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Evening Edition | Monday, August 15, 2022

In tonight's Evening Edition, catch up on the latest news about corn, soybean, and cotton crops; XtremeAg's crop updates; and a strong farm economy.

USDA Crop Progress Report

As of August 14, 94% of corn is silking, slightly behind the five-year average of 97%. In the top 18 corn growing states, crop condition was rated 57% good/excellent, a 1% drop from last week.

USDA’s report noted 93% of the soybean crop has bloomed, which is on track with the five-year average. Soybean crop condition was rated 58% good/excellent, a 1% drop from last week.

U.S. cotton growers will harvest a drought-shrunken crop of 12.57 million bales, their smallest since 2009, according to the USDA’s monthly Crop Production report.

Texas, the No. 1 producer, would account for nearly all of the nearly 5-million-bale decline in production from last year.

Despite the downturn in the United States, cotton production worldwide was projected to be slightly larger this year than last.

XtremeAg Update

As the end of a long hot growing season approaches, XtremeAg farmers Lee Lubbers and Chad Henderson begin to see the effects of stress on yield potential.

"The heat just keeps going and going," says Lee Lubbers of South Dakota. "We’ve had temperatures ranging from 95° to 115° F. this month and it has been dry. Some mornings we are lucky to have some dew form. I never thought I’d be so excited to see some morning dew on the plants. We’ll take what we can get at this point."

Chad Henderson, Alabama farmer, says his corn is about two weeks away from starting harvest. "We are still waiting for it to dry out a little more before we hit the fields with combines," he says.

The Farm Economy

High commodity prices are fueling a strong farm economy in the Midwest and Plains this summer, but agricultural lenders worry that higher prices for seeds, fertilizer, fuel and other inputs will put the brakes on farm income in the near term.

“Lenders reported growing concerns about 2023,” said the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank, one of four regional Feds to survey bankers every three months about farm finances.

More than 60% of lenders taking part in a Minneapolis Fed survey said they expected farm income to rise in the third quarter of the year, leading into the fall harvest.

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