain along with cool and cloudy weather gave Iowa’s crop plenty to drink. According to the Iowa Crop Progress Report, there were only 3.5 days good for fieldwork. Corn planting is virtually complete with emergence at 87%, five days ahead of the average. Corn conditions are at 81%t good or excellent.

  93% of soybeans are in the ground, 12 days ahead of normal. Emergence is at 72%, nine days ahead of the five-year average. The first soybean condition rating of the season says the crop is 76% good or excellent.

There were scattered reports of frost statewide. Aside from planting, farmers worked on spraying, side dressing and chopping cover crops.

Meatpacker cyber attack

  A cyber attack over the weekend impacted a major meatpacker. JBS USA and Pilgrim’s announced it discovered a cyberattack on its servers over the weekend that impacted a few of its operations in North America and Australia, shutting down plants. It says many of its systems are back online and the vast majority of plants were operational as of Wednesday. The company says it is not aware of any evidence that customer, supplier or employee data has been compromised.

Crop insurance premiums

  Crop insurance policies are paying premiums for cover crops. The USDA risk management agency announced a premium benefit for landowners using cover crops this year. The Pandemic Cover Crop Program helps maintain cover crop systems despite financial challenges from COVID-19.

  Cover crops are expensive and the program is intended to reduce the overall bill so producers can continue the practice. Support is $5 per acre but no more than full premium is owed all cover crops reportable to the F-S-A are eligible.

A look at the markets

Markets are mixed midweek. Analyst Dan Hueber has the details:

“We had general strength yesterday and came ri8ght out of the gate with higher price activity. Mostly concentrated on weather, in fact that’s the only story we have here, demand’s gone dormant. China looks like it’s fill of corn and not much shaping up domestically. Crush in April was down a little bit, prices doing the job it’s supposed to. Ration demand when we get into tight situations so that seems to be taking effect as well. Cattle is bouncing back after a washout yesterday just a lot of uncertainty in the livestock markets together but more so in the cattle you know yesterday they had a harsh down day, probably a knee jerk reaction to the problems with JBS and the hackers that got into their system yesterday and force the shutdown in plants not only in North America but in Australia. Hogs, though, gapped higher yesterday as we started out the week and followed through into higher highs so you have June hogs north of 118 at this point in time, pushing 120 so it looks like you could almost be challenging the futures we had back in 2014 period. So demand stays robust.”

Farmers not feeling optimistic

Farmers are less optimistic about their future this month. The Ag Economy Barometer put out by Perdue University and the CME Group tumbled 20 points to an index of 158 – the lowest point of the survey in nearly nine months.

  Producers are less optimistic about current conditions and the future, noting potential tax rule changes and rising input costs appear to be top of mind. 78% say they are very concerned about the estate tax, with 83% expecting capital gains taxes to rise.